Making work fun! Always Learning #2

All this week we are presenting a special series on things we learned during the stay at home orders. Today, we are excited to share, this quick video of one of our purple belt students!

Learning to wash dishes

We’ve been working extra hard on our self discipline and good things list over the quarantine. Daviah wanted to learn how to wash dishes to help. We learned (or were reminded) how attitude can turn a chore into something fun. Many things we are tasked with are privileges. How great would it be to approach those ‘dishes’ everyday with the excitement of being allowed to help, rather than completing a chore. Thank you Davaih for the super lesson!

Always Learning

We look forward to being back in the gym soon!

This morning we are kicking off a week long series focusing on what we’ve learned from this pandemic and the safer at home orders. Our goal as martial artists is to take on challenges as opportunities for growth. Our first essay comes from Instructor Marika Holbus.

Today I Learned

One of my biggest takeaways from being quarantined is the importance of community and the impact it can make.  This situation is unique because there are few places in the world who haven’t been affected by the novel coronavirus.  But tough times can bring people together. I get to spend more time with my family and pets, as well as catching up with friends and other loved ones over the phone.  This may never happen again, after I graduate and make my own life, building my career.  

Being quarantined has encouraged me to be thankful for all that I have and all the people I’ve had the privilege to know.  And as I enter my senior year next semester, I have reflected on what community means to me and how I’ll foster that after I graduate.  Out of all the communities I’ve participated in, City Youth Martial Arts has been one of the most important ones in my life.  It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  Everyone feels like a family.  Everyone cares about each other.  It’s really pleasant to be around.  

As our director Mrs. Palmisano once told me, taekwondo as a sport is about give and take.  You start as a student and are always a student; you learn from your instructors and students, and then you give back to your students by teaching them.  

We can’t be together right now, but since the lockdown, we’ve all tried to stay in contact and keep our community going, from hosting video lessons to sending out newsletters.  Checking in on each other.  Making up things to do.  Audre Lord once said, “Without community, there is no liberation.”  The little things we can do to brighten someone’s day have always mattered, now more than ever.  We will come out stronger because, despite being alone, we persevered through it together.  No one is alone in this, which may be the most beautiful thing about this.  

Wonhyo’s Understanding

When I feel disconnected, I often reflect on this tale of Wonhyo’s enlightenment. (First version blogged in 2011 on Martialing Art).  He was a Korean Buddhist monk, honored not only for his teaching, but for allowing and encouraging the common people to become a part of a movement which before had been reserved for the wealthy. 

Note: Each form (series of movements defending against an imaginary attacker) is named for someone in Korean history.  Wonhyo is our green belt (5th) form learned.

Photo by Pixabay on

Wonhyo’s Understanding (a narrative interpretation by mfptkd)

He is so thirsty.  The canteen, empty since mid-afternoon, dangles uselessly from his belt.  It is not much further.  He puts parched thoughts aside and concentrates on his breath, taking in the thin mountain air slowly and deeply.  Conversation with his travel companion, fluid and unconstrained throughout the day, ceases as the sun sets and the early shadows of twilight lengthen along the heights.  They are on a pilgrimage, climbing steadily since the break of day, seeking nothing less than wholeness and wisdom.  He focuses on their steps; they are the only sounds disturbing the quiet evening’s transition, as daylight creatures settle down and nocturnal residents awake from their rest.  They head towards a small cave, spied from a distance, in which to make camp. It had not seemed so far away a half hour earlier. It is almost completely dark now, they feel their way and are relieved to find a pool of water from which to drink.  He discovers, in his exploration, a hollow rock in the shape of a bowl.  He dips it into the liquid and drinks greedily. It is the coolest, most refreshing drink of his life and he is thankful for the gift.  Morning dawns. The bright light beckons them to wakefulness. They arise, anxious and excited to continue the journey.  He looks around for the pool and bowl so as to have another drink but finds instead a puddle of  murky water and a human skull.  He is distressed. Sickened, he retches on the cavern floor.  But in that moment, he is enlightened.  He realizes that there is nothing clean and nothing dirty; all things are made by the mind.  Truth is present in our consciousness, everything which exists is connected.  He ends his journey and returns home to write and teach and share his findings with his people, and unbeknownst to him, his words and thoughts will be remembered and discussed over a thousand years into the future.

References and to Read More:

“Wonhyo – Biography”  Copyright 2006 Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

“Wonhyo Daisa.”  Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008.  Encylopedia Britannica Online. 2 Sept. 2008

An Ok-Sun. “The Fundamental Ideas of Human Rights in the Thought of Wonhyo”  Korean Journal, Winter 2002.

Sungtaek Cho (1998). Buddhist philosophy, Korean. In E. Graig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  London: Routledge. Retrieved September 03, 2008, from

Sae Hyang Chung.  “The Silla Priests Uisang and Wonhyo”.  Copyright 2005 Hyundae Bulkyo Media Center.

“Buddhism in Korea”  Copyright 2000 AsianInfo. Org.


Earth Day Activities!

Every year, we join in the celebration of Earth Day. This day is to remind us that the earth is wonderful, and we need to take care of it. The theme of 2020, as well as the 50th anniversary, is ‘Climate Action.’ This means doing what you can to help fight climate change. A few activities include recycling, picking up litter, and pledging to keep your community cleaner. Here are some other fun and eco-friendly activities as well:

  1. Recycled Art! Use recycled materials to do some fun arts and crafts.
  2. Take a walk (while social distancing) and discover different types of plants.
  3. Make a recycling bin out of plastic bottles!
  4. Pledge to “Go Green” this Earth Day! There are many different ways you can do so.
  5. Go outside and draw nature! This is a good way to get outside and relax while appreciating nature.
  6. Join our “Trash Bag Challenge!” Go outside and fill a trash bag with litter you see outside. Be sure to bring an adult and all necessary equipment to keep you clean. Students who sent us a picture will earn a blue stripe and be posted on our social media pages!

These are some great ways to help the world become a better place. Yet, Earth Day does not have to be all work and no fun. Here are some ways we celebrated last year that people of all ages can enjoy:

earth day kick

Bird Feeders

  • Empty 1 package of unflavored gelatin into a blow with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Let this sit for 1 minute.
  • Add 1/3 cup of boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. This is the binder.
  • Add 2 cups of bird seed and mix together.
  • Pick a cookie cutter to shape it. Let it sit until it becomes solid. Of course, we had to choose our ninja cookie cutters!
  • Attach a string and hang outside. Then, watch the bird enjoy their snack!

Dirt Cup

Dirt Cups

  • Fill a cup about halfway with pudding.
  • Grind up some Oreo cookies and place it on top.
  • Add 2 Gummy Worms in the mix.
  • Enjoy your cup of dirt!
  • Note: All plastic and paper material used was recycled and/or used for crafts.

National Vitamin C Day!

Happy Saturday and National Vitamin C Day!  With a virus spreading crazy quickly, National Vitamin C Day could not have arrived at a better time

What Does Vitamin C Do?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, boosts your immune system, which prevents you from getting sick!  It also helps with healing wounds, fighting infection, keeping your bones and teeth strong, and to form the protein that builds your skin, ligaments, blood vessels, and more.

Additionally, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps preventing toxic things entering your body.  It may play a huge part in preventing heart disease and cancer, as well.

How Much Vitamin C Do I Need?

According to Lindsey Pine, M.S., R.D., you can take up to 2,000 mg per day.  Luckily, you don’t need to consume that much vitamin C to be healthy.  In fact, experts say adult women only need around 75mg and men 90mg.  As for children, it depends on the age range.  Click here to find out how much vitamin C you really need

Although there are vitamin C supplements, the safest and most effective way to consume it is through foods.

Which Foods Have Vitamin C?

When we think of fruit with vitamin C, the first one is almost always the orange.  But did you know that the kiwi has the most vitamin C of all fruits?

Other great sources of vitamin C include lemons, limes, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapples, peppers, broccoli and even baked potatoes!

In Conclusion

It is important to consume vitamin C on a regular basis, although large quantities aren’t necessary.  And it’s not difficult to find!  If you think you’re deficient in vitamin C or another vitamin/nutrient, ask your doctor or a health expert.  Above all, make sure you eat healthy foods every day!

Photo by Gajendra Bhati on

Posted by Miss Holbus (Please note this article is not intended to be medical advice.)



Community and Student Resources

During the stay at home order we will continue to update this list as more resources become available or change! Current students should be sure to follow us on FACEBOOK and join our STUDENT RESOURCE GROUP for at home practice!  Parent’s please message us if your child needs a paddle target.

94688215_3572437262783188_6533969606086754304_nWE HAVE TUTORS AVAILABLE TO HELP! Send an email to

Milwaukee County Covid 19 Website

Center for Disease Control

Milwaukee Public Schools Free Lunch, Learning Materials and More

Milwaukee Justice Center Online Legal Resources and Information

  • Legal Check-Up Survey
  • State Law Library Link
  • WI Free Legal Answers (online legal advice)
  • A .pdf of Milwaukee area civil legal aid providers and their current services (updated weekly by the Office of Public Service at Marquette Law)
  • Unemployment insurance info (link to the DWD)
  • Health insurance info (link to HealthWatch Wisconsin)
  • WI Courts Online Forms assistant for Divorce and Small Claims
  • WI Courts E-filing Help
  • Restraining Order E-filing Info (link to Sojourner)
  • Requesting a copy of your civil court order remotely
  • MJC Family Forms “How to Complete” Videos
    (Fee waiver, Stipulations, Modification, and Financial Disclosure Statement)

Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association

Employment/Unemployment COVID-19 Wisconsin unemployment insurance guidance

Why Stretch?


While we are staying home, it’s important to keep stretching! Stretching helps keep us flexible, improves balance, allows us to kick higher, builds strength, can reduce soreness, and aids in avoiding injuries. It allows us to practice our perseverance. Every time you repeat a daily stretch, you get a little better! Stretching improves your mood!

Visit our FACEBOOK page for more at home activities!

The Importance of the Kihap

46186540_2448548028493628_6233442382084308992_nWhen watching martial arts movies, you may notice the characters yelling as they are doing their strikes and blocks. It is almost as if they are ‘powering up’ in order to defeat their challenger. This yell is known as a ‘Kihap,’ or power scream. Martial artist use this for many reasons, not just to look cool in the movies! The Kihap has many benefits, including:

  1. Power: Adding a Kihap with your techniques has been proven to give you more energy and power, which ultimately makes your strikes stronger.
  2. Core: When yelling, your core tightens. This makes it easier to take a hit in sparring matches.
  3. Breath: A power scream allows you to breathe when you are doing a technique. Overall, it helps you remember to breathe and improve your focus.
  4. Confidence: A loud and powerful Kihap improves confidence by making you seem assertive. Because of this, you intimidate attackers as well!

Overall, a Kihap is an essential part of martial arts. Not only do they do this while training, but they use it in their everyday lives as well. In fact, this is not the only sport you may hear a power scream. Tennis, baseball, soccer, and football players use this when they are hitting a ball or being tackled. Also, a power scream is a typical thing to add when your adrenaline is high, like in a serious situation. In the end, a Kihap benefits more than martial artists; it helps all types of people improve the power, core, breath, and confidence.