The first episode of the Ignite Your Life Podcast has gone live!

Check out the episode here https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chan-lee-ignite-your-life-episode-1/id1209237702?i=1000381818710&mt=2, and read about Master Chan Lee, the Hwarang Do Warriors, and other topics covered in the first episode.


In my recent podcast Master Chan Lee made reference to the Hwarang Do. He was talking about the Hwarang Warriors and the way they lived their lives. These young warriors were ultimately the driving force that unified the three kingdoms of the Korean peninsula for the first time in recorded history. The interesting thing about these warriors was that they were provided with the finest education and were distinguished from other combat troops by having access to a unique and exclusive form of schooling. Not only were they instructed in practical disciplines such as swordsmanship, horsemanship, archery, and military tactics, but they were also provided with the insights of history, poetry, music, dance, and ethics. Despite their elevated status they did not exist so that others could serve them…they lived so they could be of service to others.

So what do the Hwarang warriors that lived over a 13 hundred years ago have to do with the modern day athlete? Well let me tell you.

In an athletes’ efforts to achieve superhuman feats, to make the great play, to wear that championship ring, they can become one dimensional and incomplete. Furthermore, in a commitment to fulfill a dream of athletic excellence, athletes are encouraged to specialize in a single athletic endeavor at a very young age and thus are forced to shut out the rest of their lives. Therefore, they have fewer options to gain fulfillment and meaning because their lives have consisted entirely of sport, and more and more often, just one sport. When someone sacrifices the rest of his life to pursue athletic excellence, some other aspect of that life will suffer.

When an athlete’s life is out of balance to this degree character development is restricted, and he or she is ill prepared to deal with the everyday demands of life.

To the athletes I have worked with I say sport can be the most important thing in your life but it cannot be the only thing. Not only is it possible to achieve the highest levels of athletic excellence while still embracing other important aspects of your life—I believe it is essential. There is no doubt that your athletic endeavors will receive the highest commitment during your days of competition, but other pursuits should not be forgotten. That is why we must continue to honor the Way of the Hwarang warriors. A wider depth of knowledge and a broader breadth of experience does not take away from your ability to engage in the pursuit of excellence, athletic or otherwise. It actually provides you with greater meaning, deeper purpose, and it promotes a multi-dimensional and complete character. With a perspective that accounts for both performance and personal excellence, you are able to give and gain more from sport and life in general.

My book, Master Mental Toughness was written for athletes just as much as it was for martial artists. If you are interested it can be found on amazon. If you have any interest in sport psychology or working with a sport psychologist please check out my website at http://www.igniteyourlife.org.

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