Monday, July 21, 2014

Christie's Karate Newbie Tip of the Week: Be Patient

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
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**Past Posts on Karate Tips:

Photo featuring Instructor John Gasstrom with a student passing a belt test.
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Tip #6: Be patient with martial arts training because you will see other areas of your life improve.

The other day, Instructor Gasstrom shared that HapKiDo is best known for its self-defense techniques. He was then led to advise that the self-defense portion of training should be taken seriously as it could save a life. I agree with his advice because I have seen other parts of training crossover to other parts of my life.

  • Driving. Changing lanes has never felt better. I have never had real problems with lane changing, but checking my blind spot feels different. The result of this improvement is from specific neck stretches and kicks, as they require turning the head to look behind you. I now know that before martial arts, I was not looking fully at my blind spot.
  • My day job. As my day job is to tutor college students on their papers, busy workdays sometimes produce stress and wear. However, as a result of putting time aside to practice HapKiDo, I am calmer and more patient.  On top of finding an opportunity to kick and yell a few times a week, learning meditation/breathing exercises have also contributed to the new level of calm.
  • Practicing Music. Practicing music is one of my stress relievers, but I also have to take practicing time seriously. The result of HapKiDo training has bettered my posture and strengthened my hands and wrists. I thank Choe’s HapKiDo for the reintroduction to stretching and pushups. 
  • My Health. Finding a form of exercise that I can like and keep up with is amazing. Especially when I was sick for the last few months, the recovery track took a while. Months later, I soon discovered that exercise makes me feel better. I will honestly come to a HapKiDo session feeling awful but then leave feeling better. It has worked better than medication!

Overall, I see that the last few months of training have taught me how to focus and relax. And the cool thing about getting involved in martial arts, you eventually realize that training is paying off. It is beautiful to see how the lessons learned in the Dojang also apply to life. 

For more information about Choe’s HapKiDo of Loganville, please visit us at You can also follow us on Facebook

****Reader’s Question: Has martial arts affected your life in anyway? Please share!****

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