Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Essence & Spirit of Martial Arts Part 2

The qualities of Yellow Belt, the Germination of Life, will be Part 2 of our exploration of the Essence & Spirit in Martial Arts.  The qualities are  Honor and Family.  In our student handbook we define Honor as "a good name with integrity".  Honor is used a lot in karate and the martial arts.  Honor is often invoked, but not always understood.  When I ask students what honor means, the answer is usually "to respect someone or something".  There is a lot of truth in that answer.  It also makes honor an action, not a noun like in our handbook definition.  Honor is an interesting and powerful word.  It can be a noun or a verb.  You can have honor (noun) and you can honor someone or something.  If we stay with our martial arts definition of honor as a good name with integrity, how can we make that actionable?  From our living example.  If we want to keep that integrity we have to live it, live it consistently over time.  In karate and martial arts we train hard, follow the teachings of our Grandmaster, listen to our Instructors.  We preserve the knowledge, and share it with the best of intentions and sincerity. We keep the respect and discipline that is our art's foundation and exemplify these qualities while passing this knowledge to the next generation.  We behave and treat others as gentlewomen and gentlemen, never allowing one to doubt the sincerity of HapKiDo's philosophical and virtuous foundations.  The Honor of future generations will be the proof of and reward of our Honor today.

The second quality of Yellow Belt is Family.  When asked about family or what family means, the first thought is our immediate blood related family; our parents, our children, our Grandparents, our aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.  In karate and martial arts we define Family as "people united by a common goal".  We always refer to the members of our schools and their family members as Our HapKiDo Family.  The students learning ChungMu HapKiDo  with Grandmaster JiMong Choe as our Martial Arts Father are our HapKiDo brothers and sisters.  We are united by the common goal of Martial Arts.  What is the common goal of Martial Arts?  It is very difficult to narrow so broad a field with literally countless benefits.  Is it the ChungMu HapKiDo Purposes of Training?  Self Defense, Health, Completion of Self Culture.  The fellowship a student of The Way experiences in training is unique to martial arts.  Other team sports do not have the same necessity for Respect and Trust. Martial arts practiced without consideration can be dangerous!  You MUST have a profound level of of mutual respect, trust and friendship to practice safely and effectively.  As you progress in martial arts the philosophical foundations and tenets of virtue they were founded on becomes progressively more important and deepens the profundity of the relationships.  The common goal starts to take shape as making the world better by making ourselves better.  The HapKiDo/Karate/Martial Arts Family is so powerful  because it is Truly Good.  This is the kind of Family the world needs.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Turn over a New Leaf for the New Year!

“You are what you eat” is the phrase that we often hear, when referring to our eating habits. What we put in our body, is what we will produce. For example, if you put low grade oil or gasoline in your car, chances are that it won’t last as long, verses if you put high graded oil and gasoline in it. In today’s society, we are always on the move and it seems as though some of us hardly have time for ourselves, and our health. I totally understand how it feels to always be on the go, but at the same time, we must practice healthy habits to keep our body performing strong in our everyday routines. There are small changes that can make a big difference in how our body performs, which includes, eating a lot of green leafy foods and keeping plants in your
Green leafy foods such as spinach, cabbage, collards, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, kale, seaweed and much more, are very beneficial to our bodies. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals (biologically active compounds in plants). Green vegetables are rich in calcium, which helps keep our bones and teeth strong. They also contain vitamin E, which has multiple responsibilities such as keeping our skin healthy and protecting it from harmful sun rays. Eating green vegetables plays an essential role in the proper functioning of our bodies. 
Another healthy habit that can improve the body’s performance is as simple as putting plants in your home. There are two amazing plants that I would like to share; the snake plant (also known as mother in laws tongue) and the aloe plant (also known as aloe vera). In the snake plant, the mother in laws tongue improves the air quality in your home by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen mainly at nighttime. This action provides a deeper sleep, which in return provides a good night’s rest. Did you know that once consumed, the aloe vera plant helps detoxify our bodies? Inside the plant contains a gel substance that absorbs the toxins in our body and then exits through the colon. In addition, aloe vera plants are also great for healing wounds on the skin. The aloe plant is an amazing plant that has a ton to offer in the upkeep and the well being of our bodies. 
To get positive results, starts with a positive attitude. The Year of the Horse is here, so get started turning over a new leaf for the New Year! It may be hard, but not impossible! So, remember to eat plenty of green vegetables and add a plant or two in your home. These are a few simple things that can make a big difference in healthy living.

Happy New Year!

Written By: Rahkeen Williams, Kickboxing Instructor