"I am beginning to feel the effect of my training in every aspect of my life. It has improved my work skills, my health and my relationships with others and with myself. The improvements in my life can be attributed to what I am learning and what I have experienced in martial arts.
I am learning the ability to give constructive criticism to people. This has been a difficult thing for me to learn. It is becoming a valuable asset, both in my personal and private life. Also, knowing that high-ranking instructors expect and demand criticism has made me more comfortable in dealing with superiors."
"I immediately liked what I saw! There was an obvious camaraderie, and the new students were immediately welcomed into the group. I appreciated the way all senior students are called upon to help instruct junior students on a more personal basis. The experienced people are never condescending, but always patient and generous."
"Attending the class as much as possible has not only strengthened me mentally, but physically as well. I have lost fourteen pounds and have toned muscles throughout my body. The amazing thing is that all of these wonderful gifts I have acquired are coming from something I truly love to do."
"In the couple of months I have been here, I have met a new class of people. The students and instructors here are mature, disciplined, humble, generous, and talented. The dojang has the qualities that I envisioned would be found in a great program; strangers are greeted and made to feel welcome and important, the dojang is always clean and treated with respect. Most importantly, a feeling of community exists."
"I definitely found the physical conditioning I was looking for initially, but also found improvement in balance and control. It did not take long to realize that this program offers exercise for the mind as well as the body. By improving listening skills, attitude and the ability to think on your feet, reflexes are sharpened and the ability to make correct decisions is improved."
"A lot has happened during my time training with Master Blankenship. As I approach the first anniversary of my first class here, it seems that I have been training for much longer than just one year. Training has affected my thought processes and the way I view the world in general in a very positive and subtle way. I am more willing to embark on projects, and have the will to see them through to completion. Challenges are a joy to me. It is more difficult to notice the daily progress that one makes in class now. But it is easy to see the overall progress from a year ago. Balance, strength and stamina are all improved, as well as general well being and energy level."
"My martial arts experience began with Blankenship Martial Arts. I was basically looking for a way to work out, but I didn't want the traditional gym type workout, i.e., weight lifting machines, etc. I like to run and eat healthy and it seems that this school was the way to go, because the people weren't trying to out do each other, they were just trying to improve their abilities. I like the atmosphere and I believe I benefit both physically and spiritually from my experiences at the dojang."
"Blankenship Martial arts has instilled a new sense of motivation and accomplishment in my life. The most gratifying aspect of the experience has been the rapid pace at which I have absorbed the large volume of new information. Attending the first several classes can be an intimidating experience. But I quickly became comfortable with the dojang environment that cultivates acceptance, understanding and encouragement.
Overall, martial arts has been an exhilarating passage. I am completely captivated by the thought and culture behind the system, and I am looking forward to further improving my life through additional dedication and practice."
"It's been ten months since I've been a part of Blankenship Martial Arts. My experience in that time has been very positive. I'm very happy I found this school and have been able to participate in the program.
One of the reasons I'm happy is that the exercise I've maintained through my practice has assisted me in losing weight, a long term goal of mine. Since starting, I've dropped 15 pounds on top of the 15 or so I lost slowly over the previous year and a half. I chose martial arts as an avenue to help me lose weight because I felt it would provide an exercise program that would be varied and absorbing enough to keep me interested in attending and working out. I've definitely found this to be the case. My interest has been maintained not only from the practice itself, which I've found challenging and intriguing, but from the people and atmosphere of the school, which have been most welcoming."
"Now I believe that I have seen the true beauty and power of the martial arts. I have learned and relearned so much in my first four months here that I consider my previous accomplishments as a superficial preparation for (or expedited overview of) true martial training. Here, at Blankenship Martial Arts, the instructors and seniors demonstrate their dedication with every move and reflect the grace imparted them by their master. Using careful eyes, they critique the subtle details of each movement, guiding each junior with patience and sincere generosity. I am so impressed by the depth of study in this school, what an opportunity for growth!"
"Since beginning my training in October I have been impressed with two things. The first has been the attitude of the students. I cannot remember ever being in such a quiet, serious environment in which people were enjoying themselves and learning. The overall feeling of the training sessions is both relaxed and committed to training. I think that the students at our school take seriously the tenet of "be silent and serious as you commit your total concentration of mind and body to the class". This attitude has greatly benefited my study of the martial arts by allowing me the freedom to concentrate. I feel comfortable enough to ask questions and move at my own pace, but the environment is not so informal as to permit distractions. This is a first for me in training in a group setting, where much time and energy is usually wasted on trying to focus the group's attention on a single goal."
"My martial arts experience has continued to evolve since my first inkling of interest. I am truly astounded in how my perceptions of martial arts has changed. In the beginning, I could not see beyond kicking, punching and the sheer physical prowess.
It was not until sometime later that I began to realize a greater depth and complexity to my martial arts. No longer was it all about having devastating kicks and punches. I began to feel an inner strength develop that I had not previously felt. The challenges and triumphs of martial arts I saw mirroring those in every other aspect of my life.
Martial arts helps me understand myself, my weaknesses and fears, as well as, my stronger attributes."
"Since joining I have leaned many things and have discovered that I can do things that I never have thought possible. It is always difficult for me to explain to those not in a form of martial arts what exactly makes it so incredible. It goes beyond fighting ability. Something more exists, something that differentiates Blankenship Martial Arts from an aerobics class, something that makes it special."
"I've started to see more clearly how the lessons I glean from training in the dojang permeate so many aspects of my life.
My training to date has taught me, many times over, that I can learn and accomplish things I normally would have never attempted or thought possible. It has taught me that there is no shame in trying and failing - that an honest effort is valuable in itself; that it will often yield the desired results, ultimately; and that the rewards are all that much sweeter for those things that don't come easily.
The more I read about martial arts, the more web sites I visit, and the more I talk with others who have studied, the more clearly I come to realize that the training I undertake at Blankenship Martial Arts is different from other schools; it is not just about climbing a hierarchy of ranks, or competing to win, or taking home trophies as it is in some training halls. Training at Blankenship Martial Arts, for me, is about growth. Pushing myself, expanding my limits and capabilities, learning how the past relates to the present, connecting with others on new levels. I want all these things in my life."
"As I trained and learned more at Blankenship Martial Arts, my understanding of martial art concepts changed dramatically. I started training almost 2 years ago. At first, learning martial arts was mainly to become a strong fighter and to learn to protect myself. It was mostly a power game. As time passed by, I found that there were lots of other things involved.
It is unarguable that one must be strong and physically fit to execute martial arts properly. But there are greater things one would learn from martial arts.
Through my short time with this great science, through observing others (both partners at my level and seniors), and especially through dealing with my teacher Master Blankenship, I saw several major rewards that could affect my life positively. Maybe the most important one, the one affecting my personality most, is "seek perfection of character" from our daily oath, the Dojang hun. At first, I did not think that learning martial art had anything to do with seeking perfection of character. Boy was I wrong. The more I learn about martial art, the more I realize how humble one needs to be with others."
"I expected to learn self-defense and get in better physical condition, which I have, but I must say it is what I did not expect which keeps me interested in the art. Its practitioners were not self righteous, hyper-macho types, but rather for the most part well balanced, patient peaceful and humble. I discovered a strong emphasis on healing, general health and nonviolence in a highly disciplined non-militaristic environment."
"I had my first ever martial arts experience when I was a guest at Blankenship Martial Arts and watched the students with awe and inspiration. I may have seen lots of martial arts movies but this had a very different effect on me as this was the real world.
I found out that any discipline, whether it may be kung fu or tae kwon do or karate, has much more profound use than breaking blocks and slabs…they increase your concentration and coordination of mind and body in case of attack. They also help building my self-confidence and increase my concentration in real life. I am able to be alert and be more energetic. They promote good health through exercise, meditation and constant training on how to scientifically use body movements and achieve maximum impact and still be relaxed after that…it also teaches the art of not hurting yourself while falling or kicking, etc. With passing time, one can definitely hope to reap the physical and mental benefits of the system. Also one can definitely hope to end up physically more fit with a renewed sense of self-esteem and self-confidence."
"Overall, I'm amazed at how martial arts parallel my life process. Not only has my physical strength developed and matured, but the internal strength and ability to have balance in many areas of my life continues to grow…most of all, practice is just plain FUN and I enjoy being around those who believe the same."