Sunday, December 19, 2010

Do The Dishes!

Every single day of our lives (if we are fortunate) we wake up and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, I don't know about you, but I would prefer not eating off of paper plates. So,  the unfortunate by-product of our daily diet routine is the accumulation of dirty plates, cups, glasses, knives, forks, spoons, etc. It is prudent and tidy to regularly wash up after each meal and put those utensils away so we can use them the next time. However, and I know you have done this too, sometimes I elect to just let those ol' dishes pile up for a day or two. What a terrifying prospect to face when I finally get around to actually getting cleaned up. Which, of course, intensifies my desire never to do that again! Have I learned that lesson more than once? Have you?

Miyamoto Musashi, the famous 17th century Japanese swordsman, wrote that we should "never be negligent, even in trifling matters..." He knew, as a martial artist, that those trifling matters tended to pile up and present an unnecessary burden for our daily lives (already tough enough already). And, so to keep a tidy mind, we needed to keep a tidy lifestyle. Thus releasing us more from the mundane so we can more often seek the higher learning associated with art, music, and literature. And, even more important to the martial artist, the ability to be free of earthly cares when training in the deadly arts.

So, go do the dishes. And, in 30 minutes when you are picked up, go put on your uniform and train!

Master B

Thursday, December 16, 2010

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Do What You Can

As we go through our training journey it is inevitable that we will encounter injuries of many kinds. Bumps, bruises, strains, sprains...even tears and fractures. The important point to remember is that when you have an injury you can still train. If you have a broken arm you can still kick or do squats. Sprained ankle? No problem, work on hand strength, punching power in a stationary position, or even abdominal exercises. What seems to happen most of the time is the athlete is not only in pain but also demoralized or depressed about his/her condition to the degree that any motivation is lost. Don't fall victim to that sort of thinking. Studies show that even with an arm in a cast you can work the other arm and achieve some unexpected results - the arm in the cast stays more toned too. Imagine someone laying completely off training for 8 weeks with a broken arm. Compare those results with the person that stayed busy that entire 8 weeks working on calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, low back, and abs. At the end of 8 weeks you will have either a little catching up to do or A LOT! In martial art training you also have to understand that the possibly exists you may be hurt or injured during the course of defending yourself. How do you know what that would feel like unless you practice while you are hurt. Find out how to balance differently, how to punch with one arm immobilized, how to kick with back pain, etc. Learn your way around your own body - even injured - and you will be farther ahead in the long run.

P.S. When training while injured you have to really be careful! Don't make the injury worse by being careless.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year

Now that we are officially into 2010 I would like to congratulate everyone who was courageous enough to make a resolution. Many will "poo-poo" the idea of a New Year's Resolution claiming that it's foolish to promise something that they can in no way live up to. And maybe that is true if you set too aggressive a goal. But realistic goal setting is an important part of any successful plan. It would be hard to build a house or get set up for retirement if you didn't create reasonable landmarks to chart your progress. Instead of saying, " I am going to stop smoking, stop eating fast food, and learn to play the cello!" you could cut your smoking in half, only eat your McRib on Fridays, and buy a couple of classical CDs by the cellist Yo Yo Ma. As you achieved success in your initial goal grab then would be the time to move your goals forward a bit. Say, for example, smoke only on weekends or fast food once a month.  As you achieve more success and gain more confidence then go to the music store and rent a cello for 6 months. Take some time to set some short-term goals, even if you don't call them New Year's Resolutions, and move yourself forward in life.

Do your best and don't give up!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I want to begin this blog by first mentioning my inspiration for writing this, for my training, and for my continued spiritual development.  He was by no means perfect but always strived to better himself.  A consumate teacher, leader, and martial artist. This was a man who lived a very hard life during a very hard time and made it through to the other side.  So can we all.
In Memory of Yong Taek Chung
3/3/21 - 11/11/06

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