Breaking Barriers: Overcoming Mental and Physical Challenges with 1000 Cuts in Haedong Kumdo

A week ago, I made a decision to challenge myself and my two senior students at Spring Dragon. I asked them to come in an hour earlier and to join me for an outdoor training session. As we were getting ready, I reminded them of the special challenge we were about to undertake.

I shared with them the 40% rule used by the Navy Seals, which states that when our brain tells us we cannot go any further, we actually have 60% left in us. It’s true, we tend to stick to our comfort zones and avoid pushing ourselves beyond our limits. However, in martial arts, we always strive for new challenges and goals, which is what makes our minds tougher. As we know, the body follows the mind.

Today’s challenge was to complete 1000 cuts without stopping. That’s roughly 20 minutes of intense focus and physical exertion. We discovered that around 400 cuts, we began to feel uncomfortable. But as we pushed through that discomfort, we realized that we were capable of so much more. With each passing cut, we felt more confident and more powerful.

After the challenge ended, we took the time to reflect on our session and realized the importance of these types of challenges to understand how our minds work. We acknowledged that we require proper guidance to surpass our mental barriers. In the end, we felt a sense of pride for completing the challenge and for our commitment to becoming better martial artists and stronger individuals. However, we remain humble knowing that there will always be a new challenge to face and conquer.

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