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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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