Black Belt Bravery: Be Honest About What You Want and Don’t Want

saying no

Recently my Master asked me if I wanted to do competition (forms and board breaking) or focus on testing for third Dan. Without hesitation I said I wanted to focus on third Dan. Breaking boards is fun as hell, but I’m not interested in competing. Continue reading “Black Belt Bravery: Be Honest About What You Want and Don’t Want”

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What I’ve Learned From Coaching Children and Business Leaders

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2016 has been my year of coaching. When I’m not yelling and punching stuff, I’m a leadership development consultant for a large healthcare organization. A large part of my job is coaching clinical and non-clinical leaders and a select group of physicians. I help them set goals, solve problems, guide them through decisions, provide feedback, and most importantly, I help build their confidence.
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The Six Month Long (and Counting) Black Belt Test

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Next week two of my classmates will be testing for first and second degree black belt, and several other students will be testing for various color belt levels. In addition to our normal training, much of our practice time has been devoted to preparing these students to test.

It’s nice not to have the heat on me as far as being a testing student, although if time flies as quickly as it has been, it’ll be my turn to test for second dan before I know it. These last few weeks have been a test in a different sense though: do I continue living up to my black belt duties?
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Eight Unexpected Things I Learned From a Taekwondo Tournament

sparring head shot
Y’all know this is your favorite part of watching a tournament. Boom!

Recently I had the privilege of coaching some talented kids at at taekwondo tournament. Thankfully my chief instructor has given me many opportunities to teach and coach in class and at other competitions, so I felt prepared. What I didn’t expect were some of the things I would learn from the experience:
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Two Weeks Till D-Day: A State of the Union Address

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Let’s hope I have some of this fierceness on the day of my black belt test.

I sighed as I looked at my lunch today: brown rice with roasted vegetables, topped with a chopped boiled egg and seasoned with low salt soy sauce. A small side of bland sweet potato chips and two clementines for dessert. To wash it down? A bottle of prickly pear flavored kombucha I bought on a whim at Whole Foods. (I live in Texas; we enjoy both looking at our cacti and consuming it…especially in margarita form). And for dinner? I had a protein bar, an apple, and some toasted nuts.
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Reluctant Role Model

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My boyfriend, a former collegiate wrestler, took taekwondo many years ago to add some striking training to his repertoire; this was in the days pre-dating the prevalence of MMA gyms. He claimed that as a green belt he once received a kick to the face from a black belt that resulted in a nasty gash above his eye. Accidents happen during sparring, and I’ve had a few near-misses on the giving and receiving end. This black belt, however, was not exercising the restraint expected of higher-ranking belts when sparring with someone of a lower rank. He was going all out. As I’ve moved up in the ranks an interesting aspect of training has been a shift in mindset from being solely focused on my own training to a sense of responsibility for the rest of my little dojang community.
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