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

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

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

Hap Ki Do – HighGreen Belt

I passed the belt advancement test Friday night to acquirer my High-Green Belt. We were put through our paces prior to the test. Each time the physical component of the test gets more tough, fortunately I am increasing in stamina and have been able to complete the given tasks. Our testing Friday night was for adults only due to the number of kids. The kids teat on Saturday which takes a big part of the day to complete. The adults test on Fridays which only took 2 hours, test was for Blue belt and below. The higher belts test separately and on a different schedule. Tae Kwon Do went first and took the longest, there were only three testing for Hap Ki Do most of the other students are Red Belts.

Testing went really good. I helped out the White Belt, I was the attacker for his 10 escape techniques. I was fortunate to have our Master as my attacker, he tends to make things a bit more difficult but I get to learn more that way also. He is a bit taller than I am and decided to actually take me off the ground during one of the attacks I had to defend against. It had me guessing for a minute but I managed to get free.

I look forward to learning more.

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

TKD Demonstration

On July 17 our school will hold a Tae Kwon Do demonstration program with the K-Tigers. We are not trying to promote it too much since Master An has said he is mainly doing this for his students and their families. We are putting out some fliers to bring in some of the residents around the local area but not from all over. There are some really good videos of the K-Tigers, I can’t wait to see them. We have also been given the option to have one of the team members stay with use while they are in town for 4 days. I am thinking about having one or two stay with us to let my family and me learn more about how they train and the benefits of their training. If nothing else they will real close to the school, less than a mile, so they can get back and forth quickly.

We are having an internal demo before the K-Tigers to have the kids of the school do breaking and show their forms to parents and family. It is being called “Breaking day”, the kids will be able to break boards that will represent bad habits or something they want to make a change in… all symbolic but good for the kids. We, the older students, have been asked to perform various duties during the demonstration.

It is going to be a lot of fun. Maybe we can have a short Hap Ki Do demo also.

May 17, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hap Ki Do – Hamstring

I did it again…. Tuesday I pulled my hamstring pretty good. We were doing simple kicking drills, front kick, roundhouse, etc… then we did a spinning hook kick… OUCH!!!! I think I didn’t warm up and stretch properly. I went to a sports medicine doctor/friend who worked magic… I have taken the rest of this week of from practice (hard practice) to allow the muscle to heal. Today, Friday, it is much better, the light stretching, icing and massaging seem to working.

The moral here is to make sure you properly prepare yourself for strenuous activity and also to remember you are not a kid any more… I have trouble with that one, I still act more like 10 at times and think my body can do the things it did when I was in my twenties. 40+ and out of shape will win every time if you are not careful. I hope in another year or so I will be in better shape and be able do more, better.

May 7, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Belt

Friday April 2, 2010 I passed the belt advancement test to acquirer my Green Belt in Hap Ki Do. I flubbed up once on one of the 10 release and counter techniques but was able to re-do it. We were stressed a bit on endurance but nothing like the Black Belt testing. The techniques are starting to make much more sense, I still find myself thinking more a Tae Kwon Do way, keeping distance versus the get close way of Hap Ki Do.

More techniques to be learned on the way to Black Belt.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Masters

In the early 90’s I was fortunate enough to study Tae Kwon Do under a Grand Master. During the four year I studied under him I was able to gain many skills both in Tae kwon Do and in life. He was in the Korean Military as are many Korean instructors in the USA. Mine however was also a seven time Korean National Sparring Champion. I never knew much more of his background from Korea but in the USA he was unstoppable. One year we all wanted to go to a local Houston tournament but he did not want to go, something about the timing. He gave us his approval so we went. About half way through the tournament he showed up, you could have heard a pin drop. The entire place nearly shutdown. He was so highly revered that the Masters sponsoring the tournament got up to greet him at the door. After about 10 minutes we continued.

Now in 2010; My Hap Ki Do Master is not as ranking, he is a 6th Dan in Tae Kwon Do and 5th Dan in Hap Ki Do. His skills and ability to teach are fantastic, he does know my former Master. I am continuing to learn more all the time, Hap Ki Do is similar yet different that Tae Kwon Do, and enjoy every minute. My current Master’s “qualifications” as he puts it are;

  • 27 Years of Martial Arts Experience
  • South Korean Military as a Special Forces Operator
  • South Korea Secret Service as an Anti-Terrorism Agent
  • World Taekwondo Federation 6th Dan Certification
  • Korea Hapkido Federation 5th Dan Certification

March 4, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hap Ki Do

Saturday, January 9, 2010,  I completed my pre-test for the one-step sparring requirements to advance toward Green Belt (correction) Orange Belt. I have three more pre-tests to complete before I am able to go through the actual belt test. Fortunately for me my instructor is quite generous, he told me I was testing for the one-step about half way through the class Saturday morning. I say generous because I don;t feel I was really ready but he did. I need some prompting to remember a few of the steps but was able to complete them to his satisfaction, just not mine. I have more work to do so they are much more second nature.

Tae Kwon do was much easier for me. Punching, kicking, etc… are much easier to remember than the intricate releases, pressure points and joint locks of Hap Ki Do. I know given time I will improve but right now it is frustrating at times. Also, the workout itself is tough. Just about the time I think I am able to complete a workout with out feeling like I’m dying my instructor makes the workouts harder. I know this is good and one day I will be able to complete the workouts much easier; I know this because some 15 years ago, in Tae Kwon Do, I was in great shape and could complete several hours of tough workouts without too much strain, at least not like it is now. My mind sees me doing the workouts easily and correctly, my body thinks my mind is nuts.

I continue to take steps toward Black Belt and better physical shape.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , , | 2 Comments