Perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
We’ve all been told this in our lives: Never give up, keep going, don’t quit. It seems like these “words of encouragement” come when we (don’t want to hear) it need to hear it the most. And these positive-Polly’s are on to something. Research shows that perseverance gives you self sufficiency, less depression, and positive self-perception, among other things. So the next time your boss, teacher, friend, partner, (insert uplifter’s name here) is telling you that you can follow through with whatever life’s throwing at you, remember that they’re helping you in the long run.
Don’t Mess with the Time Continuum: Do something Great With Your Life
Let’s take a look at what we can learn from the writers of ‘Back to the Future,’ Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. What we now know as a media classic was actually rejected more than 40 times. Disney rejected the movie, saying it was “about incest,” referring to the scene where Marty McFly’s mother kisses the 18-year-old version of him in 1955.
At any point in time, Gale could have quit. We can learn from him what Dr. Ann S. Masten describes as choosing to do something great with your life. We only have one life, and it’s short.
We often have difficult workouts and warmups in karate, where our bodies want to revolt and say, “NO MORE” (proprioception), but our ability to push through will give us confidence and inspiration to continue going. Tip testing, the black belt pre-exam, and black belt exam are times when we may face rejection. We’re all going to face rejection, but our ability to be resilient is what can help us become successful.
2. We Don’t All Have DeLorean Time Machines: Make Your Time Count
It took 5 years for the film’s script to be written and filmed. It went through many different versions and was only taken on by Steven Spielberg after the financial success of one of the writer’s (Zemeckis') films, ‘Romancing the Stone.’
Zemeckis and Gale had the attitude of Thomas the Tank Engine: “I think I can, I think I can.” Psychologist Albert Bandura says that self efficacy, or belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations or to accomplish a task, can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges. If you think you can succeed, you try harder, and you’ll often get more successful outcomes.
It’s no wonder that successful athletes often rehearse winning moves in their head before performing.
3. Even Doc Brown Had to Wait for Lightning to Hit the Clock Tower: It Takes Time to Be Successful
After years of writing, rewriting, and finally getting the film chosen by Spielberg, ‘Back to the Future’ was a great success. It was released on July 3, 1985 and Back to the Future spent 11 weeks at number one grossed more than $381 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1985. It won the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing and was nominated for three other Academy Awards. It was nominated for four Golden Globes as well as other prestigious awards in Hollywood, such as the Hugo Award and BAFTA.
Rotten Tomatoes, review aggregator, shows that 96 percent of critics gave the film a positive review. Rotten Tomatoes reports that it is "Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed…[it] is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit."
The President of the United States during the time, Ronald Reagan, even quoted the film during his State of the Union Address in 1986. As of 2007, it is in the National Film Registry, selected by the Library of Congress.
The writers went on to create two sequels in 1989 and 1990, ‘Back to the Future Part II’ and ‘Back to the Future Part III,’ respectively. Additionally, it had an animated series, theme park ride, video games, and even a musical.
Perseverance helped Gale and Zemeckis create what we now know as a classic.
We all have the ability not only persevere but to do it well and successfully. University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology, Angela Duckworth believes that innate talent is overrated. She states that the key to success is a blend of persistence and passion—or “grit”. “Our potential is one thing,” she writes. “What we do with it is quite another.” Karate often provides us with the opportunity to persist. The workouts are hard, the testing can be difficult, especially if you’re afraid to perform in front of others, and there are lots of moves to learn, including sets and katas. Through these challenges is an opportunity to continue against opposition and obtain grit. One of our instructors, for example, took his black belt exam four times before passing. Mr. Baker #2 failed his first exam, was told he wasn’t going to pass the second exam, had issues with the third exam, and finally passed on the fourth try. It took 7 years to get his first black belt, but through perseverance, he became a black belt.
Don’t Make a Flux Capacitor: Come to East Mesa Karate
Although it may be hard to hear the phrase, “Don’t give up,” it can help you become the best version of yourself.
We’re talking about never giving up this month: never giving up on yourself, not giving up even when we don’t want to act on it, and you can do great things (like Thomas Edison) if you keep going. At East Mesa Karate, we want everyone to become who they want to be. To learn more about our services and how we can help you in your time continuum, call us at 480-986-7177 or fill out our online form.
Kids need to build confidence, strength, and coordination, while starting healthy habits. This is a time when kids are figuring out who they are and who they want to become, gaining more control in how active they are.
When kids are in school, they have a higher chance of participating in a range of activities that might be good for their interests, age, personality, and ability. If your kid is having fun, they won’t mind working out. Kids should exercise because it helps them maintain and achieve healthy body weight. It helps build and maintain healthy, strong muscles, joints, and bones, while improving motor coordination and develops other motor performance skills.
Each day, kids should:
Get Your Kids Moving at Home
There are many things you can do to get your kids moving:
Find What Works for Your Kids
Talk to your kids about what interests them by suggesting even non-traditional sports, such as fencing, karate, skateboarding, or tennis.
Focus on Different Ways to Work Out
1. Aerobic Activity: This should be most of your child’s workout time. It can include moderate-intensity aerobic activities, such as running or brisk walking. Kids should get this type of activity at least 3 days a week for 60 minutes or more.
2. Muscle Strengthening: Martial arts is a great way to strengthen muscles. Other activities include push ups, sit ups, or other resistance activities. This should be done at least 3 days a week as part of the 60 minutes or more.
3. Bone Strengthening: These activities include things such as kicking, running, punching, or jumping rope. This should be done at least 3 days a week as a part of the 60 minutes or more.
Make Working Out Fun
Remember, if you’re complaining about what you’re doing, your kids won’t want to do that activity either. Choose something you both enjoy, and make it a positive activity for you and them. We want everyone to have the opportunity to get closer to family members, while enjoying workout time. Our karate school in East Mesa provides family classes, where you and your child can get a great workout in and learn martial arts.
Martial Arts can help your child maintain these healthy requirements while having fun and learning important self protection techniques. Sign up for our trial offer to learn more about what we do. Please call or register online.
You’re walking home on an otherwise nice brisk evening with your family or loved one when, out of nowhere, you are surrounded by aggressive and intimidating people that want to harm you. They may just yell and/or push at first. They may grab you, or swing or threaten you with a gun or a knife. What would you do? Would you know what to do to protect yourself and your family? How would you feel? How would you react?
Any of these scenarios are scary at best and deadly at worst. Over 1500 people die from injuries involving knife attacks each year; 5 times as many as those killed by rifles. Statistics aside, the brutal reality is that knives are prevalent and dangerous, knife wounds are nasty and becoming a victim is totally preventable. It is wise to train to defend against threats and attacks with knives, and the best time to think about this is not when the attack is imminent and real. I highly recommend that every reader get some training. For the purposes of this article, I will address 5 hacks that could save your life in a knife attack scenario.
1. Understand the Threat.
Knives are a real threat! They are common, easy to carry and conceal, and can inflict severe wounds and damage, up to and including death. I really don’t think that most people understand how nasty slashes and stabs of the knife upon human flesh can be. This is a mistake. Awareness of the seriousness of the threat is an important step in preparing to deal with it. Awareness can also help you to pay attention, noticing who around is carrying a knife well before any threat exists.
On the other hand, it’s very important to know that it’s very possible to survive an attack if you know how to. In the best case, of course, you have trained in advance. The time to condition to react correctly is when the threat isn’t real; I often remind my students that, “it’s a good thing to get stabbed with a rubber knife all day long”. What can be a painful or deadly mistake in real life is, in training, only feedback.
With or without training, it is important to understand that fighting back aggressively will more likely improve your situation. We know from the defensive wounds of attack crime reports that the victim will not often be killed by the first, second or even first several attacks. Most attackers are not trained knife fighters, but rather an angry person attacking viciously with an overhand (icepick) stab, underhand upward vertical strike, stabbing or slashing, and probably repeatedly, but probably with more aggressiveness than accuracy. It is for this reason that actively defending is so important, and this leads us to knife hack number two.
2. Aggressive Counterattack
As I alluded to in number one, the victim that tries to defend without fighting back is the most likely to be killed by a knife attack. Of course, if the scum bag threatening you with a knife just wants your money, you should give him your money because, as I have also already suggested, a knife fight situation is not something that you really want to get into. The variables are many and the stakes are high; so, if he wants something that you can easily replace, the right play is to give it.
My teacher once told me, though, that when you are dealing with a terrorist, you should consider yourself already dead, and that any move that you make to improve your situation improves your situation. While I am certainly not saying that every knife attacker is a terrorist, I am saying that not everyone with a knife will leave you alone just because you give them what they want. You will have to make the call of which one you are dealing with and act accordingly.
This decision only applies to a knife threat, of course. Once the knife is in motion towards you, your decision time has been ended. This is the time when, as I say, you must deal aggressively with the problem. In my system, Krav Maga, we will use a block and a simultaneous counterattack. While the block will hopefully stop the first attack and, if not the first then the second; the aggressive counterattacks address the problem. The problem isn't the knife but rather is the attacker wielding the knife, and that problem must be dealt with aggressively.
3. Control The Weapon
As soon as we block and counterattack, we should also attempt to control the weapon. The exception to this rule would be wherein we counterattack strongly enough that we make enough distance to completely disengage and get away so quickly that we don't have to, which is even better. In close proximity to the attacker, however, by necessity or because we can’t move quickly enough, we must control the weapon hand as soon as possible, stopping its ability to continue cycling the attack. We need to control long enough and well enough to affect knife hack number four.
4. Disengage or Neutralize
As stated in number 3, making distance and getting away from the attacker and attack is the best case of all. The disengagement can happen directly after the initial defense and counterattack, if you made sufficient distance to escape and are fast enough to do so; or it could be after you entered and controlled the weapon, have already struck multiple times in the correct areas to slow down the attacker and then you disengage and exit the area while scanning for more attackers. Still other times, the situation may dictate that you can’t leave the scene; perhaps a small child or elderly parent keeps you from the ability to flee quickly. In this case, one must be able to neutralize the threat to ensure that he’ll be able to get his family home safely.
5. Prepare Today
At the risk of being redundant, the very best thing that you can do to survive a violent knife attack is to start preparing for that scenario today. Be aware, of your own abilities and limitations, and also of your surroundings, including where you are, with whom and who else is in the area. Practice doing this always. At first it will feel funny, or even awkward; but like all new skills, awareness will become natural when practiced over time. If you can, get some training from an experienced instructor trained in a reality based martial art including knife defense. If you already train, practice seriously. I believe every Krav Maga student should have their own training knife and training gun. The combination of proper instruction on how to best defend yourself, with significant repetition and practice under stress, is the very best way to prepare today to defend tomorrow.
I hope that nobody reading this ever has to defend themselves against a knife attack. In the best case, should you decide to take my advice and get some training, all the preparation will be only insurance. In a great school, the training will come with some bonuses including fun, fitness, friends and family, as well as the confidence to walk in peace. I pray every day that none of my students ever has to use the self-defense that I teach them because, by definition, somethings gone really bad and someone’s going to get really hurt. The only thing worse than having to defend, though, would be to have to and not be prepared for it. This is why we pray for the best, but train for the worst today.
Stephen Del Castillo
Grand Master Del Castillo (Shihan Steve) is the Founder and Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts. He has more than 35 years of martial arts experience with the last 15 specifically in the Israeli Self Protection system known as Krav Maga. He is a 7th Degree Blackbelt and Master Instructor with Blackbelt Schools International, an MBA, and the Chief Instructor of KMMA USA, with affiliate instructors and schools around the country. For more info on Shihan Steve, his schools or affiliate program, go to www.kmmausa.com. For any questions or comments about this blog or his programs, you may also email Shihan at firstname.lastname@example.org
A mom’s daily routine: Wake up the kids, get them ready for school, feed them, take them to school, go to work, come home, make dinner, get the kids ready for bed, repeat. Even thinking about working out seems like a work out when you’re a busy mom. Working out doesn’t have to be that hard. Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to workout AND get everything else done:
Workout When You Can
If you think, “Oh, I’ll workout later when I have time,” you’re probably not going to get to it because life as a mom is always busy. Time to bust out that old-school planner and schedule time to workout. You have to do it when it’s convenient for you. This will be different for everyone.
If you’re too busy to work out, go through your schedule and see if there are nonessentials you can cut out. These could include the 30-minute stints checking social media. If you can’t find a 30-minute block of time, work out in two or three spurts of 10-15 minutes — the workout is still effective.
Then strategize what you’re going to do to workout. If you’re going to the gym, figure out your routine before you get there. If you’re going to use a DVD, choose it before you start. If you’re going to run, figure out how far you want to go. If you know you’re going to get bored of the same workout, choose different activities during the week.
Here Comes the Sun: Start Your Day With a Workout
If you’re a morning person, work out before you get anything else done. Wake up before your kiddos and pump some iron. You can even stay at home and use some workout videos on Amazon Prime or Netflix. There are options for in-home walking, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, and strength training.
If you choose to go this route, you’ll need some space at home. You don’t have to have any special fitness equipment, so just use what you have. You can do chair squats, chair push ups, lunges, planks, and jumping jacks. If you want to get some equipment, invest in a couple of dumbbells, a workout mat, and a jump rope, or whatever will facilitate your workout.
Work It on the Way to Work
This can be done to accommodate different lifestyles. For example, if you work close enough to home, you could ride your bike to work. Or get off the light rail one stop early and walk to your office.
During the Workday HustleIf you feel comfortable, workout while you’re in your office from your chair, you can focus on different areas of the body:
Workout during your lunch break. Use half of your hour-long lunch break to run, do yoga, or whatever you can. If you have a gym close, join it and use it to get in a quick workout and shower.
When you get back from work, you can do a 10-minute DVD workout that offers various routines, so when you get back from work, you already have a plan.
This is often prime family time. You don’t need to compromise family time with workouts. Get your kids involved and do things together as a family, such as:
When your kids get older, involve them in fun activities like 5ks or other athletic events.
If You Miss a Workout
It happens. Some days, you may not be able to must the energy needed to workout, you could get sick, your kids get sick, things come up, etc. Don’t beat yourself up. But try to get some kind of activity in, even if it’s just a short walk around the block. Just remember that tomorrow is a new day, and you can always start again.
Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to other moms. It’s easy to look at others and wonder how they’re Supermom, but everyone has their difficulties.
And, since you’re a mom, you can always repeat the mantra shared from Dory in Finding Nemo: Just keep swimming.
Keep Your Friends Close
Other moms may be able to help you out by watching your kids while you get a workout in or may want to join you for some mommy and me workout time. A workout community can help you define and achieve your workout goals and help you keep a positive attitude.
Your community can also help you keep going by keeping you accountable and endure when you feel you can’t keep going.
Martial Arts Classes in East Mesa
Many ladies choose martial arts for fitness. Both traditional martial arts and fitness martial arts provide the flexibility, cardio and strength training needed for a lean, thin athletic look. The structure, group support and positive coaching is just what you need to stay active and motivated. To learn more about our class schedules or what we teach, call us at 480-986-7177 or fill out our online form.
When you think of martial arts, do you think of a Jackie Chan or Jet Lee movie? In reality, it’s not really like that. Martial arts will help your child more than it will hurt them.
Unlike other sports that are focused on building the best athlete, martial arts focuses on building the best person through discipline, control, fitness, and self confidence.
The great thing about martial arts is that it is good for kids of all temperaments. Whether your child is very active or timid in social situations, martial arts can help facilitate good characteristics and habits that will last a lifetime.
Martial arts is all about repetition and practice of movements. A student may practice a certain move hundreds of times to improve. These small movements increase stamina, power, and flexibility.
Also, students learn that during class there are rules and protocols to be followed. Children learn to respect the instructor, those around them, and, in turn, everyone else in their lives.
BreakingMuscle.com states that there are benefits to stillness and silence. These days, it’s almost hard to get quiet time. In quiet time, we can learn focus and discipline. Our school gives out a belt tip after learning a new skill. These are earned through focus and discipline. It helps the student feel a sense of accomplishment and it helps them get one step closer to a higher rank.
Since children have to earn their tips and higher rank, it teaches them to work to get something, instead of receiving instant gratification. It can help children learn a strong work ethic and the skills to avoid physical confrontations.
Related to discipline, children learn to control themselves through their behavior and actions. The first thing we teach our students is that if they have the opportunity to walk away from a fight, they should. Just because they have the ability to beat their opponent doesn’t mean they should.
According to the CDC, about 20 percent of school-aged children are obese. This is a set time where kids will be up and moving and not spending time with media. Signing your child up for classes can develop lifelong habits that get them used to being active.
In addition to burning through energy, martial arts helps students learn balance and agility. Students learn perseverance, training the whole body. Our school starts with warm-up activities to get the body moving, practice the basics, then finish with active games. The warm-up generally takes up half of the class with activities such as stretching, pushups, elbow raises, punches, and kicks. The workout portion is important because it helps your child understand their body — its limitations, abilities, and when to push.
RicardoAlmeida.com states that children get more confident when they get more proficient. When we praise a student for their hard work, it increases the confidence level. Students get used to being around their peers and can become more confident in interacting with them. They learn respect for themselves and their peers. Martial arts helps your child learn that confidence and respect for others comes from a deep sense of self-knowledge.
Learn More from East Mesa Karate
We believe martial arts can benefit anyone. To learn more about what we do at East Mesa Karate, fill out our online form or call us today at 480-986-7177.