What an eventful weekend we had. In fact, we have had quite an eventful month! Now we are already into May and I am beginning to reflect a bit. I will likely be doing several posts about
Words cannot begin to describe how proud I was this past weekend as Rita Kennedy tested for her 2nd Dan in Han Mu Do. What an honor it was to stand beside her and to be her crash test dummy! That woman is phenomenal and is an example to us all of courage and tenacity. She has a condition called Arnold-Chiari Malformation I. From what I understand, it basically means that the cerebellum in her brain grew differently than that of other people, blocking the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid and compressing parts of the cerebellum against the skull. She has had surgery to relieve pressure and other technical procedures that, frankly, I do not completely understand. What I do know is that these procedures left her with an inhibited ability to remember things and her balance has been affected.
Mrs. Rita began training with Master Mateo Lopez at the gym and was able to reconnect her brain to her body. She was doing physical therapy, but she attributes much of her progress to the practice of Han Mu Do. The repetition and practice in balance helped her to regain basic function in her body and mind and spirit---although, I believe that it would be very difficult to break Mrs. Rita's spirit. She's got a great deal of determination, discipline and energy. Just being able to train in class shows amazing resiliency. How much more does it show that she has been able to push beyond the limitations set upon her and test all the way to 2nd Dan? This means that she has demonstrated the ability to remember and perform over 250 different techniques as well as over 20 forms (hyung)!!!
As she has continued to train, she has inspired and empowered so many of us to excel and become better people through training; to push through those things that seem hard to succeed on a level beyond what we could imagine.
So, congratulations to Mrs. Rita Kennedy on earning your 2nd Dan Black Belt in Han Mu Do and thank you for inspiring us all to be better at what ever we attempt to accomplish! I look forward to training with you more over the coming years! God bless you, my friend!!