TaeKwonDo for Body and Spirit
Forty –three years ago, I started out in the Martial Arts. 1974 was the year I start ed at Jung`s Tae Kwon Do. Two and one half years later achieved the rank of 1st Dan Black Belt. One of the best days of my life. I learned many techniques and hyungs. I became very flexible, strong, fast and focused due to the tough training regime. Because of this conditioning process, my health, weight, confidence and energy were always excellent. By opening a branch school for Gm. Jung, I learned to how organize my time and effort and strengthened my mental toughness and sense of responsibility. GM Jung always stressed the importance of the five tenets of TKD and those became my roadmap in life.
Over the years, working long hours, family and job stresses began taking its toll on my body. Knees and hips became a little arthritic, got overweight, etc. I had not realized how important proper nutrition was. Our standard diet is composed of pasteurized and other processed fast foods and I liked beer. I wrote it off to advancing age. About a year ago, I completed a large work load with lots to do and no time to do it, which increased my stress level. I felt tired, listless, and had poor concentration. I thought I was just burned out from all the workload and just needed to decompress, but it persisted. I had a blood and urine analysis done because I had a change of insurance coverage. PH level was very acidic; PSA was high, cholesterol getting high, dehydrated. They told me I had health issues to address. It was scary at first, but I knew I could handle this challenge as I had handles other situations. I always credit the TKD training that I had received that gave me the strength to stop and assess the situation I was in, I applied that here. Had to get a plan and deal with it. As I saw it, I had two options. Take the standard care and related proceedures or deal with it myself by studying my situation, and finding the causes and solutions. I hate taking drugs or medications, besides I had huge misgivings about certain medical procedures that were going to be recommended to me. So I set out to educate myself. I learned about my condition and what the causes could be. I learned about things like inflammation how it becomes chronic and that my immune system was slowly over the years, being compromised. I learned how the various organs and tissues work on a cellular level and how the cell processes nutrients to generate energy and that malfunctioning cells steal the nutrients from the healthy cells. I learned of the importance of gut health, what I needed to do clean it out and get it functioning normally. If you don`t deal with infection or inflammation then that is when disease sets in.
I had my answer so I set about to find a solution, a course of action. More research showed if I increase the nutrient value of the food that I was eating, it would enable my immune system to effectively do it job as it had always done before. I learned the best foods and combinations of herbs and spices to compliment those foods. Food needs to be processed so it will not spoil or rot. This processing alters or destroys much of the nutrient and enzyme that makes food nutritious and useful to us at a cellular level. I switched from ingesting processed foods and began a whole and fresh food diet mostly organic. It is referred to as a Ketogenic diet. It is a low carbohydrates (cut out pasta and bread), medium amounts of protein (cut back on meats), and high essential fats (olive and coconut oil, seeds and nuts). I quit soda pop, beer, anything that could be converted to glucose; if I needed sweets I ate fruits. My body started burning my fat reserves instead of the sugar that the processed foods were chalk full of. In 2 weeks time I felt better. As 3 months passed my energy level was great and steady. I lost 40 lbs of fat in a consistent manner. My sense of well being was amazing. That was just from eating whole foods adding healthy herbs and spices as well exercising much more. After almost a year later my weight has stabilized at a healthy level, I have more energy, consistent energy that lasts throughout the day. I feel good and eat more than I ever have. “Let food be your medicine” is my new motto.
I believe this issue is extremely important. I learned a valuable lesson that I wish to communicate to others. There is much more to say on this issue. I only include this experience here to encourage others who are not only struggling with weight issues but also have health concerns. I found my own way to healing myself. I would encourage others with similar concerns to do their own homework. Don`t just rely on the experts. Listen to what your body is telling you, ask questions, and seek to find answers. Could what you are taking into your body, whether internally or externally cause problems that your body, is telling you are about, through signs of pain or fatigue? I find that most problems have simple solutions. Usually the answers are so obvious one overlooks them. “You can`t see the forest for the trees” is a phrase that could be used here. Trust your instincts; ask questions, if it does not seem right, perhaps they are not.
This is the reason I still practice my hyungs and still punch and kick. I use TKD to stay as healthy as possible. TKD`s techniques of movements and stretching are strengthening my knees, joints, ligaments and tendons. I eat nutrients rich foods to reduce inflammation. My body feels good. My body is my gauge.
My form is called Gyochalo, “Crossroads” 교차로.
The pattern is 2 perpendicular lines. Like in “Chon-Ji” Hyung, the white belt form in ITF TaeKwonDo. There are Thirty-two movements in this pattern representing one half of 64, my age. It represents the times in a person`s life when one makes a course correction in one`s life; whether consciously or because of circumstances. We all have crossroads and decisions to make. Whenever they occurred in my life, I would remember the training I received from Gm. Jung. And when my spirit energy was low, he would always show up at the right time remind me who I am.
While many things have changed throughout the years, the friendships and camaraderie that I enjoy with my fellow black belts have not. I have learned a great deal from these men and women and respect them all. I enjoy being at the old dojang again. Some of us older ones are still working out, perhaps not quite as hard as before. But our spirits are strong and growing because of Gm. Jung. Thank you for all your teaching and instruction, Sir. A gift that is truly infinite.