Cho Gyo Nim Merly's Essays

3820651374?profile=originalWhat I have achieved in life related to what I have learned in dojang?

When I first started Martial Arts, I had ailments that have affected the left side of my body, since I started working out and stretching, I find that I feel so much better, the pain is not as intense, I feel fantastic and motivated and excited to come and work out.  In addition to the physical triumph, I am in a unique situation where I work out and I also teach.  By getting to work with students, each day presents new goals and challenges, it could be a great work out or teaching a student something new or getting to be a part of a new students first time doing martial arts- and through this there is an amazing human connection and growing community. Conversations have lead me to do research on interesting books or martial art videos, I am inspired all the time by connections that I make in the dojang.

Something I have learned since becoming a black belt-

Since I have become a black belt I feel humble but empowered.  Not only as a human but as a female. I feel strong mentally and physically, I am able to hold my head up high and have comfort in the fact that if needs be I could defend myself and others. My observation is that many think your martial arts journey is over at black belt, but it is actually a new beginning. You learn amazing, challenging new lessons and what I find really incredible is that everything you learn along the way becomes that much more powerful. I remember when I first started, I would watch the black belts, and the energy that they had on and off the floor was so powerful, confident, and passionate! I remember being really excited thinking that someday when I achieved black belt I would be a part of creating that energy- there is something so unique and special about what happens in this space, and it is inspiring and exciting to get to be a part of it every day.

Something that I did that helped with my technique or development as a person/ martial artist-

 Persistence. I injured my ankle last fall, and not only was it challenging physically, but also mentally. I would watch classes and get frustrated that I couldn’t join in, I would worry that by the time I was able to get back on the floor it would be difficult and that there may be things I could no longer do, and I worried that I may do something to make my ankle worse. Now, none of these worries completely overshadowed my eagerness to be back in class, but they hummed in the back of my mind like a fly that gets trapped in your house and buzzes in your ear. Fortunately, I am surrounded by an incredibly inspiring and supportive family and community which has helped me to get focused, fired up, and ready to go!

What are examples of the things which motivate you most in regards to your training-

Interactions and connections.  If it is not fun, why would you do it?  If it doesn’t challenge you to grow and be a better person, again why would you do it? I’m an extrovert and I love language and communication- that is how I learn and enjoy new activities.  Learning from others is a wonderful art form of tradition, getting a new idea or approaching something in a new way from others ideas and perspectives is fun and exciting. Connecting with different people and creating this fun, empowering energy together in class motivates me to be focused, engaged and present in the moment, and gives me courage to push harder.


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