Make Way for Victory!

Today’s Scripture

“But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:57

 

Make Way for Victory

God desires for you to live in victory in every area of your life. The scripture says He always causes us to triumph through Christ Jesus! No matter what you may be facing today, God wants to make you more than a conqueror. Are you battling sickness? God wants to give you healing. Are you struggling with a broken relationship? God wants to give you restoration and peace. Are you facing a need—physically, spiritually or emotionally? God wants to give you provision and supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory.

triumphant

 

Notice this verse starts out by saying, “Thanks be to God.” In the Bible, when God’s people were going into battle, many times they sent the worshipers out in front of the warriors. When you choose to be thankful and bless the Lord in the midst of your battle, you are making a way for Him to move in your life. Start today by thanking Him for His goodness. Magnify your God; don’t magnify your problems. Give Him thanks and make the way for victory!

warriors

 

A Prayer for Today

“Father, today I give You thanks for Your mercy and faithfulness to me. Thank You for always leading me into victory! I magnify You and bless Your holy name in Jesus’ name! Amen.”

Taekwondo Stamina

http://www.taekwondoanimals.com

 

To excel at Taekwondo, you need to improve your stamina. Taekwondo involves a tremendous cardiovascular effort. If you are not fit, your performance level will lag (especially during difficult exercises or at the end of a class). Moreover, if you are huffing & puffing and straining to do an exercise, you will increase the odds of getting hurt (i.e. spraining an ankle or lack the ability to jump out of the way of an opponent’s spinning hook kick!). Therefore if you enhance Taekwondo stamina, you will compete better & suffer fewer injuries.

 

Taekwondo Stamina Tips

  • More Taekwondo – Try to go to your Taekwondo class more often. Many adults go only once or twice a week and wonder why they don’t have much stamina. Duh! 🙂 Try to go at least 3-4 times per week.

class

 

  • Jump rope – This simple exercise is great for building Taekwondo endurance. Try a weighted rope set in order to maximize the workout.

jump rope

 

  • Run – Don’t just go for distance, you also need to get your heart pounding. Therefore, you need to mix in a variety of sprinting drills. For example, if you are running at a track, you can alternate jogging and sprinting every other lap. Leisurely jogging won’t maximize your Taekwondo stamina.

run

 

  • Swimming – A good non-impact form of exercise. Try to mix up distance & speed training.

swimming

  • Bicycling – Another good reduced impact exercise. Try to mix in some hill climbs.

bicycling

 

  • Aerobic exercises – Jumping jacks, squat thrusts, rowing, mountain climbers, stair climbing, etc.

squats

 

weights

 

  • Consider exercising with ankle weights, wrist weights or weighted vests.

 

  • Kicking drills against practice dummies – Gradually boost the speed & intensity of your kicking drills. Remember to train with both legs!

kicking drill

 

  • Sparring – A great way to build up your Taekwondo stamina. Sparring will also show you if you are lacking in stamina. I have seen many people with inferior skills (but great stamina) win their sparring matches in the later rounds because their opponent is too tired to attack/defend.

sparring1

 

  • Lose weight. 5-10 extra pounds is a lot of “useless” weight to carry around and will significantly reduce your stamina.

lose weight

 

  • Eat right – Cut out the junk food (i.e. soda & chips) and munch on more veggies, lean meat and fruit. Try to drink more water and/or low fat dairy milk/soy milk.

fresh fruit

 

A Mark of Honor

Today’s Scripture

“It is an honor for a man to cease from strife…”  Proverbs 20:3

 

A Mark of Honor

Many challenges in life are merely distractions meant to keep us from pursuing our destiny. Maybe someone in the office isn’t as friendly to you as you’d like. Maybe you have a neighbor who always parks in front of your house and blocks your mailbox. Those things may be frustrating, but they have little significance when you look at the big picture. You can’t allow the little things to steal your joy and cause strife in your life.

bad parking

 

 

Just before David fought the giant Goliath, his brother Iliab tried to confront him. But David knew that arguing with Iliab wasn’t even worth his time and strength. He knew his real battle was with Goliath, and he didn’t want to be distracted. He simply “turned away” from Iliab and kept his focus on what he was called to do.

david n goliath

 

Truth be told, most frustrations aren’t even worth fighting over. Let’s keep our focus and turn away from strife because it is a true mark of honor!

 

A Prayer for Today

“Father, thank You for Your hand of victory in my life. Give me the wisdom and courage I need to walk away from strife and honor You. I love You and bless You today and always in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Get Your Joy Back

Today’s Scripture

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”  1 Peter 1:8

 

Get Your Joy Back

Have the difficulties and pressures of life taken your joy away? Today is the day to get it back! It’s time to get excited about your future and learn to enjoy each and every moment.

If you don’t make the conscious effort to keep your joy, as time goes by, you’ll get more and more solemn. Not only will the enemy rob you of the joy that belongs to you, he’ll rob your family and friends of the gift that you are to them. When you have joy, you can use that joy to influence the people around you for good. Joy is strength, and when you have joy, you can offer strength to the people God has placed in your life.

Today, draw the line in the sand and say, “That’s it. I’m not going to live another day negative, discouraged, sour and grumpy. I’m going to put a smile on my face. I’m going to live my life happy.”

smiling baby

 

Choose to let your faith in Him fill you with inexpressible and glorious joy so that you can be a blessing everywhere you go!

 

A Prayer for Today

“Father, thank You for Your love. Thank You for choosing me and molding me into Your image. Today, I invite You to fill me with Your inexpressible and glorious joy so that I can be a blessing to the people You have placed in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 

TONY JAA: The Hottest Martial Arts Movie Star Since Jackie Chan & Jet Li

by Antonio Graceffo                    http://www.blackbeltmag.com

Tony JaaJust when most moviegoers were ready to abandon all hope that a fresh face would ever appear in martial arts cinema, we got Tony Jaa, star of 2003′s Ong-Bak. As an added bonus, he brought with him a deadly new fighting style. In the blink of an eye, the sacred Thai art of pounding a person senseless with the knees and elbows was introduced to the world.

 

ong-bakAside from having the most incredible fight scenes ever and showing us Bangkok, Thailand, rather than Hong Kong, Ong-Bak is an important movie for two reasons. It was the first major film to feature muay Thai and the first Thai movie to have wide distribution in the States — all thanks to a high-flying martial artist from the jungles of Southeast Asia.

 

Tony Jaa-Fast n Furious 7And now Tony Jaa is making the leap from Bangkok to Hollywood thanks to his recent casting in the upcoming Fast & Furious 7, helmed by Saw director James Wan and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker and veteran actor Kurt Russell.

 

Being a movie star, Tony Jaa lives in the capital, but my first stop is a village in Surin province, seven hours north of Bangkok. Here, Tony Jaa was born and given the name Pnom Yeerum, which he later changed to Jaa Pnom. At the bus station, everyone knows Tony Jaa and loves to talk about him. They’re proud of the local boy who made it big in America. They tell stories of his frequent visits to the region and the money he donates to schools and temples.

A driver agrees to hire out his bus for $25 a day, and he says he’ll take me to see Jaa’s house. After driving for an hour, we arrive at a beautiful, two-story home surrounded by a brick wall. The driver says this is the mansion that Tony Jaa had built for his parents. “But they don’t answer when people ring the bell,” he adds. “Too many reporters come to bother them.” I discuss the matter with two Cambodian monks, friends who elected to tag along to translate, when an elderly man and woman come out to greet us. They’re Tony Jaa’s parents.

tony jaa 1“We don’t usually answer the door, but we saw the monks,” the mother says, bowing. Mr. and Mrs. Jaa and I sit barefoot and cross-legged on the floor, drinking ice tea. The monks perch on a bamboo platform above us. The father signals me to start the interview. I compliment them on the beauty of their house. It’s strange to see a mansion beside all the tiny two-room affairs. “After he became famous, Tony bought this house for us,” the mother says with pride. “It cost 10 million baht.

“Where did you live before?” I ask.  “In that house,” she says, pointing.

Upon entering the compound, I noticed a dilapidated wooden shack and wondered why they kept it on the grounds. Now, I understand. “Every day, we look out the window and remember where we came from,” Mrs. Jaa says.

tony jaa 2“Tony was always playing sports,” the father says. “He liked all sports, including basketball, but he especially loved any kind of martial art. When he was 5, he fell in love with martial arts. He watched Bruce Lee movies and copied the moves. He said that when he grew up, he’d be famous. We never doubted him. Tony taught himself martial arts as a kid. He wanted to be like [martial arts actor] Panna Rittikrai.” As a teenager, Tony Jaa studied taekwondo and other arts, winning several competitions. His father, a former boxer, also taught him muay Thai. When he was older, he earned a scholarship to study at a sports university. Then he came back and studied with Panna Rittikrai, who helped him get his first work in the movies.

Tony Jaa is nearly as big a celebrity in neighboring Cambodia as he is in Thailand. Surin province, his home, was actually part of Cambodia until 250 years ago. As a result, 70 percent of the people here have Khmer blood and speak the Khmer language. The Cambodians all say that Tony Jaa is a Khmer and that the martial art he uses in his films is Khmer bokator. Hoping to settle the argument once and for all, I ask if Tony Jaa is Khmer or Thai. The father shocks us by answering, “We are Kuy!”

Tony Jaa-Tum Yum GoonThe Kuy (Suoy in the Thai language) are a tribe, an ethnic minority that came to Thailand 400 years ago, migrating from India, down through Cambodia and into Thailand. They brought with them their elephants, which the Thai king quickly realized had excellent military applications. He gave the Kuy people Thai citizenship and made them the royal elephant handlers. Today, no matter where you go in Thailand, if you see elephants, the handlers are Kuy. Suddenly, Tony Jaa’s second film, Tum Yum Goon (The Protector in the United States), makes sense. The whole movie revolves around the theft of an elephant from Thailand. Once again, Tony Jaa was showing that he’s true to his roots.

 

 

International Umpire Course Follow-up

In January 2016, Rod Johnson NA QIUC 2016 Host of the International Umpire’s Course, released several helpful instructional video links as follow-up to the course.  The video links are listed below :

 

11 Movies Every Martial Artist Must See

by Dr. Craig D. Reid                 http://www.blackbeltmag.com

The 11 titles listed here aren’t the best martial arts films ever made or even my favorites. Rather, they were chosen for the impact they had on the genre, either by presenting new directions in fight choreography or by bolstering international appeal. Therefore, they’re listed in order of release date, not in order of preference.

Martial Arts Movie #1: Fist of Fury (1972)

fist of furyAfter the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), China was a fractured country, its pieces handed out to Japan and various European powers. Japan played a villainous role in Chinese history from that point on. Even after the nation’s defeat during World War II, the fear of economic backlash against the Chinese kept Hong Kong and the Republic of China mum about Japanese atrocities committed against the Chinese.

Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury changed all that. His character defiantly defeated Japanese martial artists in 1909 Shanghai, when the city was under strict Japanese rule. Lee single-handedly crashed through that barrier of silence, giving the Chinese a sense of identity and pride. Although Story of Huang Feihong, Part 1 (1949) ushered in the second genre of Chinese movies known as gong fu pian (“kung fu film,” in which heroes fought with realistic skills), Fist legitimized it and brought international prominence to Hong Kong’s waning film industry.When he was older, he earned a scholarship to study at a sports university. Then he came back and studied with Panna Rittikrai, who helped him get his first work in the movies.

Martial Arts Movie #2: The 36th Chamber of Shaoli(1978)

chamber of shaoliIn response to the popularity of the kung fu movies Jackie Chan made at Golden Harvest, rival studio Shaw Brothers countered by having filmmakers Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang create a new genre called guo shu pian. Although translated as “national art film,” which implies that the national art is martial arts, guo shu films were designated as neo-hero movies because they focused on a new style of protagonist. Directed by Liu and starring his adopted brother Gordon Liu Chia-hui as real-life hero Monk San De (one of the legendary “10 Tigers of Shaolin”), The 36th Chamber of Shaolin signaled the start of the guo shu film. It’s also important because it was the first movie to unveil the secret training methods of the ancient Buddhist monastery.

Martial Arts Movie #3: The Shaolin Temple (1982)

shaolin templeThe importance of this movie parallels the importance of its star. Jet Li was born during a time when intellectuals and philosophers were persecuted, when the government outlawed martial arts and even destroyed temples and executed monks who refused to enter re-education camps. Li broke down those walls and became Communist China’s first actor to conquer Hollywood. He accomplished that feat by excelling in the cultural contraband of martial arts, philosophy and cinema The Shaolin Temple was China’s first live-action kung fu movie since the 1949 Communist takeover. It inspired the masses to visit the real temple’s remains and forced the paranoid government to warn the public that it was unnecessary to learn self-defense. It was also instrumental in introducing wushu to film fans worldwide.

Martial Arts Movie #4: Zu: Warriors From the Magic Mountain (1983)

warriors from magic mountainWith Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, Western-trained, new-wave filmmaker Tsui Hark ushered in a fifth martial arts film genre that wasn’t officially named until it had run its course. Coined by yours truly, the Fant-Asia genre combined elements of sex, fantasy, sci-fi and horror with high-flying, gravity-defying wire work, far-out sight gags and over-the-top martial arts choreography. The film’s action director, Ching Siu-tung (the father of “wire fu”), dared to shoot the fight scenes at 18 frames per second as heroes zipped, flipped and flew at the speed of light amid explosions and magic weapons.

Martial Arts Movie #5: Duel to the Death (1983)

duel to the deathAfter the success of Zu, Ching Siu-tung directed Duel to the Death and proved that shooting old-fashioned sword fights at 18 frames per second didn’t make the action look hokey; it made it sing with gleeful, steel-slashing bewitchment. The movie intelligently weaves in the traditions of the classic chivalrous swordsman traveling down his path of martyrdom with a quasi-modern, German expressionistic visual approach that combines the elemental filmmaking sensitivities of Tsui Hark with Michael Curtiz’s swashbuckling style. What does all that mean? It’s a helluva fun film to watch!

Martial Arts Movie #6: Police Story (1985)

police storyWith his next film, Project A (1983), and more officially with Police Story, he created the wu da pian (“fight films using martial arts”) genre. It combined athleticism, martial-arts-influenced battles and outrageous stunts wrapped in modern themes and settings. Furthermore, instead of using traditional kung fu movements, the battles incorporated more Western-style boxing with karate-like kicks. Just about every contemporary-themed martial arts movie shot since is a result of Chan’s wu da style.

Martial Arts Movie #7: Drunken Master II (1994)

drunken masterThe final 16 minutes are as mesmerizing and creative as they are relentless and exhausting. Chan showed Hollywood, which had claimed any fight that lasted more than two or three minutes was boring, that a long battle could be exciting without having to repeat the same movements over and over.

Martial Arts Movie #8: The Matrix (1999)

the matrixTrivia: Matrix inadvertently launched a ridiculous Hollywood trend. When the directors (the Wachowski brothers) approached Yuen Woo-ping to do the fights, he didn’t want to. He hoped that by asking for an exorbitant fee, he would turn them away. It didn’t work, however. Yuen then figured that by demanding that the main actors practice martial arts with him for four months, he’d be off the hook. Wrong again. Hollywood assumed that training actors for fighting roles was the standard.

Martial Arts Movie #9: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

crouching tiger hidden dragonDirected by Ang Lee and fight-directed by Yuen Woo-ping, Crouching Tiger blended Eastern physical grace and action with American elements of performance intensity and the subtleties and nuances of European cinema. The movie was Lee’s homage to wu xia films, and it started a trend that brought international attention to similar motion pictures by other Chinese directors.

Martial Arts Movie #10: Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

ong-bakJaa reminded us why we liked Jackie Chan’s movies from the mid-1980s. More important, Jaa’s efforts to showcase his nation’s fighting arts inspired other countries—including Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia—to follow suit.

Martial Arts Movie #11: Ip Man (2008)

ip manThe kung fu is as real as the legitimate martial arts stars that perform the fights, which is no longer the case in most movies that feature actors who don’t practice or practitioners who are more into gymnastics than traditional kung fu. Not once does Donnie Yen, who plays Bruce Lee’s teacher Ip Man (also spelled Yip Man), break wing chun form to execute unnecessarily flashy movements to appease viewers who regard wushu-style fights as the real thing.