Resolutions and Goal Setting!

Happy New Year to our Students, Parents and Families!IMG_1288 (2)

The New Year is typically a time for resolution and setting goals, even though as martial artists we are taught to continually be resolute with the daily practice of goal setting.

We would like to encourage and support all of our students and friends by helping everyone realize their goals.  The multitude of self-help books and articles found in magazines and the internet recommend being realistic in your goals:

  • Set small bench marks and be specific.
  • Think of alternatives to behavior, not just a list of what not to do.
  • Make sure the change is important to you and not others.

Focus on the three main areas in your life – physical, work/career/school, personal. Write down one goal in each area.  Be as specific as possible.  Make an action plan and develop a time line by listing three specific steps with a target completion date that will help you reach your objectives.  Record a means of support: an accountability partner, person, group etc.

Remember set backs can be lessons for growth and the practice of framing your thoughts in a positive manner!

Holiday Safety!

The following call to be a GUARDIAN and Holiday Safety Tips are courtesy of Mr. Dave Young, the founder of the U.S. Fighting Systems Program. He has spent the past 25 years teaching military, police and corrections officers how to stay safe and defend themselves. For more information, sign up for his free safety tips here: Your Family Defense

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Dave Young’s End of Year and Holiday Safety Tips

  1. Increase your level of AWARENESS.
  2. On your morning run or ride to work through the neighborhood, take “brain pictures” of cars parked in the street that may not belong to a neighbor.
  3. Carefully screen friendly knocks at the door – it may not be the person you think behind it.
  4. Watch hands as people approach you, they may not have something good inside their pockets.
  5. When shopping, be conscious of people spending more time watching you than the items they came to buy.
  6. Pay attention as you walk into stores – make sure people from the outside don’t follow you in.
  7. Keep your personal belongings close and your family members even closer.
  8. Discuss your “Family Action Plan.” Know what will family members do and where will they go in case of an emergency.
  9. Before you sit down at a restaurant, coffee shop, concert, theater or any other place, make sure you identify your escape routes, positions of cover possible, and weapons of availability if needed.
  10. Do not count on the call for help to be your safety plan!

Celebrate National Healthy Lunch Day!

As Martial Artists we try our best to make good food choices. What we eat is part of our overall self defense!
TodayIMG_1358 we are helping to celebrate National Healthy Lunch Day in support of National Diabetes Awareness Month.
According to The American Diabetes Association:
Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
Here are some recommendations from the National Diabetes Education Program on ways to prevent type 2 diabetes:
  1. Reduce portion size – Eat slowly, listen to music rather than watch TV, add more fruits and vegetables, share one dessert
  2. Move more each day – Take the stairs, deliver messages in person, dance
  3. Be aware – choose foods with little or no added sugar, cook with spices instead of salt, add less oil and butter, rethink your drink (more water)
  4. Take care of your mind, body and soul – relax with a walk or meditation, think before you eat, try new foods

Preparing for Tournament!

TournamentFor the first time our City Youth Martial Arts Program students were invited to take part in a tournament! Tournaments are for everyone, beginners through Black Belts; children and adults. They are not about winning and losing, but about learning how to compete, deal with pressure and use self-discipline to achieve a goal. Participation builds patience, self control, confidence and good sportsmanship.

Our discussions with all students have emphasized the 5 P’s: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance! In order to do well at anything, we need to practice. We don’t merely go through the motions. We practice how we would want to perform. It’s important to find time every day. Even 10 minutes helps! This adaptation of an old military adage is also a good reminder that our self defense fundamentals should be practiced with that same intensity. It’s difficult to think under stress, but your muscles will remember what they’ve done.

Investigating the 5 P’s  led us to review what it means to be a good student, whether at Martial Arts class, grade school, college, music lessons, continuing education, etc. A good student is:

Present – Physically and mentally. Let all those other things wait. Focus on the here and now.

Prepared – Review the previous lesson on your own, with your family or in a study group. Bring all materials or equipment.

Productive – Stay on task. Ask questions. There’s time before and after class to visit and sometimes play!

Polite – Showing courtesy and respect to everyone, including parents, teachers and peers, is part of our core values. Be welcoming and encouraging to others.

Positive – At our Academy “can’t” is considered a bad word. Our school greeting is “Pilsung!” A Korean word meaning “certain victory” or for the children “I can do it!”.

Halloween Awareness!

Family Safety Tips for Halloween

Renowned safety authority, Dave Young, offers his top ten family safety tips for Halloween 2014!  Dave Young is the president of Arma Training, US Fighting Systems and Your Family Defense. He has more than 30 years of combined civilian/military law enforcement training and experience. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading tactical trainers for personal survival and safety. Dave has been featured by People magazine, Fox and Friends and CNN. He also hosted National Geographic’s Crash Test Human for three years. City Youth Martial Arts instructors have been training with Mr. Young for many years.
 
Halloween is a time for fun but for some it’s unfortunately an opportunity to take advantage of others! It is a time where home invasions, assaults and robberies occur in the open and innocent children go missing. Please be prepared!
 
1. Be ALERT:  Be ALERT of what you see. A toy gun may be REAL. Guns, swords, knives and other weapons could hurt you. Do you have a family action plan?
 
2.  If your gut tells you to leave … go! Tune in and listen to that inner voice when it tells you something isn’t right or safe, and that you should leave now. Watch for vehicles that maybe be slowly approaching you and your child, and pay attention while you walk through your neighborhood. Do not walk around with blinders on or listening to your iPod.
 
3.  Be prepared: Don’t dash off without making sure your cell phone is charged and all of the important emergency numbers are loaded in your phone. People forget their numbers under life-threatening situations. Walk your trick or treat route to get an estimated time or identify possible issues you may experience. Have a planned response.
 
4.  Make sure your flashlight has new batteries: Test beforehand to make sure you are happy with the brightness (something at least 80 Lumina in candela ratings), with a lanyard so you can attach it on your wrist or belt loop (not your neck). Make sure it is readily accessible. Don’t dig through a purse or backpack.
 
5. Monitor your surroundings: Predators hide within other groups of people, and walk within your OWN groups. Make sure you know everyone in the group. Take a picture of your children on your cell phone and email it to yourself in case you need to give the police a picture of how they were dressed.
 
6. When accompanying your child, do not dress in costume: This makes it hard for your own children to identify you and/or find you! If you do dress up, have something distinctive about your costume so your children will know you immediately. Watch for traffic! Use the crosswalks together.
 
7. Make YOUR children’s costume stand out: Children often wear the same thing so put an identifier on their person or costume. For example, give your princess a glow band on her right ankle and left wrist and tell her not to take it off.
 
8. Do not accept refreshments or beverages closed or open, UNLESS YOU KNOW THEM. There was a situation in which a parent allowed their 10 year old to accept and taste a drink. Their boy needed to immediately use the bathroom. The child went into the house of someone they DIDN’T know which was exactly what the predator wanted.
 
9. Go through your candy together when you get home. Check original packaging, look for clear tape on the candy, folded corners, etc. If you find anything wrong with the candy you were given, immediately stop searching the candy and call the police. Or better yet, avoid this step all together by throwing all the candy away — that’s right, all of it — and have some of your child’s favorite candy or treats on hand at home instead.
 
10. Don’t be home alone when you are answering the door for Trick or Treat. Have a friend stay over. Light up the front and back yards. This is the one time of year an intruder can walk right  up to your front door. There is a reason criminals wear a MASK!
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Beginning with Meditation

We begin each class with some meditation time. Students sit cross legged, eyes closed for anywhere from 1  to 5 minutes. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Breathing in the positive, breathing out the negative.

Mr. Kemp MPS 1Doing the best we can to clear our minds of all the chatter.

We meditate to help us focus. It encourages us to be present in the current moment. Letting go what happened earlier today. Letting be what may or may not happen later. Numerous studies on meditation comment on its benefits. Even a short daily practice can significantly reduce stress, improve focus, increase awareness, and aid productivity and performance.

It’s often hard for students, young or old, to sit quietly for even a short period. Like anything we want to improve, we practice. There are many different guided audios, videos, classes and articles about  ways to meditate. Start slowly, try not to judge yourself, and persevere. Find what works best for you!

Here are some helpful links: 5 Tips on How to Meditate for Beginners,  How to Start a Beginners Meditation PracticeBest Meditation Podcasts 2015, Meditation for Beginners

The Importance of Practice

We ask, “What do you want to be good at?”

Basketball, spelling, dance, drawing, math facts, swimming, piano, and kicks are a handful of the answers received.

And then we follow up, “How do you get better at something, anything you want to be good at?”

PRACTICE! We keep improving by doing a little bit every day and then a little bit extra because we are Martial Artists.

In the summer it’s easy to lose track of things we should still practice. Do the extra reading and math sheets so you are ready when school starts. Remember to stretch before activities. Practice healthy eating and sleeping! Practice self discipline and self control by helping out at home and not complaining when you don’t get your way. Practice safety when you are outdoors!

We never expect or ask for perfection. But part of being and doing our best is practice!

Practice!
Practice!

Nutrition and Self Defense

What you eat and drink is as an important part of your self defense practice as your blocks and strikes. Good food choices make your body and mind feel better!Nutrition photo

Everyone is different. There is no diet plan perfect for everyone. Make sure you listen to your doctor and pediatrician.

1. Be mindful of what you are eating! Try not to eat while you are doing something else. Think about why you are choosing a certain food over others.

2. Read labels! Watch for added sugar and ingredients you don’t recognize.

3. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables! Spend more time on the grocery store perimeter than in the isles.

4. Drink plenty of water!

5. Check out farmers markets, co-ops and other natural food stores!

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting our site!

We are writing primarily to share insights with our students and families but believe that the information here can benefit everyone! The study and practice of any martial art are journeys of self-discovery. It moves us past kicks, blocks and punches. We are constantly seeking to improve ourselves and our communities. Our Grand Master often asks us to imagine what a wonderful world it would be, if everyone found their martial art. We developed City Youth Martial Arts in order to fulfill his vision and bring the numerous benefits of our programs to children in need.

Master Lee also reminds us that “A black belt is a white belt who never quit.” Your support helps us continue these valuable programs!