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Writing like Hapkido

My Hapkido master was Chang Man Yang. He wanted his students to integrate the lessons of the martial art into all of life. I learned a lot from him. Here’s how I integrate Hapkido into my writing life:

Hapkido students practice throws and joint man...

Image via Wikipedia

1. Discipline. Train every day. Write every day.

2. You will lose. Maybe this time, maybe next. Doesn’t matter. Keep training, keep writing.

3. You will win. Maybe this time, maybe next. Doesn’t matter. Keep training, keep writing.

4. Respect the art. Do not cheapen it by underestimating it.

5. Respect the art of others. Do not cheapen it by underestimating it.

6. Don’t show off. Fighters and writers who draw too much attention to themselves in their art, fail in their art.

7. Strike at the first opportunity. Don’t wait to solve a problem.

8. Stay flexible so one attack melds into the next. A strike becomes a throw which becomes a joint lock. An interesting fact becomes a plot point which becomes critical to solving a story problem.

9. Do not compare yourself to others in the dojang. Compare yourself to your last performance. Go for personal best each time.

10. Instead of comparing yourself to others, learn from others.

11. We bow at the end of each match. Each story has a satisfying coda.

12. You will get hurt. Don’t talk about your injuries. Recover. Come back. Continue.

13. We are a team. We help each other improve.

14. We compete, but we are friends.

15. You will feel fear. So what?

16. Sweat is good for you.

17. You will be thrown. Roll with it and let that momentum carry you back up to your feet.

18. Fighting is conflict. Writing is conflict. With the right attitude and context, conflict is fun.

19. You are a student. To be a master, you will always be a student.

20. Handle stressful situations and you will rise above your circumstance.

21. Persevere.

22. Focus. Economize your movement. Do not waste energy.

23. Use all your energy to accomplish your aim.

24. Your target is not the target. Kick and punch as if your target is behind the target. Your target is not an arbitrary word count. Completion is your target.

25. The training is the experience. The writing is the experience. Enjoy the exercise itself. Everything else is commentary.

Filed under: publishing, writing tips, , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Margaret Y. says:

    Excellent analogy. I’m in the dojo twice a week. I have learned more about writing (and life) from martial arts than anything else.

  2. […] Writes Skip to content HomeAbout Chazz ← Writing like Hapkido 01/24/2012 · 10:13 PM ↓ Jump to […]

  3. Chazz says:

    Thanks! And thanks for reading!

  4. […] Writing like Hapkido (chazzwrites.com) […]

  5. Jason says:

    Chang was my instructor as well, his son now teaches my children. Glad to see his life lessons enduring beyond the dojang.

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