Reasons for dropping out of (or taking a break from) Taekwondo (or another martial art)

lifespantkd

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If any of you have paused your practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) for any reason and for any length of time, I'd love your input. I'm working on an article and I want to make sure I have a good representation of common experiences. My main questions are:

1. What caused you to stop?
2. How long was your break from practice?
3. What motivated your return to practice?
4. How did you get back into practice (e.g., did you return immediately to your former school? first train on your own for a while to improve your fitness and regain some of your skills?, ???)
5. What helped you successfully return to practice?
6. What made returning to the practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) more difficult?

Thank you!

Cynthia
 

Cyriacus

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Alrighty.

1: Work. I was given an Offer to go and do some stuff up in Brisbane, which basically meant Temporarily Relocating, since at the Time, this meant going Interstate. Suffice to say, this wasn't the Type of Offer You Refuse, unless You have NO Aspirations, and just want to stay in Low Positions Forever and Ever.
2: One Month. As long as the Relocation.
3: I was looking forward to it pretty much the Whole Time.
4: I just went back into the Dojang and got into it. I hadnt Lost any of My Skills. I was still Fit.
5: My Car, to get to the Dojang.
6: The Traffic. Seriously though, it was Easy. I just went back into the Hall, and got back into it. There actually was Traffic though.

Mind You, during that Month, I had very little Spare Time, and didnt keep up Practice.
I Guess I just have good Retention, or something.
 

stickarts

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I never took a break unless I was injured, sick, or I was in bad need of a week of rest. Even on time off i would read martial arts or watch videos. Too much to learn and too little time to do it in. :0)
 

ralphmcpherson

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If any of you have paused your practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) for any reason and for any length of time, I'd love your input. I'm working on an article and I want to make sure I have a good representation of common experiences. My main questions are:

1. What caused you to stop?
2. How long was your break from practice?
3. What motivated your return to practice?
4. How did you get back into practice (e.g., did you return immediately to your former school? first train on your own for a while to improve your fitness and regain some of your skills?, ???)
5. What helped you successfully return to practice?
6. What made returning to the practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) more difficult?

Thank you!

Cynthia
Ive had a break from tkd before. The main reason was that I set myself high standards and like to spend a lot of time away from class doing my own practice. There was a time when I was growing my business and work took a larger chunk of my time than normal and I was unable to put the time into tkd that I wanted to. I started going to class and feeling like I wasnt performing anywhere near my best and at times noticed I was standing there yawning during class because I was over tired and pre occupied with work mentally. I took a break because I didnt feel like doing tkd unless I could invest the necessary time into it to maintain a good level of competency. I didnt need any motivation to get back into it because I still loved tkd and really missed doing it, so it was always a matter of when, not if, I would go back to training. Getting back into was made easier because I kept up my running (my other favourite past time) and still ran at least 30 klms a week and still kept up my stretching routine, so I didnt really lose any fitness or flexibility during the break. My wife and kids still trained and were all coloured belts so they would regularly ask me for advice on form, self defence, strikes etc and that kept a lot of the theory still active in my head. Hope this helps.
 

Razor

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I have not taken a break, but my father gave up TKD a few decades ago.

1. He stopped (after about the third black belt grade) because it became very sport-orientated and he wasn't interested any more, being a self-defence practitioner. I don't remember his federation, but apparently it started off very self-defence focused when he joined in the 1970s and then gradually became a lot more to do with sport.

2. He never returned to TKD. I think under 10 years ago he was going to try and get back into it, but he did not have his certificates any more and they would not recognise his ranking. Rather than beginning again from white belt, he decided not to bother.

Subsequently (and still) he just does MMA style stuff rather than returning to any TMA.
 

sfs982000

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1. I've had numerous breaks from my training over the years. Normally it was due to schools shutting down or financial issues.

2. My longest break was the last one which was about 17 years give or take.

3. I had always loved the martial arts and had thought about returning a number of times, but between work and family it was very difficult to do so at the time.

4. I enrolled myself and my two sons into a local Tae Kwon Do school about 3 years ago, I figured I wanted to get back into it and now was as good as any to get back into it also I figured that if my kids saw me doing the same stuff as they were we could help motivate each other.

5. I think the biggest thing that helped me successfully return to regular practice was the instructors and the other students. They were all just great, good attitudes, very supportive, etc...

6. The most difficult thing for me when I returned was age I guess, I wasn't as flexible as I was when I was younger and in my mind I knew what I had to do to execute certain techniques, but the body wasn't willing.

Bottom line is that I'm just glad that I'm back and I have no plans on quitting again.
 

igillman

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1. What caused you to stop?
Very high blood pressure. My cardiologist told me to stop exercising.

2. How long was your break from practice?
1 year.

3. What motivated your return to practice?
I wanted to keep doing TKD.

4. How did you get back into practice (e.g., did you return immediately to your former school? first train on your own for a while to improve your fitness and regain some of your skills?, ???)
During the year I was "off" I was still practising. Slowly at first, doing forms (poomsae) which is very low impact and gradually working back up to kicking.

5. What helped you successfully return to practice?
6. What made returning to the practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) more difficult?
The answer to both of those questions is that I only returned back to practice for 2 months and then left to practice on my own. After spending a year practicing what I wanted to practice it was difficult to return to practicing what the instructor wanted us to practice. The school had changed as well, they had a couple of new instructors and the whole thing was becoming more of a belt factory. During the 2 months I was back I spent most of the time teaching students of my belt grade how to do the basics. How they ever got promoted beyond white belt was a mystery.
 

Manny

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If any of you have paused your practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) for any reason and for any length of time, I'd love your input. I'm working on an article and I want to make sure I have a good representation of common experiences. My main questions are:

1. What caused you to stop?
2. How long was your break from practice?
3. What motivated your return to practice?
4. How did you get back into practice (e.g., did you return immediately to your former school? first train on your own for a while to improve your fitness and regain some of your skills?, ???)
5. What helped you successfully return to practice?
6. What made returning to the practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) more difficult?

Thank you!

Cynthia

Cynthia a very nice post here you have my answers:

1.-What caused me to stop was a few things not just one. Afther my shodan test ( I was 20) I began to feel TKD was evolving in something more sport oriented (I was right) and was leaving behind th martiality and the self defense, I become bored of the same old training, you know, all was kicking drills and basically nothing more but WTF Sparring and some poomsae, also I was finishing college and wanted to earn money so basically I focused on job and I got interested in practical pistol shooting, so slowy began to skip trainig till 1994-95 when my senior instructor emigrated to another place I stop training. I tried to do another things like learn some aikido but it did not work at that time, even I returned with my old kwanjanim a couple of times but it did not work, TKD wasn't was it was when I was a teen, you know lack of motivation, etc,etc.

2.-It was 13-15 years the time I was off TKD.

3.-Loose some bacon and gain health, I dislike futbol soccer (the national sport in Mexico) or baseball or wahte ever, I just love martial arts and guns.

4.-I simply went to another dojang, had a nice meeting with the sambonim and he tooked me as a shodan, he respeted my grade because he knew my master and senior instructor are a very capable tkdoings, things were not easy I was overweight with cero stamina,cero acuracy,cero speed, cero nothing afther 13-15 years off tkd and working in adesk, my brain keep tell me about the things I could do as a teen but my 40 years old body refused to cooperate.

5.-What helped me was the faith and patience my actual sambonim had in my so slowly and with care (sometimes) I started to become better.

6.-Ohh boy al most everithing, my body aches,my flexibility is not good, my balance is nice but not perfect,I am still having isues with my belly, I have had a broken toe, a broken ligament of one foot, fascitis plantar but I know in my heart that if I don't train TKD I would be a very obese man with health isuess, thanks god I feel nice physically end mentally, I have losse some weight and I want to keep droping some pounds more.

Manny
 

oftheherd1

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If any of you have paused your practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) for any reason and for any length of time, I'd love your input. I'm working on an article and I want to make sure I have a good representation of common experiences. My main questions are:

1. What caused you to stop?

Work and transportation issues. Then reassignment in the US Amry.

2. How long was your break from practice?

The first was just months, and a 2nd Dan BB started teaching Moo Duk Kwon, but only for about 6 weeks, then work got in his way. Once, about 2 years later, in Vietnam I tried to get back in to TKD but the Korean who was teaching had to stop. I didn't take another MA until about 15 years later, in Korea, when I took up Hapkido.

3. What motivated your return to practice?

I enjoyed MA, and hadn't really wanted to stop. But by then I wanted to try another MA.

4. How did you get back into practice (e.g., did you return immediately to your former school? first train on your own for a while to improve your fitness and regain some of your skills?, ???)

See the answers above. My fitness wasn't a problem as I was in the Army and we were kept reasonalby fit or we couldn't stay in the Army.

5. What helped you successfully return to practice?

A desire to study MA again, but I wanted Moo Duk Kwon (which I couldn't find), or Hapkido (which I did).

6. What made returning to the practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) more difficult?

As mentioned above on TKD. Nothing made starting Hapkido difficult. It was on post, and the GM was willing to meet with several of us at a time convenient to us when time got to be an issue. Working with 3 or less made for very intense and personal instruction. Hard but very good.

Thank you!

Cynthia

Hope your article goes well. Is it for another test?

EDIT: Oh, I stopped teaching about 12 years ago due to health issues, and then even when they were resolved about 9 years ago, I let myself stay inactive. I am now trying to get back in shape by stretching and some light exercise. At my age, not an easy thing to do, but I am staying with it.
 
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lifespantkd

lifespantkd

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Thanks for the great response, everyone! I appreciate all of your input very much.

oftheherd1, it's not for another test, per se, although I am working toward my 3rd dan in Taekwondo. I'm a writer, among other things, with a background in psychology, so I bring those interests into my practice of Taekwondo. I also have my share of experience with stopping (for various reasons and time periods) and resuming Taekwondo. Few of us seem to maintain a non-stop practice throughout our lives. Life is just too dynamic for that to be possible for most of us. So, I thought an article might be useful to practitioners and instructors. If anyone has any suggestions on a Taekwondo or general martial arts journal that might be interested in such an article, I'd welcome input on that, too. I've published many times in my professional field, but not yet in the martial arts--other than in my own blog (http://lifespantkd.blogspot.com/ ). Are any of you writers, too?

Thank you, again,

Cynthia
 

mastercole

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It's like Mahayana Buddhism, a practice that is for the many. It's very flexible and it's adherents have widely varying levels of commitment and that is acceptable, it's the nature of Mahayana. Something for everyone, the big vehicle. Mahayana is typical of your modern day Taekwondo class in this regard, and therefore typical of your modern day Taekwondo practitioner.

However, there are those very few, who train hell or high water, even when injured. Even when not training that day, or at some portion of the day, they are studying in some way that relates to training, and in fact see everything in their life as somehow supporting Taekwondo training, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual, tangible, or intangible. It is a rare thing to meet this type of person. They have crossed a threshold that most will never cross, due to various reasons that prevent them from making this kind of life changing commitment. This person is in position to cross a final threshold where there life naturally becomes Taekwondo (or whatever endeavour), and it becomes them. These last two stages of commitment are comparable to Theravada Buddhism, which is for the few. It's rare to meet a Theravada practitioner.

So I don't think it is about what level of commitment are you willing to make. That's like buying a car. I think it is more about what have you become through your practice. The same person you were when you started, or did you actually transform into a lifelong Taekwondoin.

With that said, one is not better than the other. However, they are different.

Al Cole
 

granfire

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If any of you have paused your practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) for any reason and for any length of time, I'd love your input. I'm working on an article and I want to make sure I have a good representation of common experiences. My main questions are:

1. What caused you to stop?
2. How long was your break from practice?
3. What motivated your return to practice?
4. How did you get back into practice (e.g., did you return immediately to your former school? first train on your own for a while to improve your fitness and regain some of your skills?, ???)
5. What helped you successfully return to practice?
6. What made returning to the practice of Taekwondo (or another martial art) more difficult?

Thank you!

Cynthia

I am currently on break:
4 years ago I moved, far away from my instructor to cause a problem in transportation.
Then my sister got terminally ill.
That in turn left me with some mental problems.
While I trained I got down to 116 pounds. To put it bluntly, I wasted away...regressing to girly pushups.

I have not gotten back up to resume practice. Add to that some more recent medical issues that are leaving me exhausted....blah, life sux.


OK, 2nd part of your question:
As you age the rebound ability goes away. Skipping practice for 6 weeks and taking things up where I left them is so not happening anymore.
Now a week away from the gym takes it's toll.
(Did I mention life sux?)
So any kind of break takes me further back.
So realistically, all things considered, I am farther back in my training than I was as white belt.
 
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lifespantkd

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Another way of looking at it, Al, is seeing Taekwondo training as supporting life, physically, mentally, spiritually, tangibly, and intangibly. This is how my first instructor taught and my current instructor teaches. This is how I now see Taekwondo, though it certainly was not when I first began. (See my article "Taekwondo is for Everyone" for more on that, if you're interested [http://lifespantkd.blogspot.com/ ].) For example, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of the Taekwondo student creed (i.e., courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit) and how it applies to some real-life moment. I read the I Ching, to understand the meaning of poomse and reflect on the application of those meanings in life. And, so on. I feel very much still at the beginning of a journey. I believe that when Taekwondo is approached in a holistic manner, it takes a lifetime to plumb its depths, much less comprehend and apply what is found.

Cynthia
 
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lifespantkd

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granfire, thank you for sharing the very difficult challenges you've faced and continue to face. It's pretty hard to resume Taekwondo when so low resourced. And, I completely agree with how difficult it is to resume Taekwondo after a substantial break as an older practitioner. I've found Sang H. Kim's Martial Arts after 40 to be an excellent resource for resuming (or beginning) Taekwondo at an older age.

I sincerely hope things improve for you soon.

Cynthia
 
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lifespantkd

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My apologies, Master Cole! I just read your profile and discovered your ranking, otherwise I would not have addressed you as simply "Al."

Cynthia
 

mastercole

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Another way of looking at it, Al, is seeing Taekwondo training as supporting life, physically, mentally, spiritually, tangibly, and intangibly. This is how my first instructor taught and my current instructor teaches. This is how I now see Taekwondo, though it certainly was not when I first began. (See my article "Taekwondo is for Everyone" for more on that, if you're interested [http://lifespantkd.blogspot.com/ ].) For example, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of the Taekwondo student creed (i.e., courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit) and how it applies to some real-life moment. I read the I Ching, to understand the meaning of poomse and reflect on the application of those meanings in life. And, so on. I feel very much still at the beginning of a journey. I believe that when Taekwondo is approached in a holistic manner, it takes a lifetime to plumb its depths, much less comprehend and apply what is found.

Cynthia

A typical Taekwondo class, like Mahayana Buddhism would be bits of some or bits of all of those things (supporting life, physically, mentally, spiritually, tangibly, and intangibly). So would a typical kayak training course. And that is great, it is what physical activity should be about. Developing an appreciation for an active and fit lifestyle.

As for plumbing the depths or Taekwondo, or any discipline, that would be very Theravadian like, and not for the many. To know the Theravada side, one would have to experience it. Quite different from the Mahayana side, where one just needs to show up from time to time.
 

mastercole

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For example, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of the Taekwondo student creed (i.e., courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit) and how it applies to some real-life moment. I read the I Ching, to understand the meaning of poomse and reflect on the application of those meanings in life.

You quote Hong Hi Choi's/Oh Do Kwan tenets. Are you from Oh Do Kwan roots, or just like those tenets? I know many Oh Do Kwan members who also practice the Kukkiwon Poomsae (not poomse). Reading the I-Ching translations is interesting when comparing them to what the creators of the Poomsae wrote. Which I-Ching translations do you have?
 
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lifespantkd

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Well, I just visited your website, Grandmaster Cole, so I'll have to apologize again!

Cynthia
 

mastercole

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Well, I just visited your website, Grandmaster Cole, so I'll have to apologize again!

Cynthia

My experience is like this. If I am at your dojang, in front of your students/customers, or a Taekwondo function, then I would call you Master Mojab. Out and about, or on a discussion board, to me, first names or username is proper, no need to be formal in a non-Taekwondo setting, especially in the USA, in my opinion.
 

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