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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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Perseverance, self-efficacy and Hapkido training

Everyone experiences obstacles and adversity throughout their lifetime. Over the years, I’ve noticed that as a student progresses up the belts, their ‘Hapkido confidence’ develops, as well an ability to persevere through difficulties and withstand negative circumstances. In many sports, the winner is not always the strongest or the fastest, but rather the one who maintains a belief […]

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Improving accuracy

Sometimes during target practice a student will repeatedly miss the striking pad. It can be incredibly frustrating when a beautifully executed kick becomes useless through a lack of accuracy. But how does someone improve their accuracy? When a skill is first being acquired, a great deal of attention is focused on component parts of the technique.  […]

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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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The story of Kyong Ho

I started Hapkido in January 1984 when I was 13. From about the age of 15, every time Grandmaster Chang would lecture to the class I would write it down. I have no idea what makes a teenager do that, but I’m incredibly grateful that I did and for the library of lectures I now […]

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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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Does being in ‘mushin’ conflict with productive thinking?

Being ‘in the zone’ or experiencing ‘flow’ are terms now used commonly in sport. They both refer to a mental state of being totally immersed, energised and focused in an activity. In Hapkido we refer to this state as ‘mushin’ (no-mind). I was discussing this concept with someone recently and recommended that he start to […]

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