Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chayon-Ryu Training, Health, and Longevity

by Charles E. Broughton

How long will I live and will I always be healthy?  These questions normally do not surface in one’s mind until about age 40 as it is only then that most really begin to realize our mortality.  Life’s events and our heritage will determine many things as we age; sporting accidents, car accidents, serious illness, birth defects, enough food to eat, dental care, education and other events in our lives all have a lifelong effect on us and how we “make it” in this earthly endeavor.

Chayon-Ryu training is an excellent way to maintain health, cleanse ourselves of our biggest enemy, stress, and offer us a way to achieve the longevity we desire.  As we train and strengthen our physical bodies we also have a serious and very good effect on our mental status.  As our skills in self-defense grow, we also, many times unknowingly, increase our self-confidence and that has a tremendous effect on our daily lives.  My opinion is Chayon-Ryu training, over an extended period of at least five years, will allow the “true”, good, personality of the individual to emerge.   Many times individuals act or re-act to work, family, or the general public in a way we “think” we should and not how we really are as a man or woman. With the self-confidence of our training we shed the ego, the worry about what other people think, how we should act, and simply be ourselves and when the real person shines through many times very good things take place in one’s life.  We cease to worry about things we cannot control and we focus on things that we can have a positive effect or impact on.  Our cheerful smile and hard work ethic tells others this individual is comfortable with who they are and will do their best at whatever is in front of them.

My training began at what many would consider to be very late in life, age 57.  Fortunately my physical body was in excellent condition; knees, back, hands, etc. worked like they should and nothing kept me from doing the things I needed to do in class.  A few years later in my working life, I was about 61, I worked for and retired from a huge corporation that has a world-wide presence, my immediate supervisor was from another country and had none of the US values and most importantly, Texan values that we feel are important to one’s existence.  I had to work another four or five years and someway, somehow I had to find a good working relationship with this supervisor or the possibility of no job late in life was a stark reality.   

Gyosanim Charles E. Broughton, 2nd Degree Black Belt, Chayon-Ryu
Fortunately I was about four years into my Chayon-Ryu training and this enabled me to honestly and clearly assess the entire situation and determine a path to success.  On the day I retired, just before my 65th birthday, this supervisor, female, came up to me, gave me a big hug and told me how she really appreciated how I did my job and how effective I was working with people all over the world.  To this day we still have a cordial relationship and this is a real win – win situation for both of us.  After two years of military service in the mid-1960’s and a little over 40 years of employment with one company, I only wish I had started my Chayon-Ryu training many, many years earlier.

How has Chayon-Ryu training affected my life?  I always wanted to own my own business and in retirement have a thriving small business that is a joy to operate.  My relationship with the public is very positive and good and my circle of friends and acquaintances, in retirement, has expanded, not contracted.  Last year, while stepping down onto a step-stool out of the back of my pickup I fell, very hard, on a concrete floor and it knocked the breath out of me. My training kicked in immediately and I looked up to protect my face/jaw as I fell forward, face toward the ground, slapped the hard floor as we do in class, and rolled to one side.  After lying there for about five minutes I got up, did an assessment, and nothing was sprained or broken!   My relationship with my wife and grown children and grandchildren is at an all-time high; very good, very positive, and we all love and care for one another.  Now we live over 40 miles from the school and it requires an effort and gas money to get to class.
 At a 50th High School reunion last fall we noticed how many of our classmates walked slowly and with difficulty, how many were using canes, one in a wheelchair, and remembered the goodly number who have already gone on to their greater reward. We continue to train at age 68 and are thankful for Master Sean Kim, Grandmaster Kim Soo, and all the dedicated people of Chayon-Ryu who help me regularly.

Where are you in your “journey” in Chayon-Ryu?  As GMKS so regularly says, “Don’t Quit”!  Stay the course and earn the rewards that will be yours with diligent application and effort.  Who knows what lies around the next corner of life and how you may rely on Your training to enhance Your life and the lives of those around You.  Set your goals high, I did at age 57 on earning a Black Belt from the very best school and very best teachers in Chayon-Ryu.  How am I doing?  Well, I’m getting pretty good at Basic Form 1, and still have goals and aspirations and hope that you do as well.

Charles E. Broughton
2nd Dan
February 2013

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