How I Quit Smoking (the first time)

I started smoking cigarettes with a friend of mine in high school, when I was about 15 years old. Looking back, it’s difficult to say why, but I do remember when and where. We were not the “cool kids” and we didn’t think smoking would make us cool. We weren’t really all that rebellious — … Continue reading How I Quit Smoking (the first time)

A Dark Cloud (I am the problem)

I always enjoyed Sunday morning hapkido class led by John Gregg. As an adult, I’ve never really been a church-going man. I have nothing against church or those who attend services, but it simply has never resonated with me. The closest I’ve come to having a deep and moving spiritual-religious experience at church was when … Continue reading A Dark Cloud (I am the problem)

Your Nickname Was Rasputin

When I first walked into Joe Sheya’s dojang, I was a depressed, angry young man with long hair, a full beard, and all black clothing. I imagined myself a “dark soul,” but I was really just a self-absorbed geek who wore “misunderstood and angsty” like a hair shirt. There I was all gothic and brooding, … Continue reading Your Nickname Was Rasputin

Taekwon-kido (Not Hapkido)

Before I walked into my first hapkido dojang (Korean word for martial art training hall), I was told by a friend that there were different styles of hapkido. He put it to me plainly, “There is traditional hapkido and there is taekwondo with some joint locks and throws added to it in order to charge … Continue reading Taekwon-kido (Not Hapkido)

Hapkido (and Heartbreak)

My martial art journey began with a conversation. I had a good friend and mentor who had done martial arts for most of his life. He and I discussed many things, mainly philosophy, theology, and spiritual practices. I was not a religious person, but he turned me onto Taoist and Buddhist thought, mainly as a … Continue reading Hapkido (and Heartbreak)