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  • The Importance of Stretching

    Just about everyone who engages in any kind of sport knows the importance or stretching before and/or after engaging in physical activity. In those kinds of activities that require a lot of use of your legs, stretching is important in getting your legs ready for use. There is some debate among those interested in the necessity of stretching regarding different types of stretching. Some say the swinging of the legs as part of the stretching is dangerous and can lead to injury. Others claim the opposite. There appears to be some evidence to support both sides. But the importance of stretching of some type is not in question. Dynamic stretching appears to be the type that readies your ....

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  • Proper Breathing Techniques

    Everyone breathes. That’s a given, if you want to keep living. But not everyone uses proper breathing techniques. In everything, especially martial arts, proper breathing techniques increases the amount of oxygen you get into your body. This increases your energy level and sets you apart from everyone else. Your lungs are divided into lobes, or areas your breathing fills with air. There are three of these lobes in the right lung and two in the left. Ideally, proper breathing techniques will fill these lobes from the bottom up. But a great many people breathe shallowly, filling only the top lobes of each lung. Not only is this inefficient breathing, it also cuts down on your ....

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  • Handling Challenges

    Everyone faces challenges in life, some are large, some are small. And everyone can use some tips on handling challenges. Handling challenges is not always easy. At times it will require considerable labor, either physical or mental, sometimes both. And the challenge may not be something you want to face. One of the questions to ask yourself when you’re faced with handling challenges is: Will I use this situation to become better than I was before, or will I shy away from the challenge and then beat myself up later? Many times, you will be faced with handling challenges that are very negative. At those times, you have to choose whether to see the opportunity for personal growth ....

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  • Facing Adversity

    One of the biggest issues you’ll encounter in life is facing adversity. It’s not a matter of if, but when, that will happen. Problems of all sizes will come into your life at one time or another. And that’s good! Facing adversity and overcoming it the best way you can builds character and resilience. And these are qualities you can use in every part of your life. Every challenge and difficulty you face and handle will increase your confidence, your will, and your ability to deal with other challenges that come along. Facing adversity will bring out qualities and strengths from down deep inside you that might have stayed there otherwise. Certainly, it’s easy ....

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  • Learn From Failure

    No one truly likes to fail. But we all do. One of the best things everyone can realize is it’s possible to learn from failure. In order to learn from failure, we have to be able to seek out and find those teachable moments that may be hidden in what we perceive as failure. By finding these moments and seeing how they can improve our lives, we learn from failure. What are some of the steps in finding the gems for improvement so we can learn from failure? First, check your planning. Did you plan enough for the best way or ways to achieve the goal you set for yourself? Did this planning include figuring out all the possible obstacles to reaching that goal? Sadly, most people ....

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  • Taking Responsibility

    “Success on any major scale requires you to take responsibility. In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take responsibility.” – Michael Korda Most of us can think of someone in positions of power or fame who makes a great mistake and then blamed someone else for it. Taking responsibility seems to be quickly disappearing as a valued human quality. But you must keep in mind making mistakes and taking responsibility are important factors in making you a valuable human being. Only by recognizing and accepting your mistakes, and then learning from them, can you progress toward whatever goal you have set for yourself. By ....

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  • The Importance of Focus

    When you focus your energies on something, you’re thinking on purpose rather than just allowing thoughts to course through your mind. This is the importance of focus. Learning something and learning it well involves focusing on every aspect of whatever it is you’re learning. Concentrating and keeping your thoughts on the object of your learning is focus. Your thoughts have energy. Keeping your thoughts sharp on one thing brings energy to your mastering that thing. One importance of focus is to use the energy of your thoughts to open your mind to every small factor of what you’re learning so each one will imprint itself on your mind to be available when it’s ....

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  • Practice Is Important

    The hard work of practice sometimes makes even the best of us want to just lay down and take it easy. But practice is important. And practice isn’t a topic people discuss at the dinner table unless it’s to say how hard it is. Practice deserves more than just recognition that it takes hard work. It is often the part of your martial arts training that makes the difference between being good and being great. It can be the one thing that stands between you and that goal you’ve set for yourself. Practice is important in pushing you to the next level in your training. Practice is important in that it can be your strategy that will propel you to the next belt in your ....

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  • Attitude is Important

    In whatever you do in life, attitude is important. You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Because attitude is important, you could change that to, “You are what you think.” Socially, people are attracted to those who make a good impression on them. Those who give them a good feeling. Those who are easy to be around and help you feel good. People with positive attitudes are those kind of people. It’s easy to have a good, positive attitude when things are going well. But how about when things are hard, when nothing seems to go right, when you’d like to just go home and curl up and take a nap? That’s the perfect time to make ....

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  • Pride in Doing Your Best

    It seems pride in doing your best is seldom found in workmanship or training today. Many people just do what is required and nothing else. “I just work here,” is a common saying among workers and others today. There is little concern about doing a good job. People just work to get a check. There was a time when workers did their best regardless of what they were working on or who they were working for. This was called craftsmanship. It served a couple of purposes. One, it brought pride to the workers. Two, good quality work allowed them to charge more for their products. An additional benefit to pride in their work came in building a great reputation for quality work. This, ....

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