tOver the years martial arts has changed. It changed hundreds of years ago, and I am sure that it will change in the future. The martial arts has evolved from being a way to defend yourself to also being a way for people to stay healthy and develop a stinger moral character. Not to long ago teachers in the martial arts realized that the mental benefits of the training could be very useful to children. The younger students today still learn the same blocks, punches, and kicks, with a great focus on the: fcous, self-discipline, and effort. These qualities we relate to all areas of the students life. Any child could benefit from a lesson on making sure you put good effort into the things you do, for example: homework, cleaning up their room, doing chores...... The list can go on and on. But we encourage to try their very best with each kick with tons of effort. We are hoping to create a habit of trying your very best with everything they do. Now lets go back to the Physical fitness aspect. The martial arts is not a sport, it is something entirely different that anyone can do. Just this past saturday I asked a class who jogs? Who goes out for a 2 or 3 mile jog? anyone? One student said he runs a lot! I said that is great. He then preceded to tell me that he runs from his living room to the dining room a lot practicing his kicks hahaha. But my point with this is these kids don't like to jog, but they love to train, which anyone will tell you is a great cardio workout! This will help keep them in good shape. Who stretched anymore? I do. I stretch when I teach class but I also stretch at home very often. If I ever play a bored game with my family I will usually be in a side split because I view that as a great opportunity, but thats just me. I asked who lifts weights? I dont. And most of the kids are to young to lift weights. But the constant low stances and high kicks will certainly give your legs a great workout and keep them strong and keep you knees strong to. Trust me. What about core strength? Who goes home and sees their child practicing sit ups or leg raises? We do some of these exercises in class, but I can tell you just from kicking high and holding kicks, your core will stay strong. So the physical fitness part of out training is important as well. I tell my students to think about your training like your workout. Punch hard, kick hard, have low stances, sweat, its good for you. That pain in your side is good for you haha.
The Black Belt Success Cycle is a great and easy way to teach kids how to set and achieve goals. #1 Know what you want. This is most important because we need to be specific. The more precise we are about our goal the easier it is to achieve it. #2 Have a plan. This sounds like its a no brainer, but we need to have a detailed plan of how we are going to achieve our goal. You make outlines for many other things in life before you do them, so why should you do anything different with your goals? Don't you make an outline of an essay before you write it in school. I know I learned to do that. #3 Have a success coach. A success coach is someone who has done what you want to do or can teach/help you do what you need to do. This could be a teacher, parent, friend...... But you have to have a person like this. You can have more then one success coach. #4 Take consistent action. The key here is not to burn yourself out in the beginning and have to take a break. Your plan from earlier will help you stay on track and take CONSISTENT action. Some goals take a long time to achieve and it is important to steadily make progress. Kind of like the story of the Chinese bamboo that doesn't grow for the first 5 years or so and then grows over 100 feet within a couple of weeks. The funny thing tho is if you didn't water it and take care of it every day over those 5 years it never would have grown. So you have to stay consistent with that. #5 Review your progress. It is important to review your progress and see if you are on track, maybe you are progressing faster then you thought, or maybe you fell behind due to an unexpected problem. Which brings me to the last step. #6 Renew your goals. Maybe you can renew when you are going to accomplish your goal. Maybe it can be done sooner. Maybe it can be done later. Maybe you can do more then you thought you could do. It is always a perfect idea to renew your goals right away and use this momentum you have built up to keep driving you forward. I hope the black belt success cycle can help you :)
I am very excited about the Brookhaven Holiday Parade this saturday. This parade is the longest parade we do. It is also very cold so I encourage everyone to bundle up under their uniform. We will be handing out candy canes and flyers during the parade. If parents what to bring a wagon or something like that..... That might not be a bad idea. We might have a ninja turtle to join us for the parade also. Ill keep you all updated on that. Please refer to the picture below for the modified schedule on saturday and all the information about the parade.
I am very excited about our Halloween party. This is by far the most fun event we do all year. We will have games set up outside and games going on inside and the the night will conclude with the costume contest. We have 5 categories: Funniest, Scariest, Sweetest, and Most original for the kids. The adults will have the chance to win the best couple, or best group costume. The sleepover will begin shortly after the party ends. We only have 13 spaces left for the sleepover, so fill out your registration form in the lobby asap.
Confidence is believing in yourself and having an I can attitude. This is what we teach the students. How do we gain confidence? We gain confidence through trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and then finally succeeding. Once you have gone through this process enough times you start to see a pattern. You start to see that you will try, try, try, and try, and then finally succeed. You might not always get it right on the first try, but eventually you will. The problem is that if we quite before we reach that success our mind gets vision of a different pattern. It sees try, try, try, and then fail. That is what we want to avoid. Our job as martial arts instructors is to keep motivating the students to try again and again and again. Then eventually they succeed. This gets their mind to see the good pattern of try, try, try, try, and succeed :)
Stranger danger is a phrase I am sure we have all heard by now. We teach our kids not to talk to strangers. But who is a stranger? I tell my students that a stranger is someone that mom and dad don't know. That is simple. The parents can then take that lesson home with them and talk about people they know and who it is ok for their child to talk to. Safety is another topic we incorporate into this lesson. What happens if you get separated from mom or dad when you go out somewhere? We just told our students not to talk to strangers! So we give them a list of a few good strangers they can talk to that can help them. The 1st scenario I always go over is what if you get separated from mom or dad in a store: wal mart, target, or even at the movies. We teach our students to go to the person behind the cash register. That person definitely works there and they can assist you in finding mom and dad. This is just part of all the safety and stranger awareness lessons we go over during our classes.
Its is back to school time. It is an adjustment and it can be tough sometimes. That is why we are here to help. In each of our classes we always talk about a mental part of our training. Focus, self control, self discipline, concentration..... The list goes on. The important part is that we have to talk about how we use this at home and school as well. That is where we want to hear the students are using these skills. They are obviously going to use them in class with us, that is our job :) But furthermore our job is to encourage the same behavior at home and school. So mom and dad are working with their kids at home to stay focused and use self discipline, in school their teacher is helping them stay focused and... Lets be honest if I tried to list everything the teachers are helping the students with, this would be the longest blog ever so you can just insert your thought here haha. And here at karate we are encouraging the same behavior. As a team we are making sure these children are going to be the best they can be.
If you are like me you probably search for something that you and your family can do together. I would like for you to think about martial arts. Moo Sa karate has its classes structured for family classes. This means it is broken up by rank and everyone over the age of 8 trains together. There are some pluses and minuses with this way. But what I love to see is moms and dads training right along side with their children. When I give a lesson about self discipline or perseverance the children know mom or dad is right there hearing the same thing, and it kind of makes the kids almost have to use it at home. They are held accountable because they know mom and dad heard me telling them to use this at home. On the other side of that just because you are an "adult" doesn't mean you are perfect. We can still use coaches and sometimes it is nice to be reminded that even tho you are tired you can still get done what you need to get done. As adults it is good to have that reassurance that you can get past whatever problems you are having. You are a martial artist, you will persevere, don't give up. Who wouldn't love to hear that every day. On top of all this parents and their kids are learning the same blocks, punches and kicks. So at anytime dad could go practice some self defense with his kids, or mom could practice some forms with the kids. There is something you share now. I truly believe "The family that kicks together, sticks together."
I am very excited to announce that the beach workout is set for Sunday September 9th. It will be in Ocean City New Jersey on the beach at 5th street. All students are invited. This is an awesome opportunity to train with some of the best martial artists around. Master Coleman sets this event up every year and it is always a blast. Master Z will also be there with his students. This is a great time of year to do it because it is not to hot. The boardwalk is just a couple hundred feet away. Each year after the training we relax on the beach and then go to the boardwalk.
All students should wear the moo sa summer training t-shirt, black shorts, and the karate belt. The shorts should pretty much be black. If there are designs or something thats fine. We just want everyone to look as uniform as possible. You can purchase the Tae Kwon Do Shorts that master quillen is so fond of if you would like. They are only $17.
Leaders are very important. They guide others around them not just by authority or words but by their actions. In our classes we are developing leaders and they might not even know they are becoming a leader. We teach our students that they don't decide to be a leader its the people around you that decide to follow you or allow you to influence them. My students might not always know that by answering really loud in class or fighting to keep their stances down in class might be seen by the other students and encourage them to do the same. For example maybe a student is having a hard time learning a new form and they see another student practicing the same form and doing it over and over and over again to try and get it right. This simple action might encourage the student having trouble to get up and start practicing also. Of course this is not a guarantee. But I think we can all agree if everyone came in before class and just sat down then no one would be motivated to get up and practice. Just remember you might be a leader and not even know it.