Martial Arts in the Professional World (Pt. 2)

In our last blogpost, I asked two KOMA professionals how the life skills they developed while training in taekwondo helped them to become successful in their careers and in life. This time, we hear from two more professionals. Here are their responses: 


Eric Mann



What is your job title? What responsibilities does your post entail?

I am a property and casualty actuary.  I price excess casualty insurance for large corporations with a focus on technology error & omissions coverage and cyber coverage. Right now the insurance industry is going through challenging business environment where this is more insurance being offered relative to the demand for insurance.

Does practicing taekwondo ever provide a fix to any daily challenges you face?

Taekwondo acts as a stress reliever.  It provides an excellent outlet for stress by allowing me to exercise, socialize, and set goals outside of my professional goals. Taekwondo lowers my stress levels and keeps me in shape which helps me stay energized and focused during my work day.  

Any final thoughts?

When I started taekwondo I was a skinny math nerd.  Now I am a ripped math nerd with the skills to roundhouse kick Chuck Norris in the face!


Jennifer Glagola



What is your job title? What responsibilities does your post entail?

I spend my days at Alpine Litho-Graphics, a commercial printing company. My job title is "Technical Services". I manage and administrate a B2B eCommerce platform that allows me to build online storefronts for our clients. Creating these storefronts involves meeting with the client, making a plan, implementing that plan and maintaining and managing the storefront.

What type of challenges do you face in this position?

One of the challenges I face in this profession is keeping up with the latest technology. (Okay, those of you who know me can stop laughing now.) Clients want the latest and greatest and I have to be able to provide this for them. Not only do I have to keep up my skills at using all the graphics software that I am accustom to using, but new software as well. Programming technology including html, javascript and cascading style sheets kicks the challenge level up a few notches. Not only is all of this a challenge for my mind, but also for my personality. I am a routine oriented person. New technology is anything but routine. Lucky for me this is all also very detail oriented work, and that is one of the reasons I enjoy it.

Does practicing taekwondo ever provide a fix to these challenges?

Although practicing taekwondo does not provide a direct fix for the challenges I face in my profession, it has and continues to provide constant, indirect support and insight that influences my behavior as a person, which of course includes my professional world. For example, competing at the national level in poomsae takes discipline and focus and courage! I prepare by training hard and putting in the time needed. Performing in front of judges (not to mention spectators) can be quite nerve racking! Every time I compete I gain a little confidence and am a little less nervous than the time before. This carries over to my job. When I speak in front of groups of people, I'm in an uncomfortable situation (for which I only have myself to blame, as it is ultimately my choice to have this job and be in this situation) and I have to face my fears and deal with it. Like taekwondo, I prepare, plan and yes, even practice. And each time is a little easier than the time before. 

Taekwondo and KOMA have been a huge influence in keeping the importance of discipline in the forefront of my mind, and hence, my actions. It's the "never give up" attitude! I see and experience the benefits of practicing taekwondo in my work by looking at the opportunities that are continually being presented to me. Tasks and projects that I would never have thought I would be able to take on are offered to me with the utmost trust and confidence. Confidence and discipline on top of a good work ethic (thanks Mom and Dad) are responsible for this. Taekwondo allows me to continually work on improving both of these characteristics.

Any final thoughts?

I am blessed to have had parents that raised me to be a good human being. I had a good base to start with as I became an adult and branched out on my own. We all know how difficult life can be sometimes. We all need help sometimes, whether it be from family or friends or professionals. I feel that practicing taekwondo at KOMA helps me stay on track in life. It goes way beyond the martial art itself. Yes, I love and need the physical activity - it's fun and the main reason I started doing taekwondo. But the benefits I experience from taekwondo and KOMA - both direct and indirect - are endless and possibly immeasurable.


Zenia Amrolia