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Image by Clay Banks

Tiger Tail Dojo

Training body and spirit

Continuing the Way of Karate

In my youth I was drawn to study karate. Even as a child I felt it to be a spiritual practice. When my family moved to a new town, we saw a Korean karate "dojang" downtown on Main Street. There, Grandmaster Hosoo Hwang taught Judo, Hapkido, and Tang Soo Do - A Korean form of karate that gave rise to Tae Kwon Do. 

I find it amazing that we moved to a small town where a real Korean master taught. I had seen Asian martial artists on TV shows. This was a real master. Master Hwang had come from a profound martial arts lineage. He was a big man, sturdy, soft-spoken, warm and kind. 

When Master Hwang entered the training hall, I was in awe. He had such presence. He would quietly walk around, correcting us here and there. I feel Master Hwang to be the first spiritual figure in my life -- one who was steeped in the Eastern philosophy of developing the mind and body. 

Having an introverted and sensitive temperament, I was drawn to the contemplative aspect of martial arts.

 

At the end of a class, we would all line up, straighten our uniforms, and sit down. Master Hwang would just say "Meditate."

 

For several minutes we sat still. Did someone teach me how to meditate? No. I just sat and meditated with my eyes closed. 

After you have trained your body and mind intensely, when you sit in stillness you have a deep clarity. 

I spent my formative years training in Korean karate. I'm going to call it karate because, first, everyone knows what karate means, and also, when Tae Kwon Do eventually became an Olympic sport, it became less of a traditional martial art. I was not trained in that sport competition style of Tae Kwon Do. I was trained in Korean karate. 

Today I see how there are many people who want to learn to meditate, or to study eastern spirituality, but they often have never trained their body in martial arts or yoga. This kind of body discpline gives you a greater harmonization of mind and body. You know what it means to be pushed to your limit and to remain calm. You develop an inner spirit of endurance and confidence. 

I do not mean that you develop a confidence that you can fight well. I mean a confidence to take action without having to have someone hold your hand and tell you exactly what to do. You learn to deal with things in the moment, with a strong spirit.

Sometimes, I was pushed hard by senior black belts, especially once I became a black belt. They wanted me to develop something more than strong kicks. They wanted me to develop emotional resilience. When you are singled out in class you can get embarassed, but you simply must perform and do your best. There is no option to just break down and cry. 

That may sound very masculine and hard. Yes, it is. We all need a place of challenge where the masculine can hone itself, just as we need a place for the feminine to thrive and express itself. The fact that you are challenged helps you rise to the challenge.

My teaching of karate is a place to develop the body and spirit. Although it looks very tough, we are also developing our heart and sensitivity. We learn to appreciate each other's unique personality and strengths. 

 

Together we accomplish the great Way of life which harmonizes the opposites and brings us into our most authentic humanity.

Welcome to training. 

 

 

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The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.

- Carl Jung

We have an inner life and an outer life. The inner life is mainly concerned with developing awareness, love and wisdom. These qualities integrate the psyche, improve our relationships and allow our most authentic self to express its gifts in the world. 

 

My work is about bring conscious light, wisdom and love to the places where you are blocked or confused. As an intuitive feeling type (INFP), I am uniquely able to see the essential and catalyze transformation.   

Whether you are more introverted or extraverted, in your 20s or 60s, I am here to help you unlock the treasure of your true self so that you can live your best life. The main way I do this is by listening. When you are deeply listened to, you will learn to really hear yourself, to know what is true for you and what to do about it. This is true empowerment. 

If you're ready to be heard, please get in touch.

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