Part 3 of the How to Advance as a Martial Artist:
Be open minded
Try new (more…)
training, to thoughts on principles, to goals, and acomplishments.
Part 3 of the How to Advance as a Martial Artist:
Try new (more…)
Part 2 of the How to Advance as a Martial Artist:
A friend of mine recently asked “How can I become a better martial artist?” That’s a pretty general question, so I said Read the rest of this entry
A while back I had the opportunity to watch a Chinese presentation led by a martial arts master regarding kung-fu. When I started watching, I was expecting a lecture on historic lineage leading up to today. Luckily it was anything but that. The master started out by asking the question “What is kung-fu?” A few people did in-fact reference history and martial arts styles.
After listening for a few minutes he shook his head and everyone was confused. Read the rest of this entry
I had hoped to receive a few major scholarships but I have actually lost one that I have had for the last 3 years. Thankfully I have my 2 part-time jobs and I’m getting decent hours.
I have decided against a home-stay since I will only be in Japan for one semester and the time spent commuting back and forth to campus would be draining and I think I would miss out on a lot of opportunities. I look forward to meeting and getting to know the people from around the world in the Seminar houses of KGU. I still have so many unknown factors that will play into this but I am a cup half full kind of guy and I like to think that everything will work out in the end, especially if you have put everything you could into making it work.
As a Martial Artist I have been considering joining a martial arts club or circle at Kansai Gaidai. A club is very different at KGU than it is at UMass. I have heard that clubs in Japan are more like the USA university varsity teams as they have 3 hour practices, 6 days a week. While “circles” in Japan are more like our clubs, meeting up several times a week but not as often or as intensely as the clubs do.
I am also concerned with my Japanese levels as I think that my listening and comprehension skills are the most lacking, I will likely need that the most. Who know’s, one step at a time.
I just received my Official Certificate of Eligibility for study abroad in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University (関西外国語大学). This is the third time I am trying to study abroad in college and so far something has come up or changed to make it so I was unable to go. At the moment I have several challenges in front of me before I can call this definite but I have put everything on the line for this to work. I have purchased round trip plane tickets through United Airlines, I have withdrawn from my UMass dorm, been removed from UMass courses, and there is no turning back now. I am so happy that I am actually following through with this, but it is not without it’s risks.
When I was 4 years old I started training in TaeKwonDo in Florida. I continued for several years, entering in dozens of competitions along the way, traveling, meeting new people, and having amazing experiences. Then I moved to NH and went a few years before I felt a longing to get back into the martial arts world. I then moved to Kajukenpo and Pai lum kung fu, training in those styles for a few years and then injured myself, bringing my training to a sudden halt for about 2 years. Then switching back to Taekwondo after I had healed enough to train and getting my car so I could drive myself longer distances without relying on my parents. Once I entered college I continued practicing TaeKwonDo more and more and eventually entered my first collegiate competition.
Let’s just say it wasn’t my best set of results. But at the same time I loved it, it didn’t matter if I had won or lost, it was about pushing myself and seeing what I was capable of, as well as what others were capable of. From there I could see just how much work I needed to do to compete at their levels. I was having an amazing time while balancing coursework, a part time job, friends, and TKD. At the second competition I was leaner, faster, stronger, and smarter in the ways of competition fighting. I still had a long way to go before I would be able to compete with the highest ranking competitors from universities and colleges like Harvard, MIT, NYU, UCLA and more, but I was starting to hold my own. Saddly that was my last competition at the collegiate level since, I just finished my Junior year in college and I have recently come into contact with the people I had trained under as well as the people I trained with in Florida as a small kid.
Since talking with everyone I have realized that I could do so much more, push myself so much farther, but only if I was the one who truly wanted to, if I was going to push, if I was going to dedicate my whole self into this. There is no changing the past, and no use in wishing you had done something differently, there is only now, and the future that can be changed, but I will not let go of my past.
I have decided to dedicate myself to training every day in order to compete on the national level for TaeKwonDo. I will not, cannot, slack off. I will eat healthier, go distance running, body-weight train, possibly weight-train, bike to and from work (6 or so miles each way), and most importantly I will practice TaeKwonDo every day.
My goals to reach are as follows;
-win a local TKD Tournament
-run a 5K
-be in great health/ shape
-compete in nationals
-maybe more to come later
This will not be easy and I will not pretend that it will be. Yet that does not change the fact that I will give this everything I have.
Hajime! It starts with the officials shout, as the two competitors flip off the edge of their floating start points. The two fighters become one with the water, swirling, pushing, and pulling at the crystal clear fluid. Strength is not the most important part of this battle, staying calm; using specific movements to manipulate oneself through the pressure of 50 feet of water is a particular skill. When the pair finally meets, an elegant series of movements ensues. A flick of the foot can save you from a kick and a swing of the arm can leave you open to penetrating strikes. One mistake and you may be left out of breath, 50 feet underwater with nowhere to go.
If I knew anyone with access to a nice underwater camera and a pool, or even some form of a clear water source, I would be all for underwater action photo shoots. Add in some random spontaneity, passion, and fun and my happiness would be absolute. Until I tried to top it the next day of course.
I would be excited and worried for the opportunity to compete in an underwater martial arts competition. I’m not sure if this would be feasible in consideration of only forms or if sparring would be included. Either way, it makes me energized just thinking about it.