Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who is a Mighty Person?

Who is a mighty person? 
One who can make friends of his enemies.

This is one of the early lessons I learned from my Martial Arts teaching mentor Shihan Dave Kovar.  It is fundamental to many of us classically trained martial artists whom had the benefit of an ethical honor code education. 

As kid in martial arts my enemies weren’t always bad guys, bullies and strangers as would-be abductors.  My enemies, as with most of us, were much more insidious because they were disguised in a one might not expect.  The enemy of asthma took oxygen from my body and mind so I could not function or recover well. 

Ask any fighter or MMA athlete whose stepped into a UFC Octagon what having handcuffs on your lungs from a lack of cardio conditioning will do.  Even the best pro athletes from Olympic Champs to NFL linebackers can be made into mice in high altitude training when you take their air.  When you are ‘gassed out’ it saps your will.

Another problem that made that enemy bigger is that it also leads to a greater issue of self doubt.  My poor self image was based on a belief of limitations and what I couldn’t do.  It is a filter from which you begin to form all beliefs and make decisions.  It can start with one thing and have a domino effect.  

But this isn’t a sad story.  In fact, it’s the opposite.  Through my training in martial arts I learned to be mindful, set goals, work for improvement.  I learned to apply its principles and strategies to my life in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Asthma is just one example of a challenge to deal with.  It could have been stress, being overweight and undisciplined or a variety of other obstacles.

My struggle with asthma and health gave me the opportunity to learn things I might not have.  With the help of martial arts, I developed depth of character, determination and the ability to work patiently, methodically and in a disciplined way towards goals.  I learned to not give up, despite what I was feeling at an emotional level.  Working to overcome asthma also helped me get more in tune with my body.  Just like muscle is built through resistance, asthma and allergies provided me the resistance to build emotional and mental muscle. 

It wasn’t easy and I sure had lots of setbacks, but those are good reference points for me in times of struggle.  It helped me learn to move forward on faith with optimism and seek out the help I needed to get to my goals.

On numerous occasions in the Army, in competition or other difficult endeavors, while I saw others give up, I knew how to dig down deep into myself and find new levels of strength through my martial arts indomitable spirit.  Asthma, while I would never wish it on anyone else, was a blessing in disguise.  Perhaps difficulties and struggles are someitmes an opportunity to bring out our inner strength and beauty.

You can follow my blog and find out about my adventures at the Shaolin Temple, Olympic Training Center, training with Masters in Korea, being in movies, sparring with legends like UFC Champ Jiu-jitsu Master Royce Gracie, and some unique and interesting lessons along the way.  Plus, I’ll share some secrets to realistic self-defense, personal security, and character and leadership development.  You might even get inspired too!
TaeKwonDo / TKD Times Magazine Article & Asthma Tips  Find out how a karate kid overcame asthma with this true inspiring story. Martial Arts for Kids and Families in Phoenix Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Cave Creek Arizona 

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