Posts Tagged ‘martial arts’

why martial artists wear gis

Why Martial Artists Wear Gis

It’s common for new members to ask us why martial artists wear gis. Even if you’ve never taken a martial arts class, you’ve most likely seen a tv show or movie depicting a room full of people wearing white uniforms and belts punching and kicking. Most people understand that this practice is rooted in tradition, but the purpose of the gi (or uniform) is multifaceted.

The word “gi” is derived from the Japanese term “Keikogi” which means “practice clothing”. Gis can range in color from white to black or even blue. Most students beginning their training will wear a white gi symbolizing purity. Colored gis are typically reserved for students that hold a higher rank or position (ie. instructors) within the gym.

While there are several great reasons to wear a gi during martial arts training, we’re going to take a look at our top 3 reasons martial artists wear gis.

Dress For Success

Let’s face it. Some days are just plain challenging. The car won’t start, you’re late to school/work, you bomb an important presentation, and you can’t seem to catch up much less get ahead…the weight of the world can sit heavier some days and takes a toll on our mood. But, as a martial artist, you have a secret weapon…your gi! Sounds crazy, right? But something kind of magical happens when you shed the clothes you were wearing that day and put on your training gi. It’s almost like a reset of sorts. You get an opportunity to physically remove the worst parts of your day and put on new clothes that make you feel strong, confident, and ready to perform at your best. Couple that with a great martial arts class and you’ll leave feeling energized and ready to tackle the rest of your day.

Get The Most Out Of Your Training

Nothing is worse than being mid-workout and suddenly your shorts start ridding up and your shirt starts sticking to you in ways that limit your movement. No one likes feeling self-conscious while they exercise. It’s hard enough to put yourself out there and commit to making healthier choices. You don’t need the added distraction of uncomfortable workout clothes. A good quality training gi will allow for easy movement for striking, kicking, and grappling. As a martial artist, wearing a training gi keeps your focus on your training rather than on what you (or others in your class) are wearing.

You Belong To A Great Community

Experts agree that when you feel like you belong to a supportive community, your physical and metal health improves. When you put on a gi that showcases your specific academy or gym, you feel like you belong. And when you’re surrounded by other people wearing the same gi it creates a synergistic environment where everyone thrives. Much like team sports like baseball and basketball wear matching uniforms, the same is true for martial artists. While martial arts is largely considered an individual sport, there is still an emphasis on working with partners for sparring and pad drills. Wearing matching gis fosters an environment that encourages teamwork and good partnership within the gym.

Ready to put your gi on and start training in the martial arts? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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why martial arts isn't just for kids

Why Martial Arts Isn’t Just For Kids

Looking for martial arts for your kids? You’re not alone. Parents often chose to enroll their kids in martial arts because of the benefits of developing discipline, focus, and confidence. But did you know that martial arts isn’t just for kids? In fact, even if you’ve never trained in martial arts before, there are several surprising benefits to starting your training as an adult.

De-stress In Style

Any fitness routine is great for relieving stress, but add punching and kicking to that routine and you’ve got a super-powered program to get you feeling strong while you melt away that stress. Martial arts training combines two great benefits: 1. it reduces stress hormones and 2. it stimulates the production of endorphins. So, after a stressful day at work or a tense day at home with the kids, there’s no better feeling than being able to disconnect for a bit while you punch and kick a bag. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life throws your way.

Kick Those Unhealthy Habits

Even though parents tend to enroll their kids in the martial arts for the discipline and self-control, adults can also benefit from developing these character traits. We’ve heard time and time again how adults who start training in the martial arts are finally motivated to adopt a healthier diet and even quit smoking or drinking. The expectation to train multiple times per week in the pursuit of the next belt rank keeps adults accountable and on track to achieving their fitness goals.

Strengthen Your Mind

Training in the martial arts is both physically and mentally challenging. Whether it’s strengthening your body to punch faster, kick harder, or perform more reps of a physical exercise like push-ups, training in the martial arts challenges your mind to overcome temporary physical discomfort in the pursuit of self-improvement. There’s also a focus on problem solving under pressure, especially during sparring. Developing a strong mind, even under adrenaline stress, is a skill that directly translates into any career setting.

Improve Balance & Coordination

As we get older, our ability to balance slowly declines. The more we focus on exercises that target our stabilizer muscles and joint stability, the more we can maintain and even improve our balance and coordination. Martial arts styles like kickboxing and Muay Thai that focus on kicking while balancing on one leg, help adults learn to control their bodies and improve their balance as they strengthen their muscles. Additionally, most of our stability comes from a strong core. The majority of techniques in martial arts directly impact the core. This isn’t just limited to the abdominal muscles but also includes the lats, gluten, and lumbo pelvic hip complex.

Love Your Body Better

So many adults begin an exercise program with the goal of loosing weight and feeling better in their bodies. The typical standard here is that if they look better, they will feel better. The challenge is that it takes consistent training and time to achieve results that are visible when it comes to physical transformation. People will often get impatient with their perceived lack of progress and give up their fitness goals before they have a chance to benefit from their efforts.

Training in the martial arts helps shift the focus from what our bodies look like towards what our bodies are capable of doing. Of course, as we build strength in our bodies, we start to feel better and after a few months we start to see the results, too.

Ready to start training in the martial arts as an adult? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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feel stronger through stretching

Stretch Yourself Strong

A common desire for most martial artists is to increase their strength and performance. Many martial artists incorporate strength and conditioning exercises in their training sessions. But did you know that you can feel stronger through stretching? It’s true! You can actually stretch yourself strong.

You’ve undoubtedly heard how important it is to stretch. When we stretch consistently, we maintain our mobility and overall strength. Here are a few ways stretching makes us stronger:

  • Joints: stronger joints yield improved range of motion
  • Ligaments: stronger ligaments increase stability
  • Muscles: stronger muscles help us with better balance
  • Body: stronger bodies help lower our risk of injury

There are three basic ways to feel stronger through stretching: dynamic, static, and assisted stretching.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching uses controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for performance and injury prevention. This type of stretching improves speed, agility, and acceleration of movement. As such, dynamic stretches are ideal for pre-workout warm-up. Examples of dynamic stretches include arm circles to help with shoulder mobility and straight leg swings to help with hamstring muscles.

Static Stretching

One of the most popular and familiar types of stretching, static stretching involves stretching a muscle as far as it can go without feeling pain and hold it for 20 to 45 seconds. This type of stretching is great for increasing flexibility. As such, static stretches are ideal for cooling down after a training session. An example of static stretching includes reaching to touch your toes from a standing of seated position.

Assisted Stretching

Also called partner stretching, assisted stretching allows your body to move in ways that it is not able to when stretching alone. This type of stretching can help reduce muscle tightness, increase flexibility, and improve our range of motion. While you can achieve some of these benefits with the help of a trusted friend or exercise partner, it is recommended to seek the help of a trained professional for maximum results.

So, how does any of this improve our performance and make us stronger martial artists? For one, as your flexibility improves, you lower your risk of injury. Additionally, the more flexible you become, the better you will move. Your muscles will work together more efficiently and your techniques will become more effective.

Ready to start experiencing the benefits of incorporating more stretching into your martial artists training? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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© 2019-2022 Invictus Martial Arts

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Martial Arts For Teens

Benefits Of Martial Arts For Teens

Teens today face so many unique challenges. From bullying and stress to anxiety and depression, as a parent, it’s difficult to know how to help. Now more than ever, it’s so important to ensure our teens are surrounded by a positive and supportive community to keep them on the right track.

Martial arts programs have long been praised for their many benefits among people of all ages, such as improved focus, discipline, and confidence. Unfortunately, most traditional martial arts programs are more geared towards serving younger children, leaving older teens feeling left out and under-served.

After over a decade of developing and leading martial arts programs, we understand the need for a comprehensive mixed martial arts program designed to get teens moving, connecting with other like-minded individuals, and having fun…OFF their device of choice.

We’ve put together a quick list of benefits of MMA training for teens to get you started:

Physical Fitness & Strength

If given the choice, many teens would much rather sit in front of a device all day than even think about doing any kind of physical fitness training. This can make motivating them to get involved in school sports that involve early mornings and long practice sessions multiple times per week.  Most of our teens train in MMA two to three times per week…because they LOVE it! There’s something about getting to punch and kick a bag or pads that doesn’t feel like working out and is just plain fun. Plus, it builds both mental and physical strength which helps combat any negative self-talk they may be dealing with as a result of bullying.

Self-Esteem

So many teens struggle with a lack of self-confidence due to their lack of maturity and perspective. On top of that, bullying and cyberbullying are still a major problem in many of our middle and high schools. Rather than focusing on all the ways they “fall short”, training in MMA gives them a place where they can focus on all the ways they excel. With opportunities to earn new belt ranks and learn new and challenging techniques, MMA training will have your teen feeling motivated and proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

Motivation & Work Ethic

One of the most challenging things about raising a teen can sometimes be just keeping them motivated. As they inch closer to adulthood, parents begin to worry about their future success when it comes to higher education and even careers. Martial arts training teaching the importance of committing to a goal and following through. Experienced martial arts trainers and coaches will know how to hold teens accountable for their class attendance and weekly practice time. This helps them build a strong work ethic which will serve them tremendously in their future.

Self-Respect

While the focus is typically on how they are being treated by others, it’s important for teens to understand that having self-respect will help other to see and treat them with dignity and worth. Having a healthy level of self-respect will enable them to have the confidence to set firm boundaries that align with their values. Martial arts training consistently reemphasizes the concept of respecting themselves as well as respecting others. Teens quickly learn that when they demonstrate good respect towards others, they are deserving of being treated with respect in return. Understanding this, they are much less willing to settle for anything less when interacting with their peers at school or other social situations.

A Sense Of Community

With anxiety and depression being so prevalent among teens, it’s so important to make sure they have a supportive community they can rely on. Martial arts communities are some of the tightest-knit groups of kids, teens, and adults. It feels amazing to see teens surrounded by people with common interests and goals that will support them on their good days and bad. It’s easy for them to make awesome friends that they actually enjoy hanging out with. It’s no wonder so many parents choose martial arts training for their teens!

 

Ready to start seeing your teen benefit form martial artists training? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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Get Moving With Martial Arts

Get Moving With Martial Arts

According to the CDC, a staggering 25% of U.S. adults are considered physically inactive. The health repercussions of not getting enough physical activity can be severe: obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Of course, the benefits of physical activity are numerous including a decreased risk of chronic disease, improved mental health, and better sleep to name a few. Bottom line, as adults, we need to get moving.

There are several reasons adults don’t exercise. The most cited reason is a lack of time. Also noted are a lack of support or lack of desirable options. Let’s face it, the idea of spending half an hour on a treadmill isn’t exactly inspirational.

So, what can adults do to get moving that’s fast, effective, and includes a positive and supportive community?

Martial arts training is an ideal solution. Surprisingly, only 5% of adults have ever trained in a martial arts discipline. With so many benefits, we want to do our part to share our passion for mixed martial arts training and grow that number.

There are a variety of physical, social, and emotional benefits to training in martial arts. Need to loose weight? Want to feel stronger? Could you use a confidence boost? Is a lack of accountability crippling your progress? Regardless of what your fitness goals are, you can completely transform your life with martial arts training. We’ll show you how!

Get Moving With Martial Arts

 

Ready to become part of the 5% of adults that consider themselves martial artists? It’s time to get moving and start getting the results you deserve. At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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Top 5 Reasons Parents Love Martial Arts

Top 5 Reasons Parents Love Martial Arts

There is no shortage of benefits when it comes to training in the martial arts. But, as a concerned parent, you want to be confident in selecting a program that will be most beneficial to your child. Allow us to grant you the gift of going second.

We hear all the time how much parents love martial arts and we’re excited to share what they have experienced!

Here are the top 5 reasons parents LOVE the martial arts for their families:

1. It Keeps Kids Active

It’s easy to see that martial arts is great exercise and, unlike less engaging workouts, the process of training in martial arts is more exciting and fun for kids of all ages. We hear time and time again, “I never thought I’d get my kid off the couch and willingly attending a fitness class…but they LOVE martial arts!” That’s because every class is different and progress is easily measurable. Students love being able to learn new techniques and earn new belt ranks as they improve over time. Being able to consistently celebrate their progress keeps them engaged and excited to come to class keeping them active and fit.

2. It Teaches Discipline

Parents often notice the immediate focus on practicing good discipline habits during martial arts classes. From requiring students to use respectful responses like “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am” when addressing their instructors and peers to practicing the martial bow, the importance of demonstrating good discipline during class is hard to miss. Perhaps even more important, an emphasis on self-control and self-discipline is also evident. Students learn to move on command, manage their emotions, and control their power when working with their peers.

3. It Teaches Confidence

Martial arts sets kids up for success by giving them a series of short-term goals that they can attain quickly while keeping them focused on the long-term goal of black belt. As parents, it’s so encouraging to see them develop stronger voices, carry themselves with more pride, and become advocates for themselves as they grow as martial artists. Through the course of their training, their confidence improves and they learn to believe that, with hard work and commitment, they can accomplish great things.

4. It Helps Them Avoid Dangerous Situations

Unfortunatly, parents today are no strangers to the idea that violence is a part of life. From bullying to child abduction, and even sex trafficking, keeping our kids safe is a major concern. One of the most important things martial arts teaches kids is how to be more aware of their surroundings and how to avoid putting themselves in potentially vulnerable situations. Clearly, the best way to avoid being a victim of violence is to not be there in the first place! Having said that, as responsible martial arts instructors, we also equip our students to be prepared to protect themselves from tricky people, if avoiding the situation is no longer an option. A solid martial arts program includes comprehensive self-protection training giving students the confidence they need to feel safe in everyday life.

5. It Creates Community

We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child and any parent who’s ever struggled to find their tribe knows how true this can be. As parents, it feels great to see your kid quickly making friends during class. What is often unexpected is how quickly parents will befriend other parents within the academy community. Pretty soon, everyone is just as invested in seeing your kid succeed as you are. Imagine being part of a community of instructors, parents, and like-minded kids dedicated to helping your child become the best versions of themselves. It’s more than a village. It’s family.

Ready to see why so many parents chose Invictus Martial Arts for their families? We make it easy to GET STARTED.

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dyslexia and martial arts

Managing Dyslexia Through Martial Arts

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and we’re taking a look at how a brain-boosting activity like martial arts can help offer support.

While dyslexia is most known for challenges related to reading ability, it’s actually much more involved. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. (Lyon, Shaywitz, & Shaywitz, 2003, p. 2).

In fact, current research shows that over 2.8 million school-aged children struggle with dyslexia. Fortunately, martial arts offers a unique way to help!

Here are just a few of the benefits individuals with dyslexia can experience through martial arts training:

Develop Motor Skills

Individuals with dyslexia often have difficulties with fine motor skills which can make activities like writing more challenging. Additionally, kids with dyslexia are often challenged with crossing the midline of their body. Martial arts drills designed to encourage crossing the midline help fire up neural pathways between brain hemispheres making it easier to recall previously learned material. Such drills include common warm-up exercises like bicycle crunches or crab toe-touches as well as pad drills that incorporate strikes from opposite hands and feet. Additionally, martial arts drills like sparring often require the use of both sides of the brain which helps develop new neural pathways and increases processing speed and problem solving.

These martial arts drills gradually work with and improve motor skills through repetitive combos and movements. Each new strike or skill might initially come as a challenge for a child with dyslexia; however, through patient instruction and encouragement, they can experience tremendous success in the martial arts. And this success will have a lasting impact on their cognitive skill development as well.

Increase Focus

Kids with dyslexia often find it challenging to concentrate. Fortunately martial arts is great for practicing and encouraging self-control and focus. In fact, focus-oriented drills that require a student to hit a specific target with a specific strike can help focus their mind and body simultaneously.

Ultimately, developing self-discipline is crucial of kids with dyslexia. Working through learning challenges can be exhausting and discouraging. Strong character traits cultivated by martial arts training like discipline, focus, and perseverance, can make all the difference when academic challenges arise. Kids who train in the martial arts are well-equipped to tackle challenges head-on rather than giving in to distraction or giving up entirely.

Practice Sequencing

Another common challenge for individuals with dyslexia is sequencing. Sequencing refers to an individuals ability to perceive items in a specific order as wells as remember that sequence. Tasks like learning the days of the week, months of the year, a phone number, the letters of the alphabet, and even counting, can be significantly challenging. Being able to sequence effectively is of great importance.

Martial arts helps develop sequencing skills through the instruction, memorization, and practice of combos and long forms.  Remembering long series of movements that combine opposite hand-leg techniques help to develop critical brain skills required for being able to sequence effectively.

Boost Confidence

Typically, kids with dyslexia can struggle with self-confidence. Martial arts training boosts confidence and helps normalize their experience. While kids with dyslexia can struggle with academic performance, they often excel in extracurricular activities. Participating in martial arts training helps equal the playing field. They may experience being “slower” than other kids in their class when it comes to reading, writing, or even math, but in martial arts, everyone learns at the same pace by belt rank. Each new belt rank offers an opportunity to demonstrate what they’ve learned in an environment where they feel supported and celebrated. They’ll feel more confident and begin to see themselves as more than just dyslexic…they’ll see themselves as a strong and confident martial artist.

 

Ready to get your kid training in mixed 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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Fight Fatigue With Martial Arts

Fight Fatigue With Martial Arts

If you’re currently hitting the snooze button multiple times every morning, walking around like a zombie during the day, reaching for the nearest energy drink to get you through the afternoon, and unable to unwind and get good quality sleep at night, you’re not alone. Fatigue is a common complaint for many adults. General fatigue is caused by several issues including: poor sleep, poorly managed stress, poor diet, poor life/work balance, and yes…poor fitness habits.

It may sound counterintuitive, but experts agree that expending energy by engaging in regular exercise actually pays off with increased energy over time. This is because regular exercise raises blood oxygen levels and increases endorphins, which helps us feel more energized.

So, which are the most effective exercises at increasing oxygen in the blood and boosting energy? It turns out, aerobic training, like mixed martial arts, is best!

Here are three ways to fight fatigue with martial arts:

Focus On Cardio

Training in mixed martial arts is fantastic for  cardiovascular strength building and endurance. Martial arts drills that incorporate bag or pad drills are great for developing enhanced aerobic and anaerobic respiration.  Additionally, mixed martial arts is great for increasing stamina and endurance. The best martial arts training sessions start with a warm-up designed to get your heart pumping and your muscles conditioned. Additionally, sparring drills focus on developing your cardiovascular endurance. Consistent training improves heart health which helps the body regulate oxygen levels more efficiently, resulting in better energy management.

Full Body Workout

One of the greatest benefits of mixed martial arts training is that it trains the body as a whole. Whether you’re working on the fluidity of your practice combos on a pads or refining the technical aspects of your kicks  on a heavy bag, mixed martial arts training will have you experiencing the benefits of a full body workout. The more you focus on conditioning your body as a whole, the more you’ll realize the benefits when it comes to feeling more energized.

Get Better Sleep

While exercise helps boost your energy, it can also help you wind down. In fact, a recent study showed that exercise plays an important role in improving the quality of your sleep. Experts suggest that people who get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week sleep significantly better at night and also feel more alert during the day. Mixed martial arts training requires both physical exertion and mental focus which helps ready the body for a better night’s sleep. So, while you’re putting in the time on the mat, you can be confident that you’ll be falling asleep faster as well as sleeping through the night more consistently.

So, instead of pouring another cup of coffee when you hit that afternoon slump, hit the mats for a quick 30 minute training session! In the long run, you’ll be happy you did.

 

Ready to feel more energized? 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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Tips For Sparring Success

5 Tips For Sparring Success

Over the last decade, we’ve helped hundreds of martial arts students achieve sparring success. There’s no shortage of helpful advice we can offer when it comes to technical tips:

  • Keep your guard up
  • Maintain a stable stance
  • Focus your eyes on your partner
  • Retract your punches and kicks
  • Keep moving

But if you’re new to martial arts training, and especially just starting to spar, these technical tips can sometimes fall short of being helpful. So, if you’re frustrated with your most recent sparring experience or you’re just ready to take your skill development to the next level…keep reading.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that sparring is more than just a physical exercise. There’s a mental component to sparring that must be equally developed. Clearly, the best tips for sparring success encompass both the physical and mental.

Keep in mind that sparring is simply an opportunity to try out your martial arts skill development on a resisting partner and, with the right mindset, it’s quite fun!

Here are our five tips for sparring success:

 

Have A Plan

Sparring is just as much a tactical exercise as it is a physical one. Sparring requires you to constantly be thinking about your next move. While your plan will need to adapt to your sparring partner, it’s always advisable to start any sparring match with a general plan. Knowing your personal strengths and limitations is a huge benefit. If you’re taller than your sparring partner, you can use your legs to keep them out of range. If you’re smaller than your sparring partner, you’ll want to get in close to take away their optimal range.

Sparring with different partners is also a huge learning opportunity. Want to level up quick? Spar with people who can out-pace, out-punch, and out-plan you. Study what they do and ask them for help. Some of the most effective strategies we’ve learned have been from sparring partners who were better than us.

Stay Calm

It’s ok to feel nervous before sparring. Unless you’ve been training for a while, you’re probably not use to the idea of someone punching and kicking at you.  It’s important to accept that in a sparring situation you’re going to get hit (after all, even the professionals do!). The key is to control where you get hit and how you respond after. Practicing offense and defense drills that help you experience what it feels like to absorb a punch or kick will build your confidence in this area. As you build trust with your sparring partners, you’ll realize it gets easier to remain calm, even with punches and kicks being thrown at you.

Most importantly, remember to breathe. It’s common for people to inadvertently hold their breath as they spar. Practice exhaling when you strike so that breathing becomes routine, even when your focus is on blocking, evading, and countering. Ultimately, breathing and remaining calm will help you conserve energy and strike with better precision.

Stick To The Basics

When your adrenalized, complex movements are more challenging to pull off successfully. When you first start sparring, use the most basic techniques you know: jab, cross, hook, and round kick. Sticking to the basics will increase your skill and also keep you mentally focused. In fact, simple and direct works best 80% of the time. Save the more complex moves for the remaining 20% of the time.

While it might be more comfortable to throw one strike at a time, using combinations will increase your chances of connecting with a viable target. Counters are also key. It’s easy to find yourself in a position where your partner is doing all the striking and you’re doing all the defending. Look for opportunities to counter after defending every strike your partner throws.

Check Your Ego

Every sparring match begins with a respectful bow as a reminder that both partners are prepared to help and not harm the other. Sparring is not about beating up your partner. Ultimately, ego clouds judgment and can cause you to rush and even loose control of your power. If your primary focus is striking with power, your technique will suffer and you will miss the opportunity for growth and advancement in your skill development.

When it comes to having the best sparring experience, adopt a givers mindset. Sparring is not a competition, it’s a partnership. When both sparring partner focus on helping the other improve, magic happens. Mutual challenge and respect results in mutual development and benefit.

Focus On Learning, Not Winning

Sparring is not about winning or loosing. Some days, you won’t be able to miss, while other days, you won’t be able to hit a single target. Sparring is all about learning. Every time you spar, try to improve from the last time.

As we mentioned before, sparring is just as much mental as it is physical. While you’re sparring, rather than focusing on winning, focus on your mental state:

  • Stay calm and remember to breath
  • Be aware of your position and guard
  • Concentrate on your opponent or partner
  • Practice those problem-solving skills
  • Stay in control of your emotions

Most importantly, have fun! Remember, it can take years to get really good at sparring. The best martial artists are the ones who show up, consistently put in the work, and enjoy the experience.

 

Ready to up your sparring game? 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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All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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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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