Monday, March 25, 2013

Respect, the Best Self Defense

Respect.  We use respect in martial arts all the time.  It is the cornerstone of any style with depth.  in our modern times the respect aspects of martial arts is primarily used in character development.  Many students begin their martial arts journey not for the physical techniques, but for the respect, focus and discipline.  It is possible to believe that respect and character development in martial arts have taken on a life of their own, separate from the original, primary purpose of martial arts, self defense.  I’m here to tell you that respect is the best self defense technique.  
Respect, an act of giving particular attention.  Respect, deep admiration for someone or something due to their qualities, achievements, conduct
This begins with paying attention.  Paying attention to the master or instructor is paramount in karate.  This attention is an awareness that grows with the progress of the student.  The rank society of martial arts demands this awareness and attention.  You must pay attention to and consider others whether you want to or not.  Eventually it becomes part of your nature and character to pay attention to others.  To have an awareness that expands beyond yourself.  As this awareness of others expands, it allows you to really live a life of RESPECT.  You can’t help but be aware of others and to some degree how they feel or have a clue about their situation.  This in turn lets you act appropriately and with compassion and discipline when it is required; enables you to live more mindfully in the present. 
Being aware, the most important part of self defense.  Awareness lets you see potential trouble and to therefor avoid it.  Awareness lets you seize opportunities to advance your life and situation, protecting you with the security of a better job, position, living condition, etc. 
This leads to greater confidence, to take the leadership role and grow.  Most predators and bullies  don’t attack the leader or leaders of the pack.
As our society continues to rapidly change, the physical techniques of Martial Arts are still vitally important, but the Respect it teaches is indispensable to modern self defense.  The chances of fighting an invading army are thankfully slim, however we are interacting with our fellow humans more than ever.  Society needs Respect, must cultivate and treasure Respect.  Martial Arts and the work of those that propagate and spread its knowledge have never been more important.

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Duluth
1630 Pleasant Hill Rd., #210
Duluth, GA 30096

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Martial Arts are still Secret!

I remember growing up, watching Kung Fu theater.  All of the Masters with their secret techniques.  The hidden and forbidden styles.  The trials and tribulations the aspiring students had to endure for precious drops of knowledge and understanding.  When I began my personal journey in the martial arts, it was still very much like those movies.  Dedication, pain, 110% effort where the price for "real" understanding and depth of knowledge.  I was fortunate enough to find a true Grandmaster.  Video cameras weren't allowed at events because other masters would send spies to steal our techniques.  It was the last Golden Years of "Old School", and I loved every drop.
Then came the internet, with video sites and all of this information was suddenly anywhere and everywhere for any poser or wannabe.  The amount of potential knowledge is staggering.  Demonstrations and teaching,  every style, all of these moves.  At first I thought the mystery and secret, mystic knowledge was lost, pearls before swine.  As I continued teaching and learning, I began to realize something.  People were getting lost in this sea of information.  They wanted something REAL.
A real Grandmaster, a human teacher.  Someone to ask questions to and give feedback.  To exchange energy as only living creatures can.  I realized, that just like the "what just happened, OMG" twisting techniques I love, martial arts had taken this momentum and turned it back on itself.  The REAL SECRET stuff is still out there, and still protected from those who would not honor the commitment, integrity and friendship it takes to Walk the Path. The internet and its resources are wonderful tools, revolutionizing how we share and connect.  More people than ever can benefit from the Martial Arts, still need a Real Teacher, Real Friends and Real Heart to Really Learn.

Choe's HapKiDo Academy of Duluth
1630 Pleasant Hill Rd., #210
Duluth, GA 30096