John W. Quinn
I would chose Grandmaster Hyong’s training as the best Self-Improvement program over any other self-esteem program
I just turned 45 on August 1st. I have a wife and four children. I work as a computer analyst where I am almost always sitting, so I build up a lot of stress and frustration during a typical day. Even with a fairly vigorous daily exercise routine (swimming 100 yards each morning at the Clinton YMCA and running 3 miles several times a week) I have felt the need for an additional outlet for my excess energy that I have at the end of the "daily grind" - the stress of my job, family, evening news, etc.
In July of this year, I enrolled my son, age 10 in P.S. Academy's Assistant Leadership/Tae Kwon Do program. I had been looking for some additional training for him in what I'll call "personal mastery." To my surprise and thrill, he had taken to the entire program like "flies on honey." He practices every day without being told to do so, and loves every minute of it. As I saw the effect the program was having on him, I started wondering if I might also gain from the same training, so I took some introductory lessons and BAM! I was hooked!
It's one thing to talk about "Self-mastery" and "Self-Control", but the training I've taken in just a few weeks at P.S.S. have shown me that "self-mastery" and "self-control" are best taught by a combination of physical body workouts and mental "focusing".
The kicking, punching, and moving I do with my arms, hands, and legs are all controlled by my brain, and I have found that as I've practiced Tae Kwon Do, I've become much more focused, even beyond the level attained by running and swimming. In addition, I know that the kicking and punching is a harmless way for me to release any pent-up anger I may have- whatever its source may be. It's very "therapeutic."
Master Hyong also taught me a brief mental exercise that helps me "neutralize" some specific "anxious thoughts" I've had a problem with in the past. I've taken this exercise and begun using it to neutralize other specific "anxiety provoking thoughts." I am by no means a "master" with this technique yet, but the tiny bits I have learned and practiced so far have had a calming effect on me. It's not some kind of magic, religion, or strange spiritual idea. It's just a simple practice of focusing and concentrating.
I have graduated with a B.S. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Illinois, with a major in Psychology and a minor in math. As I said before, I have a sit down job as a computer analyst at a company in Bloomington. I have served in the Army and the National Guard. I went through Infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and
Winter Survival Training in Camp Ripley, Minnesota. I have probably read 100 self help books and own at least 300 motivation tape programs.
But none of these programs, as strange as it may seem are as structured as Master Hyong has structured his program. The University of Illinois didn't, the Army didn't, training programs with various employers have not – I even had Assertiveness Training, Anger Management Training, and “Self-Esteem” Training from Psychology PhD holders. I would chose Grandmaster Hyong’s training as the best Self-Improvement program over all of them.
I’m not taking Tae Kwon Do to become another Bruce Lee, Steven Seagal or Chuck Norris. I don’t care about competition either. The ability I am developing to defend myself against an attack is secondary to the challenging of disciplining me minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day.
It’s not just for children it’s for all of us.
My enthusiasm for this new training in my life has lead me to Bloomington Public Library where I check out a book, “The Martial Spirit: An Introduction to the Origin, Philosophy, and Psychology of the Martial Arts” by Herman Kauz (4th Degree Black Belt). Here is a quote from the book:
“In Western terms, martial arts training can be considered as concerned with inner development as well as outer. The various kinds of individual form practice done in all martial arts are not only skill producing but meditative in that they are still the logical, rational portion of the brain and allow us to relate to life with other areas in the mind.
Moreover, important information which may be buried in what is usually termed as the subconscious is, through this kind of practice, permitted to surface.
Our training is not, however, designed merely to bring this information to consciousness. It also helps us to begin to face and deal with our problems by learning control and discipline. One we know ourselves we can begin to control tendencies which have proved of negative value in the past to emphasize aspects of our make up that seem to take us in the direction we feel we want our lives to go.”
I’ve come to believe that we are what we make of ourselves. I can always blame my problems on my parents, the government, co-workers, my bad temper, genetics, teachers, etc. but by so doing I would fit right in to what has been called the “Excuse Making Industry”. This is the industry that makes its money by selling people on the idea that they are not responsible for their own behavior.
Grandmaster Hyong believes that we are responsible for our behavior, and he teaches both mental and physical techniques to help us gain more control. You can do it with our without Tae Kwon Do, though for me, personally, Tae Kwon Do was an excellent way to bring it out of me.
A quick fix miracle? No
An answer for everything? No
A solution to all your problems? Of course not!
An individual, practical, health way I’ve found to help me live a happier and more satisfying life? YES!