Posts Tagged ‘tai chi’
My Name Is Gabrielle Rubin And I Started Studying Martial Arts When I Was 12 Years Old. I Was A Skinny Kid With A Big Mouth And One Day Found Myself In Trouble Because Of It. I Hated Feeling Afraid, So I Asked My Mom To Enroll Me Into Martial Arts. It Is Now 23 Years Later And I Am Still Studying. Throughout My Training I Have practiced 3 Styles (Jujitsu, Kenpo, And Goju-ryu)…I Am A Black Belt.
I grew up surrounded by a family of Aikido experts. My brother and father began training at NY Aikikai more than 40 years ago, and my Uncle and cousins in England all hold high level degree black belts in the art. I took a few classes in Aikido as well, for a short time when I was twelve years old. You can say that the Martial Arts are in my blood!
It wasn’t until six weeks after the birth of my second child, and at the age of 35, that I began MY ‘formal’ Martial Arts training. Signing up for classes at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts (a hybrid of Aikido, Jiu Jitsu and Karate) back in February of 2000 was the best move I ever made – it changed my life for the better!
Training in Aikido has changed my life personally and professionally. For the past 15-plus years, I’ve been practicing Aikido both on and off the mat. I founded Portsmouth Aikido (Portsmouth, NH, USA) in 1995, and am currently a second degree black belt. I’m also the founder and owner of Power & Presence Training, offering programs on conflict and communication skills that use Aikido as a metaphor and teaching tool. In 2006, I wrote the book, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict – stories and practices about Aikido applications in the real world. I happen to think the stories are dramatic and moving, and some are profound.
Call me the reluctant aikidoka. I was a skeptic (not a cynic), a doubting Thomas (not a disbeliever), and a pragmatist (not a non-conformist). For a length of time Aikido was nothing to me but exercise. 30 years ago my sister dragged me into my first Aikido class. I was 18 ys old and knew nothing of the art, but such things happen for reasons for it was there that I met my future husband, #1 fan, and uke, Pete. Regardless of how it all began, Aikido has had a profound impact on my life.
I began my Aikido training in January 1982 at age thirty-three. I carry the rank of 6th degree black belt. I am the founder and director of Society of Aikido Centers since 2002.
Being an Aikido teacher has become my business career. It has helped me to focus on one thing at a time as we were taught in randori (freestyle). That being in a calm state helps us make better decisions. Whereas I was shy, I learned to be assertive.
Life presents many situations and some situations can be a bit more challenging then others. As a blind child in public school, I was constantly teased and harassed because of my blindness. I remember the school yard bully, who tested my vision by punching me in the face and laughed when I didn’t see the punch coming at me. My gym teacher gave me a permanent waiver from class, after years of sitting on the side lines while the rest of the class played a variety of ball games.
A friend taught me some Aikido moves back when I was in my 20s – I did not have the money to study it formally then, but showed the moves to my boyfriend who was delighted with how a small woman could move a much larger man with almost no effort.
Long story short, my boyfriend became my husband and we both started studying Tai chi chuan back in the 1980s. Why Tai Chi? Because my husband was throwing out his neck doing plastering and the chiropractor told him to do some kind of exercise that would balance out the sides of his body. I took it up just for health and to help handle stress. My husband, Rick, studied intensively with Master William CC Chen in Manhattan. I did it once in a while.
I am a Ph.D. psychologist, 62 years old, female, and a second degree black belt in Shorin Ryu Karate. I walked into a karate dojo for the first time when I was 47 years old. It didn’t occur to me that I was too old, though when I was testing for my first degree black belt, and wondered why some of the other candidates were getting their kicks off a bit faster than I was, and then realized that next to me, the oldest of the bunch was 23 years younger than I and the youngest candidate was a 17 year old male, the thought went through my mind.
I’d like to hear dramatic, moving, profound before and after stories. Where you started, what training has taught you, where you are now and how it’s affected your image of yourself. I first started training right after I married my husband artist Pablo Solomon. He had trained since childhood and was a master of several styles ( he even did classes for the Queen’s Guard in the Netherlands). However, he felt that I would benefit more if I had a teacher other than him.
Congratulations to you for practicing in the martial arts. It is really a calming approach to staying fit.
My main reason for staring MMA two years ago was medically based. I was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 35 and after my surgeries, my doctors at Sloan Kettering told me I had to log a minimum of five hours of exercise each week.
I’ve got a great story of transformation through martial arts. Here’s a little background: I started doing Tae Kwon Do (Korean martial art) when I was 11 years old, and got my black belt when I was 17. I’ve been training on and off since then and I’m 24 years old now. I was a really shy, less than confident girl before I started Tae Kwon Do, and I was actually bullied a lot as a child. I was very small framed and often spoke very softly.
I worked on Wall Street for 20 years as an institutional salesperson, then retired to stay at home and raise my 3 daughters. Around that time I blew out a disc in my lower back and had to have surgery. As I was recovering I read an article touting the therapeutic and strengthening powers of karate.
Soon after the parent of one of my youngest daughter’s friends was raving about the karate instructor her son had. I got the information and paid a visit to the dojo the following week. It is said that the hardest move in martial arts is taking the first step, but I was hooked almost immediately (even though I was twice as old as the other students).
Martial Arts Keeps Your Energy High and Helps Lose Weight By Tiffany Richards
I’ve been doing martial arts since 1998 (12 years now) and it has helped me tremendously in both my professional and personal life. I own an on-site corporate wellness firm, The Back Rub Company. We provide companies chair massage, fitness classes, wellness workshops, weight loss challenges, nutrition and more. I started out as a massage therapist and toured with Cirque du Soleil as their personal massage therapist. Once I returned from tour, I slowly transitioned out of doing massage into running the business.
I work in both the Entertainment Industry and Martial Arts Industry – both male oriented businesses. I think martial arts has helped me in my business because of the self-confidence that I project and the knowingness that I am capable to handle whatever challenge may come my way. It is a confidence that I have been told that men are not used to seeing in women and I feel that it is directly linked to my martial arts training. By the way, I used to teach world wide (like my father) with my husband, Ron Balicki, conducting seminars in the USA, Canada and Europe and many times the classes are all “male” and sometimes you really have to hold your ground as a woman instructor—not everyone accepts a woman teacher.
At age 27, I achieved a goal of black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. I started training in 1993, and after four years of consistent training four times per week, I tested and received my black belt, which was the new beginning to my continued training and the satisfaction of reaching a short-term goal. I was the only woman at my test. It took extreme dedication and lots of physical endurance to complete an eight-week-long test that included self defense, sparring, board-breaking (I kicked through six at once – more than any of the men who tested.) and kicking and hand techniques.