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A culture of excellence

‘Sacred Spaces – The place where one practises the way’ by Anna Glover  – Chang’s Hapkido Academy UK, 2nd dan As the Head of Safety in a theatre, one of my favourite aspects of my job is to attend a meeting in which a director will talk about their aspirations for a production they are […]

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Black belt testing is a time for reflection

At a grading a couple of weeks ago, three students tested for their black belts – two for their 1st degree and the third for her 2nd degree. At CHA black belt testing is a fairly lengthy process. All three may have performed well physically on the day, but over the next few months each […]

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Giving time to listening

During skills practice, traditional martial arts etiquette dictates that a junior belt not correct a more senior belt. Is this because they know more? Sometimes they do … actually, a lot of the time their additional years of practice will mean they see things that the junior doesn’t… but truth of the matter is that […]

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Making progress

Sometimes there are sessions when nothing seems to be working right. Kicks feel heavy. Throws don’t work. Patterns are corrected, and then corrected again. The novice expects to feel a certain amount of incompetence, but for the senior belt this can feel like you’re regressing while everyone around you keeps climbing higher and higher, leaving […]

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Can how you define success stop you from feeling successful?

What we consider an achievement and how we define success affects us at every level.  It affects confidence, self-esteem and psychological well-being.  It affects motivation and how satisfied we feel with life.  It influences the choices we make and the pressure we put ourselves under. Our own definitions, therefore, mould who we become. For some, […]

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Out with the old, in with the new

Last weekend I was presented with my 5th degree black belt. Many of my students have asked how it feels – I’m not sure I totally know yet, but here are some initial thoughts… As with every new level one gets a new belt. My 4th degree belt had been worn for almost nine years. […]

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Skills, skills and more skills (part two)

Last month I spoke about how knowing a variety of martial arts skills can be beneficial to your practice (part one).  Today I’d like to play devil’s advocate and argue the contrary. So why are more skills a bad thing? Well it comes down to one simple word, “practice”.  If you’re constantly chasing the next […]

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