Martial Arts


Healthy Habits Create a Healthy Life

Healthy Habits Create a Healthy Life

If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, you must develop healthy habits.

These habits have to include three areas if you want to be able to see maximum results from the martial arts lifestyle:

1)    Your physical fitness. You can never out-train bad nutrition, poor rest/recovery habits or poor energy planning. You can be the most committed, excited, talented student in the world, but if you neglect your physical health off the mat, you'll soon pay for it. Some common warning signs that your physical fitness isn't your top priority:

a)    You think you have to "get into shape to get into shape". This is another way of procrastinating and making excuses.

b)   You take unnecessary risks with your well-being - anything from "training" with your friends on the carpet to training at another school, or lifting way more than your usual at the gym.

c)    You discount the importance of being well-hydrated and properly fortified before a class. The body needs support from the inside out, especially if you are just beginning in the martial arts.

2)   Your emotional fitness. Are you working on managing your emotion state both on and off the mat? Disciplining yourself to approach each partner, each drill, each technique with an open mind is part of achieving emotional balance. Integrating this practice in your daily life - in your family, at the workplace, during your commute - by reflecting on the classroom lessons is one way to develop this area.

3)   Your mental fitness. Although closely connected to your emotional fitness, your mental fitness has more to do with your focus and attention. How are you training yourself to listen better and retain more information? Being mentally fit means that you can process the in-class instruction, focus on the victories and adjust for the challenges. It also means that you're able to block out the negative distractions that can take your eyes off your goal.

No matter how hard you train on the mat, you'll never reach a peak level of performance - or your full potential - unless you improve your habits off the mat .  Perhaps you need to increase your water intake, or start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Maybe it's time to eliminate fried foods, junk foods or sugar.

Success and longevity in the martial arts requires what we call "energy for excellence." Your overall health and fitness habits should be improving your mental, physical and emotional energy, not detracting from them.

Start early. And if you've been neglecting one or more of these areas, start right now. By developing good health habits, you'll be taking important steps toward black belt: you'll think clearer, have more energy and perform better than ever before. 

Categories: Martial Arts



False, Expectations, Appearing , Real

Many people think that the role of the martial artist is to be without fear, but it's just not true. The role of the modern warrior is to strive to move beyond fear, or at least beyond what fear looks like right now.

Are you afraid of commitment?

Are you worried about communicating well?

Are you anxious about your abilities...or your capacities?

Here are the two biggest fears...and how to approach them.  

#1 -----> Fear of Failure.

This is a common and understandable fear. But much of the classroom work you go through in our training is about overcoming your fear - whether fear of being attacked (self-defense), fear of being infirm (physical fitness) or fear of social interactions (partner work).  

The fear of failure is one of the biggest blockades to progress that there is: it means that you won't try something new because you might not succeed. In truth, however, the only way to discover something new about yourself or your capacities is to try...and fail. So fight the habit of complacency!

#2 -----> Fear of Success.

Yes, it is possible for you to fear success. What if you try something new...and are great at it? Will it mean that you'll have to take on new responsibilities? New challenges? The pressure to succeed can sometimes be the very thing that pushes us away from trying to do our best. And it can be a common affliction, both on and off the mat.  

Worrying that we are not up to the task of success - or that it is not sustainable, or that we might fail after succeeding - is a waste of energy. If it is possible for you to succeed, you may actually be able to help, guide or coach others through their own challenges. It may be an additional responsibility, but a rare chance to help another person - not just yourself.

Excuses come easily, and progress is often hard-won.

The path of the modern warrior is to fight his or her fear - and to do it honestly, courageously and constantly. Become the sort of person who asks themselves questions, instead of just accepting things as they are. Surround yourself with people who will help to push you to the next level of communication, or training, or prosperity.

Shihan Gene Dunn

Categories: Martial Arts


Champions Stay Fit For Life

Message of the week

Champions Stay Fit For Life


As a black belt in Training, one of your primary goals should be to get fit and stay fit for life.

When you keep yourself in top physical condition, you'll have more energy, look better, feel better, be stronger and last much longer.

Martial Arts training is a fantastic way to stay in top shape year round. It allows you to lead a very versatile and well-rounded lifestyle that creates year-round total fitness of the mind, body and spirit.

Champions of all ages strive to improve their flexibility, strength and muscle tone, as well as their cardiovascular endurance.


"Fatigue makes cowards of us all!" -- Vince Lombardi


Fitness Improves Confidence. When you stay in top shape, you take better care of yourself than most people. The combination of increased effort and improved habits helps to boost your confidence.

Fitness Improves Courage. When you look and feel stronger, you will last longer and you'll become more courageous in situations that you may have previously experienced fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Fitness Improves Concentration. When you are in top shape, you are more alert and will be able to stay focused on your objectives for longer periods of time. The benefits of lasting longer shows up in your mental side as well.

Highly fit people are positive, productive and successful.

 It is a great feeling being in top shape and ON YOUR GAME.

Leading a positive and well-disciplined lifestyle brings out the best in you...Mentally, Physically and Emotionally.


Categories: Martial Arts


The Habit of Courtesy

The Habit of Courtesy

The Habit of Courtesy

Champions practice being courteous because they understand that the Martial Arts begins and ends with respect.Black Belt manners and courtesy is like a code of conduct among Martial Artists: it's a sign of confidence, respect and humility.

 Have you ever been treated rudely? Anyone ever say something insulting to you? Have you ever been made to feel unwelcome somewhere?

 If so, then you can understand the importance of this week's message - and why it's so critical that we treat others with politeness and dignity. It goes for the people we know the best, as well as those we know the least.

 Don't be inclusionary.

 What would it say about our school if a new student was treated poorly by a senior one? It's very likely that they wouldn't return - we would all lose out on a new training partner, a new friend and a potential black belt.

Anytime you meet someone new in the dojo or your class, give them a warm greeting and make sure they feel welcome.

 Respect and courtesy is a habit - and so is the lack of it. Like any good routine, courtesy must be practiced daily, both on and off the mats. Whenever you greet someone, be the first to offer your hand for a polite greeting. Look them in the eye. Smile. Be friendly.

The bow is one of the very first things you learn when you begin training in the Martial Arts. It has been a tradition for thousands of years, and a reminder about courtesy which separates us from most other activities.

It sometimes seems like the rest of the world has forgotten the value of this simple act.

Being courteous and respectful is a great way to make a strong first and lasting impression on others. It is a quality that will benefit any relationship, personal or professional.

Be a Model of Respect & Courteous Behavior!

By Shihan Gene Dunn

Categories: Martial Arts



The Habit of Persistence

Persistence. The art of seeing things through to the finish line, developing the habit of completion. Keeping yourself focused on the goal and ready to overcome all obstacles that may be encountered.


Nearly every story of greatness or achievement is an example of persistence. Success rarely occurs without many years of hard work and dedication put forth toward a worthy goal.

That's true in the Martial Arts and it's true in the history of the world. Everyone faces negative attitudes, circumstances or situations - the martial artist is expected to overcome the odds and to develop the habit of persistence.

The white belt who never quits will one day earn their Black Belt...and will appreciate it even more because of the obstacles and setbacks they overcame.


Is it going to be easy? Is it going to happen quickly? Not likely. Any worthwhile achievement requires some sacrifice, lots of energy and effort, plus plenty of perseverence.


Persistence is a vital ingredient for all worthy achievements. It is learning to be able to set your sights on a specific target...then aiming your energy and efforts in the right direction.

Setting your sights on becoming a Black Belt is a powerful and challenging goal. It's also goal that will always have a positive impact on every aspect of your life. Commit and persist!

Categories: Martial Arts

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