Looking for a Good Martial Art School

February 19, 2017

Bruce Lee… Jackie Chan… Jet Li…Tony Jaa…

brucelee-jackiechan-tonyja

I love martial art action! Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I used to watch Black Belt Theater every Saturday afternoon…it was back to back B-rated movies of the greats…Bruce Lee…Jackie Chan before he was “Jackie Chan”…and a whole slew of unknowns….

Back then, I was 10-11 years old…a small Korean girl who was born in America. I didn’t speak any Korean but for some reason, I was fascinated by the martial arts. Of course, growing up in a small dinky town in the middle of Tennessee…there weren’t any martial art schools nearby…and besides, my mom would have NEVER allowed me to start training.  (boys aren’t going to like girls who train!)  She nearly freaked out when I started training in Taekwondo in college!

Anyway, so I’ve been interested in Martial Arts since I was 10.

When I went away to college, I decided to try Taekwondo for P.E. credit!  It was a great way to start and be introduced to the world of martial arts.

But, if you are not in college, you may not have this opportunity.

I had trained in college and when I was studying in France, I trained at a gym there. On my off term from college, I trained at a school in Cambridge, MA. So I got to see and experience different teachers, different schools.

Fortunately, I found a martial art school only a year after I graduated from college, Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy, founded by Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim. I learned a LOT when I visited this school for the first time.

jswacademy

Here are some steps you can take and what to look out for!

  1. Check your local yellow pages or google to see how many martial art schools are in a 20 mile radius from your home or work.
  2. Look at their ads first – seem geared more towards kids? towards flashy acrobatics? or do they emphasize more spiritual and mental aspects?
  3. When you first walk into the school, do you feel anything? Does it feel warm & inviting? Is everything neat and orderly?
  4. Are the other students smiling and talking with each other when they are in the lobby?
  5. Are the students focused on training when they are on the training floor?
  6. Are the students’ uniforms clean and looking good?
  7. Meet the instructors, how do you feel about them? Are they personable and easy to talk to?
  8. Check out the bathrooms… You can learn a LOT from bathrooms 🙂 – are they clean & tidy? are there showers and/or lockers? are all the supplies well stocked?
  9. Are the kids running around wildly and out of control?
  10. Does everyone seem happy?

Every martial art is different from each other. The physical moves may differ, the commands/terminology may differ, but all martial art schools should project the same/or similar tenets and philosophies…based on honor, discipline and respect.

I learned the most from Great Grandmaster Kim because her school and her art form were so different from anything I had done before. Not the actual movements, but with the philosophies and practices.

I had become disillusioned with the belt ranking system in college when I saw one Master promote students who never even came to class much, but had paid their $45 testing fee. To me that meant the belt color didn’t mean anything.

Paying a fee for testing is standard in all martial art systems. But when I found out at Jung SuWon was that if a student wasn’t ready to test, they weren’t allowed to test…not even if they brought the fee money with them!

I was impressed with that. That meant that Jung SuWon wasn’t just collecting testing fees for students who weren’t ready to move to the next rank.

The most important thing about choosing a good martial art school is that you have to feel good about the environment and about the instructors.

Every school is not for every person. So the best thing you can do is to visit the school, try out a class if it is allowed, and meet the instructors.

You’ll know if that school is right for you… you will feel it inside. As Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches, trust your Silent Master (your sixth sense).

Check it out!

Strength from Music Lyrics

February 12, 2017

Have you read the lyrics to Justin Bieber’s song “Never Say Never”?

jb-js-neversaynever

I never thought that I could walk through fire

I never thought that I could take the burn

I never had the strength to take it higher

Until I reached the point of no return

I will never say never

I will fight till forever

Whenever you knock me down

I will not stay on the ground

Pick it up pick it up pick it up and never say never

When I was in college, many years ago, I remember listening to very depressing songs all the time. I was very much into the “woe is me… my life sucks” attitude.

womandrained

I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be a part of a team, part of a family, to have lots of friends. But I wasn’t willing to expend the energy to go out and make it happen for myself. Somehow I felt like it should just happen. And I was always blaming other people, the world, and God because I felt like my life sucked. Somehow, it was never my fault. It was just easier to blame the world.

That was a very long time ago.

When I met Dr. Tae Yun Kim back in 1991, I started to see a whole different world. A Positive world. A Happy world. Something I was not used to at all.

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I have learned many very valuable lessons over the past 26 years. One of the most powerful lessons is that I create my own reality. I create my own destiny. I can’t rely on another person, on someone else to make it happen for me. I have to be willing to step forward and to take charge of my own life. If I want to be surrounded by happy, positive people then I have to project a happy, positive attitude. What a novel concept!

It didn’t happen right away. It took some time for me to actually get that message to sink deep into my heart. But it’s there now!

Now I love listening to positive music with positive messages in the lyrics. Like “Never Say Never”.

The lessons that Dr. Tae Yun Kim has taught me aren’t complicated, rocket science, astrophysics type lessons. They are actually quite simple concepts to understand. But when you’ve lived a lifetime completely opposite to those concepts, it takes a little time to rewire your patterns and habits. Fortunately, I can say that I’ve been successful at the re-wiring project :).

I am really grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn from such an incredible and wise teacher!

Blessing of Rainbows

February 4, 2017

Have you seen multiple rainbows in one day?

Today, I saw 8 rainbows!

Here is the 8th rainbow of the day:

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It was super amazing!  In Korean, you can say, 신기하다!  (shin-gi-ha-da)

I have always loved rainbows. I never knew why. But I’ve always liked them. I used to draw them a lot… and LOVED when I saw one. I used to want to go “rainbow hunting” and take pictures of them all around the world!

After I started training at Jung SuWon, I learned from my Master, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, that a rainbow is a blessing from God because it was God’s promise to Noah!

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember the covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.” Genesis 9:13-14

“Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Ezekiel 1:28

I really appreciate that Dr. Kim taught me about this. NOW I know why I love rainbows! I had never thought about the origins of rainbows, but it makes perfect sense!

And now I love rainbows even more!

I have even seen rainbows around the Moon! I saw this when I was with Dr. Tae Yun Kim and it was indeed a miracle and amazing!

MiracleMoonRainbow

Whenever I see one, I feel God’s presence… like He is talking to me with the rainbow. I feel very blessed whenever I see a rainbow and it always makes me smile!

Life is Such a Precious Gift

February 2, 2017

definitely feeling the pressure of TIME… No more time to waste! gotta do it NOW!!!

Words of Wisdom

Excerpt from The Silent Master: Awakening the Power Within:

Tae Yun KimDr. Tae Yun Kim writes:  Life is such a precious gift.  But we tend to treat every day as though life is never going to end, like we have an unlimited amount of time to find the happiness we want.  As a result, instead of challenging our fears right now, we go on day after day, year after year, making excuses for our failure to accomplish our true desires.  Good intentions don’t seem to be enough to make big changes in your life.  All you have to do is think about all the New Year’s resolutions you’ve made in the past, and you realize how good intentions alone aren’t sufficient to introduce changes.  Making real and lasting changes requires that you make a commitment and take constructive action!

Tae Yun Kim

Unfortunately, we tend to get comfortable with our fears and limitations.  Think about…

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Create Your Own Heaven!

February 1, 2017

We are in a tumultuous time… environmentally… politically… socially…

Everywhere you look, all the news on the TV and radio… everything seems to point to chaos!

In Seven Steps to Inner Power, Dr. Tae Yun Kim talks about creating your own Heaven or hell. (see page 76 if you own the book!)

This is hell: ten people are seated at a dining table. They have abundant food in front of them, but the chopsticks they’re required to use are all three feet long! When they try to eat, they discover that the size of the chopsticks makes it impossible to feed themselves. They’re all starving, quarreling, and fighting because they feel so thwarted and miserable.

This is heaven: ten people are at the same table with the same chopsticks. They are all happy, well fed, having a wonderful, peaceful time together. These people were unconcerned that they couldn’t feed themselves with these long chopsticks. They used them to feed each other! The needs of every individual were met when they cooperated with each other, when they worked together.

Dr. Kim goes on to say:

Everyone and everything that comes into your awareness was drawn there by you. Therefore, as we go about our daily lives, we can have some grace; rather than regarding ourselves as victims, we can serenely see ourselves as the creators or co-creators of every moment. As individuals we create our private worlds, and collectively with other members of the planetary body we create our larger world. Regard every situation, then, private or global, as an opportunity to practice the truth of your being in your thought and actions, your being only. When you’re being the best person you can be, don’t be surprised if you find others transforming along with you!

We have the power to create our own Heaven from our own attitudes and behaviors.

What’s stopping us?

🙂

 

 

Be Determined to Be Determined!

January 27, 2017

Do you set goals every year, New Year Resolutions…that you forget by March, April…?

Life just gets so busy that it is easy to just slide by and start focusing on other things. I know that happens to me a lot!

Well, Dr. Tae Yun Kim writes in her book, Seven Steps to Inner Power, about determination:

Unswerving determination is one of the most important factors in reaching your goal, in reaching any goal. Only you can make your determination work for you. And if you use it, your determination will attract to you all the other factors needed for your success – the right associates, the right information, being in the right place at the right time, and so on. Determine now to value determination!  pg. 32

That’s it! Unswerving determination!

Sounds easy… just check it out!  One thing my teacher Dr. Tae Yun Kim shares is that in order to BE successful, you must PRACTICE YOUR SUCCESS!

That means, just do it…and do it again and again…

Practice being determined by picking 1 thing that you want to do…and go do it. Don’t let anything stand in your way!

Once you achieve this…then do it again!  Pretty soon, you will reach all your goals!

Can’t hurt to try!  I’m going to do it! Yahoo!

Freedom is Your Birthright, continued

January 27, 2017

Thanks for sharing #taeyunkim #wisdom and #inspiration!

Words of Wisdom

Dr. Tae Yun Kim writes about Freedom is Your Birthright, in her 2nd book, The Silent Master: Awakening the Power Within~

Tae Yun Kim

Ask yourself these questions:  Have the past five years of your life brought you what you want out of life?  Were you focused on a goal and going somewhere special?  Or were you just drifting, only to find out today, five years later, that your time was mostly wasted?

Tae Yun Kim

Maybe you’ve never asked this question before, so you might reply without thinking, “I guess I have what I want.”  Or, maybe you know right now your answer is, “Are you kidding?  No way!”  Think about it and ask yourself now.  Are you really excited about getting up every morning?  Do you have a career that fulfills you?  Do you have love in your life?  Do you have a warm and peaceful feeling inside that makes you glad…

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“I Can’t Usually Means I Won’t”

January 26, 2017

I can relate too! Fears can become overwhelming if I let them!

Self Discovery as a Jung Su Won Warrior

In “The Silent Master: Awakening the Power Within” Author “Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim” shares the following story.   This is one of my favorites as I am reminded daily in my life that “He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me” and this story really speaks to me about the power of my thoughts, my attitude.

Page 35: ” Realize that I Can’t usually means I won’t”

“All of us, at some time or another,  have felt the limiting power of ” I can’t.” Even when we really want something, and even if that something is within our power, those two simple words can prevent it from happening. When you find yourself saying ” I can’t,” look deeper to see if you’re making another excuse. If you look honestly, you will usually find that your words “I can’t” actually mean “I could, but I won’t for this…

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Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone!

January 25, 2017

Wait! What?? You want me to do do WHAT??

Step out of my comfort zone?

Yikes.

Sounds scary… it can be. There is a lot of fear with even thinking about stepping out of my comfort zone.

But with that fear comes great rewards.

My martial art teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, teaches that as long as we stay in our comfort zone, we cannot grow. If I stay stagnant because I’m more comfortable, how will I ever expand my thinking, try new things, experience life?

That “Comfort Zone” is awfully comfortable… it is familiar… it is comforting… but it is also there because I had been unwilling to change, to try new things…

Fear has been my friend for WAY too long.

There is actually some excitement with stepping out of my Comfort Zone… facing the unknown…not sure of what will happen… but knowing that my martial art training has actually prepared me quite well for this.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim is definitely the MASTER of stepping out of the comfort zone…She reaches for goals that seem WAY out of reach, yet she does it confidently and uses her “Future Memory” to see the results already delivered.

Even facing fears like swimming… Dr. Kim just dives in (literally!) and does everything she can to overcome the fears.

That’s why she is my inspiration and my role model.

In my life, I have stepped out of my comfort zone on my own a couple of times, but not enough to make a difference. It is too easy to get stuck in a rut and just accept the status quo.

But NO MORE!  This is 2017! And the year is almost over!!

This is my year for STEPPING OUT and doing things I have never done before… I just started today… but more on those details later…

The world is looking a LOT BRIGHTER outside “the zone”!

Yahoo!

Storms and Blue Skies

January 22, 2017

Last night, it was RAINING. The wind was strong and the power went out! The storm was raging and it felt like it could go on for days.

When I woke up this morning, the sun was out, the sky was blue, the birds were chirping.

Amazing.

Sometimes a day might seem so gloomy or so depressing, all dark and cloudy, but before you know it, the sun is shining and the sky is blue.

My martial arts teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, teaches that even when the sky is full of dark clouds, guess what? The sun IS STILL THERE! It’s just hiding behind the clouds. All it takes is for one cloud to move and the sun will shine brightly through the sky.

This is related to the Maybe story I talked about in the previous blog post.

Sometimes, things happen in life that are unexpected and may seem to be very negative or very depressing. We just need to remember that the SUN IS STILL THERE. So don’t get caught up in the depressing feeling…or the anger or sadness.

 

Wait? Maybe you LIKE to feel depressed or sad or angry…so you WANT to stay in that pit of despair.

I know, I was totally like that for my entire life before I started training at Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy.

When I was growing up, throughout my childhood, teenage years and even in college, I liked feeling sorry for myself. I liked feeling like the whole world was against me. I liked feeling helpless. I called it “wallowing in my own self-pity”. Of course I had to do it because no one was there for me. I was all alone.

I used to commiserate with myself and had a mantra of all the reasons why my life sucked and why no one loved me.

But you know what? Doing that was SO lazy! I didn’t want to address the issues and try to resolve them. It was just easier to just be miserable than to try to be happy in my life.

When I started training at Jung SuWon, Dr. Tae Yun Kim would teach in class and say things like “practice being happy until you actually feel happy!”

I was really confused. I didn’t see how that related to training in the martial arts. And then I felt like I would be lying if I pretended to be happy.

Great Grandmaster asked me, “Don’t you WANT to be happy?”

“Of course!” I exclaimed.

Then she said to me, “it’s not lying. You are projecting how you want to be, so you need to practice being happy. Then one day, you will start to actually FEEL happy!”

What a simple concept!

For the past 25 years, I have been doing just that… practicing being happy and you know what?

I am REALLY Happy now!!!

Dr. Kim has also said “Practice your success.”

I never thought of it like this before…I used to just drift through life, expecting things to “just happen”…but you know what?  Success doesn’t just fall in your lap.  You have to drive yourself towards it and Practice it so that you will become successful! Yes, IT TAKES WORK and ENERGY!  But you have to decide that you want to do this and then Just Do It.

Have a wonderful and beautiful day!