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Three facts about attention

Elite athletes know that stress is part and parcel of development. They recognize that performing at an optimal level requires not only training physically, but also training their mind-set, understanding their own psychology and developing habits that enable them to succeed. Developing an ability to hold one’s attention is a skill that can not only transform […]

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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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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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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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Changing ourselves first.

Students often tell me that as they progress in Hapkido other parts of their lives also seems to move forward, to improve… like somehow things are linked… The following is an epitaph from an anonymous Anglican bishop who was buried in the crypt of Westminster Abbey in A.D. 1100. I think it speaks for itself… […]

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Helping lower belts.

I remember about a year ago a blue belt student being very annoyed about having to work with a young yellow belt girl. I told him that I understood how he felt, “Yes, I know… Sometimes the black belts also come to me and complain that they have to do skills with you because you […]

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Taking time to appreciate a black belt.

Last month, after years of training and months of testing, one of my students received her black belt. As is the custom, the belt was presented to her at the end of a recent rank test. She was called to the front and asked to remove her red belt. Master Chang then congratulated her and […]

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Who is the bow for?

Most of the time, when I enter the gym, I will look directly at the students who have congregated outside the studio. Naturally they bow, “hello Saboumnim”. Occasionally I will overt my eyes. My peripheral vision sometimes allows me to see their response. Sometimes I see a student who is ready to bow, but then […]

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Why must I accept with two hands?

As the Rank Test results arrived at the weekend, I have spent the week handing out new belts. It’s so wonderful to see all the new colours… Before conducting the presentations I always explain the process: When your name is called, answer loudly and step forward. Accept the belt and certificate with both hands and […]

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