You need to do more than just turn up to class to get your next belt!

From time to time we’re asked by parents when a child is due to grade.  Sometimes it’s not as simple as they know their pattern, or they learnt the new combination.

There are various requirements that a student needs to pass before they will be invited to grade.

These include:

  • Demonstrating they know the practical grading requirements (also shown by having all coloured tips on their belt)
  • Be able to demonstrate a firm underling of previous grading material.
  • Show the correct behaviour by having a Black Belt Attitude at all times in and out of classes
  • Attend training regularly and achieve the minimum number of lessons required to achieve next belt – this is based on a number of lessons NOT number of months

Often we will say it takes 3 or 6 months between grades, but this is based on a student attending a minimum of 2 lessons per week – if a student attends only 1 session, often takes much longer, because there is a whole week between classes so they are not able to retain the information as easily.

The following table shows the minimum amount of lessons a student needs to attend between grades.

This doesn’t mean that once a student has completed the required lessons, they would be entitled to grade – they must still show all the requirements above.

Over the past few days we have been assessing our students and who is ready grade; we have noticed a HUGE different between those who have achieved the minimum required lessons by training 2 or 3 times a week, and those those who have spread this out over a longer period by only training once a week;

In most cases, the standard of their techniques, the understanding of the motions and the general knowledge of their training is to a much higher standard.

Although they are learning the same content, in the same lessons but over a longer period of time; they are not able to retain the information in the same way that someone who regularly trains 2 or more times per week can.

Plus add an additional session or two of home practise and you will see EVEN BETTER RESULTS!

What’s More, by training more regularly you will become fitter, more flexible and generally have more energy then by passing your gradings in a shorter period you will have more motivation to push forwards and achieve the next level because you know YOU CAN!

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Kickboxing is a group of stand-up combat sports founded on kicking and punching, generally created from Karate, Muay Thai, Khmer Boxing, and Western boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, physical game and general fitness. In this article we will focus on the benefits of kickboxing in relation to general fitness. Below are the benefits associated with kickboxing:

  1. Burning Fat

Combining martial arts and heart-pumping cardio, kickboxing is a high-vitality workout that burns calories and fat. It’s an amazingly productive workout. Kickboxing alone burns around 750 calories in 60 minutes.

The cardio-conditioning component of kickboxing is one of the best approaches to burn fat especially that stubborn belly fat that brings about an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Research has shown that aerobic exercise is far much better and effective at reducing belly fat than resistance training, by burning an average of 67 percent more calories. However, note that the number of calories burned per exercise session varies according to your weight, intensity level, duration of your exercise session and types of exercises performed.

  1. Muscle Toning

Kickboxing tones your upper and lower body through punching and kicking the bag. You will feel stronger after each workout. The “kick” in kickboxing works your legs while punching works your abdominal area, particularly your arms, and builds muscle endurance. Moves like roundhouse kicks work your core muscles, and kickboxing keeps your abs continually locked in. Engaging your core will also ultimately improve co-ordination, while the constant movement in kickboxing improves flexibility and reflexes.

  1. Relieves stress and anxiety

Sometimes the most ideal approach to release stress in the wake of a hard day at work is not cold beer, but rather some serious physical action. Kickboxing offers a sound approach to get out a portion of the day’s disappointments out of your system, which will also give you better sleep at night and enhance your mental clarity. The group atmosphere of kickboxing is even more effective in releasing endorphins. While any type of vigorous activity will release these feel-good chemicals, group exercise enhances their impact.

  1. Improve Balance

As you are kicking on one foot, you will build balance and stability to throw harder kicks as time goes on. This way you get to improve your balance over time; you know how important balance is. The types of movements and activities that are common to kickboxing have been supported by a relatively large body of balance training research in older adults. The common elements of successful balance training programs used for older adults include velocity, fast interactive movements of the head and body; verticality, vertical movements of the body against gravity; vigor, moderate to high intensity exercise; vision, challenges to the visual system; and vestibular, challenges to the vestibular system.

Extraordinarily, kickboxing seems to incorporate these basic components into a solitary action.  Kickboxing involves fast movement of the limbs and trunk (velocity); punching and kicking while in a standing position (verticality); powerful and repetitious movements of the limbs (vigor); directing punches and kicks toward moving visual targets (vision), and rotational movements of the head and upper body (vestibular). This way it is in order to conclude that kickboxing improves your balance greatly.

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How Martial Arts Help Prevent Bullying

What Martial Arts can do in regards to Bullying

Bullying, particularly in schools, is one of the difficult issues one can encounter. The effect of bullying of kids in schools and other places has hit an epidemic ratio. Bullying has always been a problem, it causes long-term damage to the victim’s self-esteem. But this problem has many ways to encounter it both for the bully and the victim. Through Martial Arts, both sides of the bully equation can be addressed. Here’s how:

Martial Arts for Bullies

Builds confidence: the reason why people bully others often is to enjoy dominance and status. Martial Arts help in building up the confidence of the bully so that they won’t rely on bullying to gain approval and attention,

Increases self-respect: Bullies normally have the urge to be in control. Martial Arts help these kids become more aware of their emotions and actions. It shows them that no one deserves any kind of mistreatment, and everyone deserves respect.

Leadership skills: studies have shown that Bullies might be suffering from an anti-social personality disorder and lack of empathy. This condition makes them ignore other people feeling and rights. Martial Arts help bullies by teaching them the qualities of a leader and also develop the quality of empathy within them.

Discipline: inconsistent approach to disciplining your child is one of the contributing factors to bullying. Martial Arts provides clear-cut and consistent discipline structure that will help Bullies learn the types of behavior accepted in the society and the one that are not.

Martial Arts for kids who are bullied

Builds confidence: Bullies pick on easy targets (weak, unsure of themselves and easily scared). Martial Arts builds up your kid’s confidence, making them project an aura of strength ensuring that they are not easy targets.

Self-respect: one thing that Bullying does is, shatter the victim’s self-esteem leading to a low self-worth and image. In fact, this is the most recognized sign of bullying. Martial Arts teach this child to respect themselves first if they want others to respect them.

Leadership skills: social isolation can put your child at a higher risk of being bullied. Bullies look for less popular kids. Martial Arts train your child to have confidence in socializing. This will help them make more friend and become popular, but not bully targets.

Self-defense: martial arts help stop bullying by teaching your kids how to defend themselves. We saw that Bullies pick on easy targets. Martial Arts will equip your kids with defensive skills, this helps them to naturally project a more confident image.

Help your child to stop being a Bully or keep your child safe from Bullies by enrolling them for Martial Art classes. This will help in nurturing responsible gentlemen and ladies.

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1. Encourage Interests

It is sometimes easy to want certain activities to become important to your kids, if they are important to you. (I love football and I want my child to play on a team.) There can also be an unspoken expectation that you do not want certain interests to become part of your child’s life. (I do not want my child to become a gymnast.) In order to allow your child to develop passion and drive for something, as little rules for what is acceptable as possible should be the goal. This includes gender role rules – girls can’t play football and boys can’t be a dancer. The more a child embraces something, the more they learn who they can be and what they want to accomplish. The more they understand themselves, the more they learn about how capable they are.

2. Demonstrate Respect

If your child hears you criticizing or judging others for their behaviors, actions or attitudes, it makes a child more wary of showing vulnerability and honesty in front of you for fear of the same. A child needs to have respect and understanding modeled as a way of observing the world around them – then they learn to form impressions based on neutrality. The same applies for when they struggle with something; it is not a problem, but something to figure out based on looking at the situation objectively. Once they conquer it, it boosts their self-confidence.

3. Teach Skills

On one hand, allowing a child to figure something out for him/herself is a major self-confidence booster. However, the more exposure a child has to learning new skills, the more he or she feels capable and confident that anything that comes in the future can be handled effectively. I grew up with a Dad who could fix anything (“Handy Andy”), and he let me watch and help him whenever he was working on something. I was always very proud (and still am!) that I know how to wire lighting fixtures, cut in with a paint brush, etc. There is an innate sense of accomplishment when you know that you have been taught to do something well.

4. Be Involved

There is little more powerful to a child’s confidence and self-esteem than knowing that a parent is always involved and invested in whatever matters to him or her. Whether that means sitting on the sidelines at games, cheering as a child finishes a puzzle, or watching a child figure out how to ride a bike for the first time, your time and attention is so valuable. It not only increases your bond, but it teaches your child that they can believe in themselves because they have someone who already does.

5. Demonstrate Self-Esteem

The strongest relationship influence in a child’s life is a parent. It seems that peers have more impact, but studies show that parents have the greatest and longest lasting influence. So, if you are critical of yourself or demonstrate disbelief in your abilities in front of your kids, it is likely that they will adopt a similar opinion of themselves. The more you show that you can accept your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths, the more you will encourage self-esteem in your kids to do the same.

Self-esteem and confidence are learned characteristics and traits, and children need opportunities to develop them. With encouragement, time and attention they can learn to embrace their capabilities and challenge their weaknesses. Regardless of how much or little they currently possess, there is always more to be gained with the right experiences. May your confidence in your parenting grow as you encourage confidence in your children!

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How Children Benefit from Martial Arts Training

Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids

The mystique attached to martial arts is undeniable for a majority of the adults. Likewise, though on a much different scale in the day to day life, martial arts have a positive effect on children who participate in the sport. Unlike what most people think, martial arts are not only meant for the less confident or self-fulfilling kids. It is intended for children from all walks of life and personalities. Following are the benefits of martial arts to children.

  1. Self defense

Most of the time, this is the primary reason why parents engage their kids in martial arts schools and academies. Crime rates involving children seem to be going up day in day out, hence alarming the parents. You cannot be with your child every day all the time; the least you can do is to protect them. Martial arts are the perfect way to train children on their self-defense in fun and involving way. Of course, you do not expect your three-year kids to be having million dollar moves, but the simple defensive moves that they learn, go a long way in giving you peace of mind.

  1. Self-discipline

One of the major basic values that martial arts teach children is self-discipline. There is no way a child will learn, understand, remember and pass the courses without discipline. If a child seems to be out of hand at home and school where discipline is concerned, TaeKwonDo, for instance, is one way to reinforce their focus and discipline. Once the kid starts martial arts training, you’ll be certain to get positive behavioral developments from the kid.

  1. Self Confidence

While martial arts are for all categories of children, it does better to children who seem to have low self-esteem. Why is self-confidence so necessary? Everywhere the child will go, they will be expected to voice their thoughts and concerns. Be it at school, at home, at the hospital or even when playing with their peers. Self-confidence is the beginning of molding a total person, who can be relied upon to become a productive adult. It is the stepping stone to a successful life. Martial arts enable the kids to surpass the ridicule and bullying from fellow kids.

  1. Physical Fitness

Martial arts involve a lot of physical actions. There are multiple moves and tactics to be learned and mastered. That means the kids will have to keep repeating the same moves over and over until when they are perfect. As such, the kids will automatically be healthy and strong. There is no room to retain excess fat in the body and risk becoming obese. With time, you will notice a change in their feeding and exercising habits. They will eat healthier foods and exercise more often without your coercion.

  1. Self-Control

One of the major mental benefits of martial arts is self-control. Younger children will often be unreasonable and throw tantrums about anything and everything. Martial arts training teach the children to develop control over their minds and bodies. This is done through exercises which are trained in class. The training begins in their mind, and their bodies follow. You will notice that kids who attend or have attended martial arts classes, are not easily angered and they rarely pickup fights with other kids at school or home.

  1. Improved concentration/focus

Kids must be the only creatures in the world with the shortest concentration and memory spans. Their focus is only for a very limited period of time, and they forget almost immediately. With martial arts, the aspects of concentration and focus are among the major training lines. If a child cannot focus during martial arts training, then they cannot learn anything. Martial arts focus on three major forms of focus. These are; focus your mind, focus your eyes, and focus your body. These three forms of focus greatly shape the kid even to focus on other things in life.

  1. Improvement on other Sports

Martial arts are a sport themselves since they involve aggressive physical activities. The training involves the need for power, timing, speed, coordination, and flexibility. All these aspects are important in other sports such as football, soccer, baseball and even field events.

  1. Respect

Kids who are involved in martial arts activities get to learn of the possible hidden abilities of other people. They learn to respect people of all ages, religions, and races. They also learn to listen to their superiors and follow instructions.

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