Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

Foster A Stronger Bond

5 Simple Ways To Foster a Stronger Bond

As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your child is to establish a strong and positive relationship with them. But with the demands of a full-time job, managing the household, and the overwhelming commitment of after-school sports and activities, where do you even begin? Here are 5 simple ways to foster a stronger bond with your family that you can begin practicing today:

1. Spend quality time together

We get it. This can be easier said than done. But it doesn’t have to be. Set aside regular time each week to do an activity together that you all enjoy. This can be as simple as making dinner together, taking a family walk, or even a movie night at home. While many activities designed for kids don’t directly allow parents to participate, martial arts in an unexpected exception. In fact, training in the martial arts as a family has been proven to help families establish good fitness habits, increase levels of trust and self-esteem, and decrease stress and anxiety.

2. Listen and communicate

Make sure you REALLY listen to what your kids have to say. Yes, even when it’s a 20 minute recount of their latest Roblox adventure. Listening and engaging with curiosity when it comes to the little things, builds trust and encourages open and honest communication. It’s more likely that they will come to you with the bigger, more challenging matters if they trust that you will listen to the seemingly less significant matters. Additionally, training in the martial arts as a family encourages open communication. As you work through drills and training exercises together, you learn to communicate and even work through conflict and frustration in a healthy and beneficial way.

3. Show affection

This one is probably obvious, but it’s also an area most of us could probably do better in. Of course, affection can be demonstrated through physical affection, (ie. hugs, high-fives, fist bumps, etc.) or verbal affirmation, (ie. words of encouragement or praise). It’s truly remarkable what a difference a reassuring touch or a kind word can do to help your child feel loved and supported. Having other positive and supportive mentors in their lives, like their martial arts coaches, is also key in helping them develop confidence in who they are and encouraging them to practice their own version of positive self-talk.

4. Be patient and understanding

It’s ok to admit it…every parent has experienced being frustrated with their child at some point. That doesn’t mean we love them any less. But it’s how me chose to deal with our frustration that matters most. It’s important to practice calm communication and a whole lot of patience. It can be challenging to remember that our kids are still developing, mentally and physically, and sometimes that means they don’t always make the best decisions when it comes to their actions.  The more you can demonstrate patience and understanding, without compromising your family’s morals or ethics, the stronger your bond will be. And oh, by the way, martial arts is a great outlet for stress relief and getting some of that frustration out in a healthy way (we like to call it “bag therapy”).

5. Reward!

Rewards work as a way of positive reinforcement and really lets your kid know when they’ve done something well, and encourages good and consistent behavior. Experts agree that rewards work best when they are immediate (given right away) and intermittent (not every single time). Remember, this is NOT a bribe…it’s a reward.  And yes, there’s a big difference. And guess what? Rewards don’t always have to be material things (though, it’s ok if they are sometimes). In fact, there are four main types or rewards you can consider (pro-tip…you’re doing amazing, so make sure you reward yourself, too):

Tangible rewards – toys, books, treats, fuzzy socks

Self-care rewards– play a video game, watch a movie, listen to music

Social rewards– set up a “play date” or lunch with a friend, plan a family outing, have a picnic

Healthy rewards– sign up for a “fun run” or 5k, make a fun, healthy meal together, go for a hike

Don’t be afraid to get creative and above all…have FUN! Following these five simple tips, you’ll build a bond with your family that will surely last a lifetime!

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© 2019-2023 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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shadowboxing tips

Shadowboxing Tips

When it comes to martial arts, everyone wants to get better at sparring. One of the best ways to do this is to learn some basic shadowboxing tips. Sparring is a learning environment where martial artists try their techniques with a resisting partner. Shadowboxing helps improve a fighter’s timing, range, movement, and more to use during sparring. So, let’s take a look at shadowboxing dos and don’ts.

Shadowboxing Tips

Don’t look or punch down

A common mistake that most beginners make is punching down. It’s typically because most beginners aren’t used to keeping a good, defensive guard. Beginners will punch from their chest or shoulders versus punching from their cheekbone area. Additionally, beginners will often unintentionally punch to chest level because it feels more natural at first. Remember: your punch will usually go where you are looking.

Do look up and punch eye level

A good shadowboxing practice is to keep your chin tucked and look up (chin down, eyes up). Also, always punch to your eye level. Imagine that you are fighting someone of your own height and size. Always keep your punches to head level.

Don’t focus only on offense

Another common mistake beginners make is practicing only offense techniques. This is because in a beginner’s mind they are the ones winning the match every time. Realize that the absolute best strikers in the UFC only land 60-75% of their intended strikes. The average professional striker is at or below 50%. Yes, practice how you want to perform but be aware that a good number of those offensive strikes won’t find their intended target.

Do add defense techniques

This means that a good shadowboxing tip is to add defense to your practice. Imagine your shadowboxing partner is also using offense and you need to block, evade, or redirect their strike. This will make you a better and more well-rounded fighter and sparring partner.

Don’t stand in one place

A stationary object is easy to hit. This is why practicing on heavy bags makes them simple to use… they don’t move. A good sparring partner will move. And if they don’t, hit them.

Do stay light on your feet and move

Practice your strikes the way you want to perform. So, move with intent and purpose and use both offense and defense as you do. Make sure to keep light on your feet when you move and avoid large steps. Large steps and overly excessive movement telegraph your maneuvers making it easier for your opponent or partner to respond and counter. So, stay light on your feet and move.

Don’t punch with t-rex arms

This may seem obvious at first glance but most beginners feel more comfortable keeping their arms close to their body. Unfortunately, when it comes to sparring or fighting, the opposite is often true. Keeping your strikes too close to your body allows your opponent or partner to close the distance. This gives them the advantage to hit the targets they want since they’re in no danger of you reaching them.

Do fully extend your strikes

Practice with your full range of motion. Not every strike has the same reach. So, practice each technique at the full range of motion. Familiarize yourself with how far each strike can effectively reach its intended target. This will give you the upper hand when sparring because you’ll know when a person is in range and when they’re not.

There you have it! Invictus’ shadowboxing tips to help you become a better sparring partner. This is also a great way to gain proficiency when working with pads or working on a heavy bag.


Creative Commons License

© 2019-2022 Invictus Martial Arts

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

Try a class >>


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