Sunday, 27 September 2015
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Kumdo Brisbane, the home of Hankuk Kumsul, The Way of the Korean Sword
Kumdo or 'way of the sword', is a Korean style of Swordsmanship. The techniques and movements of Kumdo are beautiful and dynamic, with a balance, speed, power and accuracy and oneness with Body, Mind and Spirit.
3 cuts before it fell
Swordsmen use a wooden sword called a mokgeom (or mokdo) to execute the attacks and counter attacks contained in the techniques. Techniques are both solo and partnered. No armour is worn and the participants stop just short of striking each other. In addition to formal techniques, numerous drills, both solo and partnered, and with armour are practiced.
Advanced practitioners eventually may use a live blade sword, called a daedo, for practice of cutting.
Kumdo is also a part of our Hapkido program for senior Dans.
What You Will Learn in Kumdo
· Basics - The practice of basic techniques is the foundation of Kumdo which all other practices are built upon. It marks the beginning of the harmonization of mind, body, spirit and sword.
· Technique – Technique is a core element of Martial Arts training, teaching the student many of the necessary skills needed when fighting (sparring). Through a series of moves, the student develops discipline, concentration, endurance and power, all without physical contact or risk of getting hurt. These skills are essential to everyday life, and to practicing Martial Arts.
· Cutting - The theory and practice of the sword are harmonized in cutting. Speed, accuracy, power, footwork and concentration of intent. Cutting is the Art of Swordsmanship in practice.
· Sparring - Sparring is the application of all sword practice, against an opponent. All elements of Kumdo are essential for effective sparring. Speed, reaction time, accuracy, judgment, mental and physical control. The student must apply all their knowledge and skill to overcome an opponent.
· Kumdo teaches more than just how to use a sword. The discipline, mental and physical training and friendship provide the grounds for a life long practice. It is the vital mental training and conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the individual who has only mastered the physical techniques of Kumdo.
|Master Millwood's Daedo|
Saturday, 15 August 2015
Anger Management and Psychological Self-Defence
It is not at all uncommon to see this phrase; it is a combination of two words which carries a lot of meaning. Among us all, anger is well known, it’s familiar. We might well assume that for others anger is something that needs to be managed because for some other people dealing with or not dealing with their anger has led to problems in their life.
Certainly when anger has become a problem-though ideally before so- it is sensible to take action in managing it. When anger gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems in different areas of our life.
The point is that when we see the term ‘anger management’ we usually interpret it as something like “someone has a problem with their anger and they need to manage it”. Perhaps an even more common meaning we take from these two words is that anger itself is a problem which needs to be managed, and at that, managed into near extinction.
There probably is an underlying assumption in these points of view - that we are just better off without anger-it’s bad, unlike let’s say, the feeling of contentment-that feeling can’t ever be seen as a problem which needs to be managed - right? Well maybe, though maybe not. Maybe anger is not all bad, maybe when we see ‘anger management’ we could think of it in terms of harnessing our anger – managing a valuable resource!
When Anger is a Problem
When is anger a problem? The most common and probably widely accepted answer to this question is that anger is a problem when it becomes destructive, when it negatively impacts on our quality of life and when it begins to damage our relationships with those involved in our life.
Few people would dispute this. Of course in the above sentences the word it could be replaced by the word I –it might not read as grammatically correct but the point is that a whole new meaning emerges from a whole new point of view.
Anger is simply a feeling and therefore neither good nor bad; it is how we behave or what we do with the anger that defines anger as a problem.
Or does it? Change our perspective again this time from the inside-out point of view, from the perspective of someone who experiences the anger feeling intensely, frequently and repeatedly and now anger itself can be described as a problem. This need not be limited to anger in the social or interpersonal domain. There are other areas of our lives where anger had the potential to present us with problems.
Think of the sports-person or anyone trying to master skill or discipline. Sometimes our performance is hindered by being angry BUT ONLY if that feeling is too little or too much. While it is fair to say that a strong lack of interest is going to impede our performance it is equally true to say that “the harder you try, the better you’ll do” just isn’t right.
To sum up it’s fair to say that anger is commonly experienced but is also private and therefore different for each person. Yes, too much anger is a problem, what we do when we experience anger can be a problem and anger itself can be a problem. And anger has the potential to be a problem when it’s not even there!
When Anger is not a Problem
So the idea that no anger means no problem, is not really true, but what does this mean? Below is a chart displaying the approximate relationship between performance-let’s say ‘successful completion of tasks’, and emotional arousal which can also be described as anger depending on the situation.
Here is where the most important part of anger management might be (depending on your goals of course).The concept of flow in sports or in any task is becoming well known and when known highly sought after. It can be described as a state of mind in which there is a perfect or near perfect match between the perceived demands of an activity and the abilities of the performer.
Flow, also described as ‘being in the zone” is accompanied by feelings of being energized yet calm and focused, a sense of timeless-ness and effortless-ness. What is important to note is that to get there, some degree of emotional arousal is required. And different activities might require different levels of arousal. So a total lack of anger can be linked to a poor performance whenever it is that anger is needed-not too surprising to state that now. But how often is it that a person can reasonably claim that they need to be angry? That might depend on the type of life we live and the environment we generally occupy.
Is this linked to Self-Defence?
Maybe in some way it can be linked to physical and psychological self-defence. According to the American Psychological Association “Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires…feelings and behaviours, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked”. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival when that survival is threatened.
The flip side is that we may be our own threat by our misuse of our anger. There is a large amount of information and evidence linking anger (and its biological components e.g. cortisol) to a range of physical and mental health problems. One of my favourite pieces of information in this regard is of the study which found that those who had less control over their anger tended to heal more slowly from wounds!
Fascinating to know perhaps that this is old news to some of the more established eastern philosophies and ‘ways’ - as Buddha himself (supposedly) stated…”Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”
____Buddha (about 2500 yrs ago)
Fitness, weight loss and improvements in health are all natural outcomes from Hapkido training.
- Develop strength of character.
- Reduce the effects of stress.
- Gain self-defence skills
- improve overall fitness
People of any age, size and gender can learn and perform effective Hapkido techniques.
There are over 600 muscles in your body and you will use every one of them in an average Hapkido class.
An adult student can burn over 4100 kilojoules in an average Hapkido class which may result in significant weight loss
Increased flexibility from Hapkido training can improve posture.
Children training in Hapkido develop greater self-confidence and respect for others, making them less likely to be bullied.
There are many more flow on affects from training in Hapkido. Book your free trial lesson now.
Thursday, 19 February 2015
Our showing of respect at Hapkido in the way of saluting and bowing forms a large part of what and how we learn.
It would not be possible to commence training if this was an issue.
Whilst we bow to one another before, during and after training, and salute the flags at the beginning and end of class, we do not worship one particular person or figure in a spiritual way.
In every dojang there are at least two, sometimes three flags on display. Arranged left to right, they are the home country flag, the flag of the style of martial art and the flag of the country where Hapkido originated. It is customary for students to face and salute the flags when entering or leaving the dojang as a sign of respect for what the flags represent.
Respect in Martial Arts
The systems of unarmed combat that people study throughout the world were not designed to be conducted like an aerobics class, where you say hi to Sally, Joe and Mark before stepping on the bike. Martial Arts are generally speaking military in their origins. The formalities, and by this I mean all the bowing, showing respect to higher ranking students and instructors and anything else a lay person might view as not furthering the study of unarmed combat, are in place for a reason.
Martial Arts are generally speaking not religious. Bowing in Asia is like shaking hands in the West, there is nothing religious about bowing. It is simply a sign of respect. Bowing before entering the door to train is to show respect for the training hall. It also shows respect for all those coming before you. It is also training in checking your ego at the door. Understanding that you do not already know all there is to know is very important in martial arts. If you feel that you know all there is to know, it would be impossible to learn anything new. Or as the old adage goes, a cup that is already full can hold no more.
There is a general level of respect that should be transmitted between those that we train with. We have to trust each other; this is absolutely vital. I can’t say this strongly enough, it is VITAL that we TRUST. We are striking, kicking, throwing, and doing other techniques that could easily become harmful to each other. We have to trust that our partners will use control and precision in their techniques. If they don’t we could be seriously injured. If we do not have the proper respect for each other we might not take our endeavour with the seriousness required. Mutual respect is so important in martial arts and it cannot be understated. You can’t play with serious injury in a haphazard method. Formalities are used to foster this mutual respect.
What about rank? As one moves through the belt system of a given martial arts expectations on that student increases. The more advanced the student the more they are looked at to be not just examples of excellent form and technique but also to be models of humility and respect within the Dojang. A black belt or high ranking colour belt is an example to the lower students. The high ranking students set the tone for the lower students. This is in terms of how people are addressed and how formalities are conducted in the class.
In short, formality is about respect. The building of respect is necessary in military organizations and it should be no surprise that it exists in martial arts. Respect for the training and each other is necessary due to the serious material that is covered in traditional martial arts. A lot of what happens inside the training hall may look strange to the lay person but there is a reason and it has nothing to do with people trying to feel self-important or superior to others.