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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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Nurturing possibilities

Developments in neuroscience have shown us that connections within our brain are continually forming and reforming. What that would suggest is that we are in a “constant state of becoming” throughout our lifespan. How we develop is linked to how we approach life and how we challenge ourselves. Emotionally and psychologically we learn much of […]

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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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The fear of making mistakes inhibits our potential

Sometimes a student has difficulty executing a skill they’ve been performing well for months. How come? Surely that’s a problem? There could be many reasons a technique stops working: lack of practice or bad posture, poor alignment or loss of connection to one’s opponent, bad timing or too much tension, loss of concentration or compromised […]

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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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Does the environment have an impact on our learning?

Given that Chang’s Hapkido Academy (UK) moved premises earlier this year, this is an interesting question.   Two months after an unexpected loss of our venue, we are pleased to have a full timetable back in action and proudly hang our dobok (uniform) in three very different homes. Though the transition and timing has been stressful, […]

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Q. What’s the point of practising hyung (forms)?

Forms are a sequence of techniques, a pattern, practised repeatedly; they usually occur towards the start of a class.  At Chang’s Hapkido Academy, each new level requires the student to memorize a new form which is then practised under the watchful eye of the instructor.  As the student develops, so does the complexity of the form. Largely, forms are […]

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The power of deliberate practice

CHA STUDENT BLOG:  This month’s blog is written by Chang’s Hapkido Academy student Andrew Kennedy. I work in the investment business and over the past while I have become increasingly interested in something called behavioural finance. It’s a discipline that meets at the crossroads of psychology and finance and seeks to understand the behavioural or “cognitive” biases – […]

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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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Skills, skills, and more skills (part one)

By the time you’ve reached black belt in Hapkido, you’ve accumulated hundreds of Hapkido techniques: from the basic punch to the more complex self-defence skills and the multitude of variations.  In this three part article I’d like to talk about why understanding a variety of techniques is a good thing (part one), how more techniques […]

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