Beyond Belief?

Belief can be a complex thing…it is born out of competence and in the case of Taekwon-Do, physical prowess. To believe in yourself in Taekwon-Do or in any of the martial arts and physical arts, you need to be and feel physically strong, flexible and also have solid technique. That’s not disputable. Being at your physical best then lends itself to feelings of confidence in the art and that in turn creates a self fulfilling prophecy. So what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do you get better physically therefore believe mentally or believe mentally and therefore get better physically?
Both. Rhetoric.
It’s not just about being better physically, it comes down to how these two things feed into your ability to ‘perform’, and that’s what it is about, how you ‘perform’…your mental and physical performance are not mutually exclusive, they work hand in glove, it’s peas and corn, salt and pepper, it’s the sun in the shine, you need them both to win…what good is physical capability without mental faith, you will still lose…and what is the good of the right mental attitude if you have a physical deficit? You need both…You must work on both…you must simultaneously work on your physical body and your Taekwon-Do skills while working on your mental attitude as the are inextricably linked.
To work only on your physical skills is a waste of time, but do not solely work in the mental realm, it is a drain and will get you nowhere. Success is born of the capacity to work tirelessly on both your physical self while nurturing your mental fortitude too.
The psychology of belief and of wining and losing is an iceberg and this is a single snowflake of the tip of the tip.
Rafael Nadal has lost his fair share of matches but losing a match does not a bad tennis player make. Unless he believes it so.


Hellthy [sic] to healthy [not sick]

When you are preparing for a competition, whether it’s as a coach or an athlete, optimum health is, well, optimum.

Sometimes the stress of preparation, and let’s face it, overtraining, can weaken the body and compromise the immune system making you vulnerable to all sorts of bugs.  When you are in the middle of comp prep and this happens it is very stressful and a day or two off training can feel like a week and will make you feel weak both physically and mentally.  We feel we are letting our club, our coach, the people we are training down and these thoughts are very dangerous to our mental preparation and conditioning.

So how do we stay healthy and in peak condition or at least minimise the impact of a bug in our system?

Food as medicine, this is what I do.  *Disclaimer go to the doctor, I am not a doctor, go see a naturopath, I am not a naturopath.

Water water water, drink it, loads of it.  You can put fruit and herbs in it to get extra nutritional benefit if you want but just make sure you are up to your eyeballs in H2O.  Don’t forget baths and showers, the meditative benefits of both are very therapeutic.

Sleep.  Catch some zzzzzzzzs.  Often.  Rest is a part of a good training program in general but is crucial when you are trying to heal.  Plus it really is a fantastic form of meditation.

ACV. I also try and get a teaspoon or two of good quality, unprocessed organic Apple Cider Vinegar to help detox the body.  Put a teaspoon in a glass of water a couple of times a day, simple as that.

Swallow garlic.  Get a small garlic clove and down it like a pill.  The therapeutic benefits of garlic are well documented.

Red meat.  Iron.  This helps to create a strong immune system, I go straight for mince and make a Bolognese and stack it with garlic.  Salmon and Turkey will increase your white bloods cells too which is key to immunity.  There are vego options too.

Vitamin C.  An antioxidant that fights free radicals and acts like a scavenger in your body getting rid of any nasties.  I casually throw back a 2 litre bottle of OJ in about 5 hours to saturate my system when I’m not well.  Vit C is also in capsicum, leafy greens, broccoli etc.

Juice.  Invest in a juicer and go crazy.  It’s the very best way to get all the micro nutrients your body needs straight into your blood.  There are a million great websites with a million more recipes but one of my staples is celery, cucumber, spinach, beetroot, carrot, green apples, lime and ginger.

Sunshine.  Get outside and soak in some vitamin D, great for the body, great for the mind.

Obviously as we all know there is no cure for the common cold or the influenza virus so prevention is your first line of attack.  Eat healthy, keep your stress levels under control and balance great training with adequate rest for recovery.

If, however, you do still succumb to a bug, try the above, it can certainly lessen the severity of the symptoms.  I’m also an advocate of tea made with hot water, lemon, honey, ginger and a splash of whiskey…and a sneaky bit of chocolate too, because as I said, it’s not just about physical health, but mental and emotional health too and chocolate is good for the soul.

Stay healthy.



New Year – 2014


Found this great training singlet that I saw on social media and I thought “YES”…it’s so easy to get caught up in the kick punch of Taekwon-Do and forget all of the other stuff – people want to be hardcore, win comps or grade – but when you look deeply into why you started the art/ sport (and for every 50 people there will be 50 different reasons as to why people start) you will probably find that whatever reason it was, at some point you have realised that the magic of Taekwon-Do is in the art itself.  It’s far more than self defence and patterns and sparring!  It’s in the way you live. That’s enough of that…let’s train.  Image