Why I Do Taekwondo – a Love Letter of Sorts

So, I practice taekwondo. You might have noticed that elsewhere on my blog. 

I also have a book coming out about it, and it’s funny what I worry about and what I don’t worry about.

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Guest Writer: Sparring Isn’t Fighting? A Rebuttal

If you’re not smashing someone in the face with a pint of ale then you really haven’t demonstrated adequate striking skills.

Martial artists love to fight…and they also like to debate each other. My friend Steve at Geek Wing Chun recently heard the argument that sparring “isn’t fighting.” Well, it is and it isn’t. I could go down some existential rabbit holes with this, but I’ll let Steve offer his light-hearted and eloquent rebuttal to this concept. I especially like his tips near the end of the post for ways to make your sparring practice a more-realistic simulation of a “real world” fight.

More information about Steve and his site are at the bottom of this post.

Keep training, do whatever makes YOU happy with your martial arts practice, stay safe, and keep your sense of humor. We all need it right now.

If you would like to be a guest writer for Little Black Belt, please review the guest writer guidelines.
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#1 Recovery Tip From One ACL Warrior to Another

I’m a second degree black belt. I could have tested for third degree black belt at the end of this year.

BIG.DEAL.

I had to relearn how to walk after my July knee surgery. When you can’t walk very well or even stand up in the shower, all that fighting, jumping, and sprinting nonsense goes out the window for a while. It’s hard to feel like the athlete you were before your injury. It’s depressing to feel out of shape. It’s frustrating to go through so much pain as you heal and gain strength. 

Recovering from a major injury when you used to do a high-level sport can feel overwhelming and a bit daunting. 

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Guest Writer: Your Guide to Creating Martial Arts Studio at Home

Photo via Pexels.com

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all had to adapt how we practice martial arts. Whether you are attending online classes or training on your own, you’ll benefit from a space that has what you need to practice, perform, and most of all, enjoy your chosen marital art. Setting up the right studio at home is something you can benefit from for years to come.

Guest writer Emma Grace Brown shares some great resources for setting up your optimal home martial arts studio. Emma writes about life, work, health, and beauty on her site emmagracebrown.com. Check out her site for tips to improve both your physical and emotional health.

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Celebrate Small Wins

small progress

I did something new in physical therapy this week: I rode a stationary bike.

I’m three weeks into ACL reconstruction surgery recovery. The sutures are out, leaving me with only a few small scars (thanks to arthroscopic surgery), and most of the time, I can walk around in my house with just my big leg brace, sometimes with one crutch if I’m tired. I still need a crutch to walk up and down my steep stairs, but I’m getting pretty good at that too. 

I was a little surprised when my physical therapist told me to start with the bike when I entered the clinic Monday morning. I figured he’d want me to do my regular warm-ups to ease the morning stiffness out of my leg. It’s still very difficult to bend my knee beyond ninety degrees. This was going to be interesting. 

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Using Martial Arts Basics To Recover From an Injury

white belt uniform

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know how I feel about forms. I’ve written over two dozen blog posts about the mental and physical benefits (and inevitable life lessons) of practicing poomsae.

To my surprise, my physical therapist casually mentioned that I should start doing slow-motion forms to work on balance and transferring weight back and forth on my legs. I’m nearly three weeks post-op from ACL reconstruction surgery, and, if I’m careful, I can move around the house with just my leg brace. I was excited about the prospect.

I’ve done forms as mental therapy. I’ve never done them as physical therapy, so this will be a new recovery/martial arts adventure for me.

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Guest Writer: Improve Your Fighting Technique During Quarantine

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Striking and social distancing

Guest writer Nick Blanchard from themmaguru.com shares some great tips for stepping up your game. Check out Nick’s site for all things martial arts and MMA.

If you would like to be a guest contributor for Little Black Belt, please review the guest writer guidelines here.

With martial arts academies across the country closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been tougher to keep your techniques sharp. In this article, I’m going to cover tips that will help you work on both striking and grappling while on quarantine. Then, we’ll take a look at the training the UFC’s pros are doing right now and how we can learn from them.

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Guest Writer: High Intensity Training: The Martial Artist’s Answer to the Exercise Conundrum

weight rack

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, martial artists have not only had to adapt to a new way of living, but also a new way of training. Even as martial arts schools are beginning to re-open in some capacity, you may still want to diversify your training.

Guest writer Steve Grogan from Geek Wing Chun provides tips on using High Intensity Training to supplement your martial arts workouts. More information about Steve and his site is at the end of this article. Click here to view a video of Steve demonstrating high intensity training.

If you would like to be a guest writer for Little Black Belt, please review the guest writer guidelines here, and send me an email with your proposed ideas.
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What Can You Do In Just Ten Minutes?

clock face

Although my dojang has officially opened, they’re still offering thirty minute virtual classes throughout the week. Saturday morning I did a virtual black belt class in my home. After some warm-ups and a few forms (although I had much less space, Keumgang felt better in bare feet than in those damn taekwondo shoes), my instructor said we were going to work on kicking. Okay cool.

Jump kicks.

Great, fine, I like jump kicks. I’ve done plenty of them.

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