“As soon as I get in shape…..When my schedule is not so busy…..when I have a little more money……as soon as I start my diet……when I get a little stronger.”
We have all heard these or said these before starting our martial arts training. They are the little things we tell ourselves and others about why we can’t train…..and they are all natural.
The truth is we know deep down that we really want to train, but the thought of walking into an Academy just plain scares us.
The good news is…..you don’t have to be! Training in a good Academy will not be a scary experience, will not require you to be an Olympic athlete, and it not just affordable…..but you can’t afford not to do it!
“AS SOON AS I GET IN SHAPE”………They only way to get in martial arts shape, is by doing martial arts. No other exercise can duplicate the movement and coordination you develop on the mat. More importantly it is one of the only forms of exercise that lets you develop at your own pace, that focuses on perfect technique, and smooth repetition.
“When my Schedule is not so Busy”…….The truth is, our schedule is never going to slow down. Life has a way of piling up responsibilities, events, obligations. We have to make time for ourselves, to remember we have the power to create the lives we want to live. The great news is you can stay consistent, make phenomenal growth, and reach your goals by setting aside a few hours each week and sticking to it.
The Average Adult spends 3 Hours a day in screen time……..imagine just investing that much time on yourself over the course of a whole week. We create time for the things we value!
“I Can’t Afford to Train.” The cost of training might seem expensive at first glance, but training at most Academies only costs between 3 to 5 Dollars a day. Less than the Starbucks you picked up this morning, or the First Run Movie Ticket you bought this weekend, less than a night out on the town…..and that is just the short term. Consider the long term cost…..your insurance copay is probably more expensive than 3 to 6 Months of Training. Medication to treat preventable illness and injury, the cost of injuries that could be avoided by training, just the feeling and benefit of having a healthy body outweighs the cost of class. You literally cannot Afford to Train!
Training at a Good Academy is like becoming a part of a Positive, Caring, Team. Where each person is dedicated not just to self improvement, but to helping you improve too! The atmosphere is positive, the classes are challenging and fun….and it is kind of place that you look forward to coming back to.
Don’t wait………Jump. Jump into training, into a new life, a new year, and a journey that will last a Lifetime!
Ready to Jump, Find a Great Academy Here: http://www.carolinabjj.com
In martial arts….and in life in general, we have a tendency to look at the big picture, the destination, our big goals and can’t help but be overwhelmed sometimes.
All of our doubts and fears begin creeping in and it is easy to become discouraged, lose focus, or just plain lose the drive to continue.
When the destination seems to far away, the goal to big, or the mountain is just to tall to climb, that is when we need to focus on the power of small victories.
After all, what is any huge accomplishment, but a collection of many, many small victories.
The Black Belt that just walked into class…..they didn’t earn that black belt from one grueling black belt test. They earned it from 10,000 regular classes, from 10,000 small victories. From those days they didn’t feel like coming to class, but did anyway. From that time they had a bump, or bruise, or small injury…..but they came anyway.
They reached their destination by taking each mile, each hill, each obstacle step by step.
Each small victory has a way of accumulating as you go. Of helping you gain traction, gain momentum, building speed as you go. Like the old steam powered trains that started painfully slow, and gradually build up steam and momentum until they are rocketing down the tracks unstoppable towards their destination.
The question is not will you reach your goal today, are you equipped for your dreams right now? The question is what step, no matter how small, can you take today? What small victory can you accomplish this very day to keep you on those tracks, moving just the tiniest bit forward, or maybe just from keeping you from rolling back? It might seem insignificant now…..but 10,000 days from now it may be the moment that made all the difference in your entire life.
So get up, get out, and get moving….and win SMALL today!
Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts
You have seen it a million times, on TV, Movies, Plays, in your neighborhood….at Halloween. A cute little kid all decked out in his karate uniform, white belt tied around his waist, punching, kicking and jumping in the air at some invisible person with a big smile on their face.
It reinforces just how popular martial arts are. In fact martial arts can now be seen on television weekly in the form of Mixed Martial Arts Competition, and even the addition of Karate to the Olympics in 2020.
All this popularity begs the question. Why should anyone, especially a child study martial arts?
Here are 5 reasons that help to answer that question:
- “There is no confidence, like self defense confidence” Knowing how to defend yourself not just physically, but verbally is an essential skill for children. Especially, with 1 in 4 children being bullied in America, and an estimated 160,000 kids that skip school to avoid being bullied every single day in the United States. Kids who know how to defend themselves are much more likely to stand up for themselves, and much less likely to be targeted by bullies.
- “No One Sits on the Bench at the Dojo” Martial Arts is unique in the sense that kids are a part of a group, but they still get to progress at their own rate. The stress and demands to preform and deliver for a team is eliminated. A child is free to make mistakes, and to learn from them without being singled out. Also, they get to play every “down”, with no time spent on the bench watching everyone else play.
- “Chivalry is Not Dead” Manners, Self-Respect, and Respect for others may seem like a lost art with children, and adults these days. That is not the case on the mats at the dojo. There is an emphasis on self-respect, they way you are dressed, how you keep your uniform and yourself clean, how you present yourself at the dojo, the respect you show others in your words, and in your actions towards them. Yes Sir, Yes Mam, Please, and Thank You, are all alive and well in the hearts, minds, and voices of children taking martial arts.
- “There are no Keyboards at the Dojo” Children are ever increasingly talking to each other from behind screens. From texting, to FaceTime, to Snapchat, to tweets, the list goes on and on. Martial Arts Classes are a great place for face to face interaction. For children to work together directly. To learn the art of communication, to see face to face how to work with another person.
- “It Takes a Village” Parenting is every bit as difficult now as it ever was. Raising Happy, Safe, Respectful, Helpful, Leaders of tomorrow is too much for even the best parents to do alone. Family, Friends, Teachers, Mentors, and Martial Arts instructors are vital in helping reinforce the values that you are instilling at home. A Martial Arts Teacher or “Sensei” influences not just the way students defend themselves, but he or she is imparting lessons on self-confidence, leadership, kindness, and motivation every single class.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg about why martial arts for children is an amazing resource, about why every child should learn these lesson, but all these words don’t mean much until you see it in action.
We urge you to take your child to a class, but not just any class. Find a Facility that is clean, and instructor that is knowledgeable, that is a Blackbelt of Skill and Character. Someone who you trust to teach your child more than just how to fight, but how to live.
I had a “Hallmark Moment” the other day. Sitting in a beautiful country inn, surrounded by happy people, a beautiful day beaming in through the windows, illuminating a breathtaking flower garden with children running and playing.
As I was soaking it in, I noticed bees buzzing from flower to flower….something I have seen thousands of times before…..something I never really stopped to consider for how amazing it is.
A plant that somehow over the course of time developed itself to produce a nectar the bees would be drawn to, a nectar whose purpose is to get the bees to land just so the plants pollen will collect onto the bee, and have the chance to be transferred to another plant, for the possibility of pollination. For the chance of making a new plant, to help continue the cycle of life for future plants….and for future bees.
What is even more intriguing are all of the millions of other wonderful connections that can be traced back to this one phenomena, of all of the connections that this one particular “every day” occurrence lead to.
It leads me to believe.
There is no every day, no ordinary, no run of the mill. That this world and everything in it are here for a purpose, that we are all designed with a purpose, with a connection to the world around us, as a much needed piece in an ever-growing puzzle.
That just by being yourself, being true to who you are, can and will send ripples through the entire planet. The we are all designed with a purpose, and a reason for being.
Find yours today, and start living the life you were born for.
Just in case you were thinking about slacking, laying low, skipping out on your goals this week.
Remember this, “winning” and succeeding is not a one time thing, it is not a big event, not one pivotal moment. It is an every day thing, it is a habit, it is in the decisions and actions we make from moment to moment.
Champions are “winning” one second at a time, through continued effort, continuous discipline, through continuing to strive past our own limitations, or own negative self talk, past our doubt, and fears, and the judgments of others.
DEDICATION is not a personality trait, it IS A VERB….something that is breathed into life by being put into ACTION……
I get asked from time to time for advice, tips for becoming successful, from students, people I train with, and even from “competitors”. It made me sit down and think about what I think is important and what might be helpful. Here are the keys that I feel are of importance to becoming a good blackbelt, and a pretty good person.
Three Keys to success in martial arts
1) Success in anything, especially martial arts, is simply about consistency. We are what we consistently do. Not what we do intently for six weeks, or a month. You have heard that “Success is 80% showing up on time” and if that is the case then the other 20% is simply staying there.
The people who make it from white belt to blackbelt, or to a championship level are a diverse group. Some athletic, some young, some rich, some poor, some who started with two left feet, some who started after 30, but what they all have in common is consistency. They show up when it is convenient, and when it is not, they make the extra drive to a quality school, they come to class through the highs and lows, through the heat, and cold, through bumps and bruises, through praise and correction. Before they are an expert in martial arts, they are an expert in showing up.
2) Passion is great to get you started, but you need commitment to keep you going. We are never short on passion…..just look at the marriage rate in America, however commitment is a harder commodity to come be……just look at the divorce rate in America!
Everyone loves coming into the dojo when their uniform is new, all the classmates are new, when you haven’t used all the equipment yet, when the techniques are fresh, and when “that was a cool drill, I like that one!” Passion will sweep you through those first few months no problem.
Passion fails to take you past those first few months, past those bumps in the road…..and their will always be bumps in the road, past those minor injuries, those aches and pains, through that time when the drills aren’t so new “not this again”, past repetition “if I have to sidekick again, I am going to scream”, past seeing the same faces “I have to spar them again!”. Passion ignigtes the flame, but commitment is needed to fan it.
Commitment is continuing to train because it is going to take you somewhere you want to go, make you into someone you want to be. It is the “paddle for your sail boat, when the winds die down for a little bit”
3) Pride, showing up is the first step, passion and commitment come next but pride is the difference maker.
Pride is doing that last rep, like the first because you will not accept any less. Pride is giving it all when there is no chance of you winning because you refuse to accept defeat. Pride is “putting your name on your work”. Pride is what separates who wants it enough to go through the motions, and who wants it enough to become their very best. Pride is found clearly seen at the end of the round, after you have been knocked down, when your nose is bleeding, and just beyond where others have quit. Pride is not a function of athletic ability, genetic gifts, or muscle mass, pride is a function of your heart, your desire to be better, you commitment not to fail, and more importantly not to give up.
Of course the three keys are useless without one important factor…..knowledge. Find a martial artist who you want to be like, who exhibits the three keys above, and who will demonstrate all three in passing their skills, knowledge, and example on to you.
Find these keys in yourself and the people around you, and it is not a question of if, but simply when it will be your time to shine.
Hickory Academy of Martial Arts, Hickory NC
Our seventh episode on bullying, and bullying issues deals with dealing with your problems head on, and finding positive outlets to deal with stress, and the people in your life who can support you through a bullying situation.
It is the best time of the year again, to be with the ones we love, relax, recharge……and get fat! Here are a few quick workouts to keep your body as close to it’s pre holiday shape as possible, or at least help keep you from being mistaken for one of Santa’s reindeer this Holiday Season.
Routine #1) Ten, Ten and Ten: Very simple, very quick, and no equipment needed. Simply do 10 jumping jacks, ten pushups, and ten squats and repeat for ten two minute rounds. Rest 30 seconds to one minute between each round depending on your fitness level, or how much egg nog you have had!
Routine #2) Shadow Boxing: Again another simple, no equipment needed workout. Start with a one minute round of jumping jacks to get your body warm, and then go straight into a three minute shadow boxing round. If you are new to shadow boxing, it is easy. Just imagine an opponent in front of you, keep your hands up, chin down and start throwing punches in two’s, three’s, and four’s while you move and focus on simulating a real fight. Repeat the jumping jacks, and shadow sparing for five rounds for a quick pre-glutton christmas feast.
Routine #3) “Forest, I can’t feel my legs.” Quick but not easy routine to blast your legs into submission, and burn some of those Ninja Bread Cookies off. I would write down all the details, but I have got a Christmas ham with my name all over it calling from the next room. Check out the video below for all the details, and make sure you enjoy the holidays……..between a few quick workouts!