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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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