Physical conditioning and fighting skills are only part of the martial arts. Complete martial arts training prepares the mind and spirit as well. Tae Kwon Do is a way of life which stresses this unity of mind, body and spirit. It is a path to finding our true potential by developing these aspects simultaneously. The deepest self confidence results. The martial artist is a survivor, meeting challenges of all types, mental, emotional, physical and social with a calm mind, patience, and the will to persevere.
Everyone has perfection within. It is the role of the teacher to help students find that perfection in themselves. It is the role of the student to be ready to learn, to be open minded to new ideas and to welcome challenges. It is important to recognize your limits and to give attention to your capabilities. Focus on maximizing your strengths so that individual limitations become unimportant.
A good martial artist and student will put all their effort into the task at hand and strive to be completely in the present. Slipping into the past or the future takes energy and focus away from the present moment. Pay attention to the task at hand while remaining aware of the surrounding environment. Responses will become natural and instinctive.
In the physical world there is an area around our body which we try to protect from danger. As long as nothing enters this circle, we remain safe. There is a similar circle around our mind. To allow feelings to dictate is to lose control. When we do not have control of ourselves, it is impossible to respond effectively to others. We must not succumb to anger, false passion or illusion.
The dojang is a place where we can find our inner self. Our partners are trying to understand themselves just as we are.
Painting has been my first love and passion. My first painting in kindergarten, was a finger painting of a tall tree full of green leaves, in the company of tall lanky grass swaying in the wind. The tree radiated an orange aura, as if the sunshine was coming from within the tree. My teacher was very impressed with the maturity of the painting, as if it suggested experience beyond my age. It was at that point I realized art would be a major focus in my life. Another memorable experience occurred a few years later on an elementary school field trip. We were visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. And I was so fascinated with the paintings that I felt drawn into them, completely forgetting about the class I was with. Gradually, the class left me behind, and when the teacher called for me it was like awakening from a dream. That experience with the paintings was so profound, as if I was feeling them with my whole being. I will never forget it.
Most of my paintings are of nature. I enjoy drawing and painting people, nature's creatures, and landscapes.