Organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have included karate in the shortlist of recommended additions to the Games. A final decision will be made in August of 2016, and in the meantime, advocates of many different styles of karate will be lobbying for their rules to be included in the events. Continue reading Karate in the Olympic Games
Yes, Virginia, there is a way to practice martial arts at home. It doesn’t require the same amount of space you’d see at the gym or a martial arts facility, but it does need dedicated space outfitted to make your practice time at home safe and worthwhile.
If you want to commit to a practice at home, there are a couple of things to consider: what kind of practice will you be doing, will you be doing it alone, how much are you willing to spend to create this space, and what are your personal preferences regarding equipment? Once you’ve answered these questions you can begin to create your own martial arts practice space at home.
What is your discipline? BJJ? Aikido? Judo? If you practice solo, your space requirements will be less than if you’re grappling or doing throws. It can also have an effect on the type of flooring you’ll require. Always put martial arts mats down on a hard surface like hardwood, tile, or concrete. Never practice on carpet: its softness is deceptive and can lead to injury. A textured martial art mat is best, and the thickness can be determined by the type of MA you’re doing and the level of skill you’ve already achieved.
You don’t have to spend your life savings outfitting your new space. Floor mats are relatively inexpensive; you might want to consider using them on the walls, too. Good lighting and whatever additional training equipment you’ll want can be added over time. If you just want to be able to get started before you lose momentum, clear out that garage or corner of the basement, put some mats down, and you’re good to go. Add to your space as funds allow, but always keep your ideal practice space in mind. Don’t waste your time or resources on the latest whistles and bells. A simple practice space will help you keep the mental discipline you’ve worked so hard at.
If you’re a beginner, keeping the practice space simple will help you stay focused on the basics. If you’re more advanced, a simple space will help you focus on the intricacies of movement and strategy. With some adjustments, the padding you use on the floor can be applied to walls to add additional protection. And as finances allow, adding training equipment to your space can increase the versatility of your home gym. A home practice space is an excellent choice, though it’s no substitute for highly-trained instruction. But for extending your martial arts practice, well, there’s no place like home…there’s no place like
It’s tough making the after-school activities choice. There are so many possibilities, and many of them are really good for kids’ development. How do you choose the one that will help them stay active and socially engaged? Take some advice from thousands of parents: involve your children in martial arts.
After-school activities aren’t just baby-sitters. They should be socially engaging, movement-oriented (they’ve been sitting all day), and offer opportunities for advancement. Few after-school activities can offer the menu of benefits martial arts participation can. Not only does it promote physical well-being, it contributes significantly to mental and emotional well-being, too.
Classrooms have become adept at teaching reading, science, and other academic subjects, but we want them to teach goal-setting, too, regardless of the area of discipline. Too often our kids are told what their goals are with classwork and team competitions, but with martial arts, students are challenged to define their own goals and then work with an instructor and independently to achieve those goals. Wouldn’t it be great if your kid’s after-school program positively affected her classroom performance?
Students who regularly practice martial arts often have a higher degree of self-confidence than their peers. Some of that can be attributed to their increased strength and ability to defend themselves, but it is also because they know they can achieve any goal they set for themselves. Enroll your shy 1st-grader in a year of martial arts and watch how different second grade will be. Entering the pressure-heavy middle school years might be easier with the confidence your child gains in martial arts practice.
Don’t settle for an after-school period of snacks, video games, or more sitting around. Keep your child engaged, growing her self-confidence, and learning to set her own goals with an after-school martial arts program.
School is back in session, and sadly, for many kids and their parents, this means bullying season is in full swing. How can you help your child, whether she’s bullied or is the bully, cope with aggression this year? Martial arts can help kids and families on both sides of the bullying fence because of the core principles they teach. Continue reading Martial Arts for Bully and Bullied