Monday, December 9, 2013

The Benefits of Rolling and Flipping

Everyone likes to watch tumbling.  Running and rolling, jumping and flipping, its a blast.  In martial arts, besides being fun, it is also a practical and important part of your self defense training.  Rolling and flipping teach you how to safely escape joint lock and holds that would otherwise incapacitate you.  You can survive being thrown with little or no trauma.  Its takes some dedicated practice to be proficient, but getting there is quite enjoyable.  Practice safely, step by step and you can savor the journey.  
Rolling and flipping in karate also improves your self defense by teaching you how your body moves in space.  In our daily lives most of us are not being turned upside down very often.  Martial arts rolling and flipping let one experience moving and turning in ways we rarely or never would.  When we think about self defense, we usually think about being attacked by another human, however self defense means protecting yourself.  So if you slip and fall and get hurt, you did not protect yourself.  The break-falls and rolls you learn in HapKiDo karate allow you to land from slips and falls without damage.  Knowing how it feels to be turned upside down spinning gives you the proprioception to stay oriented and aware in the unfortunate event of a car wreck or collapsing building or landslide, etc.
 One of the primary benefits of rolling and flipping that is often overlooked is the health benefits.  Rolling, flipping and tumbling are good for you!  Done properly, the rolls and flips align your spine.  Its like you’re your own chiropractor.  The contact down your back that aligns your spine is like acupressure or massage.  Your own hands can’t do that!  The vibration from the rolls and flips, shakes and stimulates your internal organs; releasing poisons and shaking out fat that is sitting stagnant because that part of your body never gets that kind of stimulation in everyday life.  Even if you workout at the gym, your not getting that kind of stimulation and action in your body cavity.  It really is invaluable  to your well being & longevity.
Get on the mat and go for tumble, you’ll be glad you did!

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Duluth
1630 Pleasant Hill Rd.
Duluth, GA 30096

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stress Reduction Benefits of Exercise: Mind and Body

In this day of go, go, go, stress is the name of the game. We have so many tools around us to make our lives easier, but somehow stress keeps piling up. We can’t rid our lives of stress entirely, but we can lighten the load and manage it. Stress affects both our minds and bodies, but we can reduce its effects with regular exercise.
As your mind gets stressed you begin to feel overwhelmed, unable to concentrate, forgetful, and short-tempered. Get moving and let your brain take over.  When you exercise your brain pumps endorphins (“feel-good” neurotransmitters) that boost your mood.  Pumping fresh oxygenated blood through your body spreads the “feel-good” feeling. Have you heard the term “runner’s high”? That’s what they mean, feeling good by releasing endorphins naturally. The secret is you don’t have to be a runner to experience the high, thirty minutes of kickboxing is an excellent way to improve your mood. 
Regular exercise can help regulate your sleep. Exercise regularly and your body will naturally help you fall asleep and stay asleep, leaving you ready to tackle the day ahead.
Exercise improves your focus. When you work out, you are focusing on a single task. A workout routine focuses your mind on a singular task, forcing your mind to slow down and complete one task at a time. 
Regular exercise builds physical strength, stamina and endurance. You become physically stronger and are able to last longer through the tougher parts of a stressful day. The physical benefits include gaining muscle strength and bone density. Cardiovascular activities, like kickboxing, will strengthen your heart and lungs, lower your blood pressure, lower your blood sugar and raise your metabolism. 
Reduce your stress, improve your general health, raise your self- esteem, and sense of accomplishment with exercise. Your outlook will be more positive, your confidence level will soar and you’ll be able to handle anything life throws your way. 

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Martial Arts
1630 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 380-0022 ‎

Monday, September 16, 2013

Defeat the Bully! (without fighting)

What is a BULLY? 
A bully is someone who will pick on people for just about anything!  They repeatedly use physical or psychological intimidation because it makes them feel better about themselves.
Types of Bullies

  • Know-it-all Bully – Always has a better idea or better way and never gives others a chance to share their idea without putting it down.
  • Fancy bully – Makes fun of people because of how they dress or what they don't have. 
  • Strong Bully – Big and strong and uses his size to intimidate others (usually smaller kids). 
  • Trouble Bully – Breaks all the rules, always gets into trouble, seems to enjoy being in trouble. 
  • Cyber bully - Uses the internet and social media to bully and harass.

What does it mean to be bullied? 
Examples of bullying include teasing, exclusion, making threats, spreading rumors, and hitting.  
It’s not the person’s face, hair, or clothes that cause the bully to pick on someone or be mean to someone. Bullies usually target someone that they feel is weaker than them. 
What does the targeted person do that makes them seem weak?

  • Looks down 
  • Speaks softly and nervously  
  • Acts weak or insecure 
  • Does not have many friends  
  • Feels and moves awkwardly
Why do bullies bully? 
Usually bullies treat others badly because they think that it will make them feel better about themselves.  Often they are sad or upset about something in there life. 
How to avoid being the bully’s target: 
  • Make friends—Remember the golden rule. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you treat someone with respect, even if they are mean to you, they are more likely to be nicer.
  • Look strong:
  1. Exercise
  2. Look up - Don’t look down or at the ground
  3. Make eye contact
  4. Stand up tall
  5. Speak up
  • Ignore the bully—This means pretend that the bully is not there. That means that you don’t look at them, listen to them, or get upset about what they are saying!
  • Walk away—When using this method you must first ignore the bully, then simply walk away to a place where the bully cannot pick on you anymore.  
  • Agree with the bully— The bully usually wants you to fight back or argue back with them, but if you agree with them then there will be no reason to pick on you or fight with you. 
  • Get a BUDDY—This is one of the safest ideas if you are dealing with a bully that likes to fight. If you have a friend with you bullies will most likely stand clear of you. 
  • STAND UP FOR YOURSELF— Avoid being bullied multiple times. If you have tried the above, it is time to be stronger.  Negate the bully by telling him/her, “I understand it makes you feel cool to act like a bully, but not everybody likes what you doing or thinks bullies are cool.”  

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Martial Arts
1630 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 380-0022 ‎

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Women's Self Defense

Women's Self Defense

There's a lot more to Self Defense, and "Women's Self Defense" than carrying pepper spray or learning a kick to the groin.  In this blog we'll review some of the key areas to consider in Women's Self Defense and self defense in general.

Awareness -- arguably the most important aspect of self defense.
  • In general, BE AWARE.  Pay attention to what's going on, especially when your not in your safe zone.
  • Be aware of the Area your in.  Is it a bad neighborhood?  Are there lights out and dark areas?  Do you have an escape route?
  • Be aware of People.  Groups of "trouble types", nervous, glancing, weird staring.  Use your inner Creep radar.
 Preparation – No one wants or expects trouble but its just wise to be optimally forearmed,  especially if you are out and especially by yourself.
  • Do not convey prey, have purpose and confidence in your demeanor, predators want easy prey.
  • When on the walk to the car, door, etc., have keys already ready, don’t dig in purse or pocket at last minute or be distracted target out in the open.
  • Use the buddy and group system, have common sense when going out, especially to risky areas (night clubs, late movies etc.).
  • Have a good path – Avoid the dangerous group on the corner (cross the street, etc.), don’t take the dark shortcut, stay in well lighted main areas whenever possible (on foot & in car).
  • Take care of and empower yourself – 
    1. Exercise (in general) 
    2. Take a martial art class
    3. Participate in a sport
    4. Take a firearms training class
    5. Have some pepper spray/weapon  
    6. Keep your voice strong (karaoke, sing in choir/band/home)
    7. Research new area before going 
    8. Know how you can move in the clothes your wearing
    9. Let someone know your itinerary
Techniques - Following are some general areas to develop to increase your self defense knowledge and power.

  • Get in shape ( at least basic fitness:  can walk fast or run short distance to escape and have the strength to resist)
  • Yell or scream power
  • Weapon – pepper spray, keys, kubaton, Black Tiger Method (pen, rolled up magazine, bottle, make up, hairspray, phone, `etc)
  • Self Defense moves 
This is a simple outline, but hopefully it encourages some positive actions and ideas for your safety and confidence.

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Martial Arts
1630 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 380-0022 ‎

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Top 5 Reasons to Involve Your Kids in Sports such as Karate

Top 5 Reasons to Involve Your Kids in Sports such as Karate

Sports such as karate and other martial arts can have a profound impact on peoples lives, especially children. The life skills and benefits that children learn from regular training and progression through martial arts improves their outlook and attitude in a number of ways, often for the rest of their lives. Sports can offer great benefits and karate is one of the best for children as the principles can benefit them in the classroom and in their community as they learn great habits at a young age. Here are five of the best reasons to involve your children in a great sport such as karate. If you live in Georgia there are great training centers in Duluth, GA, Lilburn, GA, and Norcross, GA, but if not just take your children to a few karate and martial arts trial classes to find a dojo that best fits their needs.

1. Long-Term Health Benefits

As the obesity epidemic amongst children is on the rise, it is more important than ever to instill the values of respecting your body and physical health. Regular involvement in sports such as karate and kickboxing for kids will help them to associate fun with exercise and build physical activity into a lifelong habit.

2. The Real Social Networking

For all of the children that have a difficult time finding a social peer group and socializing, regular sports such as martial arts provides them with a solution. Working with their partners in the dojo, they experience healthy interactions and the self-confidence boost allows them to use these social skills to connect with people, regardless of the situation.

3. Encouraging Sportsmanship and Teamwork

Working towards the common goal of self-improvement, while they help others do the same in a respectful team atmosphere, is one of the amazing benefits of regular sports. The dojo allows children the opportunity to compete and be respectful no matter the outcome; realizing that the bigger picture of self-improvement and camaraderie is most important.

4. Understanding the Nature of Commitment and Persistence

The regular schedule and routine of training in martial arts as a sport helps to instill the commitment and persistence concepts into children. As they learn new movements and progress through the karate belts over the months, they can see their hard work pay off and develop a desire to keep it up.

Training in martial arts is great for anyone looking to become involved in sports. Finding the dojo that is supportive and the right fit can be tricky but most offer a trial class and you will be giving all of these benefits to your child when they get hooked. There are some great martial arts karate training centers in Duluth, GA, Lilburn, GA, and Norcross, GA, and if you live outside of these areas finding a great dojo shouldnĂ­t be difficult; it's worth the effort.

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Martial Arts
1630 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 380-0022 ‎

Monday, March 25, 2013

Respect, the Best Self Defense

Respect.  We use respect in martial arts all the time.  It is the cornerstone of any style with depth.  in our modern times the respect aspects of martial arts is primarily used in character development.  Many students begin their martial arts journey not for the physical techniques, but for the respect, focus and discipline.  It is possible to believe that respect and character development in martial arts have taken on a life of their own, separate from the original, primary purpose of martial arts, self defense.  I’m here to tell you that respect is the best self defense technique.  
Respect, an act of giving particular attention.  Respect, deep admiration for someone or something due to their qualities, achievements, conduct
This begins with paying attention.  Paying attention to the master or instructor is paramount in karate.  This attention is an awareness that grows with the progress of the student.  The rank society of martial arts demands this awareness and attention.  You must pay attention to and consider others whether you want to or not.  Eventually it becomes part of your nature and character to pay attention to others.  To have an awareness that expands beyond yourself.  As this awareness of others expands, it allows you to really live a life of RESPECT.  You can’t help but be aware of others and to some degree how they feel or have a clue about their situation.  This in turn lets you act appropriately and with compassion and discipline when it is required; enables you to live more mindfully in the present. 
Being aware, the most important part of self defense.  Awareness lets you see potential trouble and to therefor avoid it.  Awareness lets you seize opportunities to advance your life and situation, protecting you with the security of a better job, position, living condition, etc. 
This leads to greater confidence, to take the leadership role and grow.  Most predators and bullies  don’t attack the leader or leaders of the pack.
As our society continues to rapidly change, the physical techniques of Martial Arts are still vitally important, but the Respect it teaches is indispensable to modern self defense.  The chances of fighting an invading army are thankfully slim, however we are interacting with our fellow humans more than ever.  Society needs Respect, must cultivate and treasure Respect.  Martial Arts and the work of those that propagate and spread its knowledge have never been more important.

Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Duluth
1630 Pleasant Hill Rd., #210
Duluth, GA 30096

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Martial Arts are still Secret!

I remember growing up, watching Kung Fu theater.  All of the Masters with their secret techniques.  The hidden and forbidden styles.  The trials and tribulations the aspiring students had to endure for precious drops of knowledge and understanding.  When I began my personal journey in the martial arts, it was still very much like those movies.  Dedication, pain, 110% effort where the price for "real" understanding and depth of knowledge.  I was fortunate enough to find a true Grandmaster.  Video cameras weren't allowed at events because other masters would send spies to steal our techniques.  It was the last Golden Years of "Old School", and I loved every drop.
Then came the internet, with video sites and all of this information was suddenly anywhere and everywhere for any poser or wannabe.  The amount of potential knowledge is staggering.  Demonstrations and teaching,  every style, all of these moves.  At first I thought the mystery and secret, mystic knowledge was lost, pearls before swine.  As I continued teaching and learning, I began to realize something.  People were getting lost in this sea of information.  They wanted something REAL.
A real Grandmaster, a human teacher.  Someone to ask questions to and give feedback.  To exchange energy as only living creatures can.  I realized, that just like the "what just happened, OMG" twisting techniques I love, martial arts had taken this momentum and turned it back on itself.  The REAL SECRET stuff is still out there, and still protected from those who would not honor the commitment, integrity and friendship it takes to Walk the Path. The internet and its resources are wonderful tools, revolutionizing how we share and connect.  More people than ever can benefit from the Martial Arts, still need a Real Teacher, Real Friends and Real Heart to Really Learn.

Choe's HapKiDo Academy of Duluth
1630 Pleasant Hill Rd., #210
Duluth, GA 30096