martial arts

Meditation: building the power you did not know you had

Meditation: building the power you did not know you had

Perhaps you go about your life just like everyone else – school, a job, and the regular habits and cycles that come along with it. But what you don’t know is that there is something missing in life, an undeveloped potential that’s actually inside of you – something waiting to be awakened.

And then one day everything changes.

Meditation.

Meditation is training your mind to achieve self-control, focus and the ability to alter your mind to meet the challenges of any situation and conquer the day.

The Problem

When we are on our regular commute and someone is impolite or obstructive, we get angry. We don’t seem to have a choice in the matter – we just GET ANGRY. When a friend says something stupid, or something wonderfully intelligent, we react. There is no deliberation, to decide how you should feel and respond. This shows a lack of self-control where one is dominated by emotions.

Meditation: The Science

Meditation is simply the practice of learning how to pay attention. It’s not something magic. Its backed up by thousands of years of tradition as well as modern scientific research.

Meditation is supported by a huge body of scientific research, and has been shown to help manage symptoms and reduce risks for a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety disorders,
  • Asthma
  • Blood pressure
  • Cancers
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Pain
  • Sleep issues
  • Stress
  • Low confidence
  • obesity

It’s not isn’t a panacea, but hits the bad stuff pretty darn far and wide. At the end of the day, our goal here is to give you the tools to live healthy and happy life. And it turns out, at any given time almost half of us are lost in thought unrelated to what’s in front of us. And when we are mentally wandering, we are significantly less happy.

How to Meditate

Ready to give this a go? There’s not a single thing you need to have to start other than your brain. If you’re reading this right now, chances are good you still have it.

To start, pick a time in your day you can regularly designate as time to meditate. It should be a time you can find a quiet place, without distraction or interruption. Similar to physical training consistency is they key.

As a beginner, you don’t need to meditate for long. Just five minutes a day is a great place to start. Too much? Try TWO minutes. The important part is the building of the daily habit. Before going any further we would like to recommend both Calm.com and Headspace.com these websites and their apps can help guide you through meditation as a beginner

The meditation practice I’m going to describe for you below is a basic mindfulness practice. There are many different styles of meditation, but every style of meditation is about cultivating attention and awareness. Be sure to set a timer before you begin.

  1. Find a place to sit that allows your back to be in an upright position. You don’t need to sit cross legged, but you can if you wish. A chair or sitting against a wall also works well. Feel free to use a cushion to help your posture and make yourself more comfortable. The goal is a posture that helps you stay alert, but is still comfortable. You can meditate with your eyes open or closed.
  2. As you begin, take several deep, slow breaths to gather concentration. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs to the brim. Then slowly exhale. Follow your breath carefully with your attention through this process.
  3. After a few breaths, or when you feel your concentration has settled, begin to breathe naturally. Keep your attention on the breath at a specific point, most commonly with the rising and falling of the chest, at your nostrils, or at your abdomen. Follow your breath from the moment it begins to the moment it ends. Use your breath as an anchor; notice any sensations in your body, but always return to the breath.
  4. When you get lost in thought, simply return your attention back to the breath. Bringing your attention back to the breath is a central part of the process – think about it like performing a repetition. Each time you do this you are rewiring your brain – no different from doing a repetition in strength training. So, don’t feel guilty just return to the breath.

This is where we recommend most beginners start – think about this no differently than starting with just the bar before adding weight, when learning to squat. However, if you’ve been meditating for a few weeks and have built up some concentration, move on to step 5:

5. True meditation is neither holding focus on the breath, nor avoiding thought. Rather, meditation is about noticing what you notice; if you notice a thought arising in the moment, simply notice it, and let it pass. If you feel the pressure of the seat on your back, let your attention focus on this pressure. If you hear the sound of the wind outside, let your attention and focus settle on the sound. The important part is to stay mindful throughout these actions. Notice what you notice, rather than forcing your attention back to the breath or losing yourself in thought.

Again, use your breath as an anchor – something to be returned to after you notice various sensations or thoughts.

Beginners often find it difficult to stay aware when thoughts arise, and find themselves noticing they have been thinking only after being lost in thoughts for several minutes. If you find yourself unable to observe thoughts without getting lost in them, spend more time simply keeping your concentration on the breath itself as described in steps 1-4.

Meditation as a Practice

Now that you know how to meditate, you need to understand one final thing.

You have to train this power like a muscle. Even if you have a good day or a good week in the gym, you need to be at it for months and months, and then STAY at it, to live with the benefits for a lifetime.

You are training your body to change. No different from squatting incrementally more weight, you are training your brain to get stronger, you won’t see profound benefits after a single session. Instead, you will notice improvements after weeks and months of consistency.

So before you dive in, you need to be in for the long haul.

It might feel intimidating now to think about, but just like with diet and exercise, once the habit is established, you won’t even notice. Once you become someone who goes to the gym regularly, that’s just who you are now. Once you become someone who meditates for five minutes a day, that’s just what you do.


Guilty as charged...

Guilty as charged…

Guilt…
Not a nice feeling, is it?
Unfortunately, it’s ingrained into just about every culture on the planet.
It’s an epidemic!
That’s why it’s so crucial to teach your child how to…
Let. Things. Go!
See, when your child inevitably does something “wrong”…
A couple things can happen:
1. They apologize for what they did, seek forgiveness, learn from the situation, and move on.
2. They fester on the situation, and feel guilty about it for a long time to come.
A lot of us get stuck in #2. We have guilt stored up in us from things that happened decades ago.
All because we developed patterns of guilt by watching the society around us.
So help encourage your child to just take accountability for their actions. Teach them that although there might be consequences that aren’t fun…
… it’s rewarding in the long run.
And of course, the best way to do this is to lead by example.
Kids watch our every move – and copy it, too.
Show them accountability, and they’ll do it too.

Strength and Conditioning: what is your goal?

Strength and Conditioning: what is your goal?

Strength and Conditioning – what is your goal?

Many people design and perform their workouts with little to no thought, just merely going through the motions out of habit. This passive attitude limits progress.

A better idea is to think about the specific physical quality you are trying to develop during your workouts or strength and conditioning sessions. Design and perform your workouts with a goal in mind and you will achieve long term success.

The following list will show the main physical traits that can be improved through strength and conditioning sessions and give you an idea of how to work on each one.

Strength

Strength is the maximum amount of force you can produce. To improve strength lift heavy weights for 5 reps (use a weight that you can only lift 5 times with good form, this should be around 80% of your single rep max weight) with relatively long rest periods of 2-3 minutes between sets. The rest time is essential to allow the CNS (central nervous system) to recover and deliver maximum strength on the next set. A good use of the rest period is to do some light shadow boxing or footwork drills.

Examples: squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses, pull ups, rows etc. 5 reps, 3-5 sets, 2-3 minutes rest in between sets.

Power

Power is rate of force development (how fast you can exert force). To improve Power focus on explosive movements using a medium weight for 5-10 reps with a relatively long rest period.

Examples: kettlebell clean and press, dumbbell snatch, medicine ball slams, Olympic lifts etc. 5-10 reps, 3-5 sets, 2-3 minutes rest in between sets.

Speed

Speed (unsurprisingly) is how quickly you can move. To improve speed focus on dynamic, explosive movements primarily using body-weight only. Rep range for body weight exercises is less important, do as many as you can whilst maintaining good form.

Examples: squat jumps, plyometric push ups, jump lunges, lateral bounds, box jumps etc.

Endurance

I am using endurance as an umbrella term to cover a variety of physical attributes: aerobic, anaerobic, cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance all of which contribute to being able to do more exercise before becoming exhausted. A complete programme will include both short intense bursts (sprints/High Intensity Interval Training) and longer steady state exercise (distance running/swimming, cycling)

 

The next time you are going to do a workout take a few minutes to think about what you are trying to achieve and select exercises that are appropriate.


martial arts for young children

For Your Child’s Health…

For Your Child’s Health…

Now-a-days there are so many things to do indoors for children…
… like amazing toys, video games, technology, etc…
It can be hard to get your children to exercise outside!
In fact, there’s a real problem in England currently with children and weight issues.
But exercise is so crucial for your child.
– It helps them focus better in school, when their excess energy is released…
– It helps them learn great social skills as they interact and play with other kids…
– And it helps them develop confidence as their athletic abilities get better and better
However, not all kids are into team sports like football and netball. Some have trouble finding their “stride.” If your child is facing a similar situation, We can’t recommend martial arts enough. Children who never loved exercise or sports before often go crazy over martial arts. And they get great, healthy exercise every class.
So if your child needs exercise – but doesn’t enjoy any other ways of getting it – give it a shot!
martial arts for young children

Stay SMART

Stay SMART

Setting goals is the first step to achieving what you want in life. People who don’t set goals are also going to achieve what they’ve set out to achieve – nothing!

Even if these people are hard working and intelligent, they are missing the most important step for success throughout their lives – setting goals. It may sound like I’m saying that all we have to do to set a goal is say “My goal is _____!” and that’s all there is to it. Don’t we wish that were true!

In order to make an impact, we must set goals in such a way that we can achieve them, and then work hard towards attaining them.

To make it easier to set goals, they should follow the SMART Guidelines:

S=Specific.
M=Measurable
A=Attainable
R=Realistic
T=Time (there must be a timeline)

Learning to set goals correctly, the SMART way, is going to make it a hundred times easier to stick with your goals and will give you the strength to change your behaviour for the better – and stick with it!

Following the SMART guidelines when you create your goals will increase your odds for success. Doing what it takes to reach your goals, day after day, and learning how to continue your new habits throughout your life is essential in building discipline.

Goal achievement is at the very core of every one of my kickboxing classes…

Give me a call or email me , and I will let you know how I can help you achieve your
goals, step by step, and change your life for the better through my self empowering martial arts training programmes.

If you are looking to get fit or simply find a new workout to get yourself energised and
vibrant again, I would love to help you to make the change…


3 Healthy Kids Snacks...

3 Healthy Kids Snacks…

With all the flashy, cool-designed packaging on sweets and junk food that’s out there…
It can be hard to get your child excited about eating healthy.
However, there are some snacks that kids really love – and they’re packed with nutrients and vitamins.
Here are a few…
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1. Apple Chips.
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Prep time: 5 minutes.
Thinly slice a few apples, stick them on top of parchment paper on a baking sheet, and cook them at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20-30 minutes (until golden brown). You can also add some cinnamon. They are absolutely delicious. And since it’s just apples – they’re very healthy, too.
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2. Celery & Carrots with Honey Peanut Butter.
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Prep time: 2-3 minutes.
Pretty self-explanatory. Just celery & carrots, with peanut butter on the side, blended with honey.
Honey is great to use. It’s natural and healthy in moderation. Any time you can replace white sugar with honey – do it!
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3. Tuna & Crackers
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Prep time: 2-3 minutes.
This one is just as simple as the others, but full of protein, and super tasty.
You can mix the tuna with mayonnaise or serve it plain.
Make a salad with some veggies if you want to, but otherwise just spread it onto whole wheat, baked crackers.
This is important as fried crackers aren’t very good for you.
3 snacks that take less than 5 minutes to prep. And they fill your kid with protein, vitamins, and nutrients.
Plus, they’re all natural – so your child isn’t negatively affected by harmful processed chemicals and such.

3 Misconceptions

Hey
I was so inspired by the e-mail I sent you the other day, I wanted to follow up with  a few more common misconceptions about kickboxing.
If anything is still holding you back from getting into the fastest way I’ve ever seen  for losing weight and getting in great shape – hopefully this article will change all that for you.
It’s just so fun that I don’t want you to miss out.
——————————————————
The Top 3 Misconceptions about Kickboxing
——————————————————
1. “Kickboxing is just as good as any form of cardio”
Whoa there! No way!
No other programme can give you the all round fitness and weight loss as quickly as kickboxing, and you will absolutely love every class!
Seriously. Your friends will stare in amazement when they see how much weight you lose in such a short period of time.
But that’s only if you use kickboxing in the “right way”.
Which means you have two choices: figure out that “right way” on your own. Research  different moves, buy exercise videos, etc.
This works for some, but I know a lot of people don’t have the time to sit there and figure it all out… And what’s a waste of time.
Which brings us to option #2…
Seek the advice of professionals who have tried every move that’s out there, and know what works for quick results…
If you’re interested in losing weight quickly, just check get in touch!
…because you’ll really love my kickboxing classes!
We’ve perfected the “right way” to use kickboxing for maximum weight loss in minimum time. It took us years of trial and error, but we finally got it down.
—————————————————
2. “Kickboxing is too tough for me!”
—————————————————
Here’s the thing…
If you’re training to become a professional fighter – then yeah, it probably is! (Have you seen how hard those guys and girls work?)
But, I assume you don’t want to be a pro fighter. I’m guessing you just want a fun, high paced workout.
So here’s the deal about how “tough” kickboxing is…
Kickboxing is as tough as you want it to be. If you’re into intense workouts – you’ll find  one. If you’re into taking your time, and going at your own pace – you can do that too. Just do what feels right for you. Do your best, and slow down when you reach your limits.
Every time you come back to it, you’ll find that your limits get smaller and smaller, until you can do a full 60 minute workout at full speed.
——————————————————–
3. “It’s really easy to get injured with kickboxing”
——————————————————–
Quick story about this one…
One of my clients got a severe injury 8 years ago when she was a professional athlete. For 8 years she couldn’t do any kind of workout because it would upset the injury.
That is, until…
…She came across my kickboxing programme.
Kickboxing is the only programme she’s been able to stick to without bringing back the pain of her  injury. So can kickboxing cause injuries Absolutely. But then again, you can twist your ankle walking to your car!
I rarely see injuries. Most of the time, people become stronger and more flexible so they see less injuries in day-to-day life. My classes are all about building confidence, building self esteem and building fitness and health.
Oh, and about my client I just told you about: now she feels stronger than ever, and is so happy to be able to work out again.
Till next time,

Sifu Tony Child
Total Martial Arts


martial arts for kids

A fresh start.

A fresh start.

You know, certain times of year get a great deal of hype when it comes to new beginnings…

New Years… Start of the school year and so on.

But you know what? We say that’s complete nonsense.
Why wait for one of those to come around…

… when every MOMENT is an opportunity for a great start?
Literally every second. Yes, even this one. And this one, too.

So forget New Years resolutions or the like. How about New DAY resolutions?

What are your goals for TODAY?
More specifically, what are your goals as a parent today? What do you want to get out of your time with your child? How do you want today to go? Think about it. Because if you set just one or two simple, powerful goals every day you will see them come true before you know it.

If you want some help with the kid (or kids) – our martial arts program could be a great new start for them, too.

Kids have a ton of fun here, and learn important skills like discipline, focus & respect.

You can learn more here:

http://www.martialartsswindon.org.uk/kids-martial-arts-classes/ 

To new starts, all the time.


kali martial arts swindon

UNSHAKABLE Confidence!

“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”- Thomas A. Edison 

“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”- Thomas A. Edison 


Hello

Do you know what it means to have UNSHAKABLE Confidence? 

These are powerful quotes from someone who saw many inventions into existence. Inventions we all use to this very day! 

You can imagine, that would take some STRONG and UNSHAKABLE confidence to invent something that the world has never seen (and also didn’t even think could happen!).
To have a goal, and to make constant mistakes in the process, but STILL keep on looking for the answer takes a lot of confidence. 


That’s how we feel here at our Academy and we strive every day to instil that in our students. Not only do we want them to believe they can achieve their goals, but we teach the importance of having goals! 

Give me a call on 07765202363. I will show you how we can help you achieve your goals. 

Until Later,

Sifu Tony Child
Total Martial Arts


Stay SMART

Stay SMART

Setting goals is the first step to achieving what you want in life. People who don’t set goals are also going to achieve what they’ve set out to achieve – nothing!

Even if these people are hard working and intelligent, they are missing the most important step for success throughout their lives – setting goals. It may sound like I’m saying that all we have to do to set a goal is say “My goal is _____!” and that’s all there is to it. Don’t we wish that were true!

In order to make an impact, we must set goals in such a way that we can achieve them, and then work hard towards attaining them.

To make it easier to set goals, they should follow the SMART Guidelines:

S=Specific.
M=Measurable
A=Attainable
R=Realistic
T=Time (there must be a timeline)

Learning to set goals correctly, the SMART way, is going to make it a hundred times easier to stick with your goals and will give you the strength to change your behaviour for the better – and stick with it!

Following the SMART guidelines when you create your goals will increase your odds for success. Doing what it takes to reach your goals, day after day, and learning how to continue your new habits throughout your life is essential in building discipline.

Goal achievement is at the very core of every one of my children’s martial arts classes…

Give me a call or email me , and I will let you know how I can help you and your children achieve
goals, step by step, and change your life for the better through my self empowering martial arts training programmes.

Regards
Sifu Tony Child
Total Martial Arts