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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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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mental health and martial arts

Improving Mental Health With Martial Arts

May is Mental Health Awareness Month so we’re taking a minute to showcase how martial arts can help. For several years, Mental Health America has acknowledged and advocated for fitness as a tool to help those who live with mental illness find pathways to wellness and ultimately thrive in life.

It is well-known that people who live with mental health issues can benefit from physical exercise like martial arts.

In fact, recent scientific publications in the American Journal Of Men’s Health and BMC Psychology support these claims. Experts agree that training in the martial arts can be a transformative experience offering many benefits to those who live with mental illness including mentorship, a sense of achievement, and increased confidence.

Here are three ways we improve mental health with martial arts…

Manage And Reduce Stress

It is well known that training in martial arts is a great way to get in shape, raise your metabolism, build muscle strength, increases flexibility, and improve immune system responses. But did you know that all of these aspects also play a role in reducing areas of potential stress?

As you train your body to become stronger, physically, you are also training it to better handle future stressors.

Of course, practicing martial arts also naturally releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormone, into your body. These endorphins can help relieve pain and reduce emotional stress. In fact, the neuron receptors that endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind to some common prescription pain medications. That means you can experience the same relief from martial arts training without the possibility of addiction or dependency. Research out of Harvard Health has also shown that exercise, like martial arts, is an effective but often underutilized all-natural treatment for mild to moderate depression. 

Develop Self-Control

Being able to manage and regulate our emotions is something we practice every day, but for those who live with mental illness, this can be a significant challenge. A common strategy used for regulating emotions is attentional deployment, or redirecting attention. For people who struggle with managing anger or anxiety, martial arts can be a positive channel to redirect their energy. Training in the martial arts can also help redirect feelings of powerlessness and encourage feelings of self-confidence. Specifically, learning self-protection skills helps shift feelings of victimization to feelings of self-control. Sparring under adrenaline stress helps develop skills to manage adrenaline and learn to control fight or flight responses. Ultimately, martial arts training helps people develop improved self-control, form healthier habits, and reduce impulsivity.

Increase Self-Esteem

Because strong social support is important for those with depression, participating in a small group martial arts class may be beneficial. In fact, martial arts group classes can improve self-esteem through consistent positive verbal reinforcement from peers, instructors, and coaches. Additionally, when a person masters a new skill or earns a higher belt rank, their sense of achievement automatically boosts their self-confidence and they learn to feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.

So, when you’re ready to experience how martial arts can transform your life, SCHEDULE YOUR FREE SESSION with us today! We love helping REAL people like you get REAL results for the REAL world.

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Family Martial Arts

Building Stronger Families Through Martial Arts

Experts agree that family-based fitness has a greater likelihood of becoming lifelong fitness. In fact, our experience shows that training as a family in the martial arts has countless physical, cognitive, and social benefits and is an excellent way to build stronger families.

Here are three ways martial arts builds strong families:

Establish Lifelong Fitness Habits

According to SHAPE America it is recommended that children get 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Learning to be physically active is a habit that must be developed. Children learn best through observation, and establishing strong fitness habits during early childhood can yield positive results for years to come. Experience shows that regularly training in the martial arts not only increases physical strength and promotes good heart health, but it can also improve sleep, and boost your immune system.

Increase Family Bonding

Many times, the family is a child’s first example of what a team can look like. Training in the martial arts as a family is a great team-building activity where parents and children can work together towards the common goal of becoming black belts. Along with making progress in their training together, families also experience a sense of growth and accomplishment that will build stronger bonds and promote closer relationship with one another.

Build A Happier Family

Experts agree that families who train in the martial arts develop improved confidence and self-esteem. Moreover, martial arts training can also lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression by raising serotonin levels. Finally, by training together, families also learn important problem-solving skills, including conflict resolution. Developing these skills creates an all around stronger and happier family. And who doesn’t want that?

Ready to get your family training? CONTACT US today to discover more ways we help develop strong families.

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Virtual Learning

Virtual Learning And Martial Arts

Traditionally, learning martial arts has been limited to In-Person classes.  Fortunately, interactive technologies now allow us to share the martial arts experience with a broader audience through virtual learning.

Our experience shows that children and adults can consistently advance in the development of their martial arts skills through virtual learning. In fact, experts agree that a person training remotely can reach up to 80% proficiency in any given technique.

Here are four benefits of virtual learning through martial arts:

1. Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Virtual training requires thoughtful attention to detail and technique. Without the potential distraction of a bag or partner, virtual learning trains a person like you to focus on their own individual body mechanics to develop better precision of movement. 

2. Promote Physical, Mental, And Emotional Health

We can all agree that personal wellness is an important part of life. And training in the martial arts is a great way to get in shape. Understandably, not everyone’s lifestyle allows them to consistently attend scheduled In-Person classes. However, there are several at-home fitness options that a person like you can participate in on your own schedule. Now, these options typically don’t deliver in the way of consistent motivation and noticeable progress.  Fortunately, virtual martial arts training delivers the convenience of training remotely while also promoting personal progress through belt rank progression.

3. Encourage A Sense Of Community And Connection

Remotely training with other like-minded individuals always helps build a sense of friendship and community. Of course, when In-Person social interactions are limited, virtual training with others provides an excellent opportunity to develop relationships with people who are pursuing similar goals. 

4. Demonstrate The Importance Of Persevering Through Obstacles

The unexpected happens in life and it often has the potential to change everything we’ve come to accept as normal including how we train in the martial arts. However, virtual training provides an opportunity to embrace these challenges and confidently move forward with our personal development while avoiding potential setbacks. 

You’re invited to CONTACT US today to experience how training with Invictus Martial Arts can personally benefit you.

 

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get in shape

How To Get In Shape With Mixed Martial Arts Training

How can you get in shape with mixed martial arts? First, let’s consider this: what image comes to mind when you think about mixed martial arts?

 

Is it two sweaty people clobbering each other?

Is it a chain-link cage and bloodied individuals?

Is it a boxing ring with unfamiliar rituals?

 

What if that was only a small portion of it?

What if mixed martial arts was actually more?

What if it was a modern evolution of an ancient tradition?

 

Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA) is a multi-discipline practice that pulls from many warrior traditions, and, as you may be aware, that means its application can be quickly applied to many facets of daily life. In fact, a person who regularly trains in MMA always benefits from boosted wellness to improved fitness while learning new skills to stay safe and secure.

 

Fortunately, this can be easily accomplished when the instructors focus on your goals and what you hope to accomplish with an MMA program. By listening to a person’s needs, an MMA coach can effectively tailor Private Coaching sessions or even group classes to help you quickly make the progress you want. Whether it’s a sense of renewed confidence, shedding a few unwanted pounds, making new strength gains, or even meeting other like-minded individuals, choosing an MMA program for self-defense and fitness is always a great choice to make.

 

So, how exactly does a person get in shape with MMA training?

 

MMA training helps develop the strength and stamina you need to feel powerful and help you conquer your day. Each training session at Invictus begins with a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) performance warm-up focusing on full-body, body-weight aerobic strength conditioning for agility which is immediately followed up by a durability session focusing on proprioceptive balance and muscular elasticity for flexibility.

 

The benefits of MMA training are truly endless but here are a few great reasons to start today:

 

Mindfulness

Training in MMA requires exquisite attention to performing the task at hand with focus and intention. Fortunately, anyone can learn how to develop increased attentiveness through a simple process known as breath control. Navy SEALs and elite athletes easily leverage this skill by activating their parasympathetic nervous system which conserves energy as it slows the heart rate and reduces adrenaline production keeping a person calm and centered. To do this, a person simply focuses on inhaling and exhaling through their nose slowly and always returns to their calm breathing technique even while performing bag drills, sparring, or HIIT training.

Body Composition

MMA training is a full-body, aerobic activity that uses body-weight resistance training thus improving the following areas (a) :

      • Develops strong bones
      • Assists weight management
      • Enhances quality of life
      • Helps manage chronic conditions
      • Sharpens thinking skills

Fortunately, whatever your training objective, most people use MMA training to help them achieve their goals and even increase their metabolism. In fact, anyone can see that MMA training is a great way to get in shape and have fun while quickly learning new skills to keep them safe and secure.

Resiliency

Everyone knows that much of a person’s wellness depends on the ability to quickly recover from difficulties whether physical, mental, or emotional. The best way to develop resiliency is by persevering through challenges forcing our neuromuscular system to adapt to the new and varying stimuli thus creating lasting change. Luckily, MMA training boosts self-confidence, and, over time, improves a person’s mental and emotional neuroplasticity through physical endurance and stamina. From skill progression to improved fitness abilities, the impacts of MMA training on a person’s adaptability continues to improve with each belt rank advancement.

 

And best of all, this is just the beginning! The best way to find out more is to experience it for yourself. Regardless of how you choose to train with us to get in shape (online or in-person), now is a great time to get started in MMA training! So, if you’re ready to have MMA training make a difference in your life, it’s easy to GET STARTED with Invictus and we would love to help you accomplish your goals!

 

(a) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/strength-training/art-20046670#:~:text=By%20stressing%20your%20bones%2C%20strength,help%20you%20burn%20more%20calories.

 

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How We Prioritize Your Well-Being

Since the inception of Invictus Martial Arts, the well-being of our martial arts community has clearly been a focus and priority. The intentional design of our state-of-the-art Academy was created to foster togetherness where friends and family alike can train with one another while enjoying all the benefits of a safe environment. Our role and dedication to you, our martial arts community, will be to continue in this vigilance to make ongoing decisions with courage always informed by the latest scientifically-based data and guided by our Creed.

You may be aware that we have taken a series of preventative steps in response to the developing public health concerns, including increased additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures for our industry-leading Dollamur mats as well as the training pads and gear.

In addition to her extensive martial arts training, Mrs. Garza has spent the last 15 years as an Analytical Chemist specializing in clinical diagnostic testing and wisely chooses non-toxic, low-volatile disinfectants that effectively reduce potential contagions.

It’s important to Invictus Martial Arts and to you, our community, that we take every precaution to minimize the impact of potentially irritating fumes and vapors that are often found in harsh industrial solvents by using more natural, organic solutions like essential oils.

Fortunately, our bathrooms support your well-being by having touchless toilets, hands-free faucets, motion-sensing LED lights, and automatic soap and towel dispensers. Bathroom garbages are conveniently located near the exit of each of our spacious bathrooms so that a paper towel can be used to sanitarily exit.

Additionally, every member is required to purchase their own gear to not only encourage continuous improvement through practice and training at home but to also help support good health by reducing borrowing gear. This empowers each member of our community to take charge of their own wellness knowing that clearly Invictus supports your health and happiness.

Lastly, since opening, Invictus Martial Arts has conveniently installed two touchless hand sanitizer stations with highly-effective, foaming hand sanitizer biocide (superior to leading alcohol-based equivalents) which leaves no unpleasant scent or uncomfortable residue. The therapeutic properties of the hand sanitizer we use is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial as recognized by the FDA & EPA. It easily and quickly kills up to 99.99% of germs and keeps working for 3+ hours after application.

Obviously, we care about our members’ sense of wellness and we will continue to monitor the developing public health concerns, but, at Invictus Martial Arts, you can confidently train knowing that we prioritize your well-being.

At Invictus Martial Arts, you belong.

Ready to experience the Invictus difference for yourself? CLICK HERE for a complimentary lesson.

 

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refund

How To Spend Your Tax Refund

Did you know…

  • The average expected tax refund in the US is more than $3,000?
  • 22% of Americans use their refund for everyday expenses?
  • Texas is ranked #6 of the top ten states with the largest refunds?
So, how will you spend your refund? We’ve put together a quick list to help give you some ideas on how to put that money to work for you…

CONTACT


Main Location + 9800 N Lake Creek Pkwy, Suite 140, Austin, TX 78717
Phone +
512.520.5784
Email +
contact@invictusatx.com

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