XX in a sea of XY

“I’m not wearing a cup, Miss!” blurted out Jose*, a hard-working 15-year-old who is one of the most polite guys at the dojang. He’s quite good in sparring, so there wasn’t much of a risk of me clocking him in the criticals with a front snap kick. It took me a few seconds to stop laughing and compose myself.

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Style Guide for the Fashion-Forward Fighter

Femininity tends to go out the window when your main concern is avoiding kidney punches from your 16-year-old sparring partner who just discovered how to fight dirty. However, by incorporating a few simple changes and healthy practices into your martial arts lifestyle you can enjoy the fruits of your physical labor while not looking like a lumbering swamp beast.

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You’ve Got Me…Well Who’s Got You??

“Keep your head up when you fall,” I said gently to Pablo*, a sweet-natured chubby 7th grade green belt who always has a shy smile, even when the instructors are scolding him. I had just thrown him to the ground during one-step sparring practice. That led to a quick lesson in falling safety.

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Correlation Without Causation: 10 Health Issues I’ve Had Since Re-entering the World of Martial Arts

Any intense sport is not without its risks, especially when you’re not a spring chicken anymore, but this is ridiculous. Since I started back to taekwondo in April of 2013 I have had the following health problems that I’d never experienced before. Coincidence??

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Intense and Intentional

“You’re intense and intentional about learning,” my boss said the other day, complimenting me on my tenacity to learn the ins and outs of a field I’ve only been in for about three years. I still think of myself as a goofball whose ideal day is a Netflix marathon with a side order of Doritos, but apparently to the rest of the world I am professional, accomplished, and probably a little Type A.

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Novice to…novice?

“We’ll have to keep our learning caps on,” my boss said during a morning team meeting, trying to allay the fears of a teammate over a new program we’re designing. We had been down this road several times, and more often than not it ended in politely veiled crankiness. There’s been some frustration on both sides around this task, and sometimes it feels like when we take 2 steps forward we take a fall down a chute and get deported from Candyland while the Monopoly man laughs and blows cigar smoke in our faces.

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A Confident Gut – Is There a Yogurt for That?

“What would you do if I held on too tightly for you to escape?” the instructor asked, grabbing me from behind in a bear hug.

Uh…..the index cards in my mind were flashing blanks. I shrugged my trapped shoulders and bent down low, doing little other than lifting my instructor an inch off the ground and eliciting giggles from everyone.
“Remember?? Kick the knee!” Oh yeah…

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