The world needs more Martial Arts n less violence

Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade Students and Instructors – this is our Taekwondo family and all these people here make it absolutely worthwhile!!

Taekwondo has taken over my life it seems and this blog as well. I haven’t been writing much about anything else lately. I am not even attending dance classes as it’s right after my Saturday TKD class and am usually left with no energy to burn by the time I finish. The main driving force behind doing Martial Arts at the time is this goal of earning a Black Belt. So although dance is and will always remain my first love, with Taekwondo I actually get something tangible in return. It gives me purpose, direction and motivation to strive for a certain standard that I set for myself or better, that my teacher sets for me.

Several of our White Belt students taking their first Belt Test!!

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 Belt tests and Belt promotions are like stepping stones. They provide students with that much needed inspiration to go on working harder, doing their best, mainly not giving up. Passing the test, being awarded a shiny new belt every two months at a special Belt Ceremony is worth working for and students look forward to it. And our school has an awesome line of instructors who serve as great role models for us.

Chief instructor Mr. Mota demonstrating a spin jump kick and a board break during the belt test we had at our school last week.

Instructors 3rd Dan Mr Stoffel who trained with Mr. Mota and Master Robinson and 2nd Dan Mr. Burnham, both with ample years of experience in Martial Arts, also did demonstrations for the students, parents and families of students. Both are talented, gentle, humble and very well liked.

This is what I strive for…and wish my kids to strive for as well.I actually wish all kids worldwide to try at least once in their lifetime, one or more forms of Martial Arts. A little too much to ask for perhaps but no harm in wishing for something that might bring about a much needed change!!

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Chief Instructor Master Alex Mota (middle) with instructors Mr. Stoffel (right) and Mr. Burnham (left)

In my ideal world there would be more martial artists, less violence, happy faces and amazing smiles :)

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Robinson’s Taekwondo Instructors Mr. Stoffel, Mr. Burnham and our Black Belt students with Chief Instructor Master Alex Mota and guest judge Master James Hall

Starting young has its benefits…

Taekwondo is still very new to me. Throwing a punch was almost an alien experience the first time. I felt so powerless, so out of rhythm. My kicks were not synchronized and powerless as well. Am learning to punch right, and to kick with power and precision.  So when the time comes I can utilize the skills effectively!!!

No, really I want to do it right cuz there’s bliss and joy at the end of it. And of course power, strength, endurance, skill and a whole lot of confidence.

Well they say there’s nothing wrong with starting late in Martial Arts. But I think nothing can be better than starting young.

Here’s a picture I stole from our Taekwondo school Facebook page.

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That’s Mr. Mota doing a front kick…his execution, technique and moves are so neat and precise, powerful and brilliant. And he is SO focused. There are a lot of talented martial artists around but there may not be many who are genuine, humble, down to earth, unpretentious. Well…those attributes don’t always come with training. They come with training under the guidance of the right teacher, and when they start training from a very young age.

From what I have noticed, only a handful of kids are truly respectful. These kids have great skills, a great attitude and a good sense of respect for fellow students and seniors. I think it is because either they are young, or they have been training for long. One kid in our school is as young as 9 yrs, and is respectful, down to earth and super talented. He copies Mr Mota’s every move. I find him so dedicated, always ready to give his best. I don’t mind him showing me how to do my kicks right because he is so genuine and focused at doing his best. I think his age is perfect to soak in the right values of a Martial artist. One 13 yr old who is one of the best in our school once stopped during class to come teach me his tips and tricks so I would feel confident about sparring!!!  And he didn’t give up until I got them. And he showed me the utmost respect!!!

Unfortunately kids who join as teenagers tend to be boastful, egoistic and have little or no sense of respect. It gets worse if they are given authority. Then they start thinking they are too good, get over-confident, cranky and/or abusive when they don’t get what they want.  The scary thing is by the time they wear Black Belts, they might end up not being Martial Artists but arrogant bullies.

I find it crucial to join Martial Arts at a young age. The more you train, the better you get, the more humble and respectful you become. That is the essence to any martial art discipline.

I hope there’s some way Mr. Mota can pass on his humility and strength of character besides his skills to ALL his students.

Fun times at the dojang

Taekwondo is a military sport and there are rules to follow from the moment you enter a dojang…but even as you train hard its important not to forget life is about having fun. And part of having fun is loving what you do and rewarding yourself for the efforts you put towards achieving your goals. Well, students get plenty of opportunities at Robinson’s Taekwondo for doing just that.

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We had our Super Heroes Vs Villains Vs the World and Trunk or Treat Party last weekend ;) ! Parents decorated their trunks with Halloween horror and goodies. And kids (some in the picture above) helped Mr Mota decorate the dojang. This year we had a food truck, which was even better. And a huge box full of candies which was gone in seconds. Everyone had a fun time with games, food and costumes!! Our parking lot was beaming with radiant energy, vibrant colors and lots of creativity. And of course SMILES :)

Mr Mota’s son, Ashland made a debut on the floor mat right before our costume contest began which was great cuz he’s the cutest, most adorable thing EVER. Oh and he was Mr. Goofy!! it probably was his first Halloween experience and hopefully a pleasant one! Well, considering he smiled at me couple times he wandered off to his dad wondering why he wasn’t getting any attention from him and was gently steered away with an even bigger smile, I would like to believe he wasn’t entirely unhappy :) A baby’s smile always always makes my day!!  Isn’t it the purest, most precious thing in the world…?

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Well, those little legs are kicking already and it won’t be long before he joins us at the studio…!! Oh baby, you’re welcome to grace us with your smile and wobbly walk anytime :)

So yeah…we have cool, healthy, fun and family oriented events at our dojang all year round. I wish I could compile pictures for each year and post them for each event. Its nice of a school to build memories for its students and share them…right!!

Where families bond together, get strong together

Its been more than a year we have been training at Robinson’s Taekwondo, Arden Arcade center with Master Alex Mota and my kids haven’t once thought of quitting!! I can’t say it enough…there’s nothing like spending time with your child learning something new, practicing together, gaining confidence, health, strength, endurance…more importantly setting an example!! There’s nothing to lose. Accomplishment however small feels good at the end of the day when we are reaching goals together. Since I and my kids have joined thie school, we are living better lives, just doing good in so many ways. Something must be right about this place, don’t you think?

Well last week I was sick and stayed home for a couple days. It was nice to have no one expecting some sort of job done, at home or work. The older kids brought takeouts, the younger ones behaved themselves. The dogs ran like crazy around the house and drove me up a wall but then I try to keep my expectations real and it felt heavenly to be left alone for even a few hours!! I mostly stayed in bed, or in the car when I drove the kids to Taekwondo class. We had a tournament in Reno the following weekend and Jassi had promised me he would go to every class that week. He skips as many days as he attends…wish he would put some more effort.

Its not my usual thing to sit and wait in the car. I would rather be in class but was too tired to even drive back home. So parked outside our studio I watched old and new students walk in with their families for the next class. Everyone lined up on the mat, bowed in, recited the Taekwondo oath and began our usual warm up session. It felt good watching kids and adults blend in together, training, helping each other out….everyone working at different skill levels towards a common goal – a Black Belt!! There’s something very positive, constructive and greatly energizing about that singular thought!!

After class I saw the same faces walk out of the studio…tired, sweaty!! They were happy faces. I saw smiles and hugs. No one came out of the studio angry, disturbed or stressed!!! If for an hour a day, people can leave behind and forget about their worries and just be, then it’s worth it.

I heard a 6 yr old boy hold his mother’s hand, look up and say with a broad smile, ‘ good job Mom!!’ Both he and his mom are at the same belt level, and they do class together couple times a week. He encourages his mom even while in class. What a great kid in the making I say. For a single mom, I know what that means and how that feels. Joining this school is probably one of the best things this mom did for her son and herself.

Mr Mota is definitely doing something right the way he runs the school. He gives Moms and Dads, sisters and brothers and grandparents free uniforms and free classes so they can try out and get a feel of what to expect in a class, with no obligation to join. Sometime back he gave specials to new Moms to get back in shape!! Isn’t that awesome?? Some moms promised to join, took the uniforms and never came back…but Mr Mota doesn’t mind. What I really like is he manages to get everyone in the family – young or old, in uniform at least once!!

He knows what he is doing, he is planting seeds. Not every seed will become a seedling, but then every seed has the potential to be!! And that’s a great vision to have.

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That is not just one adorable kid…that’s 5th Dan Master Alex Mota at the age of 6!!

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Master Alex Mota, chief instructor at Arden Arcade center of Robinson’s Taekwondo.

I applaud and admire Mr Mota for having a vision, a great attitude and the coolest temperament. His students range from the age of 4 to 60 yrs and over, and he treats them all with respect just like a true master would.  Wish he gets all the support and help he needs to bring all his dreams to fruition.

Grateful for love

Love happens. The perfect man/woman walks into your life when you aren’t looking and you get blown away. Just like that your entire world turns topsy turvy. You lose the power to resist or control these feelings that take you by storm, and take over your life.

You slowly fall in love with the feeling of love…even though everything seems so uncertain, it feels beautiful to get drawn to someone completely unknown to you. Someone that walked into your life when you weren’t looking. It feels like being caught in a divine plan which seems to be playing out perfectly.

So does it matter that with time you come to know and realize things aren’t so perfect. The man or woman you found to be so incredibly awesome was perhaps a fragment of your imagination? They were your perception of how they ought to be. Certainly not who they are. Certainly not how they want to be.

So now do you feel caught in a divine plan that’s trying to show you reality?

So do you start questioning your judgement? Does your ability to take decisions about your life, and  people you want to be with seems threatened, challenged? Do you start feeling like a failure? get depressed? curse yourself for being naive, foolish, guilty, vulnerable? Hate for allowing yourself to fall in love as if you never were hurt before?

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Do you feel the same love and same racing of your heart every time this person walks in through the door? They just walk right into your heart like they own it?  Do you still allow yourself to fall deeply, madly, incorrigibly in love? (yeah I just wanted to use the word incorrigible!!!!)

And love regardless?

Do you realize may be that’s what the whole divine plan was about in the first place? To make you see that love stands above everything. That’s why you feel so elated when you are in love. Love takes you to the highest, tallest place from where you can see everything, it’s from where all things appear so beautiful, so perfect, so much in alignment.

So you now let go of your attachment with the idea of how a lover, husband, boyfriend, wife, partner, girlfriend should be? And you now embrace these very same people knowing who they are and how much you love them regardless?

And you feel ever so grateful.

The idea of childbirth and getting even with men is when feminism gets on my nerves

Like I don’t condemn any religion but find it hard to hold a conversation with someone religious without getting into an argument….I don’t oppose feminism, at the same time I don’t get feminists or anyone that supports the idea of childbirth being a battleground for women to get even with men. It’s childish to make a man’s presence in a labor room mandatory so he can feel the pain of a woman giving birth. No matter what you do, the pain of childbirth belongs to the mother and the child being born. Nature designed it that way. We should do what we can to ease that pain. If it comforts a woman to have someone by her side, by all means she should have an entire crew of people that she believes might comfort her or make her pain go away. But oh please leave the idea of making a man be present to see his wife helpless and in excruciating pain which he can’t do nothing about in order to make him feel guilty for what he did to her. It is sickening.

Childbirth is when a woman is most vulnerable and at her strongest, most courageous self all at the same time.

Kind of like when men go at war. They are exposed, vulnerable, afraid, hungry, may be wet, cold, sweltering but also their bravest. I have never heard a man say to his wife, you should come with me to war to feel the pain of a bullet tearing through my flesh so you can love me more.

Do I understand things differently I don’t know.

How you are made to feel..

This whole pretension thing just doesn’t work you know…I don’t know how people do it. It just takes the life force out of me. One might wonder…


How hard can it be to pretend to be alone when you are not alone? How difficult can it be to see through the existence of another being completely and live on like you don’t care…? To what lengths can you pretend what you are doing is normal when nothing else has ever felt as abnormal? How long can you carry on without acknowledging there is a problem? What does it take to overlook the fact that you would rather be someplace else and instead focus…just focus on the bigger picture? What is the bigger picture anyway?

When one is so busy pretending to care less about the other, how on earth can one focus on anything but their own selfish self??? And how does it help anyone being in such an unhealthy environment?

If two people really have to pretend that they don’t care about each other should/can anything, like ANYTHING in this world bind them together?

 

(I found this writeup with some old drafts…it’s a rant from the time I was trying to revive a dead relationship. It’s funny how writing helps. It helped me then, it has helped me now to know this was how I was made to feel and this is why I quit trying!!! )

Treat Her Right – A Satire

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No worries if you are now a Canadian, or American, or British, Australian, Egyptian, Chinese, Ugandan, Crimean…doesn’t matter where in the planet you reside, if you’re an Indian man, these tips will always ensure a good marriage to a good Indian girl…:)

1. Never give in to your wife’s demands….well, if you have to, then make it look like it was your choice.

2. Never treat her with much respect, or love or adulation or appreciation. The woman will start dancing over your head man, are you listening….???? Indian women aren’t used to such things anyway. KEEP her in your tight grip. And make it tighter as you go along in your relationship. It will make your relationship stronger and your marriage last longer.

3. Never listen to your wife….OR…pretend like you are not listening. It keeps things fresh between you. She will always feel like she is starting fresh and has a loooong way to get where you will ever start listening. Eventually she will give up on her expectations of you….and treat you like just another object in the house she has to maintain so that it functions properly.

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4. Never do any housework…OR…wait an entire day or even a week to start. She will not have the patience to wait on you again…!!

5. Never explain. Anything. It is giving her too much power over you. Take charge and control over what she does, eats, wears, thinks, says…who she meets with, where she goes. You must protect her, and your family’s honor. Or else how will your children learn about honor and respect, huh?

6. Never let her do the thinking. You need at least one thing to do, right??? Or else she will soon start thinking for you…and you’ll feel useless for life.

7. And if she bothers you with anything else….show her who’s the boss. An occasional slap now and then has never hurt a relationship…in fact it’s been the most effective for years. Or shove her.   Oh well, just do what it takes to calm her down. Make generous use of your strong body. After all, you want to build a long lasting marriage…with a strong foundation, don’t you?

…and don’t worry, when a woman loves, she usually does unconditionally. So no matter what you do, don’t forget she will always love you :)

Picture Courtesy: Pinterest

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My Dojang

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Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden-Arcade Sacramento, California.

The first time I walked in here, a  young man in a white Martial Arts uniform walked up to me and introduced himself as Alex. He had this sense of calm confidence about him and was very soft spoken which is very rarely found in today’s youth. He appeared young enough to be a student but turned out to be the chief instructor of the place. I had been watching his students in class most Saturday mornings right after my dance class next door. Looking through the tall glass windows I would speculate whether to go in or not. My kids had been asking since long to enroll into Martial Arts. But…’It’s so expensive, out of my reach to afford tuition for all three kids… impossible I’m not doing it’ -  I told myself and dismissed the thought of walking in and finding out.  That particular Saturday morning somehow there was no class, the dojang was empty and quiet. Surprisingly, so was the nagging voice in my head!!  Well I don’t recall as to what exactly Alex and I talked about. It was something to the effect of bringing my kids in to meet with him and do an orientation. By the time I reached home, I had forgotten him, his school…and the scheduled orientation. I guess I hadn’t been serious about keeping the appointment. The appointment would lead to commitment, which I wasn’t fully prepared for. But I did mention to my kids about meeting with Alex. They wanted to know if I had remembered noting down the number to reach him at. That’s when I started looking for the card he had given me because the kids wouldn’t leave me alone. Well, its only when my kids are really interested in something that they actually find it…so when I thought I had lost his card and almost gave up looking for it, within less than a minute one of the kids pulled it out from somewhere. That’s when I first looked at the tiny picture on the card….and went WOW!!! That’s the same guy I just talked to…!! He can do THAT!!!!  Why, he could well be meditating standing like this…and not lose his balance or move an inch. (Mr. Mota, please put this picture back on your visiting card!!!) IMG_0170-e1333428845830

 Master Alex Mota, chief instructor at Robinson’s Taekwondo

So, it has been nine months since I entrusted my kids to Alex and his expert teaching skills. He has exceeded my expectations in every way. His classes are fun and challenging and the energy that he brings onto the floor is unmatched. What my kids like the most is he won’t yell or talk disrespectfully to any student no matter how good or bad you are doing. Yet at the same time he is very firm and will let you know what he expects of you. He makes you exceed your own expectations of you, at the least. And he is extremely, immensely, incredibly patient….!!! And always fun to be around.

The best thing about Robinson’s Taekwondo are the Adult…or Family Classes.  The magical interaction that parents have with their children along with a productive, healthy goal which an entire family works on together is just beyond measure. No matter what your age, size, social status, race, religion or color…here you are equal. Or not. Well, the only distinction is the color of your belt, and your rank. The higher your rank, the higher your skills, the greater your humility, the bigger your responsibility. No matter what age you are, your rank makes you more responsible! What a great way to learn and to instill discipline and values into young kids. Here, learning with Mr. Mota, parents set a fine example for their kids with their own commitment to Taekwondo. I don’t know if anybody else recognizes or realizes the opportunity one gets from learning in a fun, relaxed, committed environment like this…I think it is incredible. One only gets stronger, skilled, responsible, disciplined, focused, healthier, more confident, more patient. Well, this part is not that magical, you really have to work on it if you’re starting Martial Arts late in life…but if you have the intention and the right attitude, anything is possible. The right thing to do is start somewhere. And start with the right instructor, the right place.

Well, need I say more about how I feel about my decision to walk into this dojang one Saturday morning???

Or I do…because I couldn’t sit for an hour and just watch my kids take class for long. Mr. Mota’s energy was so compelling I wished I could get on the floor with my kids. I still wish I could learn to move like him. He is so swift, graceful, powerful and has so much control over his body. As a dancer, I would give anything to have that. Well, that’s what took me to join class.

There’s not a single bone in my body that doesn’t feel grateful to him for motivating me, encouraging and inspiring me to do my best even when I could not do a single push up…can not repay him for the opportunity he has provided me and my family. I really can’t put my finger on it and say its this one thing but Mr. Mota, you gave the child in me something I have craved for since I was this little girl, really really young.  It’s this safe, healthy, respectful, nurturing environment for growth – something I wish for every child to have at home, their schools and learning centers. And I wish that every child has the opportunity to learn Martial Arts from an awesome instructor like you.

My acknowledgments to Grandmaster Clinton Robinson who has trained Mr. Mota for the past 20 yrs and is the owner of Robinson’s Taekwondo which has many other locations in Northern California.