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Martial arts can change your life in 48s, if you let it.

Yes it was the 48s of the Nunes vs Rousey fight that I had on my mind when I wrote this post title. Images and commentary about the much publicized  fight were all over social media and got me thinking about how much life can change in a single moment.

Even a moment lasting less than 60s.

Although MMA is currently the top draw card in the popular press when people think of martial arts, it is not what lead me to practice my art.


Photo: Kuk Sool Won Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh with me at the training Seminar in Dublin, California

Yes, martial arts is fundamentally about fighting. However in a traditional martial art  it’s about using your body as a weapon while also honoring it as a vessel for enlightenment.

Respect, self-discipline, control and increased self-awareness are an integral part of a traditional martial arts journey.

Every person who practices a martial art has their own reasons for doing so and has their own expectations. The teacher and school where you choose to receive your martial arts instruction will set the tone for your training. Finding a school that matches your martial arts world view is what sets you on the path of your martial arts journey.

It’s the moment that you make that decision, which usually happens in the blink of an eye that can change your life… if you let it.

I’ve seen all types make the decision to start but only a special few allow martial arts to change their lives. It’s not just about training, it’s a way of life and when committed, it will change the way you make decisions about the things you prioritize.

So when making resolutions and/or setting goals here are three things that I’ve come to know:

1. Growing and learning is a life-long process

2. When you do the work, you reap the rewards

3. Helping others also helps you.

Whatever your chosen art, embrace it and enjoy the journey.

Martial arts: you can do it, this is your invitation!

You have the freedom of choice. You can choose to take action or be overwhelmed by your imagined shortcomings and do nothing.

JT IM high five

Photo 1: A high five at Kuk Sool Won Testing Day after a successful board break

Recently my ten year old son asked me whether he could audition for his elementary school’s variety show. I was somewhat surprised as he tends to shy away from the limelight.

He needed three other students to participate and thankfully there were ten others including  my seven year old daughter, who were more than willing to share their love for Kuk Sool Won martial arts with their peers. They called themselves the Kuk Sool Crew.

It was heartwarming to see them band together and practice. They were filled with enthusiastic energy and their excited smiles when they got together were a joy to behold.

Their eagerness to try something different was  inspiring. Although they were nervous it didn’t stop them from taking a chance.

We all have choices to make and chances to take every day. I had always wanted to do martial arts but I thought my age would be too much of a limitation. It took someone to invite me to try before I began my martial arts journey at Kuk Sool Won of Dublin, California.

An invitation from the school was a catalyst for my kids and their peers to try something different. An invitation from their martial arts Master triggered the start of my Kuk Sool Won adventure.

There are numerous martial arts styles including Karate, Jui Jitsu, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kung Fun, Wushu and Jeet Kune Do to name but a few. I started out trying Tai Chi too. If you check out the newly launched Martial Nation website you can see the multitude of options.

VT and EA

Photo 2: My training buddy Eveline and I at the Kuk Sool Won of Dublin dojang in California

You can choose to stay on the sidelines and dream or you can launch yourself into the fray. The choice and the decision is yours.

There aren’t always obvious invitations to create the spark that ignites us into action but if you need one then here it is!

If you’ve ever dreamed of trying martial arts – this is your invitation! The universe is inviting you – will you accept?

The only permission you need to follow your dreams is your own.

Thought for Social Media Week: Kuk Sool Won is not Karate

Master Seyd Saidi, Kuk Sool Won of Dublin

Master Seyd Saidi, Kuk Sool Won of Dublin

Today marks the start of Social Media Week and seven cities across four continents are participating. I even know the lovely Joyce Sullivan who will be speaking at the New York City conference today. When I considered the buzz of activity around this glamorous and noteworthy event I could recognize most of the brand names in Social Media that were represented but what struck me on the news page sharing options was that only four were selected – Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn and Google+. Oh to be in that top 4!

This led me to think about my new martial arts passion –  Kuk Sool Won. Why? Because on almost every occassion that I have mentioned to someone that I do martial arts they have asked me which one and when I respond I usually have to repeat it or expand on it.

I have often been asked “So when is your karate class?” Karate is one of those brand names that has become synonmous with a particular product, in this case martial arts. It doesn’t seem to matter to most people whether you are Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Cynthia Rothrock or Michelle Yeoh as I have heard their movies still commonly being referred to as karate films.

There are a number of brands that fall into this category like Kleenex, Popsicle and Zamboni and if you like you can take a look at 41 Brand Names that People use as Generic terms  you might be surprised at what you see.

I am an instinctive marketer. I talk about things and people that have had an impact on me. I share things I care about.

Kuk Sool Won is a traditional Korean martial system that has a remarkable history. I was introduced to it when my husband signed my children up for classes with Master Seyd Saidi. As a martial arts system, Kuk Sool Won seeks to integrate and explore the entire spectrum of established Asian fighting arts and body conditioning techniques and also includes mental development and traditional weapons training.

After watching my kids thriving and becoming increasingly enthusiastic about practicing this martial art I was so intrigued that I had to try it out too.

I am a martial arts fan but I don’t do Karate – I do Kuk Sool Won!


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Master Saidi or that of the World Kuk Sool Association.

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