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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

is this sparring gear sauna appropriate?

Browsing an herbal book I’ve consulted through the years. My eyes stopped on an herb used by Native Americans after sweat lodge rituals. Nordic countries that love saunas also have herbs, like birch, that they use after sweating in a sauna. Herbs to help the body, mind and spirit recover from the work and taxation of sweating and heat of the sauna or sweat lodge.   In class this week,…

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Martial Arts

the yin and yang of competition

Competition is tricky. A balancing act. Being 100% non-competing or always competing can be difficult. For me, competition lures me in. In the realm of Ayurveda, I’m a pitta (with some kapha) and once I get into competition mode it can get…fiery. As I face my third taekwondo tournament, the first two not having gone so well, with last place my average finish (sigh) I’m not sure how I want…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

A historical component of martial arts: herbal medicine

After trying for a third time to be a runner (do your joints talk to you? ‘Cause my knees just piped up a disgruntled don’t you ever do that again!), I had to deal with the runner’s knee pain and inflammation. The pain varied and moved all around my patella, hurting when I moved, hurting when I didn’t move. Going down stairs or hills was especially precarious. To go to…

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Martial Arts

When the Army asks you to army crawl, they let you wear shoes

It’s been a while since I regaled you with tales of my flops and foibles and mess-ups in class. I’ve been in a pretty good groove for a few weeks.   Then I decided to go with another parent to Taekwondo Day Camp while our kids were there. (Are you already laughing? You should be. I didn’t even do a camp like this as a kid.) They do taekwondo but…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

Lifting the Earth element: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Talking to parents outside my son’s taekwondo class, I hear women say, “I can’t join class because I can’t do the jumping jacks.” You could substitute in run, trampoline. laugh or sneeze hard, or any high impact cardio activity. For so many women it isn’t possible to do these activities without leaking urine. And it seems this is just a problem many women endure. WHY?? You don’t have to!  …

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Martial Arts

My Orange Belt Test!!

It’s like being at Disneyworld (or your favorite amusement park). You’re having fun, riding the cool theme rides, seeing the entertainment–it’s all good. You’ve avoided the crappy food, the crowds are small and you are remembering the sunscreen. Smooth. What a great time! Suddenly, your group heads to the next Fast Pass ride: the biggest, baddest roller coaster in the park. No one bats an eyelash, everyone else is excited,…

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Martial Arts

Does practicing martial arts mean you like to hurt people?

In a class at our Summer Expo, working and practicing in one of the many classes, I was admonished by someone with “oh, you don’t like to hurt people.” In the moment this felt like negative feedback, and I had a momentary flash of shame, of not feeling “tough enough” in class. Wait…Hold it just a minute.  So…in my head I was asking this person, so you do martial arts…

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Martial Arts

onward, to orange!

I was stunned.  After being out of class for two weeks while in Ireland, and coming back with a nice cold that found me while traveling and has been far too clingy, Mr. Ninja handed me my orange belt testing invitation!!   I was stammering and babbling because we all remember my test anxiety for the yellow belt test.  (Oy.) Do you think I’m ready? Wow, this Saturday. But, I…

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Martial Arts

Can a shiny sticker lure me out of the doldrums?

I’ve quoted Sherlock before, about how “the Universe is rarely so lazy” to allow things to happen by mere coincidence. And this week exemplifies why I believe that.  Every time I get in the doldrums about my progress in Taekwondo (Argh! Damn you, Jumping jacks!) and weight loss, Mr. Ninja shifts something in class or I am gifted something from the Universe.   Over the weekend, doing my workouts and…

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Martial Arts

An L of an uphill climb

When I walk into class I’m the biggest one in there. When I go to tournaments, I’m the chubby one. It seems like everyone else in Taekwondo is already awesomely athletic and in shape. Even when I meet other white and yellow belts, so many have previous athletic training and often martial arts experience. (Intimidating!)   In sparring gear, they print the size on the outside. (I know, right? Is…

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