Stepdad's Thoughts

My thought and feelings.

Tae Kwon Do as rehabilitation

I’m not one that likes to see re-posts but I found this very inspiring;

I received an email from ‘Everyday Health’ about how Tae Kwon Do helped to save a young teen. Below is the beginning of the article and the link to the entire story;

Breaking Through: How Tae Kwon Do Saved One Teen’s Brain

It was an otherwise normal day when 13-year-old Kassidy Brewer experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm that nearly killed her. This is the story of how her passion for martial arts — and an unrelenting family support system — brought her back to life.

By Sharon Tanenbaum

Click here for the full story;
Watch the videos associated with the story also. This is a very inspiring young lady.

September 15, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Been a while

It’s been a while since I made an entry. Mostly due to lack of interest and limited time. During the day at work I have managed to stay quite busy then at home I’ve been reading a number of books, all about an apocalyptic world in one form or another. I’ve also been to the doctor a few times trying to figure out why I get winded so easily while doing very low strenuous activities. It has really bothered me, to the point where I have stopped Hapkido and all workout activities. I have been thinking lately of getting back to the workouts but have concerns. The cardiologist ran various tests and found nothing wrong and the testing for asthma was negative. I guess I am confused/concerned as to what is going on.

I wonder if it’s all in my head and I need to quite worrying and get back to the workouts. I have a year, roughly, to reach Black Belt; this is just slowing down my progress. The problem is simple things like walking up the stairs can really wind me, not every time but enough that I am worried and the doctors have found nothing.

I need to make a decision… being out of shape is not a good thing. I have pretty much stopped the cokes and deserts. Now I need to figure out my exercise plan.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last few weeks

The last few weeks have really been messy.

The end of April to the beginning of May I was in Kentucky trying to get a temporary office up and running since the regular office was being flooded by the Ohio River. That managed to put several things on hold or delayed them. I’ve managed to spend more time catching up and fighting fires since then. Spending two full days out of the office at our Co-Location site re-cabling and replacing gear is a nice change but is also very wearing.

On top of all this I have had a VERY short fuse with just about everyone. I am tired of not being listened to both at home and at work. Having to having the same conversation multiple times because the person I am talking with can’t seem to remember shit is driving me nuts. And the lack of my opinion meaning anything at home just pushes me to the end of my rope.

The last couple of nights I’ve started having a drink thinking it might make me less irritable or at least be able to cope a little better. It’s been 50/50 so far.

I’ve not been to Hapkido either which has also been a bother to me. I’ve either been at work, too tired or simply not in the right mindset. And yes this irritates me to. I plan on going tonight. I have my test for Deputy I on June 2, this is the first step in the Black Belt review; the whole process takes about a year. I am going to need to change my ways if I am going to reach Black Belt. I don’t feel I am in good enough physical shape to pass the physical requirements, God help me get my head in the game.

The sad thing is I am just flat tired of feeling unappreciated and disrespected. And I don’t know how to change things.

May 24, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Last night was my first Hapkido class as a Brown belt. The drills, kicking and punching, all went just fine. I even learned the new kicking combinations needed to advance, I just need to practice them to make them better. What I did find out that I need MORE work on is strength. I thought I was doing pretty good on upper body but after the 100+ push ups I realized I need to do more regular work on strength; the 100+ crunches reminded me I should do them more also. I will work on hitting the exercise routine more regularly that I had written do some time back. Repetition and consistency will be the keys to getting better.

December 15, 2010 Posted by | General | , , | Leave a comment

Hapkido – Brown Belt

Friday night I test for my Brown Belt in Hapkido. The current techniques I am working on at High Blue are mostly punching defense with some grabbing releases. I have been trying to explain some of what I am learning to my wife and co-workers and seem to be getting quite a few blank stares. It seems most do not really understand what I am learning or I cannot really explain it to them. I really wish I was able to create the interest in Hapkido I have in others. Just about everything I am learning I am able to see real world practical applications.

My goal other than reaching Black Belt, in about 18 months, is to teach Self Defense techniques to people at work. We focus so much on work safety but seem to stop when it pertains to leaving the office. Parking lots can be real dangerous and I want to try to offer people options in being safe. I don’t have the thought that once you spend 4 hours in a class that you are magically able to defend yourself but I do think it’s a good start. In truth the ability to protect yourself from an attacker requires skills that are second nature requiring NO THOUGHT. I also realize that if you are confronted by someone with a gun that you should give them what they want instead of tempting fate.

If all goes as expected Monday I will begin learning new techniques as a Brown Belt working toward Red Belt.

December 7, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Martial Arts & Football

A couple of days a go my wife had trouble getting my step son to get his shower done. He did what ever he could not to take teh shower… Once he did it was 10pm… He came down to turn the wifi router on which I had turned off because on of the things he was doing was watching videos via his iPod. I took that moment to tell him if he continued to NOT follow his mother directions I would disable wifi access to his iPod and XBox and make sure his Dad and grandparents knew exactly how disrespectful her has been toward his mother.

After he went to his room his mother went upstairs to check on him and tell him goodnight; she found him on his bed quite upset… He didn’t seem to understand why I had become upset with him, she tried to explain that his actions or inaction were the cause. She also found out that he was having trouble with some of the nick-names the kids and coaches at school had tagged him with. Some were OK while others bothered him. he and had a talk about the nick-names some time back and I tried to make him understand for starters they were just word and secondly if he were to joke about them also that they would stop the use of them. But if he continued to let the kids know the names bothered him that they would continue which is what I think happened.

Yesterday my wife told him of our conversation that I thought the martial arts could help him turn the one nick-name about him being slow completely around. During dinner he brought it up and I explained to him that the martial arts, Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do, have explosive techniques. During training you learn to be quicker off the mark and faster. I continued to tell him that at 13 his body would soon start to mature and strengthen and that proper training during that time could help him to improve substantially. I did let him know that it is not a miracle fix, that it would 6 months to a year in order to see real strong results. He said he was interested, so he went with to watch my Hap Ki do work out last night.

Our workout was a moderate to hard workout for the first half, we worked on cardio and strength, the second half was technique, this really got his attention. I was working with a higher belt who was learning knife defense techniques. I was working on punching defense and counter techniques, this also intrigued him. After class we had casual conversation with my instructor who told him about some funny incidents with former students. On our drive home he told me him wanted to join the class. I want him to watch a few more classes and take part in one before he jumps off into it, to be very sure this is what he wants and will stick with it.

On the other side it should help instill a more respectful attitude toward others, especially his mother and father, may be even toward me. The instructors at my school are all Korean and believe very strongly in showing respect toward others and can actually get on the proverbial soapbox at times when talking to the kids about show their parents respect.

We’ll see how the next few days go and hopefully get him in Hap Ki Do.

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, Hap Ki Do, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HKD – Tonight’s the night

I test for my High Blue belt tonight. I am confident I will acquire it and will begin work toward Brown. Still to go are High Blue(2), Brown(2), Red(4), Deputy I(6), Deputy II(6)… That adds up to 18 months to until I reach Black Belt.

In some ways the techniques are becoming easier and harder all at the same time. I think this is happening because I am understanding more of how the movements flow. I am used to very direct lines of movement but HKD uses more fluid circular movements.


October 8, 2010 Posted by | Hap Ki Do | , , , | Leave a comment

Hapkido workout

Last night we had a good Hapkido workout. After our usual warm up exercises we did 400 kicking drills to help strengthen our kicking muscle… Yes I mean the hip and gluts. Then we went right into sitting stance for 200+ punches, all this done in about 15 minutes. Needless to say it really showed me and others that we need to be in better shape. Our class is primarily made of those of us over 40 with a few teens. It was kinda fun to see the teens struggling like we were but kinda sad also, I would expect them to be more fit.

After all that we started working on the skills for our next testing. I am working on throws. An attacker would grab my arm then I will escape then either throw or push the attacker to the ground. I was working with one of our Black Belts who is 6ft+ about 250 while I am 5-5 and 200, I’m not fat… It was a bit of work to figure out how to use some of the techniques on someone so much taller than I am. The throws were the tough ones, the push ans sweeps were much more comfortable and made since.

After that we started our class ending exercises where we did 300 crunches, many in the class stopped somewhere after 100… I was the last one to finish but I got the 300 completed. I wonder if some that said they completed the 300 really did, some of them I think in worse shape then I am. Oh well that’s between them our instructor.

It was a great workout, I’ll be at class tonight looking forward to another workout.

September 2, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Return to Hapkido

Last night’s workout was much better than Tuesdays, I still have to move slow but range of motion is better. I didn’t realize how much better I felt when I was getting to class regularly until this recent injury. All of the old guys (an age reference that includes me) were in class last night, we were put through a GOOD stretching warm-up to avoid injuries as our instructor told us. We, the Hapkido students, were tasked with teaching a few techniques to the Tae Kwon Do students. They were told they should know some basic escape techniques not just the punching and kicking they usually work on. I like helping others get an understanding of the techniques, it helps me learn them better which helps me also.

The technique we were working on was a two grab escape. When done properly there is little your attacker can do other than comply to your will.

All in all it was good to workout harder than Tuesday and I see good progress in the healing of my leg. I think I will be able to go full out in the next two or three weeks.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blue Belt

On Friday Aug-13 I received my Blue belt. It came with a good level of pain because I tore my right calf muscles on Thursday during practice. I was able to complete the skills tests yet on a much slower and light fashion than originally planned. Acquiring my Blue belt has strengthen my resolve to continue on the Black but I am getting concerned if my body is willing. I have had a few injuries since I started in Oct-2009, I am going to need to stretch more and not push quite as hard during practice.

I have not been able to workout since I hurt my leg, I have even missed work in order to tend to the injury.

I have been to Chiropractor, sports Medicine and Acupuncturist in hopes of finding the best method to help me heal quickly. All have told one thing in common…TIME. I hope I will be able to return to my workouts next week, light most likely but at least getting started.

I am looking forward to learning more… at a slightly slow pace though.

August 20, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , | Leave a comment