Total Self Defence Academy Blog

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

2e1ax default entry KarateBeltsWe 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…

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Bullying Doesn't Just Mean Physical Harm...

2e1ax default entry black and white pictures of people crying 2 largeAt 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?

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Respect In Martial Arts & Life

2e1ax default entry karateRespect, 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.  

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

2e1ax default entry self defense teensThis 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

7 step success formulaSuccess...

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.

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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.

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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 controlagilityendurancespeedcoordination.  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!

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

How to stand up to a bullyThe 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.

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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.

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

2e1ax default entry kids kicking cancer broaFor 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!" 

prepare for gradingFirst 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!

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Honesty is the best policy!

honestyBenjamin 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.

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Training 1x/week Vs 2x/week

Training Twice a weekIn 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?

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Is Humility Important in Hapkido?

2e1ax default entry 3f12027b3afb6c23324a9d3257221393“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.

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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!)

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The Mental Game of Martial Arts

2e1ax default entry brain1There 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?

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How often should I train and do classes?

2e1ax default entry 666HapkidoIn 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. 

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Just when you need it...

2e1ax default entry parkThank 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:
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Building Resilience For Life!

2e1ax default entry Resilience tiggerMost 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.

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Strength Without Power – Guest entry by Davy

davy punchOften enough in class, you may hear an instructor suggest that you hit the bag harder, but how can you achieve that?  Start doing leg presses?  Go for a run every day?  Protein supplements?

Not necessarily.

Especially for smaller students – including myself – the idea of having strong kicks may seem like a lofty and distant impossibility.  We simply don’t have as much muscle as some of the bigger students, how could we possibly kick as hard?  We may never be able to match raw muscle strength, however there are various ways to increase power while maximising the amount of strength available.

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