Are You Working?

How hard are you working toward you goals?

Are you still interested in those goals?

Are you able to push through the “daily grind” to keep working for your goals?

Is it time to change things up? Pursue new goals?

Currently, my school doesn’t have “kid’s classes” as I know that I don’t have the temperament to teach them. This means that I have very few younglings in class. Since they’re expected to keep up in the standard curriculum, it can be tough for them to keep up. This is even harder when the youngling doesn’t truly have an interest in training. Yes, parents set goals for their younglings.

This type of instance has prompted me to present the idea to a youngling that training should be viewed in the same manner as schoolwork. They may not like the subject but they need to work for the grade. Do the work the best you can and continue to seek attention in a positive manner.

Family kicking together

Dad with 8 year old son and 6 year old daughter

Then, there are the handful on younglings that I do have. They may not recognize that they have goals (other than completing the curriculum requirements) but they attend regularly and work hard. These students are enjoying the learning.

The setting of goals is different in young adults and older. They rarely do anything without a reason. Something as simple as planning a group outing for a fun night with friends is a simple illustration of setting a goal. It also includes finding things that challenge them. Their personal growth and development has value to them. The tangent opportunity of helping them learn skills that carry over into their professional lives doesn’t hurt either.

Throughout all of this, it is completely up to the student to make certain the work gets done and done correctly. The efforts may require time outside of classes. Those not willing to make the effort do not move forward. During class, the teacher should be able to see the student’s effort toward achieving goals. Now, this is limited to their martial arts goals but, still, it is a good indicator as to their desire to accomplish things in life.

No matter where you are in life, make sure that you are showing up to train/work and put in the effort! It is all yours to do. I’ll often check with students as testing approaches. One of the questions I regularly ask is “Who’s test is this?” It is all theirs! I’ve done those tests quite a while ago and have my own to continue working toward.

Gumdo Stances And Different Bodies

One of the Haidong Gumdo Masters that I work with posted this thought. It is based on a yoga comment. I think it is very accurate for Haidong Gumdo and all other martial arts as well.

A problem that humans fall into is that they want to “be like” the cool people. Well, in this case, the technically good students. It can lead to an unintentional competitive attitude toward their training.

Working hard to look like another student doesn’t take into consideration the actual capabilities of the student. This can lead to changing a technique to “look like” another student’s technique but ruins the “applicable” technique for that student.

Students range in age from 28 to 60

As I’ve been training and teaching Haidong Gumdo for the past decade, I’ve been watching how my students move. This has been an interesting study as my students range from 13 years old to 76 years old. I admit that I have a set of generic physical guidelines for them to follow but that is the point. These are guidelines only! All are subject to the individual student’s physical limitations.

As each student develops their technique, they need to base it upon their physical capabilities. This should happen in their stance. If they change the sword movement, they may cause the sword edge line to change and become ineffective (unable to cut targets).

The difference is stances are key to developing proper technique. As mobility changes, so should technique. One of the guidelines is that in certain big angle cutting, the “set” side shoulder is aimed at the target to start the cut and the “off-side” shoulder should be toward the target at the end of the cut. To create this movement, an older student may need to adapt their stance to become effective.

Another piece that I harp students on is that there is only one movement that permits them to change their hand position on the sword handle. Sometimes in their efforts to look like another student , they change their grip and ruin any chance of cutting correctly.

A curiosity that I have is how deep the competitive streak runs within students. Is it only physical or does ego become a factor. I guess that is determined in how long it takes to change incorrect movements and develop correct technique.

*If you wish to know what technique has the allowed hand change, send me a message. 🙂