The Story (in First Person)

From a very early age (three years old to be exact), exercise became my sanctuary, a place I went to for comfort and stability. Intense and focused training became my refuge, the place I went to get away from the broken family I grew up in.  Exercise had rules and easy-to-follow steps. As a young kid, these rules provided the safety all young kids need.

And so the journey began: I trained very hard in competitive sports most of my life, from swimming to tennis to crew to distance running. Each sport offered a way into the psychology of my mind and the challenge in understanding the critical mind/body connection.

Fast forward into my twenties: I am in a car in San Francisco and the car is in an accident that could have killed me. I lived. With concussion and gratitude in hand, I re-entered the depths of two disciplines at which I was already quite good: mathematics and working out.

In 1992 I began my journey in the Art of Korean Martial Arts called Kuk Sool Won.

This discipline of movement and competition became my life for the next decade, training five to six hours a day before and after work. At the time, I taught mathematics and science in the public schools and this transitioned into working for Applied Biosystems, now called Life Technologies, the mastermind behind sequencing DNA and developing the products that identified the human genome.  During the early mornings I trained my body in the depths of Eastern martial arts, during the day I trained my brain in molecular biology, and in the evenings I trained my body in Kuk Sool Won.

In fact, when I realized early on that 15 minutes of “form” practice was the equivalent of a one-hour cardio and endurance running workout, and was also much easier on the joints, I gave up distance running, lost three pant sizes, developed a natural six-pack, and ate whatever I wanted. I was the most fit I had ever been in my life: my skin appeared youthful, I had an overwhelming amount of natural energy, and I had a passion for life!

Time for a baby

I knew that before I became a 4th degree black belt I wanted to have a baby. The pregnancy was quite normal and I was planning for a natural birth (because it “sounded” like a good idea). A month prior to the date of labor in September of 2011, 911 happened and it seems the world stopped. I knew that the brain was capable of taking in information (oh, that’s not good!), and transferring it to the body, (we need to fight or flee), and vice versa.  But what I did not understand in detail at the time is that the body will do ANYTHING to stay alive-this is its purpose. No matter how we treat it, as the borrowed owner,  THE BODY will do what it has to do to stay alive.  For me this meant my entire system went into shock, my core locked down, and my body determined the world was not safe for a new baby. Nevertheless, the baby had to be born or one of us would die.

56 hours later, with my spinal column punctured, and the umbilical cord wrapped twice around my baby’s neck, my son was born and from this day onward Jungshin was born.  My martial arts instructor, Master Sun Jin Su, called the hospital and gave my son the middle name, Jungshin, which has two significant meanings: 1) It literally means focused mind Jung=Straight and Shin=Spirit and it was given to my son because it was believed his spirit was focused enough to come into the world when my own body locked down. In other words, he was determined; 2) The second meaning has to do with family lineage: all of my master’s children have the name “Jung” woven into their Korean name: Jungna, Junghee and Jungkuk. My son was named Jungshin, and since my son is not of Asian descent, it is an ancient honor to be included in this family tradition.

At first I simply picked up the sword to help strengthen the muscles that support my spinal column. Not being able to walk well, and having excruciating pain when I sat up due to a spinal fluid leak, the sword became an ally in building my physical and mental strength. It was light enough to handle, and the simple repetitive cuts became a nice calming meditation for my mind.

Thus, this moving meditation coupled with a desire to regain health and strength is what Jungshin became-an exercise system with the goal of achieving maximum physical and mental health.

Over the next few years I began what is now a national and growing workout program.

We are new to the fitness industry and have been welcomed by some of the top leaders: ACSM, IDEA WORLD FITNESS, MIDTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB. Our goal is to become a world leader in health and wellness through movement. We continue to grow, and it is as though we are seven months pregnant – there’s no turning back.


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Thank you IoM

Dear Michol and Sarah,

Thank you for suggesting this #hashtag and thank you guys for the amazing work you are doing at IoM!

Here are my two primary influential and important teachers in movement education:

The first person is Master Sung Jin Su, son of the grandmaster and creator of the Korean martial art, Kuk Sool Won. I accidently found this small studio in San Francisco with my good friend and colleague, Duncan Wong of yogic arts; I had just crashed my car and had another, “Wow, I lived through that?” experience. I entered the dojang and for the next 10 years learned how to rigorously train by being treated with love and respect. There was no yelling, only suggestions. It was through the act of kindness that I was able to reach peak performance and delve into a form of movement that went beyond the physical and into my journey as a human being on this planet, also achieving a state of athletic fitness I had never experienced before. Each move brought my body into 3 planes, 4 directions, including visiting the vertical axis many many times through practicing these ancient forms. The movement became the meditation. I learned to push with love thus avoiding injury and allowing the body to decide for itself.

The second influential and important teacher of movement in my life is Mary Jarvis, Owner of a Bikram Yoga school in San Francisco. I crawled into her school after my baby was born, spinal cord punctured, and in severe cranial and sacral pain. I knew that Mary, having suffered 7 broken vertebra and avoiding surgery, had paved the way for radical healing. I attended 4 classes per week and within a year was jumping higher and running faster than I had pre-baby. Why? I learned that if I kept my attention on my spine, organs, and breath, radical physiological transformation could take place. It was a matter of setting up the right container. From this personal healing and practice, Jungshin Fitness was born.

Thank you.

Annika Kahn

Bringing Sexy Back-not self promotion but respect for the product :)

Aside from being one of the most INVIGORATING and PLAYFUL total body workouts, Jungshin(r)Fitness, LLC brings SEXY BACK when it comes to your arms!

SLEEK,SHAPELY, SHIMMERY arms that make people stop and say, “what did you do to get such hot lookin’ arms?” The response: “I use my Jungshin Sword daily!”

The Jungshin Sword builds LEAN muscle, adds fabulous definition to those arms, and gets rid of flab quickly and efficiently.

SLEEK: (finely contoured) comes from the fact that in every Jungshin slice, you are putting your attention on the fascia, rather than the simply on the muscles. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia). With Jungshin Fitness, the nervous system will start supporting the focus on the fascia and whatever else the body is being asks to do.

“There’s is no representation of a “deltoid” inside your movement brain. That’s just a concept over in your cortex, not in your biological organization.” (Thomas Myers: April 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal).

SHAPELY: Triceps, biceps, lats, pecs, deltoids. What are those you ask? The things that make people stop in the street and say, OH MAMA or, OOOH DADDY! These muscles get defined through each cut and the beauty is that the more you apply “gripping power” to your sword, the more the ligaments, fascia, and muscles engage. You get to monitor the intensity with which you build the desired shape you want!
What makes an arm look SEXY is the smooth contour of the skin and muscle as they fit over the bone. It’s the GRIP of the sword that brings a message to the tendons and fascia to start working their charm. This is the internal benefits of working with a Sword: Shape with out over-bulking.

SHIMMERY: No, it’s not that Sephora shimmer tan that gives your arms the shimmery effect (though I LOVE that product!). It’s the KI or CHI or Life Force energy (http://www.hapkiyoosool.com/ki.htm) that gives the skin a fabulous glow. Through the systematic breathing that Jungshin has made part of it’s program, more oxygen is brought to the cells, the digestive system is stimulated, the lymphatic system is activated, and the adrenals are given the necessary support they need to do their proper function in producing correct amounts of hormones and boost the immune system. Inhale through the nose as you bring the sword over the spine, belly rises on the inhale, chest relaxes, Exhale through the mouth as you bring the sword from the back of the body to the front, pulling the belly button to the spine. This breathing is what makes Jungshin Fitness a health and wellness system and not simply a workout.

Have you ever noticed why martial artists look so health and youthful?
It’s that KI breathing which Jungshin Fitness is bringing back to Western Fitness.

Through my own training in martial arts and achieving 4th degree black belt, I became more confident and with this confidence came self-respect and with this came a desire to eat right and take care of my body. Sure, I crave sugar and sweets and pasta and I go there a lot but there is an internal wisdom through the practice with the sword and Jungshin and my martial arts practice that is stronger than my mind’s desires.

This is what I bring to my students: The sword tells a story of who your are. It elicits an incredible amount of energy and power and leaves you feeling blissful through the meditations we do at the end of class. The sexy body is just an added benefit!

Will the real slim shady please stand up

I feel this important enough to post on my blogsite. I did not write it and it is full of good information. More to come on Jungshin and the Thyroid and how Jungshin’s moves stimulate healthy Thyroid….

Dear Patients,

CLEAR Center of Health, Inc. would like to extend its deepest sympathies to those
who are suffering and to those who were lost during the tragic string of events
in Japan over the past several days. We believe that health is not just something
we possess as individuals, but something we share in as a global community.

Amidst the tragedy that is occurring in Japan, there have been reports of radiation
dust potentially blowing from Japan to the West Coast of North America. Estimates
suggest that it could arrive here 5-10 days after the initial explosion. Though
we feel confident that there will not be significant radiation illness here in the
U.S., it is wise to take precautionary measures to protect our health.

Potentially being released in the radiation dust are two radioactive isotopes, Iodine
131 and Cesium 137. Iodine 131has a short active life and concentrates in the thyroid
gland and can cause thyroid dysfunction and thyroid cancer. Cesium 137 which remains
active for 30 years or longer concentrates in the muscle, liver and red blood cells.

The thyroid can be protected by saturating the thyroid gland with iodine for up
to 3 months after exposure.

Cesium 137 damage can be minimized by taking important antioxidants that reduce
free-radical injury.

At this point in the unfolding crisis, we encourage the following precautionary

1) Iodoral – one per day. This contains 12.5 mg of a combination of organic iodine
and iodide. Please do not take more than this without consulting your physician.

2) Modifilan – This is a red algae extract that was first used in Chernobyl to
treat victims of radioactive fallout with great success. We recommend 1,500 mg a
day – which would be 4 capsules at one time daily on an empty stomach.

More about Modifilan: Modifilan contains organic iodine and alginate which is a
natural absorbent of radioactive elements, heavy metals and free radicals and promotes
their excretion out of the body.

2) Vitamin E – 800 I.U. per day to prevent radiation induced free radical damage.

3) Vitamin C – 2,000 mg two times a day to protect against intracellular damage
from radiation.

4) Selenium – 200 mcg a day; protects DNA from radiation damage. Most good multivitamins
already have this amount in them. (You could also eat 3 Brazil nuts per day)

5) Ten Mushroom Formula – this contains Reishi mushroom which offers protection
from ionizing radiation and Beta 1,3 glucan a powerful free radical scavenger. Take
4 per day with or without food.

We will try to keep you updated with further developments as to the amount of radiation
reaching the US and what you can do to protect yourself. If radiation exposure in
the U.S. reaches significant levels we may recommend higher dosages of the above
and/or additional supplements

Gain Control. Gain Clarity. Become Clear.

CLEAR Center of Health, Inc.

125 Throckmorton Ave.

Mill Valley, CA 94941

Be your own science experiment

In the most recent IDEA Fitness Journal (March 2011), there is a nicely written and educational article on Free Radicals and Antioxidants written by Len Kravitz, PhD (pages 18, 20, 21).

What I particularly like is the depth of study conducted on free radical harm in overexertion vs. healthy insulin production in exercising hard enough to produce free radicals.

The chemical production of antioxidants must be in an acute balance with the necessary free radical production thus illustrating a natural flow:

Physical exercise –
transient increase in reactive oxygen species-
activation of specific genes-
increase in insulin sensitivity-
reduced disease risk

On page 20 there is an interesting correlation between the vitamin industry pushing antioxidant supplements and a lowered insulin sensitivity meaning, more risk in disease. I.E …some free radicals are good and all antioxidants are good but the balance is what is key.

So this of course leads me to my favorite workout in the entire world: Jungshin. Who would have guessed? Jungshin grounds it’s physical intensity on the natural flow between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, explosive to slow and sustained power, pushing the limits but before total exhaustion hits (not a good thing as this is where free radicals have a HAY DAY), changing muscle focus to calm the breathing and get ready for the next explosive wave. I like to say this is where the EAST meets the WEST or rather, where free radicals and antioxidants together find an equilibrium in their functions through exercise.

Stay tuned for more as we get ready to launch our Jungshin TV series.
Oh, and just a little aside: Jungshin practitioners can wear high heels, leather jackets, and ride motorcycles and still get the complete athletic workout they need wielding a sword. How you ask? Stay tuned…it’s all about balance and intention.

Amanda Krill -Virtual Business Rockstar

I’ve just gotta shout this out-the long way around of course:
3 years ago after a breakup that kicked my butt, by far the hardest workout I’ve ever been through making jump kicks over the Golden Gate Bridge a piece of cake, I was driving along highway 5 feeling very sorry for myself and listening to Christian Carter. He was talking about relationships and I was barely listening. As I said, I was feeling super sorry for myself. But then this chic comes on who Christian was interviewing named Marie Forleo. She caught my attention in her responses and her dynamic and fun warrior like energy. I listened. I started to stop feeling sorry for myself. (That was a weird sentence). So I contact Marie when I got home and started getting plugged into her women’s networking group where I virtually met a bunch of cool people including, Amanda Krill, the lady who just finished Jungshin’s KICKASS website! Am I excited? Totally! She is a rock star and super amazing. We still have not met in person but through the Internet were able to communicate, kids aside, about what was important. Need a virtual business rockstar? http://amandakrill.com

Has it really been nearly a year?

Cat is asleep, I phone is playing the blues, (“I gave you all my money, what else can I do?”), and I am trying to think of something smart to write. Nothing is coming. Well..maybe this: I GET IT! I got my Verizon I phone, traded in my old car for a new one, have my fancy sexy driving glasses and just absolutely love the press that’s starting to come out about Jungshin, Sword Taps Power, but at the end of the day I still face the existential question; what is it that truly makes my heart sing? It’s YOU training, it’s sweating in class with you, it’s training beyond my comfort level and yours, it’s moving energy so that the mind is more tired than the body, eventually, and we can all rest. It’s community! Oh, and –Licorice

I know..sort of short and sweet but that’s all I have tonight! Love you 🙂