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Bully-Proof Your Kid

How To Bully-Proof Your Kid

Starting a new school year is an exciting time for many kids. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and tackle new challenges. But for many kids that are prone to bullying, starting a new school year can be a stressful experience. According to recent studies, one in three children will experience some form of bullying in their lifetime.

As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our kids, but realistically, we can’t always be by their side. So, what steps can you take to bully-proof your kid?

Experts have long agreed that enrolling a child in martial arts can dramatically decrease how frequently a child is bullied. In fact, a recent study suggests that training in the martial arts can decrease the likelihood of bullying by up to 64%.

 

Encourage An Open Line Of Communication

As parents, it can be challenging to help our kids work through an encounter with a bully, especially if we don’t know about it. Kids will often feel embarrassed to admit they are being bullied, which is why establishing an open line of communication is so important. When kids feel it’s ok to talk to you about their experience with a bully, they are more likely to talk to other authority figures as well such as a school counselor. Sometimes, simply reporting the incident can resolve a problem with a bully before it becomes a long-term issue.

Martial arts teaches kids to confidently advocate for themselves. In fact, the best martial arts programs stress the importance of using a strong voice to stop a run-in with a bully before it can escalate. Avoiding a physical altercation is always the best bet.

 

Help Them Develop More Confidence

What makes some kids an easy target? Put simply, bullies tend to target individuals who they believe won’t fight back. They look for body language such as crossed arms, rounded shoulders, and lack of eye contact to identify insecure individuals who can be easily controlled or victimized. Experts agree that kids with high self-esteem and confidence are less likely to get bullied.

Building confidence through the martial arts is a great way to keep bullies at bay. Every martial arts class your kid attends is an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are strong and capable of greatness. Sparring drills encourage focusing and performing under pressure which is another great way to develop unshakable confidence. As they earn new belt ranks and learn more challenging techniques, their view of themselves and what they are capable of will shift and you will begin to see an outward demonstration of your kid becoming bully-proof.

 

Surround Them With Good Friends

It’s well known that bullies tend to seek out kids who lack community or are isolated. This is because it’s much easier to take advantage of and control a single kid rather than a group of kids. Also, fewer witnesses mean less of a likelihood that the bully will be identified and reprimanded.

When it comes to standing up to bullies, there’s always strength in numbers. If your kid is struggling to make new friends at school, enrolling them in a martial arts program is a great way to introduce them to new friends with similar mindsets. When it comes to making new friends, quality is more important than quantity. Even having just one significant friend at school can greatly reduce the likelihood that your kid will be bullied.

 

Have Them Learn Age-Appropriate Self-Protection Skills

Even though we always advocate for walking away from a bully, we also understand that there may come a time when that’s just not possible. In this case, it’s important for kids to understand how to appropriately defend themselves from a physical attack.

We often get asked: “what is the best self-defense move?” As you can imagine, it’s challenging to narrow it down to just one. When it comes to kids who are being bullied, verbal assertiveness should always be the first course of action. If this approach proves to be unsuccessful at deescalating the situation, non-violent self-defense techniques are the next best thing. This is because, typically, punching and kicking the bully back will do more harm than good. Instead, kids can learn leverage-based control holds to neutralize the threat without leaving a mark.

Role-playing common scenarios (such as being pushed or grabbed) during martial arts class will give your kid the confidence they need to know they are equipped to defend themselves should the need arise.

 

Ready to help your kid become bully-proof? Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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How To Fuel Your Body To Maximize Your Fitness Results

Fuel Your Body, Maximize Your Fitness Results

The difference between a good and a bad workout often comes down to how you fuel your body. What you eat and when you eat it determines how hard you can push yourself during a training session. It also impacts how well your muscles recover afterwards.

Many people believe not eating before a workout will help them burn more fat. That’s simply not the case. In fact, not eating before a workout can lead to feeling lethargic or even faint during a workout. The main goal of eating before a workout is to prime our metabolism and replenish the glycogen that supplies our energy needs to our body.

So, how do you fuel your body for a successful workout without limiting your performance? The solution is a simple nutritional recipe for fitness success: drink plenty of water, and eat good carbs and lean protein.

Here are a few tips on how to best fuel your body to maximize your training experience.

Stay Hydrated

We can’t stress this enough: stay hydrated. Drinking water before you begin your workout is crucial. The amount of water your body needs will vary from person to person based on size and muscle mass. Do your own personal research to determine your optimal hydration requirements.  The goal is to be fully hydrated within an hour of starting your workout. This is because the act of drinking water only starts the hydration process and our bodies need time to fully benefit. During a high-intensity workout, aim to drink water every 20-30 minutes to stay hydrated as you exercise. Keep in mind, when you drink water during your workout, you’re not just putting liquid back into your body, you’re also replenishing electrolytes, sodium, and glucose. Even better, drinking water can help regulate your body temperature and even prevent muscle cramps.

 

Eat Regularly Throughout The Day

We get it. Life happens and suddenly we find ourselves skipping meals and making excuses. The benefit of disciplining ourselves to eat at regular intervals throughout the day is that we can better maintain proper blood sugar levels and energy levels as well.  Aim to eat about 300 to 500 calories about two hours before your workout. Remember, your body can only use food it’s already digested. Eating easily digestible food a couple of hours before you exercise will provide your body with the time it needs to properly fuel itself without making you feel too full.

Convinced you just can’t make that happen? Even just eating a 50 to 100 calorie snack consisting of fast-digesting carbs right before your workout can provide a quick burst of energy to fuel your fitness. Some great choices to eat on the go are fruits like oranges, bananas, apples, or raisins.

 

Just Say “No” To Some Foods

When it comes to fueling a great workout, avoid foods high in saturated fats like fried foods or pizza. In general, these kinds of foods take a long time to digest and tend to sit very heavy in your stomach. A small serving of good fats is much more ideal, such as half an avocado or a hand-full of almonds.

Additionally, while foods high in fiber are great for digestive health, consuming large servings of foods high in fiber right before a workout could upset your stomach. Consuming high-fiber foods like broccoli, lentils, or certain cereals before a workout draws blood flow to your digestive system rather than your muscles. This can limit the amount of oxygen, sugar, and amino acids your muscles receive as you exercise.

Lastly, avoid carbonated beverages like soda and seltzer before working out. These drinks can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. They also contain significant amounts of sodium, which can cause dehydration.

 

Fuel Your Recovery

Jump start your recovery process by consuming good food within 30 to 45 minutes after completing your workout. Look for foods consisting of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein. Whole grains and lean meats work best for restoring glycogen stores and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Fruit smoothies or protein shakes are great options if you’re crunched for time.

In general, macronutrients are key for maximizing your body’s recovery after a great workout. Protein helps repair and build muscles. Carbohydrates replenish your body’s glycogen stores. Good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, eaten in moderation, have also been shown to aid in muscle growth after a workout.

Finally, don’t skip the water. Replenishing lost water and electrolytes will help you maximize the benefits of your workout.

 

Now that you’ve got some great tips for fueling your workout, try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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Forging Friendships Through Martial Arts

Forging Friendships Through Martial Arts

Of all of the countless benefits of enrolling your child in a martial arts program, one of the most important may be forging lasting friendships through martial arts. Experts agree that good friends can enrich your life and improve your health. In fact, adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of health problems like depression, high blood pressure, and unhealthy BMI.

For school-aged children, having friends is important for developing important life skills such as socialization and conflict resolution. Making friends is also important for a child’s self-esteem. All kids thrive when they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.

But, let’s face it, making friends can be a challenge for kids. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be!

Surrounding them with like-minded individuals in a positive and supportive environment can make it so much simpler. Developing friendships through martial arts is fun and rewarding! Let’s take a look at what makes martial arts friends so great:

They’re Committed To Self-Improvement

When it comes to making friends, quality is more important than quantity. Martial arts is all about making progress towards the goal of achieving new belt ranks and learning new skills. Setting goals and working towards them with like-minded individuals is a great way to build lasting friendships. Martial artists are often self-motivated and love encouraging their peers to develop good habits such as eating healthy or prioritizing their fitness.

Earning a black belt requires several years of commitment. This presents a unique opportunity to interact with the same group of people for an extended period of time. Nothing feels better than knowing that the people you train with are supporting you and cheering for you on the way to earning your black belt. It’s truly an unforgettable experience.

They’re Respectful

Respect is the foundation for any lasting friendship. In martial arts, respect is taught in several different ways. Students learn to bow to their training partners as a sign of respect. They also address each other as “yes, sir” or “yes ma’am” to further establish respectful relationships. Kids quickly learn that they not only deserve respect but that they must respect others as well.

In martial arts training, all individuals are treated with respect equally. Girls and boys train together. Different ages train together. The more diverse the class, the more rewarding the training experience.  Kids develop an appreciation for their peers and learn how to demonstrate respect to them in an environment that frequently reinforces its importance.

They’re Trustworthy

Most people will agree that trust is an important aspect of any friendship. Building trust allows kids to feel accepted as they are and encourages them to share their successes and struggles with others.

Clearly, it takes a lot of trust to work with a training partner who is punching and kicking at you. Martial artists must develop exquisite control to prevent injuring themselves or the people they train with. Whether it’s training with pads or practicing sparring drills, through consistent practice, martial artists learn to rely and depend on their training partners.

They Share Your Passion

Common interests bring people together and create opportunities for building strong friendships. Kids often have a hard time introducing themselves to new people or even starting a conversation. Participating in a shared physical activity takes the pressure off of conversation, especially in the early stages of friendship.

It doesn’t take long to develop a passion for martial arts. Nothing feels better than being surrounded by people who just get it. They understand your excitement when you achieve a new belt rank, empathize with you when you struggle to perform well in a tournament, and even geek out with you at the latest martial arts themed movie or TV show. Martial arts friends will see you and understand you on a level most others won’t. And that’s pretty amazing.

 

Does your child struggle to make new friends? Fortunately, it’s never too late to build new friendships through the martial arts. Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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martial arts improves school performance

Martial Arts Improves Academic Performance

Experts agree that martial arts improves academic performance in school-aged children. It’s true! And who doesn’t want their child to have better focus and higher grades?

In fact, participating in physical activity, such as martial arts, has a direct impact on the behavior and development of the brain.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes, and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance.

Here are three ways martial arts sets kids up for academic success:

Better Grades

According to a recent study, there is a link between children’s cardiorespiratory fitness and their performance in school. In short, the study determined that the more athletic a student is, the better their grades are in core subjects like mathematics and reading. Participating in an aerobic style of martial arts such as kickboxing or Muay Thai, can enhance executive function and overall brain health.

Additionally, another study revealed that children with higher levels of fitness perform better on a relational memory task. This is in part due to having a larger hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for relational memory performance. Reputable martial arts programs require students to memorize specific striking combos or forms at each belt rank. Of course, developing the ability to recall key facts and concepts quickly is critical to doing well on academic exams.

Best of all, exercise has been shown to improve creative thinking. Martial arts drills such as sparring require the student to creatively determine how to strike and defend themselves against a resisting opponent. Practicing this creative approach to thinking and problem solving is key to achieving academic success, especially in STEM classes.

Improved Classroom Behavior

Regular participation in a structured martial arts training program enhances concentration and focus often resulting in improved classroom behavior. Did you know that mixed martial arts training has been shown to improve social skills and lessen behavioral problems in boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Martial arts training encourages students to develop and practice strategies for self-control. Developing this skill can help children with ASD learn to better control their emotions as well as inhibiting rigid/impulsive behaviors.

Additionally, mixed martial arts classes provide a positive environment for hyperactive kids to release energy while improving their ability to concentrate. Kickboxing and Muay Thai classes combine high-intensity exercises with drills that require students to focus on hitting specific targets with technical accuracy. Children learn self-control and discipline while participating in regular physical activity that has been proven to decrease the severity of ADHD symptoms and improve cognitive function.

Boost In Self-Confidence

It is well-known that students who are more confident are better problem solvers. Alternatively, children who struggle with self-confidence tend to struggle with test anxiety. Fortunately, martial arts is great for improving self-confidence in children. Most martial arts programs will have frequent opportunities for students to demonstrate the skills they have learned in front of their peers and instructors. This may be in the form of a competitive tournament or even a test for a new belt rank. These opportunities to have their hard work and commitment recognized serves as a way to help boost their self-confidence. It also reinforces the idea that hard work and practice lead to progress. Consequently, they’ll be more likely to hit the books for extra study time when it comes to their academics.

 

It’s easy to see how participating in martial arts improves academic performance. Whether your goal is boosting your child’s self-confidence, improving their classroom behavior, or helping them score better grades, enrolling in a reputable martial arts program may hold the key to a less stressful, more successful school year.

 

Ready to experience how martial arts improves academic performance for your child? Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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Why Martial Artists Bow

Why Martial Artists Bow

It’s easy to wonder why martial artists bow. More than just tradition, the martial bow is a sign of mutual respect and humility still honored today.

To a new student just beginning their martial arts journey, it can first appear that they are constantly bowing.

Most schools expect their students to bow as they enter/exit the school, as they step on/off the training floor, at the start and end of each class, to their coach or instructor, and to their training partner.

But what is the significance of each bow?

In short, the bow is a way to practice showing respect and gratitude. Different styles will have different standards as to what the proper form of a bow looks like. At Invictus Martial Arts, students place their feet together and keep their hands at their side before they bend at the waist at a 45 degree angle. This is the most traditional form of a martial bow dating all the way back to 12th century Japan!

It is important to note that a bow at the neck or any bow from the waist that does not break the 45 degree plane does not carry the same meaning. While these less formal bows are not necessarily considered disrespectful, they simply serve as a form of acknowledgment rather than a display of respect or gratitude. For example, a bow at the neck or slow nod of the head most commonly means “hello” rather than “I respect you” or “I’m grateful for you”. That’s a pretty important distinction, isn’t it?!

It is common for some students to feel insecure or even embarrassed to bow at first because they are unfamiliar with the deep tradition and meaning behind the bow. Fortunately, there are several opportunities during each class to practice developing this important skill and the mindset that comes with it. Here’s a quick breakdown.

Bow To Show Respect

Bowing as you enter the academy and before stepping onto the training floor shows respect to your school, the style you train in, and your instructors. It’s also an acknowledgment of your intentions to give your best effort during your class. At the start of each class, instructors and students first bow to the flag out of respect for their country. Next, instructors and students bow to any spectators out of respect for their attention and support. Finally, instructors and students bow to each other as a sign of mutual respect and humility. During sparring or pad drills that require two students work together, partners will bow to each other as a way to signify they will train collaboratively with control and respect for each other’s wellbeing and development.

Bow To Show Gratitude

At the end of each partner drill, the two students that worked together bow to express gratitude for the learning and skill development they received from their partner. At the end of each training session the instructors bow first to the students expressing gratitude for their participation and dedication to their training. Students bow in return to express gratitude for the instruction and mentorship they received during their class. As students leave for the day, they bow at the front door with gratitude for their school and instructors.

It’s easy to see why martial artists bow once you understand their commitment to developing not only their martial arts skills but also their mindset.

Practicing respect and gratitude during each training sessions helps create an unbeatable mindset that will translate into more success and happiness in all areas of life. And who doesn’t want that?

 

Ready to try a FREE training session at Invictus? Click below for the class that interests you the most and get started for FREE…

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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Martial Arts Is Medicine

Martial Arts Is Medicine

When most people think of martial arts, they tend to think of the benefits of learning self-defense. But did you know, training in the martial arts doesn’t just teach your body how to protect you from violence? Regular participation in martial arts training also teaches your body to protect you from common medical conditions as well.

Martial arts is medicine, plain and simple.

In fact, the fitness industry as a whole plays an important role in the Healthcare Continuum: preventive healthcare. Experts agree that regular physical activity is vital for the prevention of several chronic diseases. Of course, you should always check with your primary care physician before starting any new exercise program. Here’s a list of some of the most common medical problems and how martial arts can help prevent them:

Allergies

Participating in regular aerobic exercise, like kickboxing, is one of the body’s most efficient ways to control nasal congestion associated with allergies. This is in part due to the dilation of blood vessels which increases blood flow and improves the body’s ability to extract oxygen from the bloodstream. Physical activity results in increased blood flow which allows allergens to be moved quickly through the body and eliminated by the kidneys and skin.

Another benefit of  martial arts training is focusing on controlled breathing. Breathing exercises can help build stronger lungs that can help protect against severe allergy symptoms.

Arthritis

Individuals with arthritis are often reluctant to exercise because they fear their symptoms and condition will get worse. Fortunately, new research shows, that being active actually improves joint function.

In general, more activity mean less disability.

When you train in the martial arts, performing various punches and kicks forces the skeletal joints to move which induces the production of synovial fluid and helps to distribute it over the cartilage and circulate throughout the joint space. While these things won’t reverse the damage already done by existing arthritis, it can help prevent things from getting worse.

Diabetes

In general, exercise helps lower blood sugar levels, strengthen the skeletal muscles and heart, improve circulation, and reduce stress. In fact, a recent study shows that type 1 diabetic patients who regularly engage in martial arts training can achieve or maintain satisfactory glycemic control without the increased risk of severe hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are two main ways that exercise lowers blood sugar:

  1. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity which helps your muscles better use available insulin for the uptake of glucose during and after activity.
  2. During exercise, your muscles contract allowing your cells to take up glucose and use it for energy whether there is available insulin or not.

When you make martial arts training, like kickboxing, a regular habit, it can also help lower your A1C levels as well.

Heart Disease

According to the Center for Disease Control, high levels of LDL cholesterol increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, training in the martial arts can help raise HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels in the blood and lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) levels.

In fact, an intense martial arts training session can burn up to 500 calories!

Even better, regular participation in martial arts training results in gaining muscle mass. This helps burn even more calories! As your heart rate increases during your martial arts training, your heart learns how to pump blood throughout your body more efficiently. This results in decreased blood pressure, reducing your risk for hypertension.

Osteoporosis

Exercise promotes bone density, thereby lowering an individual’s risk of experiencing bone fracture. In fact, a recent study shows that adolescents engaging in martial arts training presented higher values of bone mineral density when compared to the control group. This means adolescents that train in martial arts will be less prone to developing osteoporosis later in life.

There is also evidence to support learning how to properly fall during martial arts training can be extremely beneficial for individuals suffering with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a well-known risk factor for fall-related hip fractures. Learning and practicing simple fall techniques in a safe and controlled environment can help prevent hip fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.

 

Ready to experience these health benefits for yourself? Invest in a personalized approach to your wellness with a FREE training session at Invictus. We have new classes starting and invite you to get real results today. Click below for the class that interests you the most and get started for FREE…

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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BIGGEST Gym Secret

The Biggest Gym Secret Revealed

Today, we’re going to share with you the BIGGEST gym secret that most of those others gyms don’t want you to know… gym memberships DON’T work.

Surprised?

Think about it… imagine owning a car but never learning how to drive it. You might agree that would be absolutely ridiculous but that’s exactly how most gym memberships operate! A person will visit a gym, select a monthly membership, and then use it about half the time never knowing how to get the most out of it. In fact, of the 20% of Americans who have a gym membership, just over half (56.6%) use their gym membership at least twice per week.

But you’re not like most people.

You know their biggest gym secret and you have a secret of your own: Invictus. That’s right! You need the right coaches to help you get the most out of your membership. Because at Invictus Martial Arts we take a personalized approach to your training helping you maximize your results.

We prioritize your training to help you…

  • Get stronger and more flexible
  • Improve focus
  • Develop good habits
  • Set goals and achieve them
  • Grow in confidence
  • And so much more!

So stop paying for a membership that doesn’t work. And start investing in a personalized approach to your wellness with a FREE session at Invictus. We have new classes starting and invite you to get real results today. Click below for the class that interests you the most and get started for FREE…

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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personal trainer

Finding The Right Personal Trainer

Finding the right personal trainer can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Maybe you took some time time off from your fitness routine and suddenly a few weeks turned into a few months. Perhaps you’re bouncing back from a minor injury and feeling uncertain about what exercises are best for your current activity level. It’s possible you’ve never had a consistent exercise regime and you could use some guidance. Or maybe you’re just struggling with feeling unmotivated. We’ve all been there. You know a personal trainer can help, but how do you find a coach that’s right for you?

 

Regardless of why you’re considering working with a personal trainer, one thing is certain. You want to see clear and consistant progress.

 

When you think of a personal trainer you probably think of a typical training session including some cardio as well as strength training with weights. But did you know, there’s an alternative? If running on a treadmill and working with free weights doesn’t get you excited, an MMA coach may be the perfect fit for you. Getting in shape with martial arts training isn’t just possible, it’s also a lot of fun! Understanding the benefits of working with an MMA personal trainer is as easy as A, B, C!

A. All About Accountability

One of the main reasons people hire personal trainers is for accountability. It’s a lot harder to blow off your training when there’s a coach waiting for you at a set time every week. Knowing you have a coach who is fully invested in your growth and development helps you stay motivated to keep doing the work and keep showing up.  An MMA coach will specifically challenge you to develop your upper and lower body as well as your cardio during each training session. MMA training is a full-body, aerobic activity that uses body-weight resistance training to develop strong bones, encourage weight-loss, and strengthen muscles. Whatever your fitness goals are, having an MMA coach as your personal trainer will keep you focused on why you started and give you the support you need to achieve lasting transformation.

B. Beat The Boredom

Let’s face it, nothing sucks the life out of you like doing the same exercises week after week without seeing any progress. In fact, many people will quit their gym memberships because they just aren’t motivated. Keep things interesting with an MMA personal trainer! A good MMA coach has mastered the art of disguising repetition. Whether it’s mixing up combos and pad drills or working through sparring techniques, every training session is different. Ultimately, you’ll stay engaged and excited about your training while working up a great sweat.

C. Customized Training

Your fitness needs and goals are uniquely yours. Shouldn’t your training program be too? A personal trainer will customize your training experience to ensure you get exactly what you want out of your workout. A good MMA coach will help you understand your body and train you to be able to maximize your performance the way only you can. In addition to training you how to perform each technique, your MMA coach will also train you why each technique works with your specific body mechanics. Worried about an old injury? Your personal trainer can suggest modified movements that will still help you make progress while avoiding re-injury.

 

Ready to give personal training a shot?  Reserve a FREE private coaching session at Invictus where REAL people like you are getting REAL results for the REAL world!

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hydration

Hydration And Why It’s So Important

Everyone knows hydration is important. This is especially true during the hot summer months. But WHY it’s so important often alludes us. Today, we’re going to explore where to find good sources of hydration and its impact on our health.

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, “the first formal and widely disseminated guidelines for fluid intake were published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 1996 (Convertino et al., 1996). In the following two decades, knowledge of how water and electrolyte losses affect human performance has continued to expand.”

So, if you’re like so many other people and relying on hydration data from the 90’s, then perhaps it’s time to upgrade your understanding. Let’s dive in!

What are good sources of hydration?

First and foremost, good ole water! Water constitutes roughly 50-70% of our total body mass. According to Jennifer Klau, Ph.D., as little as a 2% deficit can have a profound impact on our mental and physical well-being.

Whoa!

So, what do we do? Evidence suggests that we consume water “Ad-libitum” which means, “as much or as often as needed or desired.” The general rule of thumb is to drink water as often as you feel the sensation of being thirsty.

Now, remember, this pertains to water. While most drinks do contain water, not all are created equal. Here’s a quick list of drinks to avoid as they often have excess sugar, carbs, and unhealthy additives:

  • Sodas (all)
  • Alcohol (all)
  • Energy drinks (all)
  • Other sugar-sweetened beverages

What does that leave? Well, water, of course! But here’s a list of other beverages that can be easily added to your daily ritual:

  • Water
  • Coffee (unsweetened is preferable)
  • Tea (unsweetened is preferable)

Limit the following:

  • Fruit juices
  • Cow’s milk
  • Sports drinks
  • Sparkling water (unsweetened is preferable)
  • Coconut water (look for raw, organic, and unsweetened)
  • Kombucha (be careful as these can have hidden sugar)

QUICK TIP: remember, hydration is about health, not taste or pleasure. But that doesn’t mean it has to taste bad to be good. Try adding a little lime or lemon to your water.

Remember that many fruits contain water but also contain sugars. So, in moderation, eating a handful-sized quantity can be helpful with your hydration plan and also give you some needed fiber. Not to mention, the act of chewing also burns calories– win!

In fact, a recent study found that drinking as little as .5 liter (or 16 oz) of water increased energy expenditure at rest by 30% for about 90 minutes (Horswill & Janas 2011)! So, get drinking that water!

Wait, what about sports drinks?

Sports drinks have remained mostly unchanged since they were first introduced. Their main purpose is to replenish electrolytes from sweat loss during intense and prolonged training. Their primary ingredients are as follows:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

The Standard American Diet typically has plenty of sodium making consumption of more sodium generally unnecessary.

However, foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium are bananas and almonds, respectively. So, a medium banana and quick handful of almonds 30-45 minutes before a workout can have a positive impact on naturally replenishing your body’s electrolytes.

But, what if you don’t have time for that? Well, sports drinks could be helpful. That said, read the labels! Many sports drinks now contain excess sugar (not good) at the expense of giving you the electrolytes you need.

QUICK TIP: electrolyte drinks are best consumed DURING intense and prolonged training. Also, consider diluting the drink with water. Lastly, coconut water contains all the essential elements for a natural electrolyte drink (but read the labels!).

So, where do I begin?

According to Jennifer Klau, Ph.D., “adequate fluid intake for male and female adults are 3.7L/day (15 cups) and 2.7L/day (8 cups), respectively.”

Going back to what we discussed earlier, experts agree that a person should consume water as they feel the sensation of being thirsty. This is your body’s natural signal that you need more hydration.

For some people, keeping a hydration log can be very useful especially if they’re an athlete. There are several helpful mobile apps that can with this.

For others, limiting certain beverages (soda, alcohol, energy drinks, etc) is a great first step.

In fact, here are a few suggestions to help you:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle and refill it.
  • Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free.
  • Consume 500 ml upon waking and again before bed. Then, as needed throughout the day.

Congratulations! You’re now on your way to living a healthier lifestyle simply by being more mindful of your hydration. Of course, this is only the beginning. Easily support this new habit by surrounding yourself with a community of people who will support your healthy decisions. How? Join a FREE session at Invictus where REAL people like you are getting REAL results for the REAL world!

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Kid's Karate

Kid’s Karate: What You Need To Know

Kid’s karate classes first gained popularity in the 80’s after the the movie The Karate Kid was released in theaters. Every kid wanted to be Daniel and every parent wanted their kids to be able to defend themselves against Kobra Kai bullies. As karate dojos began seeing more enrollment of youth members, other traditional martial arts began to follow suit. Now, almost 40 year later, there is no shortage of martial arts styles and school, from traditional to modern, that kids can train in.

Needless to say, shopping for a kid’s karate program can be overwhelming to parents who have no experience with martial arts.

So how do you make an educated decision?

Knowing what you want your child to learn from the martial arts is a great place to start.

Here’s a list of the most common reasons we hear from parents when it comes to why they sign their kids up for karate:

I Want My Kid To Be Able To Protect Themselves:

You may be wondering, which martial arts style is best for self-defense? While traditional styles like karate, taekwondo, and kung fu have a wealth of history and knowledge, they can miss the mark when it comes to practical application in a modern world. Modern styles like K-1 kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu offer a more practical approach to self-defense focusing on applied physics and body mechanics rather than choreographed movement. Look for a program that doesn’t just teach self-defense techniques, but also explains how the techniques works.

I Want My Kid To Be More Confident:

The key to developing confidence through the martial arts is less about the style and more about the school and instructors. Look for a place that offers a FREE trial class to get an idea of what the culture is like before you commit to long-term training. A training environment with enthusiastic and supportive instructors and other kids that genuinely look happy to be there are great indication of a healthy training environment. Also, find a place that offers smaller class sizes as larger classes can be intimidating to kids struggling with feeling confident.

I Want My Kid To Be Better Disciplined:

Most martial arts schools will implement several exercises to encourage discipline such as saying “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am” and bowing to instructors and training partners. But not all schools have programs in place that teach accountability and self-discipline. Look for a program that has clearly communicated requirements for belt rank advancement that includes more than just class attendance. Clearly communicating benchmarks is a great way to teach kids the importance of setting goals and putting in the work to achieve them.

I Want My Kid To Get Fit:

Contrary to what you may think, not all martial arts programs are created equal when it comes to fitness. Traditional styles can put a lot of emphasis on developing low stances and high kicks, but can lack intentionality when it comes to developing cardiovascular stamina and full-body strength development. Modern styles tend to focus more on developing upper body as well as lower body strength. While sparring is a great way to develop stronger cardio, programs that incorporate regular bag and pad drills tend to develop more well-rounded students. Look for a program that is intentional about including physical conditioning drills into every training session, not just sessions leading up to belt tests.

Ready to get your kids training? Register her for a free training session today to discover how we help develop strong and confident kids.

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© 2019-2021 Invictus Martial Arts

All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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