When I began training in Oom Yung Doe almost 6 years ago, I had hoped to achieve many goals, but little did I know how much of a life changing experience it would be. I had just moved to Minnesota to start a new job, and since I was moving away from all of my family and friends, I wanted to find something to be involved in. I thought that martial arts training would be a good choice since it would not only improve my physical condition, but would help to strengthen me mentally, too (especially my confidence). I also thought that it couldn’t hurt to learn self defense since I was a young woman living on my own in a larger city.I found Oom Yung Doe in a phone book ad, and went in to take a free lesson. At the end of the lesson I remember thinking “I’m not sure if I can do this, but I have to try”. There were many challenges. My coordination was poor, and memorizing movement was very difficult for me. Instructors would have to show me the same movements again and again, but they never gave up on me and always taught with great patience. At first I doubted myself quite a bit, but gradually I began to grow and improve in every way. Not only did I lose weight, and improve my strength, coordination, and flexibility, but I improved mentally as well.
I began to pick up movement on the first or second try, rather than having to see it half a dozen times. I improved my mental focus and concentration. I began to sleep better, gain more energy, and deal with stress much more effectively. And most of all, my confidence grew immensely. I began to carry myself differently. Even my voice began to sound different, stronger. I went from someone who was timid and nervous speaking in front of others, to becoming an Instructor capable of teaching an entire room full of people. But the most extraordinary improvement was in my health. Since I was a young child, I had suffered from severe asthma and allergies. I used to wake up at least once (sometimes several times) a night with severe asthma attacks and would usually need to wait for at least an hour, gasping for breath, until the minimal 4 hour time period between inhaler doses had elapsed. Gym class or any sort of playing that involved running would lead to an attack, and usually I would end up watching from the sidelines. Every time any sort of illness circulated, even a minor cold, I would get it.
And a simple cold always meant a much more serious condition for me, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. I was diagnosed with pneumonia 8 times during my childhood. As I reached my 20’s, my asthma gradually began to improve and I became sick much less frequently, but it was still an issue particularly during allergy seasons and illnesses. In my late teens and early 20’s, I saw other health conditions start to emerge. I developed acid reflux disease and needed to take a prescription antacid daily. If I missed even one or two doses of the medication, I would become so sick that I could barely eat. And although I had always had a lot of headaches, I started to have migraines, too. But now at age 31, after 25 years of taking an average of 4 or 5 medications at a time, I can proudly say that I am completely free of all of my medications. I have been taking the herbal tea every day, and 2 to 3 chi herbal meditation baths a week (as well as my physical practice) in substitution for my medications for one year now, and I am free of all of my symptoms. I haven’t had a migraine in at least six months (in fact, I rarely have headaches at all), and I now have two cats that sleep with me every night without any sign of asthma or allergies. And I have also gone over a week without using the herbal products when my order was delayed without getting sick at all. I now know that my medications were covering up my symptoms, but with the help of traditional Moo Doe knowledge, which has been used for health and longevity for centuries, I am now healing. I now have the peace of mind of knowing that I can improve and maintain my condition for the rest of my life without the risk of harmful side effects from prescription medications. And I have peace in general, since my training has given me calmness and has helped me to better face many challenges and deal with the many changes in my life over the past couple of years. All of these reasons are why I have chosen to become a Moo Doe Instructor, so that I may help many people to find a better quality of life. I am continuing to learn and grow everyday, and I have found great meaning in my life through the ability to not only improve my own life, but to be a part of passing knowledge which is benefiting the lives of others. So now I think back to that first lesson when I wasn’t sure I could do this and I laugh at myself, because even though I have so much more to learn, I have come so much farther than I ever thought I could. I now know from experience that anyone who truly wishes to improve their lives and conditions through traditional Moo Doe training can achieve it as long as they are willing to apply themselves.
Instructor Erin Huntley
2nd Degree Instructor School Owner