Inspiration can come from just about anywhere...even video games. :)
Inspired by a video shared by one of our students, last night's class followed the premise of earning "XP" during different drills in the class (calisthenics, stretching, proper technique, mistake free forms and board breaking). Bonus "XP" could be earned for certain challenges (like breaking a board during a form without losing concentration and finishing strong). We discussed how a character in a video game evolves and related it to the process of becoming more powerful and skilled as an individual. Leveling up in the game is like earning a new belt. "Prestige" is the act of starting over, just as in some games (like COD), which is similar to earning the cho dan rank. Now, last night was really more like a tutorial in a game and each student kept track of their own XP. Students seemed to enjoy and were motivated by the idea, even tracking and sharing their XP results at the end of class with fellow students.
Inspiration can come from just about anywhere...even video games. :)
New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. How many times have you made a promise to yourself at New Years only to see that promise broken in a few months, weeks, or dare I even say...
And your promise quickly becomes a re-solution the following year. But it doesn't have to be this way. Sometimes we bite of more than we can chew. So the trick is to take smaller bites, even if it takes twice as many bites to finish.
Or even more, a lot more. (You may find that it tastes much better too.)
So how can we put this idea to work for us? Bruce Lee is famous for not just his martial arts but for his take on life too. He noted famously that
There is one thing nearly all modern Americans have in common: we sit all the time. Though our great shift towards computer-based work has done great things for productivity, it has, unfortunately, done terrible things for our health. From increased risk of heart disease and obesity in the long term, to sharply hampered cholesterol maintenance in the short term, the negative health effects of sitting are starting to weigh heavily against the benefits.
Students of Tang Soo Do typically begin learning the Pyung Ahn series of forms at Orange Belt (8th Gup). These forms are an important part of our Moo Do (martial discipline) development.
The modern Pyong Ahn forms were introduced as a series of five forms in 1901 by Itosu Yasutsune (1831 – 1915), a Shorin-ryu Karate master on Okinawa. The words Pyong Ahn translate to "Peaceful Confidence". The diagrams of the forms resemble a balanced scale. There is some differing opinions as to the exact history of the forms. Some claim that they originated in China and exemplify the southern regional style (Nam-Pa); that they were created by a Chinese military leader named Jeh Nam and were once known as the Jeh Nam Hyungs till late 1800. Others would argue that they originated in Okinawa and were adapted by Itosu from older forms such as Kusanku and Gojushiho into forms suitable for teaching karate to young students and introducing martial arts practice into school systems.
As we look back on the past year we want to thank you for your generous support of Boys Town during the holidays. Our two newly promoted Black Belts, Adam Gilliland and Abbie Douglas, completed their project to pick up Santa's reigns and run our annual Toy Drive for Boys and Girls Town of California. A number of our families joined Abbie and Adam as they delivered gifts to Boys Town on Dec 17.
This is a guest post written and reproduced with permission of the author Matthew Apsokardu. Mr Apsokardu has been a student of the martial arts for 16 years and has acquired the rank of 4th Dan in Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudo.
We often hear that black belt isn't an end goal, but instead a point where true learning can begin. We all generally accept this as sage wisdom even though it can be difficult to understand such an esoteric concept at first. After all, how can learning BEGIN at black belt?
Sometimes we rationalize the idea intellectually by observing highly skilled individuals and comparing our meager skills against them. But still we have a hard time grasping that we haven't really learned anything after four or five years of diligent study. Only a few monk-like individuals are so devoid of ego that they truly believe they know nothing when going for shodan.
So how does one explain this mystery, especially to those students who are brimming with "self confidence" and don't want to hear that their studies are only beginning?
Eating healthy food is dietary self-defense. SBN Torchia and I took on a challenge to create our own diet chronicle based on what we choose to eat for lunch during our break today from the Tom Callos seminar in Woodland Hills, CA. We ate at Follow Your Heart Restaurant and Market in Canoga Park, a vegan restaurant not far from the studio. It's been edited using iMovie and uploaded the video to our ockicks youtube page. Enjoy our first attempt to create new content for our students and their families.
You can learn more about the dietary self-defense project at http://www.dietaryselfdefense.com/.
"The time is always right to do what is right." - Martin Luther King Jr.
No doubt you've heard Sa Bom Nim say that the rules of the school are written clearly on the wall. Looking to the far end of the dojang floor you see three lithographs of chinese calligraphy. On the right is the word for Do (Tao in Chinese). Sa Bom Nim defines this word for our younger students as "doing the right thing even when no one is watching."
It's February...how are your New Year's goals / resolutions going? Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. A separate study in 2007 by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol showed that 78% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, and those who succeed have 5 traits in common. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
During his visit this past weekend Kwan Jang Nim Sgro once again discussed how the movements we practice regularly in class have a variety of applications. Bunkai (分解), literally meaning "analysis" or "dis-assembly", is a term used in Japanese martial arts referring to the application of fighting techniques extracted from the moves of a "form" (kata or hyung).