Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Your Children Can Benefit from Taekwondo

Many parents who are considering enrolling their children in martial arts training may wonder if there are benefits. Let us take taekwondo, for example. This type of martial arts is from Korea and can provide many benefits for children even in today’s world.

Assessing the Benefits

What are some of the benefits for children who are involved in martial arts training? Some of the things to consider are:

  • Physical fitness
  • Weight control
  • Improved concentration
  • Respect for other people
  • Substantial improvements in self confidence and self esteem
  • In addition to all the benefits children can obtain from taekwondo, they are also having fun. 

Fitness is a very important aspect of taekwondo, and quite honestly, it’s refreshing to see children so fit and sporting a healthy weight. Unfortunately there are far too many children in today’s world who are overweight simply because they don’t exercise and eat high energy foods.

Fun and Exercise Are Part of Taekwondo

Many people believe the human body is design for exercise. This is especially true of children who should run, jump and get out of breath while combining play and exercise. One of the many benefits of kids taekwondo is they have fun at the same time they are performing physical exercise. They gain physical fitness all around because the exercises in which they are engaged exercise their whole bodies. Even better is the fact they want to continue coming back.

Lessons to Learn

Martial arts training can provide a great many benefits, especially for young boys. For one thing the rigorous physical training provides an outlet for their boundless energy. Some of the other benefits of taekwondo for young boys include the following:

  • Allows them to kick and punch under controlled conditions
  • Teaches self-control
  • Teaches them the need for taekwondo to remain in the Dojang
  • Teachers are also great role models
  • Instructors are fit, healthy and controlled as well as being senior students

How Taekwondo Benefits Girls

While many people see taekwondo as a sport for boys, the reality is girls can benefit from martial arts training as well. For instance, when girls are fit and healthy they have a positive image of their bodies. They also develop self esteem and self confidence as a result of learning in person confrontation and develop power through wooden boards. It doesn’t matter whether the child is a boy or girl; kids taekwondo helps them become physically and menta
lly stronger.

Keep in mind taekwondo is not just about physical training; it’s also training for the mind. In kids taekwondo children learn complicated movements that help their memory and ability to concentrate. During martial arts training they also learn how to coordinate their bodies. The training involves a great deal of discipline, which teaches them how to gain the self-discipline they need to push forward no matter how difficult training is.

Training in taekwondo also teaches children about respect and courtesy. It begins with respect for the instructors and each other. This in turn teaches them to respect themselves. They learn the importance of being polite to everyone whether they like them or not—definitely a great skill to take with them into adulthood. Some of the other things they learn include:

  • How to persevere
  • How to press forward if something is difficult but worth achieving
  • How to face failure and move past it by picking themselves up and trying again

When children succeed the pride shows on their smiling faces. This gives a real boost to both their self confidence and self esteem. Taekwondo can help children become surer of themselves and ultimately gain the confidence they need to speak in front of the class or even perform a difficult pattern in front of a panel of judges, the kind of tasks that will help them become successful adults.

They will learn to teach and become mentors to the younger children which helps them learn and achieve patience and kindness. Eventually these children will become calm and self-assured young people who possess the self confidence they need to accomplish everything they need and want to do. In fact, those who have self esteem are less likely to engage in destructive behavior such as substance abuse. It also means children who have trained in kids taekwondo are not as likely to become victims of the school bully.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Learning the Sport with Martial Arts Training

One thing to know about any of the martial arts is a person should not attempt to make the mistake of learning without a qualified instructor. Only by obtaining martial arts training can a person (adult or child) expect to learn enough to compete and become an expert in specific types of martial arts.

Choosing a Good School

Choosing the best martial arts school can be very difficult when you consider there are millions of schools just looking for an opportunity to have your business. Parents have a difficult time not only the martial art for their children but also the best school to meet the needs of the children. While no individual art is best for every child, martial arts in general provide many benefits that suit all children.

The biggest challenge is finding a good martial arts training instructor. Unfortunately not all schools have formal qualification guidelines for the teachers. This doesn't mean those schools do not employ good teachers, but the late of guidelines definitely make it difficult for parents who are trying to choose a good martial arts teacher for their children.

Familiarize Yourself with a Few Martial Arts Disciplines

Before you make a decision about the martial art form that is right for your child, take some time to learn about a few of the mainstream martial arts. You want to learn what they have to offer by sitting through a few classes. For instance, the technique players use in judo may cause someone to become pinned to the ground—this would not be a good sport for a claustrophobic child.

Conduct Some Research

The internet makes it very easy to take the time to research before making a decision about martial arts training for your child. The place to begin is to make a list of the schools in your local area and seek out websites for those facilities. The focus of your research should be to find a school that offers a formal program of education for its teachers. You want to search out schools that offer teaching ranks in addition to black belt ranking. These teaching ranks are a formal way of passing the marital art on to the student. This shows that teaching areas such as self discipline and self control are equally important in teaching sparring to a child.      

Be Happy with the Instructor Before You Choose the Facility

You don’t want to look at the facility until you are satisfied with the instructor. For instance, the training hall should be immaculate. You might be able to ascertain this if you see students cleaning before and after the training session. Do not see cleaning as menial forced labor but rather a task that shows the students care about their teacher and have a desire to preserve their art. This is something that may provide points to a small school that doesn't have the resources to provide formalized teaching ranks.

Be Aware of the Costs You Will Incur

Before you enroll your child in any martial arts training program including Colorado Taekwondo you need to be sure you know how much it will cost. You need to be aware that while there are great profit making businesses, there are also some non-profit schools that rely on the involvement of the students in order to remain open. Do not allow cost alone to define a great school, but this may be a tie-breaker for parents, especially those on a strict budget. There are even schools that arrange to pick your child up at his regular school, teach him martial arts on a daily basis and provide time for the completion of homework, but this cost will be extremely high. If you opt for the non-profit school (the least expensive), you need to keep in mind you or your child may need to volunteer time and effort for the facility to remain open.

Choose a School with a Local Standing

The school you choose should have a voice in your community. This shows it is interested in the community and the students who live and attend school in that community.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What Makes a Good Leader?

By Marcy Feagans, red belt

Good leaders are willing to share their knowledge and experiences to help teach and guide others to greatness.  Leaders help others to learn by sharing their own knowledge and assisting others in their own personal development to better themselves. Good leaders possess qualities such as integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, patience and compassion.

It is important that as a leader the people around you consider you to have high integrity, always going to do the “right” thing and having high morals and values.  It is important to be honest, the followers will be loyal to the leader if they feel that they can trust someone, regardless of the situation – be it good or bad,  an easy or tough situation, but you will always know that you are telling the truth.  Along with honesty, goes trustworthiness because being honest will win over the followers trust, if they trust you then they will be loyal, try to achieve goals they did not think possible and follow direction because they are confident in the leader’s skills and leadership.

When teaching others, a key attribute is patience.  When teaching a new student or protégé it is important to have patience as that takes time and energy.  The student may need to repeat the action over and over again to learn a skill or as the teacher you may need to repeat the instruction or demonstrate the action to assist the student with learning.  Finally, leaders need to have compassion, all people are human and make mistakes, students often feel frustration and the compassion to understand people as people will help to ensure the best experience and learning for both the teacher and student.

Good leaders are leaders in every aspect of their life; at home, work/school, sports teams and in your community.  The qualities of a good leader will follow them in every aspect of their life – it is usually an innate part of one’s life to have high moral qualities and to show those qualities throughout your actions all the time, regardless if it is at school/work, at the taekwondo campus or at home with your family.  For example, while at work you lead as a good example in your sales integrity or providing good quality service, doing what is right for the customer always.  Being a role model while attending or leading a taekwondo class is important as you should be available during and after class doing poomse, willing to answer questions, and helping lower belts through skill practice.

In your community, you should be friendly and considerate of your neighbors such as, helping them rake leaves, pick up the trash can that blew across the road, or simply waving to them as you pass in the car which shows concern and passion to help take care of the people  and neighborhood around you.  It seems like such a simply gesture but a friendly wave to your neighbor or the UPS delivery man means so much to create a pleasant environment to live in.  If you enjoy the walk down the street or the time people take to say “hello” or care about your family vacation or recent illness it can make all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Achieving Fitness with Taekwondo

Using taekwondo as a training tool can be a great tool for getting your body into shape for peak performance. This allows you to make sure you do what is necessary to get the most from your body. A martial arts training program allows you to work diligently with what you have in order to become the best you can be. Have you ever thought about what you want to achieve?  There are ten training tips that will allow you to use taekwondo in order to reach those goals.

  • Routine variances

There are good reasons not to perform the same routines week after week. There are a few reasons it may be a good idea to seriously consider varying any type of exercise routine, no matter what type of routine that might be such as:

  • Your body and mind will become accustomed to the same routine
  • Your body will no longer be capable of adapting  to the exercise
  • You will discontinue growing mentally

To allow your body to enjoy a peak performance use taekwondo to occasionally give your body a jolt by alternating the types of exercises you do.

  • Get enough sleep

Like any type of routine, engaging in taekwondo is more successful when the body is well rested. If you get enough sleep your performance will be greatly improved. Proper sleep is also essential if you want to see a good athletic performance.

  • Strive for lean and strong muscles

In order to enjoy peak performance in this martial arts skill it is important to be work toward strong and lean muscles. While bulky muscles may work in other types of fitness regimens, taekwondo is not one of them. In fact, bulky muscles are completely useless and will do nothing but slow you down. In order to build strength during the performance of martial arts, it is best to use your own body weight.

  • Do not train every day

Your body is not a machine and if you attempt to work it too hard you will experience burn out. As a living thing, your body and mind need time to work and then rest in order to perform at optimum efficiency. You should train in bursts rather than trying to continuously train for months at a time. This will only cause burn out, and it is more than likely you will become frustrated and quit.

  • Engage in stretching exercises

Stretching plays an essential role when it comes to peak performance in taekwondo. You will find it very difficult to perform without stretching, and the high kicks will be very difficult to perform. Stretching provides flexibility for your body and helps you maintain good posture. There is reduced chance of injury if your body is flexible.

  • Learn to relax

One thing you will learn about taekwondo players is they are always very relaxed. Because of this they have the ability to make very solid and fast movements that also allow their bodies to endure impacts.

  • Eat food that is good for you

Those who perform taekwondo need the right fuel, and it’s quite obvious with this type of martial arts performance you live by the saying, “You are what you eat.” It is essential to consume the right portions of quality protein in order to build lean muscle. The best options are fish, chicken, lean red meat and eggs.

Build your energy with complex carbs such as whole wheat bread, oats, brown rice, brown pasta and potatoes. Eat five servings of fruit and vegetables every day to complete the regiment. Try to avoid sugar though in a competition you might consume an energy drink to get you through the last round.

  • Be ready to take on new challenges

Peak performance in taekwondo requires the player to be mentally alert. It’s essential to remember all your patterns in stressful situations and think clearly. In order to accomplish these things you must be physically fit, well-nourished and well-rested. You also want to take on new challenges and push yourself in order to work on more difficult board breaks.

  • Have fun!

The most important thing is to have fun. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing you’ll quit. It won’t matter whether you want to continue training; lack of pleasure in what you are doing will eventually cause you to give it up.

Monday, November 18, 2013

CTI Leadership Traits

By Bruce Dean, red belt

It is important for CTI students to be good leaders in our community.  As martial artists there remains a misconception in society about what we do in a dojang and the purpose of our studies.  There remains a belief among some that martial artists study so that they can “beat people up” and that we are inherently violent people.  It is therefore incumbent on us to do whatever we can to dispel such misconceptions, and by being good leaders in our community we can show that such thoughts about us and our sport are not true.

CTI students can be good leaders in our community in many ways.  The most direct is by being good citizens and good examples of civic responsibility.  From the seemingly obvious requirement of obeying the law, to more subtle actions like helping the elderly or impaired with their groceries in the parking lot of Safeway, a CTI student can show leadership by demonstrating that he or she is a good citizen.  One need not necessarily run for community office to be a good leader.  Rather, one of the best ways is to simply “go do the right thing”.  This may include volunteering, or simply acting on something.

Leaders have vision.  They are  able to develop relationships, able to resolve conflicts, good problem solver, good motivator.  Vision is a leader’s concept of what they intend to accomplish and how they plan to get there.  It is their destination, where they intend to go.  Without the destination there is nowhere for anyone to follow the leader to.

Another important aspect is the ability to resolve conflicts.  It's important because as a leader, you have a team. And conflict within a team can destroy it.

Being good at solving problems is important because even though a leader must have a vision of what they intend to accomplish and how to get there, the path is rarely without obstacles.  So, if a leader is not good at solving problems – the obstacles in the path – then the leader will not be able to accomplish his/her vision

Being a good motivator is important because as a true leader, you are leading by example – you are inspiring them to follow, rather than a commander who drives people from behind.  And since you must inspire people to follow a good leader must motivate them to do so.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CTI Leadership

By Mark Scott, red belt

Leadership requires many traits including being knowledgeable, responsible, decisive, capable, and selfless.  Leadership requires knowledge and credibility to create the feeling of trust with the follower.  The trust might take a long period of time, so the behavior must be consistent.

Leaders must act responsibly to direct the goals for the group in a manner that creates the best outcome for the group.  This direction must also be decisive for the leader to keep focus for the group to achieve the goals.  The leader should also be capable and willing to perform any tasks directed to the followers which will create loyalty.  By being willing to do the same tasks asked of any member, the leader proves the selfless quality.

Being a leader is different than being the manager.  At work, there are many managers that can direct the workers.  The leaders are the people that have proven to act responsibly and with integrity.  Leaders are the people that can accurately answer questions.  Also, a leader might not know the answer, but the leader can either find the answer or provide the direction to search for the answer.

The leader also provides a good example.  Others in the company can see the true leader doing what is necessary to achieve the goals.  A true leader at work also knows and uses the strengths of those around him.  I can become a better leader at work by doing my job to the best of my ability.  To become a leader, I should keep learning to become better.  I should also know when to help and where to get help when I need it.  The more I learn, the more I become more capable and confident.  After a time, I will become known for giving responsible advice and taking the appropriate actions.

At home, the leader must also be willing to be selfless and caring in relationships.  The leader must be responsible in the big decisions.  Creating trust at home is one of the most important qualities.

When performing sports, trust is also very important for the team aspect.  Another important quality for a leader in sports is to be the hardest worker.  The hardest worker will perform the best and will become the example.  The leader in sports will also show the correct attitude, showing sportsmanship whether winning or losing.

CTI students should be leaders in all aspects of their lives because of the qualities gained through the CTI training.  The CTI students work hard and have discipline derived from the hard work that can be applied to any area in life.  The CTI students learn to be responsible through the control required by having the ability to hurt others physically, but the knowledge to know how to hold off and maintain control.  CTI students also learn respect for others through competition and working out together.  The CTI student also learns the necessity of following the rules necessary for being a part of society.  By following the rules, a leader can set examples for others with lower moral values.

The positive attributes of the CTI student coupled with the confidence gained by leading and training, requires the CTI student to be an active member of the community.  The desire to help others and to do the right thing should be a driving principle for leading and taking responsibility as a community.