23rd May 2017Adults Martial Arts
Losing fat is nowhere near as difficult as most people – including many experts – make it out to be. There is a great deal of contradictory and complex (mis)information available on the subject. You can take a few minutes to confirm this right now by doing a quick google search on the subject or taking a look at the thousands of titles available on amazon. Doing this helped me realize why fat loss can be such a miserable struggle for people. And why most real people just give up after a few weeks. But it also reminded me why I’m so proud of what we do here at Total Martial Arts Swindon. In this series of articles I am going to show you how simple it really is. Because I want you to build up the confidence of knowing that not only is the fat loss process clear and simple, but that you’ve got what it takes to be successful and get into the best shape of your life.
At Total martial arts our knowledge comes from extensive research as well as over a decade of practical experience helping hundreds of students get into great physical condition.
When it comes to fat loss nutrition, there are only five important things you need to think about. Everything else is just a distraction.
For the Nutrition aspect of fat loss, that’s it.
Calories — down. Protein — up. Replace some carbs with veggies, and replace the bad fats with good ones. Simple.
For the people who are not currently following these rules, let’s talk about why. In the majority of cases, it’s because they’re not paying attention.
Improving your diet isn’t just about knowing what you should be eating. It’s also about taking an honest look at what you are eating currently.
Do you think much about what you’re eating? Whether you’re getting proteins, fats, or carbs? And, if you do think about those things, how does your diet compare?
Be mindful of what you’re eating the next time you sit down for a meal.
Perhaps print this article out and read it the next time you eat a meal. Think about how your calories, proteins, carbs, and fats stack up.
Now as you start to become more aware, you’ll likely find that there are some aspects of your diet you want to change. And the question then becomes: how do you actually do that?
How do you actually incorporate the desired changes into your lifestyle in the long term – with your food preferences and tastes, your schedule, your hobbies, job, school, family, etc.?
We will cover that in the next article of this series which will go into the specifics of what to eat. Once again we will take what may seem like a complex subject and make it simple. Because in my experience the simpler I can make it the more successful you will be.
Total Martial Arts Swindon 07765202363
by Total Martial Arts
23rd May 2017Childrens Martial Arts
This article is based on some of the mat chats (group discussions) we use in the junior classes at Total Martial Arts Swindon. We aim to give our students the skills and confidence required to stand up to bullying.
If you see someone being teased or bullied, is it ok to join in? Of course not. Joining in will give strength to the bully. Additionally, you will probably feel bad about it later.
If you see someone being teased or bullied, is it ok to stand and watch? No. When you stand and watch, you grant the bully an audience. Bullying isn’t as much fun to do when there is no one watching.
If you see someone being teased or bullied is it ok pretend that you didn’t see anything and go on your way? No. When you look the other way, you empower the bully to continue their behaviour. Once you and your friends decide to not tolerate bullying and take some action, it will occur less frequently.
Next, we will talk about things you should do when you see bullying.
Do you think it is easy to take a stand against bullying? Absolutely not! It takes a lot of courage. That’s why far too few people do it. You see, most children dislike seeing others being bullied, but they are scared to do anything for fear that the bully may turn their attentions on to them or that they might be viewed as a ‘tell-tale’. Remember, there is always something that you can do when you see others being bullied. And if more people would take a stand against bullying, we would see a lot less of it. That’s why we should try to be an Upstander instead of a Bystander. An Upstander takes action against bullying. A Bystander does nothing.
Let’s look at some ways that we can be an Upstander.
1. Get There First
Sometimes we can see a situation developing before it happens. For example, you may notice someone who has been bullied being approached by the bully. When this happens, you can use the “get there first” strategy. Let’s pretend that Jerry is approaching Daniel with the intention of bullying him, but he is still a long way off. You could walk over to Daniel and say, “Hey Daniel, why don’t you come back to the class with me early. I would like your help with a math problem.”
2. Step In and Take Charge.
If you see someone being bullied, one thing you can use is the “Step In and Take Charge” method. Imagine that you see Jerry calling Daniel names in front of a crowd during lunch break. You could walk right up to Jerry and say, “Jerry, you are bullying Daniel by calling him names. Please stop it right now. It’s not very nice and nobody likes it.”
3. Distract and Redirect
If you see someone being bullied and you are not comfortable confronting the bully, you can use the “Distract and Redirect” method. Once again, imagine that you see Jerry calling Daniel names in front of a crowd at lunch. You could walk up to Jerry, pretending like you don’t notice what is going on and say, “hi Jerry, that is a cool shirt.” Then grab Daniel by the arm, start to walk off and say “hey Daniel, come with me. I have something that I want to show you.”
4. Leave and Report
If you see someone being bullied and you are uncomfortable confronting OR interrupting the bully, you can use the “Leave and Report” method. Once again, imagine that you see Jerry calling Daniel names in front of a crowd at lunch. You can leave the scene immediately and report it to someone who has the authority to do something about it. “Mrs. Jones, Barry is bullying Johnny in the hall way. Please can you stop him?”
It is important to understand that you are NOT a tell-tale if you ask for help. Reporting is when you let someone who can help you know that you (or another person) are being treated in a disrespectful manner. Ask an adult for help. Tell them what is happening. No one should have to put up with bullying. Reaching out for help will take the bully’s power away.
Let’s review the four ways to be an Upstander.
2. Step in and Take Charge
16th May 2017Adults Martial Arts
Martial Arts Athlete Grocery Shopping List
The following is an overview of the sort of foods you ought to purchase in order to fuel hard training in Muay Thai and promote quick recovery between sessions.
Vegetables and fruit
Vegan Protein sources
If you’re a plant powered athlete, here are some options for plant based proteins: veggies, hemp seeds, soy milk, nut butters, quinoa, tofu, lentils, beans, tempeh, and sprouted grain bread are just some. Shopping tips:
Red Meat: When you’re shopping for red meat, organic grass fed is the preferred choice. Meat should be freshly butchered whenever possible and should be devoid of any sulphur-type smell or brownish, greenish tinges.
Fish: If you’re buying salmon, avoid buying farmed Atlantic; you should always buy wild caught salmon and it should not have a fishy odour. Fish should have glossy flesh, bright eyes and have a slight aroma of sea water, the meat should be firm.
Eggs: Make sure your eggs are omega -3, cage free and organic whenever possible.
Fruit: Always buy what appears to be heavy for its size.
Vegetables: Look for bright colours and perky leaves. Try to obtain local and seasonal Fruits and vegetables where possible.
Fruit and vegetables to buy organic: The following fruits and vegetables have highest amounts of pesticides used in conventional farming and you should try to buy organic version whenever possible: apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and kale.
16th May 2017Childrens Martial Arts
Our junior programs emphasize key attributes like perseverance, goal achievement, self discipline along with focus. These are the same attributes that children need to develop to start, stick with and then finish their homework.
Total Martial Arts Swindon has a long and successful record of encouraging students towards achieving high grades at school. By working as a team with parents, we can help to overcome any challenges our students face at school.
Here are some suggestions for helping you and your child establish habits that will help them to achieve success at school.
Establish and write out a daily routine
Discuss and agree a routine with your child for school days. Put the list somewhere where you can both refer to it, such as on the fridge. Agree a time to get up, leave for school, do homework , go to bed and how long for fun/relaxing.
Establish a morning routine
Make sure your child starts the day with a healthy breakfast to fuel the body and brain for the day ahead.
Promote a good attitude
Remind your child to go to school each day ready to focus, work hard and have fun learning.
Promote good homework habits
Have a set time and a quiet place for homework. Encourage a thorough job and for them to hand it in on time. A lot of homework can make your child feel like giving up coming to martial arts class. Don’t forget that the focus, self-discipline and perseverance that we teach at TMA will help them to do better at school. Academic studies show that children who exercise regularly do better in a range of memory and number tests.
Communicate with the teachers
Teachers are smart but cannot read minds. Great relationships and success comes from great communication. Share concerns with your child’s teachers.
Create a reward scheme
Using a visual chart, consider a long-term reward scheme to help encourage good school habits such as homework completion, report improvement etc.
Share an interest
Talk to your child about what they learned at school today. Ask them what they enjoy and compliment them on their achievements. Give them your full attention and be interested.
Encourage positive relationships
Be highly supportive of your child’s friendships with others with good character and good habits. Gently and with subtlety discourage relationships with kids who may be a negative influence. Be careful not to cause them to rebel.
Establish a bedtime routine
Get into the habit of finishing the day with low energy activities like reading and have your child go to bed at the same time each night. If this routine becomes a habit then your child will get enough sleep for the school day ahead and this will become automatic.
11th May 2017Adults Martial Arts
Building Character through Martial Arts Training
We hear frequently that sport builds character, however participation alone does not achieve this. Character must be taught. How do you know if you possess character, how can you teach character?
In addition to teaching the physical aspects of martial arts instructors are also responsible for developing character in those they interact with and act as a role model. It’s often possible to tell which instructor or academy students train with by the way they conduct themselves. To teach character, it seems one must first possess character (there is an old aristocratic saying: “to command others first you must learn to command your self”).
It can be difficult to define what character is, but you undoubtedly know it when you see it. The qualities one expects to find in a person with character would be: Integrity, respect, responsibility, honour, truthfulness, courage, and humility. For me having character means always doing the right thing even in an unfavourable situation, even when there is no reward.
When a person has character it shows even in minor actions. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I use appropriate language, especially in front of children? How do I treat women and children? Am I a positive role model? Is being right more important than getting the desired result?
Or getting more specific
… Do you show up in smelly, unwashed training kit? … Do you put your training equipment away afterwards?
…Do you try to hurt your partner when sparring?
These are just a few thoughts, but consider that character is the example you show to everyone, every session, every minute.
We believe that martial arts training provides the environment to both test and develop character. A degree of hardship creates the desired environment perfectly because it’s easy to do the right thing in an easy situation. Hardship helps develop respect, humility and empathy – qualities that are extremely valuable and difficult to acquire. Character is much more than a list of behaviours, it’s not a way of acting, it’s a way of being. At Total Martial Arts Swindon we aim to provide a challenging environment and set a good example, therefore we develop character in our students.
11th May 2017Childrens Martial Arts
How much physical activity do children need to keep healthy?
According to the latest National Health Service recommendations to stay healthy or to improve health, children and young people need to do three types of physical activity each week: aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity.
To maintain a basic level of health, children and young people aged five and above need to do:
At least 60 minutes (1 hour) of physical activity every day, which should include
On three days a week, these activities should involve
The children’s martial arts program at Total Martial Arts Swindon is designed to include all the various types of exercise required to keep children healthy as well as encouraging an active and health lifestyle.
How to encourage children to do more moderate-intensity activity:
Don’t sit for too long
Children and young people should minimise the amount of time they spend sitting watching TV, playing computer games, and travelling by car when they could walk or cycle instead.
Make exercise fun
Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but you can’t sing the words to a song.
What counts as vigorous-intensity activity? Examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most young people include:
Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity means you’re breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
What counts as muscle-strengthening activity?
For young people, muscle-strengthening activities are those that require them to lift their own body weight or to work against a resistance, such as climbing a rope.
Examples of muscle-strengthening activities suitable for children include:
What counts as bone-strengthening activity? Bone-strengthening activities produce an impact or tension force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength.
Examples of bone-strengthening activities suitable for children include:
4th May 2017Adults Martial Arts
The term Jun Fan jeet kune do was initially adopted in January 1996, during a landmark summit meeting in Seattle with Linda Lee Cadwell and Shannon Lee,along with many of Bruce’s first-generation students. It was Shannon Lee’s suggestion to merge the two terms (Jun Fan gung fu and jeet kune do) to describe her father’s complete journey in martial arts
Linda Lee Cadwell paraphrased a statement made by Pete Jacobs (a student of Bruce Lee’s in Los Angeles) during the Inaugural JFJKD Seminar held in 1997 in San Francisco: “We can’t possibly predict in what direction he may have gone, most certainly we can predict that he would have continued to grow, evolve, change, but we can’t say what that was [or would have been].” In this way, JFJKD serves as both the historical reference for what Lee practiced, trained and taught during his lifetime, and also the inspiration or catalyst encouraging followers not to follow blindly their sifu (teacher) and/or style, and to discover the truth for themselves.
Bruce Lee’s message prescribed having no boundaries when looking to improve one’s martial arts, as time passes it becomes more and more important to document what he taught and practiced so future generations will have a chance to experience what the first-generation students did during their time with him. As a result, the art of Jun Fan jeet kune do showcases the common ground that first-generation students share so the historical reference and context of his evolution in the martial arts during his lifetime could be preserved.
When examining Lee’s personal notes and letters, and hearing the recollections from his students, one can discover the building blocks of jeet kune do. In this way, Lee’s body of work is basic source material, providing the beginning student some initial steps to study and explore, and a path to understanding JKD.
An interesting viewpoint is that — while some differences may exist between Bruce Lee’s martial arts when it comes to his time in Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles — little delineation occurred in his evolutionary development toward jeet kune do. Bruce Lee developed JKD throughout his time in America. It was, by no means, a smooth, gradual process — but for him, change happened out of necessity. His process was akin to the modern evolution theory of “punctuated equilibrium,” which proposes over thousands or millions of years that species maintain a relatively stable existence — but when evolutionary changes occur, they are rapid and abrupt, not smooth and gradual.
Punctuated equilibrium appears to describe perfectly Bruce Lee’s methods because he was known to be inspired by something early on, only to drop it or even criticize it later. As he became enlightened through investigating various topics such as kinesiology (the science of movement), he came to fully understand how to use a certain fighting principle and then modified his methods accordingly. Furthermore, events such as an altercation in Oakland, wherein Lee was challenged by a Chinese martial artist, resulted in an abrupt change in Lee’s approach to the martial arts. Although he bested his opponent, Lee concluded the match lasted entirely too long due to his strict adherence to his previous training, and he immediately sought out more efficient combat methods.
In many ways, the exact timing of these inspirations is difficult to pin down, because much of what was happening to Lee was occurring simultaneously. For instance, he was already influenced by Western boxing and fencing in his early years in Hong Kong. The question is: When did certain elements come to full fruition in his development as a martial artist? Similar techniques were taught in all three schools, yet certain discoveries he found useful during his evolution were reflected in his private practice and training. Although it is convenient to chronicle Lee’s development by dividing it between his Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles periods, much overlap exists between “eras” since he continued to have contact with students from all three. In fact, each era could be equally served by referencing the many students he had. Nevertheless, the three eras provide the reader points of reference for placing dates, events and Lee’s development into context so that each school provides a glimpse along the evolutionary path.
We can use JFJKD as an invaluable tool because it provides a point of reference when discussing Lee’s evolution and various interpretations of it presented through the years since his passing, whether we’re talking about wing chun, Jun Fan gung fu, jeet kune do, JKD concepts, original JKD, etc. During the mid-80s, there was dissension within the JKD family over the purity of the art versus the infusion of different martial arts based on one’s personal journey. Today the focus has shifted to how much wing chun was done in Seattle, Oakland or Los Angeles, but the same negative criticism still continues, despite its pointlessness.One must realize that Lee studied physics, biomechanics, nutrition and training theory, and he used scientific methodology to validate what he was doing. He researched what he did not know, developed hypotheses, tested his theories using himself as the test subject and then concluded whether or not they worked. One could say that Lee used the science of combat when formulating his style of “no style.” It was not simply choosing what he liked or preferred, but rather what was proven to be the most effective. In this way, not only the “what” and “how” were learned, but also the “why.” Perhaps the need to understand “why” is the most important lesson he left us.
The book Bruce Lee: The Evolution of a Martial Artist places the various elements of Lee’s earlier and later training in context on the JFJKD timeline. Although trapping techniques had less to do with JKD later on, it was a central theme in Lee’s martial art during the earlier and even middle period of his development, serving as a valuable foundation for Lee, and it deserves respect as a valid part of JKD history. Placing techniques such as the pak sao (block), the straight lead, and the side kick with its accompanying footwork along the JFJKD timeline should help the reader see things in better context.
Since Bruce Lee’s death in 1973, we have been fortunate that so many of his students — those he taught early on as well as those he taught later — shared his teachings with students around the world. During the past few years, their teachings have become even more precious because many of them have passed on
Although Lee did not like to refer to jeet kune do as a style or system, his martial arts movements had a distinct character or flavor. Hence, the balancing act is not to forget his message of liberation and freedom, while being sure to recognize his many other contributions, large and small, so the complete picture of his life can be fully appreciated. In the spirit of being neither “for” nor “against” what JKD is, Jun Fan jeet kune do serves as the two halves of one whole, just like yin and yang, in joining together Lee’s legacies in martial arts, from the physical, technical and scientific to the philosophical principles eliminating the notion of self and ego, being like water, and adapting to “what is.”
4th May 2017Childrens Martial Arts
One of the primary benefits that children gain from training in the martial arts is increased confidence. This increased confidence can manifest in a variety of ways such as better social interaction, more willingness to participate in group discussions or answer questions at school. Another benefit is that those who display confidence are less likely to be targeted by bullies because bullies always look for a victim who is an easy target.
We are pleased to report that one of our Young Dragons students Callum showed great courage when he stood up to a bully who was targeting one of his friends. Callum’s Parents Richard and Jasmin Heathcote (who also train with TMA) were very proud of their son when they told us about what he had done. Callum received an award in class for his courage.
26th April 2017Adults Martial Arts
I want you to think back to the last time you truly threw yourself 100% into transforming your life
If you’re like me, that might be difficult. We’re often afraid to try with all of our effort. We’re afraid of failing, that giving our all and not succeeding is a knock against who we are at our core. If we don’t put it all on the line, then “we” are protected.
So, instead of going all in, of giving everything we’ve got…we kind of half-ass it. We give half an effort, and then when things fail, we’re quick to say “this system doesn’t work,” “well I didn’t really try,” or “I knew it would fail.”
For some reason, we hold back – almost as if it’s preferred to actually going ALL IN on something. Why? Because if we’ve given our all, and we still fail…what is left? If we go all in and fail, we tell ourselves that we are failures. We aren’t good enough.
In reality, giving our all and then failing is one of the best things that could possibly happen to us. When we give max effort and we fail, we’re only setting ourselves up to rise again.
When we put it all on the line and then fail, we’ve taken the first step to true improvement.
If you half-ass your way through a job interview or college application and things don’t go well, you’re stuck wondering “what if I had actually tried?”
If you go ALL in on either of those things and fail, you can quickly move onto the next opportunity, making improvements to your strategy and tweaks to your resume. In the same vein, if you half-ass your way to transforming your body and things don’t work, you’ll never know why it didn’t work.
If you are going to get in shape, go all the way. Actively work towards bettering yourself, every day, and see what you’re capable of. Don’t think in terms of days or weeks, but rather for the rest of your life. You’re not dieting, you’re not just exercising to look good in a bathing suit for a few weeks each summer. You’re doing it to build a better body for the rest of your life.
This is all, of course, assuming things don’t work out when you go all in. The far more likely scenario is that…things will work out.
So remember: If you’re going to try. Go all the way:
It could mean derision. It could mean mockery-isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.” And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight.
To this day, I still remember a powerful lesson that Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel-san in The Karate Kid.
When Miyagi asks Daniel if he wants to learn Karate, Daniel replies with a half-assed “yeah, I guess so!” Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later [makes squish gesture] Miyagi: Get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so,” [makes squish gesture] Miyagi: Just like grape. Understand? Daniel: Yeah, I understand. For Daniel-san, this was an easy lesson to understand. He could either NOT do Karate, and thus avoid fighting Johnny Lawrence (NO MERCY!), stay safe, and spend the rest of his life scared…or he could go ALL the way, apply himself and focus on the lessons learned from Miyagi.
If he were to only go half-way, “yeah, I guess so,” he could find himself in a world of trouble when his half-training gets himself hurt.
Oftentimes, we think that just dipping our toe into the water or going halfway is an easy way to “try” something without the fear of failure or having to put forth max effort. This doesn’t mean adopting 50 new habits at once, but rather truly committing to some new small changes in your life.
With martial arts, with deadlifting, with building a business…”yeah I guess so” doesn’t give you a chance to succeed – doesn’t show you what you’re truly capable of, and can oftentimes do more harm than good
We get one shot at life on this planet, and half-assing things for fear of failure or rejection (or worse, fear of success) isn’t going to get you what you want. It’s time to step outside that comfort zone, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I’m not saying you need to go FULL PALEO and train 7 days a week and burn yourself out. Instead, I’m saying see what happens when you full dedicate yourself to a plan, don’t allow self-sabotage, and find out where it takes you.
What are you currently half-assing, and what are you afraid to go all the way on?
Next, what’s one step you can take TODAY to move closer to going all-in on those things?
26th April 2017Childrens Martial Arts