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Recent blog posts
Never Under Estimate Determination & A Strong Willing Heart...

Thank you to Shane Mellross for sharing this with us - it is so powerful in the message (and so great to watch) that we thought we would blog it this week!

The strength of a willing heart and the amount of determination shown cannot be measured!

No matter what your age, I think we can all relate to this video, you never give up tyrying until you achieve your set goal!

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The Journey of Hapkido ~ How Long Will It Take Me to get My Black Belt?

We are frequently asked, “How many belts are there before I get my Black Belt?” Although the colour of your belt is extremely important, it is the training and skills you develop along the way that are really important.  Achieving a Black Belt is a monumental step in your martial arts training, one that is earned every class!

Here is a break down of the belt order, along with the time usually it takes to achieve it (with regular training), and the self defence techniques you will learn with that belt…


White Belt – Starting Beltwhite

Outside Wrist Single Hand, & Double Hands

Grabbing Behind Belt



Yellow 8 – 3 months

Attacking Joints



yellow bstripe


Yellow 7 – 6 months

Inside Wrist



blue belt

Blue 6 – 9 months

Against Punch



blue w

Blue 5 -  12 months

Outside Wrist



karatebelt 008 2

Blue 4 – 15 months

Sleeves, Shoulder, Neck Band Joint Twists



red belt

Red 3 – 18 months

Neckband Single Hand, Double Hands

Grabbing Front Top of Belt & Under

Behind Catching


21wRPER3sPLRed 2 – 21 months

Outside Wrist Double Hand Hittings

Throwing Joint Twist

2 Hands on 1


red blackRed 1 – 2 years

Against Punch & Joint Twists

Catch Whole Body Front & Behind



Bo Dan Black Belt – 2 years 3 months




Dan black belt

1st Dan Black Belt – 2 ½ years (3 month wait)

2nd Dan Black Belt  – 3 ½ years (1 year wait)

3rd Dan Black Belt  – 5 ½ years (2 year wait)

4th Dan Black Belt  – 8 ½ years (3 year wait)

5th Dan Black Belt  – 12 ½ years (4 year wait)

6th Dan  Black Belt  – 17 ½ years (5 year wait)

7th Dan  Black Belt  – 23 ½ years (6 year wait)

8th Dan  Black Belt  – 31 ½ years (8 year wait)

9th Dan  Black Belt  – 40 ½ years (9 year wait) ** Grand Master Sung Soo Lee **


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Bullying Doesn't Just Mean Physical Harm...

At TSDA our motto is "Developing Bully-Proof Confidence For Life", though learning physical self defence techniques to be able to protect yourself.  However, physical harm isn't the only way bullies can target.  At TSDA, we believe every body deserves to live a happy, confident, bully-free life, being the best each of us can be.  We teach our students to use their voice, by shouting when we stricke the bags, displaying confidence in our actions.  But what about "hidden" bullying?

The National Centre Against Bullying lists 4 types of bullying: (

1. Physical - learning self defence skills such as those taught at TSDA, enables you to be able to protect yourself.  Bullies pick on people that they see as weaker than them, but most times once retaliated at they move onto another target.

 2. Verbal - this includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks or verbal abuse.  At TSDA, our voices are LOUD.  This is the one place our students can be as loud as they can be.  Learning to use your voice (plus having the physical skills to protect yourself as above) is critical to standing up to people who verbally bully others.  Another trait developed by training at TSDA is your posture.  Developing a strong confident posture displays to bullies you cannot be intimated.

3.  Covert or hidden bullying - this type of bullying is harder to recognise and is usually done behind someones back.  Things such as lying and preading rumours, negative facial or physical gestures, playing nasty jokes to embarress and humiliate, unkindly mimicking, encouraging others to socially exclude someone, damaging someones rep[utation or social acceptance.  This type of bullying Ma'am Jaime experienced during her high school years and is very damaging.  TSDA provides an environment to develop your self confidence and self esteem to be able to stand up and say, "I will not be treated that way".  TSDA is your outlet, and your support to deal with negative, harsh bullies.

4.  Cyberbullying - these days can happen at any time, even in the safety of your own home. It includes abusive, hurtful texts, emails, posts, images or videos but also includes spreading nasty gossip or rumours, deliberately excluding others online and even imitating someone by using their log in.  This is dangerous bullying and can leave the target feeling so alone and helpless as there is no safe place.  This type of bullying even hits in their own bedroom.  TSDA - along with the above techniques already described - help give their students a voice, to be able to either tell someone, ask for help, or even with their improved self confidence, believe in themselves that they do not deserve to be bullied and will stand up and say NO.


Bullying is so destructive and can be life changing.  If you know of anyone being bullied, be their support, and know at TSDA you always have our support and we are here for you.


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Respect In Martial Arts & Life

Respect, discipline and courtesy play a huge role dating back to the ancient martial arts.

At TSDA we bow upon entering through the door of the dojang and also before entering the mat/training area.  We bow to our partner with whom we practice our self defence.  Before you start free sparring, we bow and graciously tap the mitt of our opponent in good sportsmanship.  In tournaments, when a sparring match ends and we win, we don’t jump up and down like we’ve just won an Olympic Gold medal.  Instead, we are respectful and courteous to our opponent.  Winning is celebrated quietly, with humility.  

It is our aim when we teach, to impart lessons of respect and courtesy along with all the physical skills.  All of our instructors use courteous words and behaviors and carry themselves in a respectful manner.  We believe respect is not just given, but it is earned.  We listen intently to questions, show a technique several times until it is understood, and help to motivate each student to try his/her best.  In return, we expect students to pay attention and give 100% effort.  

In TSDA, we have a safe, bully-free, firendly atmosphere, and any forms of disrepect are not tolerated or permitted.  We do however, allow an environment for students to learn  and improve and to have an opportunity to grasp these traits.  We do expect every student to learn from mistakes, as we oursleves continue to learn every day.  Each of us is only human and mistakes in judgements, actions and words are bound to happen.  However, as long as we learn from each experience, we become better people (regardless of age) and better martial artists.

Why is respect and courtesy so important in life?  When you apply respect and courtesy to your actions and reactions, you make small strides toward peace in our world; peace that is currently fractured.  Martial arts training clearly combines respect & courtesy in conjunction with tradition and the result is exemplary.  Respect and courtesy on a small-scale, beginning with your own actions, can help to curb violence and increase peace.  If you ever wonder what kind of positive change you can personally make that will have an effect on the world, you can start with respect and courtesy.  Smile at someone, chances are they will smile back; say hello and most likely you’ll get a response.  You must take the first step.  From now on, each bow you do into TSDA should be a reminder to use respect and courtesy throughout not just class, but life.  As mentioned above, we are only human and there may be bad decisions by accidentally lashing out at someone, or taking people for granted; but, if you learn from it, apologhise, be humble and truthful to yourself, you will become not only a respectful student in martial arts and life, but a respected one at that.

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You Never Know When You'll Need It...

This just highlihgts (unfortunately) the need for everyone to have self defence skills!  Thank goodness this girl knew how to protect herself, and was able to fight her way to safety.

Shown on Nine News 18th May 2015.

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Formula of Success


What does success mean for you?  

It can mean so many different things, but the one common meaning is that success is personal.

This question was once asked to a group of employees I was a part of (many years ago!) and the astounding thing to me (to a young 20 year old) was every single person had a different answer!  I actually couldn't believe it.  However, as a 20 year old (of course I knew it all back then) this came as a shock and something that has taken me (gulp) almost 2 decades to grasp and appreciate.

Success is simply the achievement of anything you set your heart on!

Alot of members who start their journey with TSDA, have the goal "of getting their Black Belt".  A great goal, definitely.  However there are many mini milestones before that "big" goal.  No one can come to one, two or a few classes and be awarded their Black Belt.  It takes classes upon weeks upon months upon years to achieve that status.  

So why do people give up before they achieve their goal?  Whether they give up before getting their Black Belt, or whether it is another goal, there are a number of reasons why a goal isn't accomplished.

1.  Obtacles Stop Them ~ ie "Things" Happen - that's life, unfortunately!  Things will pop up ALL THE TIME.  What is going to determine whether that goal seems further away or if at all achievable, is HOW you respond to the obstacle or challenge.  Sure, give yourself a short amount of time to process the challenge, but then do something about it!  Which leads me to my next point.

2.  Action! Any goal - no matter how big or small - cannot be achieved by doing NOTHING!  You need to ACT!  Even small steps add up to leaps and bounds.  So what are you waiting for?

3.  Failing to Plan - another reason a goal may not be achieved is, there is no plan!  You may be acting, you may be taking steps but are they the steps you need to achieve your desired goal?

4.  The hard decisions can't be made.  If you were the person you needed to be right now in order to have that goal, you would already be there or have it, no?  Some hard decisions, around who you are, may need to be made in order for the goal to be achieved, some that you may not be comfortable with. I can reassure you, however, that if that goal is worth achieving, the person you will BECOME along the way will be an improved version of you, and you will have done what you set out to do!

5.  Stopping just short - Being in the fitness industry for 18 years has allowed me to watch many people achieve great fitness and health goals.  And also witness a lot fall short, just when they were about to "make" it.  The key to acheving anything is persistance!! You have to trust in the process and just keep going, no matter how hard it gets, no matter what obstacles and challenges pop up!  Keep going, because you really don't know how close you are, and why would you stop when you might almost be there?


These can be summed up by the formula for success:

Success = Think + Idea + Try + Act + Act Again +(Possible Obstacle) + Act Again + Keep Acting!

Take it into whatever goal or goals you are currently working on!  And please share your successes  - or challenges with us - we'd love to hear them!



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Winter is just around the around the corner and the cold weather is coming. This is the most important time to keep up your training and not slacken off.

The benefits on training in winte...

It is important to keep your training up during winter, as it helps with the blood flow through your body and keeps you from getting injuries, torn muscles and ligaments. Training through the cold months of the year gets you out of the winter blues.

At TSDA the atmosphere is energetic all year round!


During winter, muscles seem to tighten up. Doing extra stretching will help you prevent your hamstrings, backs and arms tightening up.

Members should stretch every 2nd day. Your hamstrings are like elastic bands. As you stretch your hamstrings on day 1, you rest on day 2, allowing the hamstring to slightly retract and recover. Then on day 3 you stretch your hamstrings again, then repeat the cycle.


This will allow you to become more flexible over the years. Allowing you to reach further, kick that bag high and easier and most of all reduce your injury rate,especially during winter.


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More Than Just "Self Defence!"

The most obvious benefit to training in martial arts is learning self defence, which knowing how to defend oneself and loved ones in a potentially dangerous situation is an asset in today’s world.  However, martial arts is not just about fighting.  Martial arts training actually helps and improves performance in other sports!  Yep you read that right!

Soccer - training in martial arts helps soccer perfomance in controlagility, endurance, speed, coordination.  Learning to manoeuvre quickly, and precisely is developed through our free sparring component of our training.  Training at TSDA also develops cooperation and teamwork skills - critical skills for team sports like Soccer!

Netball - netball requires skills of control, agility, speed, endurance, coordination and balance.  Our students develop control in our self defence training, and balance is improved in performing every kick!   Training at TSDA also develops cooperation and teamwork skills - critical skills for team sports like Soccer!

Gymnastics - one word - flexibility!  We work on our flexibility every class!  The fluidity of our movements also aids in asny gymnastics training.

Football - hand and foot coordination is essential in playing football and undertaking martial arts training improves this skill required.  All of our movements develop and improve coordination of the whole body.   Training at TSDA also develops cooperation and teamwork skills - critical skills for team sports like Soccer!

Dancing - balance, flexibility, coordination, fluidity are all skills required for dancers.  Fluidity is critical in martial arts and is developed in every class with practising our self defence techniques.  Movements that are not fluid, become rigid and "jolty".  In TSDA, we practise our skills using circular movements and our students develop fluidity as their bodies "feel" the flow of the movements.

Training in martial arts is the perfect sport to accompany another sport!  The benefits don't just stop with the above sports.  Other sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Softball, and Tennis also benefit from the improvements gained in training in martial arts!

Just another reason, on to of learning essential life skills, that training in martial arts is a GREAT sport at any age!

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Does Your Child Know How to Stand Up to A Bully?

The sad truth is that no one is safe from bullying.  As parents, we want to wrap our children up in cotton wool and protect them as much as we can.  Unfortunately statistics show an overwhelming number of Austalian children are bullied daily.

It doesn't end just in the school yard.  Unfortunately even as an adult, bullying exists in work places as well as in friendship circles and even in your own family.

We were overwhelmed reading about bullying on the link below.  Did you know that in 87% of the cases reported on bullying that peers were present?  So called friends that stood by, not sayig anything or doing anything.  Shocking.

At TSDA, it is all about "Developing Bully-Proof Confidence".  We may not be able to stop bullying but we can most certainly ensure every time a member walks in the door at TSDA, they walk out a little bit taller, a little more confident, with a little more self belief, with effective self defence skills, and in knowing WE HAVE THEIR BACK.

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The Journey of Hapkido ~ After Black Belt

99.9% of members goals when starting Hapkido is to gain their Black Belt.  It definitely was the case for Master Kevin and Ma'am Jaime too.  When a new member starts training at TSDA, grading can be undertaken every quarter.  Focus, concentration and motivation can be maintained easier given there are only 10 - 12 weeks between gradings.  As they get closer to attaining their original goal of Black Belt, the excitement of years of training and what it means increases. The sense of accomplishment, achievement and pride is well deserved, with years of training paying off the minute they put on their Black Belt with their name embroidered in gold on it.

What then?

Leading up to that point, everything was about "that" Black Belt.  So where to then?  After a student attains their 1st Dan Black Belt, there is 18 months before they can grade again, and after that it is 2 and a half years and so on.  The motivation levels can be tested during these extended times between gradings.  And despite the extended length of time between gradings, it is critical to continue training - think of an elastic band that is pulled and twisted every which way, then stops.  Over time the elastic band becomes stiff, brittle and weak - so much that if you tried to stretch it out again, it would snap!  This is identical to your muscles and what happens when your stop using them.

Another reason to ensure you continue training is that in the unfortunate even of you needing to use your self defence skills, there may not be time to stop and think, "Oh, what was thay move again?"

So at TSDA, we have a pathway for our Black Belts to follow to keep their motivation loevels up, to increase the advanced skills, to start "applying" what they have learnt!  The possibilities and opportunities are endless!

See below just a few of the opportunities and pathways for Black Belts at TSDA - for more information, please see Master Kevin or Jaime!


New Member  ---> Coloured Belts  ---> Black Belt  ---> 1st Dan (18mths), 2nd Dan (2 & 1/2 yrs) etc

New Member  ---> Coloured Belts  ---> Black Belt  ---> Leadership Program

New Member  ---> Coloured Belts  ---> Black Belt  ---> Assistant / Trainee / Senior Instructor

New Member  ---> Coloured Belts  ---> Black Belt  ---> Advanced Weaponary Training

New Member  ---> Coloured Belts  ---> Black Belt  ---> Tournament Training / Competition

New Member  ---> Coloured Belts  ---> Black Belt  ---> Own your own TSDA!

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The Power of Martial Arts....& Kids with Cancer!

For those already training at TSDA (or in other martial arts), we know the incredible benefits our sport develops within us.

I was blown away and so humbled when I came across this article today about "Kids With Cancer Learning Martial Arts".  Have a read and "feel" the power yourself...just amazing, and it makes me so proud of our martial art industry.

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How to Best Prepare for Grading!

It happens every quarter, "crazy" season, seaty palms as time ticks by what seems to be quickly, only to be left standing in front of Mr Lee thinking either, "I'm ready!" or "Oh no, I can't remember number 3!" 

First of all it is completely normal to have nerves set in in both the lead up to Grading and then on Grading day.  How you deal with the nerves, is what is going to set those apart.  

So we've come up with a list of things you can do the best prepare for Grading!  Some you hear us say every class (perhaps these are the most important!), while other suggestions are for easing and calmin yourself.  Just remember, TSDA believes in YOU, so read on, pick what works for you and smash it out of the park this Saturday!

How to best prepare for grading...

1.  Practise every opportunity you get!  Even while you lie in bed trying to go to sleep, run over your self defence 1-2 x in your mind!

2.  Practise your self defence, with a pause in between each movement.  Remember the speed at which you start, is the speed which Mr Lee expects you to carry through all of the moves.  So take your time!  There's no rush.

3.  Get some extra training and classes in.  

4.  Ask for help - don't wait until grading day to ask for help!

5.  Practise breathing deeply and controlling "inside" you.

6.  If family members are present, and time permits, hold a mini grading night at home in front of your loved ones. (Practising being in front of people).

7.  Get a good night lseep the night before!

8.  Arrive 30min before your scheduled time slot.  This will allow you to get focussed, warm up, stretch adequately and be ready to kick off on time.

9.  If you are a colured belt, while the belts before you are grading, run through your techniques in your head while you wait for your belt.

10.  Always give 100% in your practise.  It's easy to "just go through the motions" in class or even at home when your practising.  However, the muscles in your body have a "memory", so do each and every movement as you would in the real world and in grading, this will help cement the moves and make them second nature.

11.  Visualise yourself after your grading with a big smile on your face having nailed your grading!  Visualisation is a very strong skill to use that most professional athletes use!  So use it!


Best of luck everyone in your upcoming grading.  It makes all of the Instructors so proud watching each of you give your best at Grading, and we look forward to Saturday!


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Honesty is the best policy!

Benjamin Franklin famous proverb "Honesty is the best policy" is well known, but is it really true?

Being honest is more than "sayin it as it is" or "telling someone what you really think".  There is a difference between being blunt and straightforward to living your life honestly.  Sure, being honest means living in the absence of lying, cheating and stealing, however honesty also means being trustworthy, loyal, fair and sincere.

Think about the last time you were really honest, either with yourself or with someone else.  First of all, how did you feel afterwards?  If you were honest with someone else, how did they take that? Did they take offence?  Were they upset?  Were you upset?  Or, did you actually feel like you could breath a little better?  Like you were living within your own morals and beliefs?  Did you treat the other person with "Respect" whilst you were being "Honest"?  

Living a life of integrity, truthfulness, ad deliberate positive action in your conduct, attracts other like minded people to your life.  

Think of a time when you were dishonest.  How did you feel?  Did it play on your mind you told a "little white lie", did you constantly think about it and wonder if you would be found out?  Were you riddled with guilt?  And if then you rectified this "little white lie" how did you feel afterwards?  One word I bet - FREE...

Living an honest life allows you to live FREELY and with integrity, morally and positively!



Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integritytruthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, 

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Training 1x/week Vs 2x/week

In our fast paced lives these days, we are so time poor that we try to squeeze the most we can into every day.  So, how would you train twice a week, if even getting to TSDA once a week is sometimes a stretch?

Let's go back to the reasons for training in martial arts to begin with.  There have been numerous studies outlining the benefits associated with martial arts training that extend beyond the essential self defence skills learnt.  Essential life skills such as enhanced focus, discipline, self control, along with improved cofidence, coordination, fitness and flexibility are just a few of those benefits.  

What is the real "benefits" of training twice a week?

You will see results and improvements training once a week, however they will be slow.  If you miss a week, there is a big gap (14 days) before your next session.  Motivation can drop rapidly, and frustration can kick in when you "forget" what you learned last lesson.  If you happen to miss 2 weeks, then there's at least 21 days before your next lesson!  And you can see how hard it could be to maintain your momentum in learning dynamic skills if you had 21 days between lessons.  It can be seen like you're treading water, not getting anywhere, and you may even feel like you're going backwards slightly.

Strength and fitness decreases dramatically with large breaks in training also.  You can expect to lose some strength and fitness after 14 day break.  Therefore if your only exercise is martial arts, even missing one class, you have moved backwards slightly in your journey!  Of course there are other factors related to strength and fitness loss such as age, gender, genetics, history of training etc.

Alot of "stuff" can happen in the 7 days between training, if you are only training once a week.  Before you know it your lesson has rolled around again and you haven't managed to get any practice in!  Your instructor is standing in front of you asking you what do you remember from last week, and you go blank!  Arghhh frustration!


Let's look at training twice a week!

  • Results & improvements are steady and rapid in a training regime of twice (or more) times per week.  Your memory improves and you "pick" new techniques up faster!
  • Your risk of injuries decreases as your body becomes more fluid, agile and use to movement.  
  • Your muscles also develop "muscle memory", that means, your body will move without you even thinking of "how" to move when performing hapkido.  
  • Training twice a week minimum will keep you in shape and you will also advance at a faster rate.  
  • Your motivation won't drop as rapidly as training once a week if you miss a lesson.  For eg.  if you train Mondays and Wednesdays, and for whatever reason you can't train Wednesday that week.  If you are unable to get to another class before next Monday, there's only 7 days between your lessons, decreasing the chance of you losing your mojo!
  • You will become far more flexible and more powerful in your movements and kicks!
  • Your stress levels will be dramatically lower as you can "release" that energy from any stressors throughout your week - twice or more!

The results congruent with training twice a week far outweigh those of once a week.  Whatever your goal is with your martial arts training, the results indicate getting to your dojang at least twice a week will improve your overall health, well being and happiness!  See you in class!

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Is Humility Important in Hapkido?

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”– Gandhi


Throughout your journey in learning martial arts, many important qualities are developed in establishing a "Black Belt" attitude .  Humitlity or being humble is being courteously respectful of others, recognising that everyone is equal.  A humble person doesn'e think they are better than anyone else, they don't brag about themselves, nor do they show off.  Having humility is the opposite of being aggressive, arrogant, baostful or vain.

Humility in martial arts is invaluable - as there is always something to learn, relearn or improve on in your skills and training.  A humble person knows you're only as good as your last training session!  

Honourable, well-respected black belts are humble martial artists, that are considerate of others and help others achieve their goals.\

We are so proud to have humble students and Black Belt Instructors at TSDA!

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Do Self Defence Techniques Learned at TSDA Really Stick in Your Mind for When You Need It?

This is a common question, especially for new members, or people thinking of joining TSDA.  Do you remember what you have learnt should you ever (heaven forbid) need it?  There is only one answer and it's quite simple...YES!

Here are 4 real life examples of students of TSDA that have used what they have learned to protect themselves...(for the privacy of all students, names will remain anonymous!)

1.  A female primary school student was being harrassed and bullied by a larger male student.  The bullying had been reported to the school on numerous occasions, and nothing was done to rectify the issue.  After - as most people that hav been bullied know - what seemed like forever of being harrassed, her parents said, "If you need to use Hapkido, use it."  The next day, again he was harrassing her, she turned around and ave him one swift push kick into the belly which caused him to fall backwards, and she yelled in her "Hapkido" voice - STOP BULLYING ME!  He never harrassed her again.

2.  A female adult student found herself in a precarious situation at a party, with a male "Pacific Islander".  Thank goodness, she knew Hapkido, and after using several techniques, she got away, uninjured, and safe.

3.  A female adult student was being harassed on New Years Eve by an older lady.  This lady was "in her face" and kept trying to provoke and start a physical confrontation with the TSDA student.  After 4-5 times of requesting the lady to step away - which she didn't - the TSDA's second nature caused her to perform a single "knife strike" to the attacker.  Needless to say the attacker "got out of her face".

4.  A male adult TSDA was forced to protect himself against not 1, not 2, not 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 but 8 male attackers at a local pub.  Although the male TSDA member was not initially involved in the altercation, he became involved by "being there" and thank goodness knew how to protect himself.  This altercation lasted 14 - long - minutes before police turned up.  This TSDA member protected himself as he fought off the attackers - and you can imagine the endurance needed!  He was injured however remained calm, and was able to protect himself far more than the other patrons.

These examples indicate - that when needed - the self defence techniques learned become second nature in our students minds and bodies.  We never want any of our students to have to use any techniques learned, but it is very reassuring to know they are equipped with self defence should they ever need it.

All students mentioned are proudly still students of TSDA!

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The Mental Game of Martial Arts

There are many reasons why someone starts martial arts training: from learning self defence techniques, increase their fitness, develop higher confidence, or to compete in tournaments.  Training in martial arts comprises of training in 3 components - physical, technical and mental.

Training in the physical component involves getting stronger (there is a reason why we do push ups, burpees and sit ups!), where the technical component is the self defence skills, kicks and strikes you learn through each belt.  But what about the mental component?  How do we train this component in martial arts, and specifically at TSDA?

Firstly the primary and most important objective in the mental component in martial arts is developing mental endurance, control of emotion, concentration, mental toughness, strength and more.  Having a "no surrender" attutude - that flows into all aspect of a students life - school, work, other sport, family life.

A psychological benefit you can experience by training in martial arts is an enhanced mental focus - helps you clear your mind, can reduce stress and anxiety, and can make you less prone to distractions.  Students also find training in martial arts, and developing this newfound ability to focus, can help take your mind off daily stressors like workday stressors, bills, exams, and even bullying.  

When you are up against any challenge - screaming kids at home/in the car, increasing financial stress, dealing with negatvie Nancy's in the workplace, or being face to face with the school bully, the battle can be won or lost in your mind before anything even happens.  Mental "defeat" can start before a challenge, or even during it.

Fighters - know this all too well.  Sports Psychologists make a living out of coaching athletes in improving their mental tougness, and ensuring the battle is won before they even step onto the ring.  In most fights, you can see the outcome before it really ends.  Master Kevin is an outstanding example of this, if you have had the opportunity to watch him compete.

At TSDA, mental toughness is developed every week students go over their self defence techniques.  They must focus, train hard and develop thier techniques to show they are ready to grade to their next belt.  We also have intermittantly through the month "Fitness Sessions" that not only test the students fitness, but also their focus to get through these hard sessions and then have to perform their self defence!


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How often should I train and do classes?

In today’s lifestyle, we seem to try and squeeze every second out of every minute, so how often you train can simply come down to what nights you have available to train!  It is a personal choice based on your own availabilities and schedule, however there are some things you need to consider when thinking about this.

Firstly our class schedule at TSDA is specifically designed to meet the needs of today's active families.  We have classes 5 days a week, all at varying times and class levels, to suit most people schedules. 

No two students are alike, and therefore there isn’t a clear answer to this question.  Every student learns at different rates and retains information differently.  In our experience, of over 25 years of teaching, we have found those students who train twice or three times a week, grasp the techniques and skills faster than those who only training once a week.   The flow and fluidity of movements are better, plus new techniques are absorbed faster.  As with anything, practice is key and the more you train, the better the martial artist you become.

For any skill to be second nature, or to be retained for “when you need it”, the skill needs to be repeated, repeated, repeated and then repeated again!  At TSDA we have at-home tools to help you practice your techniques and kicks for each belt with our TSDA DVD’s.  Every student should be practicing at home, even if you train more than once a week. 

It is our recommendation to train two to three times a week (especially in the beginning), however we also recognise the importance of family and work.  If this isn’t possible, you should, at the very least, practice every day with your DVD’s.  This will ensure your time in class is used to correcting the execution of the techniques you already know and then learning new skills and techniques.

Happy training and practicing!

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Just when you need it...

Thank you to one of our member's mum, Tina Bright, for frowarding on this article! 

One of the best things about Hapkido is the fact that anyone of any size can defend themselves against any opponent of any size.  Thank goodness this girl knew martial arts so she could protect herself...just one of the reasons we do what we do!  Here is a snippet of the article.  For the full article, go to:


School girl, 14, uses her martial arts skills to fight off attacker, 35, in Sussex park

A schoolgirl fought off a man 20 years her senior when he grabbed her in a park in Sussex, by using her martial arts skills.

The 14-year-old was walking home through Tilgate Park in Crawley when a 35-year-old man took hold of her from behind, police told ITV News.

Having studied martial arts for many years, the teenager was able to escape from her 5ft-7inch attacker before punching and kicking him.

Sussex Police arrested the man shortly after the attempted attack on Saturday morning and are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.


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Building Resilience For Life!

Most people have all felt down or hard times at some point in our life, where we have been broken.  For children, it may be through a separation, changing schools, or their friends leaving their school, or even an unfortunate death of a loved one/family pet.  Any of these could be an emotional, physical or mental state of deterioration.  Many things can lead to the status many refer to as, ‘falling to pieces.’   Thankfully, most of us, simply bounce back.  This process is referred to as being resilient. 

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from difficulties, tough situations, or events that can cause stress and adversity.  You demonstrate resilience when you are faced with a difficult experience and you rise above it with ease.

Resilience can be nurtured and learned – at any age, it is not something you are necessarily born with.  It is merely the skill and the capacity to be robust under conditions of enormous stress and change.  Some key factors to building resilience include:

  • positive relationships inside and outside the home
  • setting realistic goals and taking steps to achieve them
  • developing communication and problem solving skills
  • being able to manage strong impulses and feelings
  • the ability to balance negative emotions with positive ones
  • being optimistic and having empathy for others

Training in martial arts develops all of these skills and more – we call them life skills.  Here is a breakdown of how training in martial arts at TSDA can build, develop and nurture resilience:

Positive Relationships - At TSDA, we pride ourselves in the environment we have created – one of positivity, bully-free, and a sense of family and belonging.  Anyone walking into TSDA can feel this immediately.  Our instructors are black belt students that have walked the walk before talking the talk.  They are encouraging, inspiring and are definite role models.

Setting & Achieving Goals - From the moment you start training at TSDA, you are working toward a realistic goal – your yellow belt.  Together with your highly qualified instructors and fellow team mates, every class you learn something new, and you work toward your goal.  Students never feel alone on their journey, they feel us “in their corner”.

Being Able to Manage Impulses/Strong Feelings – training to compete in tournaments isn’t pushed at TSDA, however we do offer extended training for those wanting to step up their skill level in regards to control, attacking and defence.  This is in free sparring.  Training in free sparring develops emotional control, physical control and mental control.  All of which easily filter into the persons resilience bank.

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