Classic Blunders

Alas! I have committed one of the classic training blunders of late. Rather than recognize that exercise reduces stress and being stressed out means I should focus more on exercise, I have focused more on stress and not on my training. It shows. Consider this an apology to myself.


I already missed a day. Missed training too. I don't think it missed me though. I'll visit it tomorrow. I have an intense urge to hit something!

I'm sorry...

This NaBloPoMo thing... I have nothing to blog about today.

What went right? Got outside.
What went wrong? Not enough.

I have a profound urge to treat myself to a very physical workout involving a heavy bag and lots of kicks. But I am le tired...

A Poll!

My Reading List

I believe that true training is both physical and mental and I could always use some new advice so I ordered some books from Amazon a few days ago. Since I haven't started them, we'll call it the reading list. I'll review the books when I finish them.

One, recommended by Black Belt Mama (one awesome butt-kicking woman, I can assure you) is Living The Martial Way: A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think by Forrest E. Morgan. She mentioned it as a result of a discussion we had on Kata/Poomse/Forms on her blog - it was so timely I de-lurked to tell her so! Well, this book is first on my list just as soon as I can pry it from the Sarge. I think he likes it.

Ultimate Fitness Through Martial Arts is another of my purchases. After a quick glance through, this one will wait until I've progressed a bit further in my physical conditioning. Over the long-term, however, I expect this to be useful.

Tae Kwon Do: The State of the Art is a nice reference guide for TKD fundamentals. It will be handy as I begin the boys' training. I never learned the Korean words for things so it will be fun to learn them together. It will also be nice to study the history of the art as well.

Official Tae Kwon Do Training Manual disappoints me. It goes into USTF forms in great detail but my forms are of the ITF variety. I will re-read and see if there is anything of use here.

Of course, no brush up on Martial Arts knowledge would be complete without
A Book of Five Rings
The Art of War
The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master

Am I missing anything?

I also recommend visiting Century's website occasionally looking for videos on sale. Our class is weak on weapons so I have to teach myself. I've gotten Eskrima, Arnis, Sword, Sword and Dagger, and Tonfa videos for as little as five bucks. Well worth it. I love when the student (me) can become somewhat of a master and share what the videos have taught me with my teachers. I tend to focus on single- and double-stick stuff, but I do like the sword as well. That is one weapon I would try to pay money to learn (remembering of course that I have no money).

Now its your turn, my as-yet-unknown readers. What books and videos do you recommend? What motivates you when your resolve is low? Show me the way and I will follow!


There, kids, is my Dilbert impression. I don't even have an excuse. I would have had time. I woke up with the motivation so my bag was not only packed but in the car. And yet... I didn't make it to the gym. GRRRRR.....

What pushes you on?

National Blog Post Month

Also known as kick start your training month. I have to blog every day, I may as well do some TKD training too!

Time Out!

Sick kids, holidays and what not are not putting training on hold, but blogging is behind schedule. More soon!

All Hail...

We did do Kata (poomse, forms, patterns...) last night and we did argue about forms last night. Which is a more critical dispute to resolve? Forms or Warm-ups?

Taking my rightful place atop the throne

Tonight I set out to resume my role as "Kata Queen". Wish me luck!


So I went to the gym yesterday and hopped on the elliptical trainer. I really love the elliptical. I feel like I'm working my whole body and I know that my whole body needs work! After a few minutes, I put on my iPod and listened to some tunes. Then, I thought I'd give this whole visualization thing a try. So I closed my eyes. It felt a little weird plugging away on the elliptical with my eyes closed but then the vision came. There I was in a gi. I had on a white tope and black pants - a privilege reserved for senior students only (the way training used to be). I was kneeling - exhausted - in front of my instructors but facing away from them. Dripping with sweat, breathing heavily, anxious but satisfied; I awaited my results. They were in. Paul told me to stand up and face the panel - the board of instructors scoring the test. Nervous, I summoned the strength and will to stand and face them. Mr. Sharp and Mr. Gordon smiled and handed me my black belt. It felt amazing. That feeling burns in me today. I like it. I am focusing on that and letting it push me onward. I wish I could go to the gym again today. I will go tomorrow. Those 45 minutes on the elliptical yesterday were awesome.

Yup! Another blog!

Join me as I prepare for my Black Belt test in Tae Kwon Do next year. I'll be writing about training, fitness and preparing mentally for the journey ahead to my black belt test and beyond.

What is Kuan-Ti? Here's a definition from

Kuan Ti

(East Asian mythology)

The god of war in Confucian tradition. A popular figure in Chinese folklore, Kuan Ti was a leading general during the period of disunity known as San Kuo, the Three Kingdoms (221–65). He is not, however, a Mars figure, warlike and implacable, but rather the god who prevents war. As Kuan Yu, a massive man, nine feet in height, with a beard two feet long, a ruddy complexion, and eyebrows like sleeping silkworms shading his phoenix eyes, which were a scarlet-red, he took up arms in the complicated civil war because he wished ‘to pay the state his debt of loyalty and give peace to his black-haired compatriots’. Ts'ao Ts'ao, the deposer for the last Han Emperor and the architect of discord, had once said: ‘I would rather betray the whole world than let the world betray me.’

Kuan Yu was killed by the Sun, a powerful clan established at Ch'eng-tu. Yet his valour and courtesy were a standing rebuke to his contemporaries, then engaged in treachery and violence. The apotheosis of his cult occurred in 1594 when the throne conferred on him the title of Ti, great supporter of heaven and protector of the empire. Kuan Ti had become the divine champion, always ready to intervene against all those who disturb the peace—rebels, sorcerers, demons, and foreigners.

In a nutshell, Kuan-ti is perceived by the noble classes in China as a God of War but the common people consider him a god of protection. I like this because it demonstrates the classic dichotomy of martial arts. While I like to beat some ass now and then, the reason I study martial arts and encourage the study of martial arts by everyone is because of the self-confidence that it brings and the firm belief that I am capable of protecting myself if the need arises. I enjoy the tradition, the ritual and the discipline every bit as much as I enjoy sparring. I am looking forward to deepening my knowledge of the history of Tae Kwon Do specifically and martial arts in general in the coming year.