Friday, April 24, 2009

The Time to Live is Now

A friend of mine came to TKD class a few months ago and just watched on the sidelines. She seemed intrigued and interested in taking classes, but when I asked her if she wanted to try, she said to me, "I need to get into shape first."

This puzzled me a bit, but reminded me of something I've thought about many times in my own life. There is always an excuse to put something off, rather than to just do it. I know this from personal experience. How many times had I told myself that I would start that book when I'd finished this project or that project, only to never getting around to the projects that were holding me back in the first place? Writing a book has been a lifelong dream of mine, so why was I always finding a reason to put it on the back burner? To put it bluntly--failure.

I know I'm not alone in this. I've seen my friends and family members all give into the "excuse engine" time and again when it comes to something that they want, but is just a bit intimidating. And why not? It's easy to do. Why dive into that book when I could go out for ice cream instead? Or why start TKD when I can tell myself I should get in shape first, as I sit in front of the television each night? Sometimes, it's just easier to fail.

But is it any fun? Is it at all satisfying? Well...maybe the ice cream...but only for the moment. Real satisfaction comes from facing your fears and overcoming them. Real happiness, real fun, real satisfaction...all come from LIVING.

At a recent funeral of a family member, they recounted his life. He'd flown planes in the military, been all over the world, rode motorcycles, played baseball and had a beautiful family. As sad as the moment was, it was so uplifting to know that he had lived a full and happy life...truly LIVED. He'd probably rarely given in to the "excuse engine."

And that's what I want for myself, for my friends, for my family and for our readers. To truly not sit on the sidelines of life...making up excuses to not jump in and just live. No more projects, no more "when I'm in shape", no more "I'll start Monday." It's time to embrace life and live it. Because you can't wait for the future to live your life. You can't wait for elements of your life to change before start living either. There is no better time. The time to now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

July Issue

We are working intensely to wrap up the July issue. It promises to be one of our best issues yet, covering the good deeds of martial artists all over the globe. Our cover story focuses on Karen Eden's work in downtown Denver with the Salvation Army. A truly inspiring story. Next we go to Canada, where one mother and martial artist found the courage to fight against her daughter's bullies and then educate the community about the realities of bullying. Then we take a trip to Washington state, following another instructor giving classes to cancer victims, enriching their lives and restoring their confidence and health.

And there is so much more! We follow up a year later with last year's cover story, Robert Ott, a man blinded by violence who has learned to turn his tragedy into a way to help others. We watch his life unfold from the point of being on our cover and the good things that came his way after!

We have first hand coverage of the US Open in Las Vegas in February, as well as an exclusive interview with a high official of the Kukkiwon. Plus, coverage of Progressive Hapkido, a style born from German martial artist, Klaus Schumacher.

More stories we cover in this issue...
Taeglish...a new way to teach English in Korea, integrating TKD and the language into an easy and fun class.

MRSA...the super bug that has infiltrated our society. Learn how to protect yourself and loved ones from this frightening illness.

PLUS! New sections!

Killer Kicks and the Big Break are photos sent in by our readers! See the cool stuff others are doing!

TKDT School of the Month
Check out what schools will be chosen this month!

It promises to be a great issue! Happy reading!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Be in our Newest Sections!!

TKD Times is starting new pages in our magazine...
and we want your pics!

The Injury Report

Got a black eye from an intense sparring match?
Or a broken finger from a strike that went wrong?
We want to see it! Send us a photo of your martial arts battle wounds
and you could end up on the pages of our newest section...The Injury Report!

Your Big Break

Did you pull off a spectacular break that deserves some recognition?
Or maybe perform your first break ever in front of a crowd?
Send us photos of your demonstration and you could end up in the magazine in our newest section...Your Big Break!

Killer Kicks

Did you pull off that tornado kick or flying side kick with real grace?
We want it in our newest section! Send in your photos and get featured in our new Killer Kicks section!

Please send all submissions or any questions to To be considered for our latest edition, please submit your photos with your name and location by April 10. Submissions for these sections will be taken on an ongoing basis.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree

With the economy around the world in such a terrible state, stress is reaching higher levels than ever before. In these stressful times, crime rates rise and discipline fails. But that is when we must be strongest.

Now is a great time to join a health club, take a dance class, or start learning a martial art. Physical exertion is a stress reliever, especially the martial arts. Martial arts like Tae Kwon Do bring you new focus, new energy. They increase your discipline and boost your confidence. They make you healthier, inside and out. After an hour long TKD class, your stress will melt away, making you calmer and more at peace within yourself.

Yes, times are bad right now in the world. Companies we have known and trusted for years are folding under the pressure of a crumbling stock market. Citizens watch as their retirement accounts shrink and shrink, their house values plummet. Stress is everywhere you look. But it is in these times that we must buckle down and do our best to get through it. It is these times that make us stronger.

We must work hard for what we are earning. We cannot sit beneath the apple tree with our mouths open, waiting for the apples to fall for us and feed us. We must climb the tree and pick as many apples as we can, working hard to reap the fruit of our labors. If you never have to work for anything, you do not appreciate how you achieved it. If something is just handed to you, then you have no sense of accomplishment, take no pride in your earnings. But if you work hard and earn what you achieve, you can be proud of what you have done. You know that you are a success because of what YOU have done, not because something was handed to you.

That same message goes for our environment. For far too long, we have been wasteful as citizens of the world, reeking havoc on the planet. We have too much waste, too much garbage, use too much oil and other non-renewable resources. It is time to say that too much is enough. We must be conservative in our treatment of our world. We must make as little waste as possible, reusing and renewing wherever we can.

Conservation and hard work are the keys to surviving this economic crisis. If we are conservative with our planet, we will have more years for our children, our grandchildren. If we control our unnecessary expenses, we will be able to afford our necessities. And if you start training in the martial arts, as so many of us have, then you will find an inner peace amidst the chaos of the world outside.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wake Up! The Party’s Over

It’s no secret. The state of the economy in the United States and the world is tumbling down and down. Who knows how much longer and further we will fall? But as bad as it is, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming.

For the last two decades, we have watched as people need more and more in their lives. More STUFF that is. They need more inches on their TV screens, bigger SUVs to cruise around, more square footage for their homes, more technology than you can shake a stick at. It never ends, no matter what you have, you always need more. I know people living in homes the size of a small village in Africa. Literally, their house could house all the people in that village, but it may only be two people living there. The only thing that is getting smaller and definitely should be, is our garbage.

We are leaving an age of excess, a time of overspending and overneeding. Remember when only one person had to work to support an entire family? For the majority of us, that is not even possible. And do you know what part of the reason is for that? You. Plain and simple. Not just you, but me too. We all get so caught up in “keeping up with the Jones’” we forget that we used to live with only one telephone in our home, only one car per family, and we were perfectly happy then. We forget that the stuff that makes up happiness in our lives, actually isn’t STUFF. It is people and experiences.

So we leave this time of luxury now, as the economy boils down. But you do not need to fear it. Embrace it and realize the wonderful things you still have in your life, all around you, the important things are still there. So maybe you need to downsize your home, but you still have a family to have a home with. So you won’t be able to keep that iPhone on, you still get to talk to your friends everyday. Remember the good things you have in life. And you will be rich forever.