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Sun Soo Geungang (Health) #6 – Nature

Dear All,

Sometimes words just aren’t enough to express the soul-deep multitude of feelings that have engulfed us as a community and a nation recently. My wish for humanity? May every person be seen, heard, valued, cared for, fulfilled, well-nourished, loved in safe and secure relationships, in a circle of community, family, and friends, so they can thrive and be safe and healthy.

Big feelings need big spaces. I took all the sadness, overwhelm, pain, despair, fear, anger, care, and hope into the woods for days, getting up early to start the day with a 45 minute walk. Some days there was rain, fog or sun (or all three at the same time!). It was an immersion of the senses when I paid attention. I learned the “chirp” sound of cardinals calling to each other, saw families of rabbits eating clover for breakfast, and met the award- winner for loudest birdsong coming from a tiny Carolina wren. The wisdom of the trees was all around…grandfather and grandmother trees, branches rising into the multicolored morning sky. One day in DuPont State Forest, I sat in front of High Falls and imagined all my turbulent feelings being poured inside the pounding water, and watched as that beautiful cascade pounded and resolved into eddies of smooth water downstream. And I felt better. We’re in a huge time of transition, of hopefully, finally transforming longtime injustices and hurts, during a time of ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty. Maybe being in Nature reminds us about something deep in ourselves…that healing is possible, that growth is possible, that things grow, fall down, cascade, change, move…and transform into something else. We’re in widespread “dis-ease” right now… literally not being at ease…but isn’t lack of ease an important part of big transformations?

In Japan, there is a practice called “shinrin-yoku” or “forest bathing”. It is not considered exercise or hiking…it is simply being in nature and paying attention to all your senses- the sights, smells, sounds of being outside. The health benefits of this are surprising. Natural killer cell activity, our immune system defense cells against bacteria and viruses, goes up. Anti-cancer proteins get activated. Blood pressure goes down, as do scores for depression, fatigue, anxiety and confusion. Stress related hormones like adrenalin and dopamine decrease. In one study, some of the cellular effects lasted up to seven days after being outside! Some benefits have been attributed to breathing in the smells of the forest, plants and trees, which come from phytoncides- antimicrobial organic compounds from plants. No matter where you live, see if you can find a bit of the outdoors to experience your own “shinrin-yoku” this week- perhaps while doing your tae kwon do practice, taking a bike ride, walking around the block, enjoying a park, or just resting in the shade of a tree.

Best,
Danna

About Danna:

Dr. Danna Park specializes in Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She received her M.D. degree from Tufts University, completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a graduate of the Residential Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is Board-certified in all three specialties. Dr. Park provides integrative consultations for adults and children with a variety of medical conditions and also works with people who want to take an active approach in maintaining their wellness. Dr. Park has specialized training in mind-body medicine, vitamins and supplements, nutritional approaches for brain-based disorders and integrative cancer care. For more information, call 828-333-3339 or go to www.mountainintegrative.com .

Sun Soo Geungang (Health) #2 – Nutrition

Dear all,

Do you have a computer or any technological gadget that starts with the letter i?  Could you ever visualize treating that expensive piece of equipment less than gently?  Imagine what would happen if you smacked your computer lid closed every time you used it, or dropped your iPad or smartphone from 4 feet in the air onto the kitchen counter multiple times a day.  How effective would your technology be if you forgot to plug it in at night?  One instructor I had in school called an iPad “a very expensive holder for dead batteries” when I showed up to class one day with a nonfunctioning gizmo.

Our bodies are incredibly complex, beautiful technological wonders.  How we “fuel” our bodies makes a huge difference in performance.   Ever show up to tae kwan do class without having eaten anything?  I have…and I was fuzzy-headed, couldn’t remember forms very well and couldn’t push my body or brain to get the maximum benefit from class.

Thinking about “food as medicine” is a great idea right now.  Studies are showing immune system support and antiviral benefits of a variety of nutrients, which we can get from what we eat. Three of these nutrients, vitamin C, quercetin and zinc, are particularly beneficial right now.

I recommend incorporating a variety of vegetables/ fruits in your diet daily- 5-7 servings/day is optimal.  Although that sounds like a lot, remember that a serving size is ½ cup.  It is also important to get a variety of colors of vegetables in your meals- these contain compounds, like quercetin,  that decrease inflammation in the body and improve immune system balance and function.

Quercetin is high in onions, apples, tomatoes, berries, parsley, and celery and may prevent COVID-19 virus from binding to human respiratory cells.  The vitamin C in fruits and veggies improves immune system function and even lowers the ability of the COVID-19 virus to create inflammation in the body.

Zinc is an important trace mineral for our bodies and also has antiviral properties.  Good food sources of zinc include beans, nuts, whole grains, red meat and poultry.  Past studies on zinc’s effects on SARS-CoV, a “cousin” to COVID-19 showed interesting viral blocking effects.  Based on that research, it has been suggested that zinc may inhibit COVID-19 virus’ ability to enter into human cells and replicate itself.

Here’s a delicious ratatouille recipe that uses a variety of vegetables to make a delicious and flavorful stew- https://healthiersteps.com/recipe/easy-ratatouille-recipe/

Adding beans to this recipe is an easy way to add protein and zinc for even more health benefits!

Well-wishes,

Danna


About Danna:

Dr. Danna Park specializes in Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.  She received her M.D. degree from Tufts University, completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a graduate of the Residential Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.  She is Board-certified in all three specialties.  Dr. Park provides integrative consultations for adults and children with a variety of medical conditions and also works with people who want to take an active approach in maintaining their wellness.  Dr. Park has specialized training in mind-body medicine, vitamins and supplements, nutritional approaches for brain-based disorders and integrative cancer care.  For more information, call 828-333-3339 or go to  www.mountainintegrative.com.

 

Sun Soo Geungang (Health) #1 – Exercise

Dear all,

In the Korean language, it turns out there are numerous ways to say “crisis”, and one of the “crisis” words means “bifurcation or diverging point.”…one path that splits into two. Any time there are two ways to possibly go, there is the power of choice. Even though a lot of things are out of our control, it is important to pay attention to the things we can control and the choices we can make, as a way to maintain our personal resilience.

Since our “homestay” began, I’ve been out walking daily, usually with my husband, and always paying close attention to the “6-foot away rule” if we pass anyone on our path in the woods. We’ve done these walks B.C. (before COVID), without much other “foot traffic”; in fact, it was rare to see another person. But now? Lots of people are getting out in the fresh air and choosing to make this time a healthier time by walking.

At Sun Soo now, thanks to our “Internet-savvy” instructors, we have a choice every day about how we want to continue our practice and incorporate daily exercise in our lives. Our martial arts practice has a number of health benefits that are especially important now. Exercise helps us to “stay in the moment” and to decrease anxiety.  It supports proper immune system function by enhancing immune system competency and regulation.  Studies continue to show that regular physical activity and frequent structured exercise reduces incidence of viral and bacterial infections in addition to decreasing other chronic diseases such as cancer, inflammatory disorders, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Regular
exercise for all ages, but especially in older adults, increases both numbers and effectiveness of a variety of immune cells in our bodies: T cells, natural killer cells and neutrophils.

Currently the WNC data shows that all the work each of us are doing to stay home is working! Don’t stop- we still have a ways to go! As we continue to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus, take heart and know that by choosing to do your martial arts practice, you are choosing to support your health in a variety of ways.

Well-wishes,
Danna

About Danna:

Dr. Danna Park specializes in Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She received her M.D. degree from Tufts University, completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a graduate of the Residential Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is Board-certified in all three specialties. Dr. Park provides integrative consultations for adults and children with a variety of medical conditions and also works with people who want to take an active approach in maintaining their wellness. Dr. Park has specialized training in mind-body medicine, vitamins and supplements, nutritional approaches for brain-based disorders and integrative cancer care.

For more information, call 828-333-3339 or go to www.mountainintegrative.com

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Prepares for February 2020 Testing

Asheville Sun Soo will conduct belt rank testing on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th.  We are excited to welcome 3 visiting Guest Master Judges for this event – 9th Dan Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim, 6th Dan Master Robert Word, and 5th Dan Master Bob Kerr! 

Grandmaster Kim (not to be confused with Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, Founder of Taekwon-Do International, our parent organization) was the first Tae Kwon Do instructor under whom Grandmaster Tony Morris studied, when he was only 10 years old, in 1972! Grandmaster Kim ran his own school, Kim’s School of Tae Kwon Do, which was headquartered in Charlotte, NC (with many associated schools over the 50-year history of Kim’s School of Tae Kwon Do that were located in other cities, states and countries!) for several years.  Grandmaster Kim instilled a sense of excellence and tradition that Grandmaster Morris continues to pursue in the day to day operation of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts. Please be certain to greet Grandmaster Kim at testing this weekend! 

Master Robert Word is a longtime friend of the school. He and his wife, 5th Dan Master Dawn Word, owned and operated AIM Tae Kwon Do in Greensboro, NC, for several years before taking some time off. Masters Word plan to open a new school in the upcoming year. We are happy to welcome him back to the school! 

Master Bob Kerr, also a longtime friend and frequent visitor to Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, has been a pastor for several decades, and still practices with Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim today. Welcome back Master Kerr! 

We want to congratulate all of our testing students for all their efforts and accomplishments. We want to give special recognition to the five students testing for Black Belt ranks: 

John Mellin, 13, testing for Junior 1st Dan 

Lucca DeGennaro, 10, testing for Junior 2nd Dan 

Silas Flaum, 14, testing for Junior 2nd Dan 

Devin Martin, 18, testing for 2nd Dan 

Amerie Delfin, 14, testing for Junior 3rd Dan 

Reminder: 

We will be closed for classes beginning at 11:30am Friday, February 14th. There will be no classes on Friday afternoon or evening, all day Saturday, February 15th, and all day Monday, February 17th. We will resume our normal class schedule on Tuesday, February 18th.  

Testing Schedule: 

Friday, February 14th 

4pm: Mighty Tiger/Mighty Lion Testing 

6pm: White Belt Testing, White-Yellow Belt Testing, Color Belt Board Breaks, Black Belt candidates begin testing. Please arrive by 5:30pm.  

Saturday, February 15th 

10am: Special Seminar for students in the Black Belt ranks, conducted by Grandmaster Kim! 

12pm: Testing for all students, ranked White-Yellow belt and above, Black Belt candidates complete testing. 

Community meal immediately follows testing. Food will be provided by Happy Cinco de Mayo, a delicious restaurant located within the River Ridge Market Place, specializing in Mexican cuisine. 

Students should wear WHITE uniforms ONLY! 

We will be closed for classes throughout testing weekend, as well as on Monday, February 17th  (in order to reset the space)! Classes will resume on Tuesday, February 18th and will follow our regular schedule! Please wear your current belt to your first class back. Students who have been promoted will receive their new belt at their first class back.  

Kids who move up to yellow belt or blue belt should attend one more class for their current rank. White-Yellow belts who test to Yellow belt should attend one more Kid’s Beginner class, then begin going to Kid’s Intermediate classes after receiving their new belt. Green-Blue belts who test to Blue belt should attend one more Kid’s Intermediate class, then begin going to Kid’s Advanced classes after receiving their new belt.  

We look forward to seeing all of you this weekend! 

 

Asheville Sun Soo Celebrates Our 13th Anniversary

photo of Asheville Sun Soo's storefront

 

Asheville Sun Soo is excited to celebrate our anniversary! We opened on January 3, 2007 – making today, January 3, 2020, our 13th anniversary! In addition to today marking our 13th year serving the Asheville area, we are also commemorating our 1-year anniversary at our current location in the River Ridge Market Place!

We would like to thank all of you for being a part of our Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts family! Asheville Sun Soo wishes all of our students and families a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Photo of Black Belt students and Asheville Sun Soo vans in front of the dojang

Asheville Sun Soo Celebrates the Holidays with December 2019 Belt Rank Testing and Holiday Potluck

Asheville Sun Soo Welcomes CJEM Designs as The Sponsor for Our December 2019 Testing

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is thrilled to have CJEM Designs as the sponsor for our December 2019 belt rank testing event!

CJEM Designs is owned and operated by Jessica Larsen, currently a yellow belt practitioner at Asheville Sun Soo, as well as mother of two of our advanced student practitioners. Jessica is a licensed architect who specializes in sustainable home design in Western North Carolina.

Her commitment to excellence, which is evident in her professional life as well as her martial arts practice, make this partnership a fantastic match. We appreciate that she goes above and beyond for her clients, provides exceptional service, and specializes in solutions that are not just beautiful aesthetically, but also functional and energy-efficient.

We appreciate the contributions Jessica has made to the Sun Soo community over the years, as well as her sponsoring our December testing, and look forward to her continuing involvement!

To contact Jessica about her professional design services, please call (828) 768-8708, or email her at cjemdesign@gmail.com.

Remember that our schedule for testing is as follows:

Friday, our last TKD class for the day is the 8:30am Adult/Family Mixed Rank Class. There will not be any Friday afternoon or evening classes, no Saturday classes, and no Monday classes. We will resume our normal schedule on Tuesday, December 10th.

Part 1 of testing is our Mighty Tiger/Mighty Lion testing at 4pm. This will take the place of the normally scheduled 4pm Mighty Tiger/Mighty Lion class.

Part 2 will begin at 6pm. At this time, we will test our white belts and white-yellow belts. Our Black Belt candidates will begin their testing, and upper color belts will break boards.

Part 3 is on Saturday, beginning at noon. We will test all ranks white-yellow belt and above. This part of testing will be followed by our annual holiday potluck event. All students, whether testing or not, are invited to participate in the potluck. Please sign up at the front desk.

Asheville Sun Soo Students Brave Rainy Weather to Participate in 2019 Asheville Holiday Parade

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Hosts Annual Fall TKDI Invitational Tournament

 

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is honored to have hosted the 2019 Fall Taekwon-Do International Invitational Tournament. The Fall TKDI Invitational Tournament is hosted annually by Asheville Sun Soo, and this year’s event was the first invitational tournament held in our new River Ridge location!

Master Instructors and students from several different schools participated and contributed to a fantastic day! Competition was rigorous, respectful, and challenging and allowed students from different schools to share brackets, which made the day fun as well as a valuable way to develop and improve martial arts skills.

Students ages 3-80 competed in different areas of practice – forms (patterns), sparring, and board breaks. Competing in these areas provided competitors with multiple opportunities to cheer for their fellow practitioners, make new friends from participating schools, and to notice things about their own practices – all of which contribute to growth as a martial artist!

We want to give special thanks and recognition to 9th Dan Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, President and Founder of Taekwon-do International, 9th Dan Grandmaster Terry Brumley, Founder of United Taekwon-Do Alliance, 8th Dan Grandmaster Barry Partridge, 7th Dan Master John Meany, 7th Dan Master James Marr, and 5th Dan Master Shay Tippens – as well as all their participating students – for their collective contributions to the 2019 TKDI Invitational Tournament.

Congratulations to all who competed! We look forward to seeing our sister schools at future events!

Asheville Sun Soo Supports a Mental Health Awareness Event at UNC Asheville

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is happy to have supported the inaugural occurrence of Fresh Check Day – a new, student-led annual event held at the University of North Carolina Asheville.

This event was coordinated, organized, and facilitated by Kenda Mullert, Health Outreach Coordinator, with the Health and Counseling Center at UNCA, and was held on October 22, 2019. Fresh Check Day was created in order to bring awareness to the value of mental health issues in the college community. Breakout sessions were held to educate students to experiences around mental health that are common to many, but not highlighted or discussed. These sessions served to help students gain greater awareness of resources and tools available to support their mental health.

Asheville Sun Soo was invited to support the event through facilitating a series of three mini-workshops, emphasizing goal-setting and achievement, while navigating and breaking through limitations and barriers. We provided experiential sessions, with participants ultimately breaking adult boards with a palm strike. This activity served as a metaphor for breaking through obstacles in order to reach target goals. The UNCA students who participated made new connections in awareness around breaking barriers on the way to achievement. Everyone had a great time, and left inspired.

We at Asheville Sun Soo believe that the fundamental aspects of a consistent martial arts practice contribute to a balanced, high-functioning and excellent life. If you would like Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts to come to your location to facilitate a class, workshop, demonstration or other event, please contact Grandmaster Tony Morris at 828-505-4309.

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