The Way Forward Is Through: a Meditation on Depression

I’ve spent most of 2021 wishing my circumstances were different in the hopes that I would feel different.

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Bonus Book Chapter: I Am Enough

Dear Reader: For the remainder of 2021, to continue celebrating the release of my first book Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts, I will be posting a monthly bonus chapter. While these stories didn’t make the final cut, they were still important moments in my life and in my black belt journey. Enjoy!

[Note: This event would have occurred between chapters 29 “Sucker Punched” and 30 “Aftermath,” late April 2015.]

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My Guest Post: The Loneliness of Martial Arts and Eating Disorders

I’m pleased to share my article in Martial Journal for the month of November: The Loneliness of Martial Arts and Eating Disorders.

Part of my journey to authenticity has been to share my mental health struggles in the hope of lightening my burden and lifting up others who feel lonely and lost. Eating disorders are taboo in both the athletic world and elsewhere. I often wonder if there are other people like me who have had an active eating disorder while practicing martial arts or if, like me now, are in active recovery. Does the expectation of a strong martial arts spirit hurt those who are struggling mentally?

This article shares my exploration into this topic and some tips on what to do if you are a martial artist and athlete dealing with this terrible mental illness.

To read, click here.

The Power of a Teacher

Over the last month, two of my friends and mentors died suddenly. One was my classical guitar teacher and the other was a taekwondo master from my former dojang. Both men in their early/mid-sixties, they were taken from their loved ones too quickly and too soon. They were both gentle and patient. They both made a big impact on me and the things I love to spend my time doing. They will both be missed by many.

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My Top Ten Pieces of Advice for New Authors

In April 2021, I became a published author. My book Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts entered the world after years of writing, editing, pitching, fielding rejections, more editing, more pitching, and finally publishing. I’ve learned a lot during the publishing process and am at a point where I can begin paying it back (and forward) by helping other authors.

Here are my top ten pieces of advice I’ve learned over the years it took to deliver my book to readers’ hands:

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Bonus Book Chapter: Black Belt Training Begins

Dear Reader: For the remainder of 2021, to continue celebrating the release of my first book Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts, I will be posting a monthly bonus chapter. While these stories didn’t make the final cut, they were still important moments in my life and in my black belt journey. Enjoy!

[Note: This would have occurred between chapters 28 “Black Belt Candidate” and 29 “Sucker Punched”]

“Up-downs,” Chief Instructor Alex said calmly, widening his blue eyes and smiling wickedly. It was the first Monday in April, the first class day after my bo dan test, and our Sabumnim must have decided he was going to whip us into shape, black belt style. We had two new bo dans (myself and a younger female student), a teenage bo dan who recently tested for black belt and would likely be awarded his new belt in a few days, and Eric, a teenage black belt who would be testing for second degree in the fall. You would think a class of only high-ranking students would be deadly-serious, mature, and determined. I had apparently forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager.

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Guest Writer: Diary of a White Belt

Hello, Little Black Belt readers! Some people start martial arts training as children, and others begin their journey as adults. As someone who started martial arts training, stopped, and re-started in my thirties, I’m always interested to hear from people who come to martial arts a little later in life. This story is from Jen Struzziero. Jen shares how she began training in martial arts and how amazing it has been in her life. Jen’s experience beautifully demonstrates the life-changing power of martial arts.

If you would like to submit a martial arts-related article for Little Black Belt, please review the guest writer guidelines and send me an email.

Enjoy Jen’s story!

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My Guest Post: Four Things Injured and Recovering Athletes Want You To Know

I’m pleased to announce my debut as a writer for Martial Journal! This site is a collective of martial artists from different backgrounds sharing knowledge, opinions, tips, and thoughts about what they love.

My article “Recovering From an Injury: Four Things Athletes Want You To Know” is written by an athlete for athletes and those who love them. Recovering from an injury can be a long, frustrating, and lonely process. We need the people who care about us to understand how we’re feeling and what we need along the way.

To read, click here.

Bonus Book Chapter: Post-Plateau Yoga Surrender

Dear Reader: For the remainder of 2021, to continue celebrating the release of my first book Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts, I will be posting a monthly bonus chapter. While these stories didn’t make the final cut, they were still important moments in my life and in my black belt journey. Enjoy!

[Note: This would have occurred between chapters 27 “Vices” and 28 “Black Belt Candidate”]

“To surrender,” Scott the Yoga Teacher said as he looked around the dark room at our upturned faces during Saturday yoga class, “you sometimes first have to build heat.” It was my first yoga class in about a month thanks to my icy weather depression. When asked about my long absence I gave my typical answer of “I had things going on” with a Robert De Niro-esque shrug.

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Guest Writer: Top 8 Karate Myths That Will Make You Amazed!!

Hello Little Black Belt readers! I love writing about martial arts, and I love sharing the work of other martial artists/writers. This post is from Span Chen at The Karate Blog. There are a lot of myths about Span’s martial art of karate, and many of them show up in other martial arts too. (The silly things I’ve heard as a taekwondo practitioner, shaking my head…) This article made me think, made me smile, and made me appreciate the rich community of martial artists we have online. 

More information about The Karate Blog is at the end of this article. If you would like to contribute a martial arts-related article to the Little Black Belt blog, see the guest writer guidelines.

Are you excited to know about the top karate myths? If so, we’ve verified some myths and found the truth. Keep reading.

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