Kicking It At Home in a COVID-19 World

quarantine

*Runs into the room panting*

Okay, hi everyone, I’m coming up for air. I thought I would be writing blog posts much more frequently than I have in the last two weeks. Turns out I’ve been just as busy as I was before COVID-19 shut down the world.

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How Has the Coronavirus Impacted Martial Arts?

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Might not totally stop the coronavirus, but at least your teeth won’t get kicked in.

View at Medium.com

Please take time to read my friend Agam Shah’s article about the COVID-19 outbreak’s global impact on martial arts here. Agam Shah is a writer for the Wall Street Journal and also writes about martial arts. Share in the comments how your school or club is adapting to this new reality.

In my state local dojangs and dojos are temporarily closing or limiting access, and the Texas State tournament has been postponed (wouldn’t be surprised if it’s cancelled). My dojang will be releasing online workouts and tips for continuing training at home.

Stay tuned to my blog for posts on how to keep up your martial arts practice at home.

Guest Writer: How to Get Better at Your Martial Art

Refining your martial arts skills takes dedication, determination, and commitment to long-term practice. Sometimes you need to shake up your training routine with something new and different. You can also learn a thing or two from a marital artist who trains in a different style or art than you. We’re all in this together.

Guest writer Nick Kovach from BJJmotivation.com shares some great tips for stepping up your game. Check out Nick’s site for more martial arts training tips and guides.

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

Paris-Taekwondo-Poomsae

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Fall Out of Your Comfort Zone (Literally)

woman falling

I want to fall in sparring class.

No, I mean really fall, crash to the ground with a spectacular splat that happens so fast I can do nothing but laugh.

I’ve fallen in sparring class before. I’ve been kicked to the ground by people a lot bigger than me, I’ve gotten my leg so tangled up on someone’s shoulder or chest gear that the easiest thing to do was to just tip backwards, and sometimes I’ve just mis-gauged my distance and fallen down.

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2020 Taekwondo Goals

Happy New Year, my wonderful readers! If you don’t follow me on Instagram (please do @melaniegibsonauthor), you haven’t seen my taekwondo goals for 2020. I wrote these in my office one day in late December and have them posted above my desk.

These aspirations should keep me motivated when I’m getting too mired in conference calls or presentations (and inspire me to get off my ass and move around).

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Black Belts: Find Your Inspiration

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A coworker likes to share the phrase, “You’re never too old to learn, and you’re never too young to teach.” Often we look to role models who have already forged the paths we want to travel, but we shouldn’t discount those who may be behind us in achieving a particular goal but whose perseverance and unique aptitude can be a refreshing lesson in never giving up. My last post was a call for black belts to learn from everyone they encounter, no matter what rank they are. My new challenge for my fellow black belts is to find inspiration from others.

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Black Belts: Learn From Everyone

two men bowing

I’ve been wanting to spar with some of the senior team fighters over the past few weeks, but I’ve been too shy to ask. They’re half my age, a head taller than me, and very skilled in competition sparring. I felt like I’d slow them down if I asked them to practice with me. I do like the younger kids I usually practice with. Some of them are former students of mine, so I feel very comfortable with them (and now they’re all almost taller than me), but sometimes I really want to be pushed and challenged. I want to be forced to think and practice in a different way. I want to learn new things. Hopping around with tweens and teens isn’t always going to cut it.

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Taekwondo Is Who I Am

Melanie black belt meditating

I’m writing this at my desk on a quiet, pretty Sunday afternoon while I sip ginger kombucha to ease my perpetually irritated stomach, try not to feel overwhelmed about some assignments my managerial editor has given me for my book, and hope I wake up in time to jump on an 8 AM conference call.

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Don’t Be Frustrated. Be Fascinated.

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I am a second degree black belt, but I am not an advanced fighter.

Sparring has never been my forte as a child or as an adult taekwondo practitioner. Sometimes I’ve hated it. Sometimes I’ve looked forward to it. Sometimes I both dread and enjoy it. It has always been a learning experience. I don’t live up to my impossibly high expectations, and of course that sets me up for frustration.

I decided to change my approach to sparring at the dojang I’ve been attending since December of last year.

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