May 2015 News Archives

On 8 May, 2015

Self defence classes can help empower women and help them feel more confident and safe.

Learning Self Defence Skills

Self defence classes teach both physical and mental skills, as being mentally prepared to defend yourself is just as important as being prepared physically. During classes you will learn hand-eye coordination, breathing techniques and how to focus the mind, all of which are skills that can be used in your everyday life to help you feel cool, calm and in control of any situation.

Improved Confidence

Women who have learned to defend themselves are sure to feel more confident when they are walking alone as knowing you have the power and skill to defend yourself against an attacker can make a big difference to the way that you see yourself, as well as the world around you. Of course, the best form of self defence is to avoid any risky situation but if in the unlikely event that you find yourself in one that requires some form of self defence then it’s a real boost to know that you will have the necessary skills to help you manage it.

Improved Fitness

Self defence classes offer one of the best forms of fitness around, as these classes work every part of your body. Women who want to get fit and stay in shape are sure to love the improved muscle tone and enhanced energy levels that self defence classes provide. In addition, these classes are much more interesting than simply taking a spinning or Pilates class and offer plenty of new techniques and moves to keep both the brain and body stimulated and engaged.

Choosing a Self Defence Class

Here are some of the main types of self defence classes that are waiting to be tried:

Krav Maga

This form of Martial Arts was originally developed by the Israeli Defence Force and focuses on how to defend yourself against both armed and unarmed attackers. Krav Maga is great for women, because it focuses on drilling techniques so that they become an automatic response during an attack. This prevents women from panicking if they feel threatened and allows them to keep a clear head to use the defence techniques they have learned.

Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do roughly means ‘the way of the foot and fist’ in Korean and is one of the most widely practiced forms of Martial Arts around the world. One of the things that make Tae Kwon Do particularly appealing to some women is that there are a lot of kicking moves involved. This means that you do not need to have a lot of upper body strength to ward off an attacker. If you learn at least one of the series of fast-paced kicking patterns you will be more than ready to defend yourself if you need to.

Aikido

This Japanese form of Martial Arts teaches students to use the force of their attacker against them. This means that women do not need to be particularly strong or large to protect themselves against their opponents. Some of the techniques that these classes provide include throwing and joint locking techniques that can be used to disable an opponent and literally knock them off their feet quickly and easily.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

This form of Martial Arts focuses on ground fighting, which can be a real benefit for women who are attacked and knocked to the ground by an assailant. Although they might become overpowered initially, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches women how to defend themselves if they are pinned to the ground by an assailant.

Jeet Kune Do

This type of self defence was developed by Bruce Lee, who took the best techniques from various forms of Martial Arts and unified them. This teaches women how to escape from dangerous situations quickly by using simple techniques such as attacking the eyes with the fingers. For many of the techniques taught in Jeet Kune Do, no real strength is needed, making this ideal for older women who need to learn how to defend themselves in almost any situation.

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On 22 May, 2015

From learning personal safety to improved fitness, there are many reasons why people take self defence classes..

1 - Safety and Security

The sense of personal security which comes from being able to go out, perhaps on the streets of a big city, at any time of day or night knowing that you have the attitude and the skills to defend yourself and to avoid or defuse potentially dangerous situations is a goal which is well worth aiming for.

In the unlikely event that such a situation arises then you will have earned the know-how to enable you to respond decisively and effectively.

2 - Protection

There can be few more satisfying feelings than knowing that you’re in control of a situation and in a position to defend those who mean most to you. Embrace the empowering feeling that comes with knowing that you are well equipped to protect your loved ones.

3 - Confidence

Gain confidence not only in a situation where you might have to deal with an attacker, but also added confidence for life in general. Having built your self-confidence you will carry yourself with a confident air and the way that others see you will change too. A man or woman whose posture exudes a certain poise and assurance is much less likely to be troubled by assailants.

4 – Discipline & Focus

For self-defence read self-discipline & focus. An essential skill for anyone, you will need discipline to attain your goal of acquiring the necessary skills. Self-discipline to maintain your training and fitness regime and to ensure that if you do have to exercise what you’ve learned in self-defence classes that you’ll have the self-discipline to exercise restraint and use these techniques within certain boundaries.

5 - Health and Fitness

Self-defence classes are just the start. An added bonus to the acquisition of these new skills will be a noticeable improvement in your physical and mental fitness as well as all-round health benefits.

6 - Friendship

Self-defence classes are a great way to make new friends and widen your social circle. Classes can attract people from all walks of life and it’s an ideal opportunity to meet and mix with people from a wide variety of different backgrounds and establish lasting friendships - people who you perhaps wouldn’t get the chance of interacting with during your normal daily life.

7 - Networking

Meeting new people at these classes could well lead to new opportunities, perhaps a new job or venture. Personal development is another key by-product of the classes. By learning one new skill, you’ll quite likely have your keenness sharpened and to go on to learn another, and another. Self-defence classes could contribute to big changes in your life and the sky really is the limit.

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On 22 May, 2015

Martial Arts allow men to let off a little steam and unwind from the stress of the day, while the meditation sessions that are included in most classes are geared towards allowing the mind time to relax and refresh. Taking Martial Arts classes is the perfect way of making time for yourself and enjoying something different. People who have office jobs or spend much of their day behind the wheel of a car will especially benefit from Martial Arts, as all of the muscles in the body will be used during classes, leaving men feeling full of energy and power.

Martial Arts for Women

One of the biggest benefits of Martial Arts classes for women is that the classes improve confidence. Women can feel safer when walking alone because they know they have the self defence and awareness skills required to avoid a tricky situation.

There are lots of different types of Martial Arts that are ideal for women, because you do not need to be physically strong or large to get the most out of these classes. There are also plenty of opportunities to socialise with other students after classes.

Martial Arts for Children

There are lots of great reasons for children to take Martial Arts classes. First of all, they will become more active and physically fit, which is especially important these days when childhood obesity levels are higher than ever before. Children will also have the opportunity to meet people their own age from other schools and neighbourhoods. Martial Arts classes also teach focus and commitment, which can be very useful to children and can be used in other areas of their lives such as academically when studying for exams.

Martial Arts for the Elderly

Gentle forms of Martial Arts such as Tai Chi are ideal for older people who want to stay active. Special classes for the elderly are offered that teach gentle defence moves. One of the great things about these classes is that they help people to get the blood flowing to all parts of their body, helping them to stay flexible. Learning basic self defence moves can also help to make older people feel empowered and more confident when they go out alone.

Martial Arts for the Whole Family

Family Martial Arts classes are organised to allow the whole family to practise together.

In addition to the other great benefits of studying Martial Arts, these classes also allow the family to bond. Families who have shared interests and hobbies are more likely to connect in other parts of their lives as well, so taking part in these group classes is ideal for families who want to become closer.

As you can see, Martial Arts can be practised by people of any age and from any walk of life. Even people who have never taken a class before will be able to join one of the beginner’s classes. There are so many different types of Martial Arts classes available that it is worth taking the time to check out the options so that you will get the most out of the experience while getting fit and having fun.

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On 22 May, 2015

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that affects about two to five percent of children to National Health Services (NHS).

The common symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, difficulty in staying focused, paying attention and difficulty in controlling behaviour. Children with ADHD fixate on the present, and are unable to take their minds to the past and the future, even immediate past or future. As such they find it difficult to complete tasks spread over an extended period of time or activities that involve complicated instructions. However, this also means that activities that require increased concentration in the present suits them well - and Martial Arts fits this description.

Martial Arts such as Karate offer a host of benefits for children with ADHD. Apart from offering them the physical benefits of exercise, it improves cardiovascular health, gives them better strength and flexibility, and most importantly, could lessen ADHD symptoms such as impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Several studies prove that a complex physical activity such as Martial Arts strengthens the brain's neural networks enabling children suffering from ADHD to practise self-control.

According to babycenter.com, the intense mental and physical involvement that Martial Arts exercises such as Karate demands, allow children suffering from ADHD to immerse themselves in the activity and complete it well. John Ratey, M.D, who has written the book "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain," opines that exercise helps children suffering from ADHD in many ways and Martial Arts exercises such as Karate offers more benefits compared to other forms of exercise such as playing football.

Regular Martial Arts exercises stimulates the frontal cortex, cerebellum and limbic system. This influences the brain cells concerned with working memory, making priorities, sequencing and sustaining attention creating a positive effect on the child's attention system. Regular exercise increases the flow of brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which affect the brain’s attention system’s ability to stay regular and consistent thereby increasing alertness in children with ADHD.

The benefits of Martial Arts Classes extend beyond the physical to improving social intelligence and mental discipline. In a typical Karate class, the student starts and ends the session by bowing to his or her master and the entire session demands discipline to stand quietly and wait for the instructors next command. All this helps to instil self-control and self-discipline which often remains underdeveloped in children with ADHD. The exercise involves punches, kicks and blocks, all requiring strict attention and concentration, further helping the child. Moreover, many ADHD affected children can be aggressive and Karate offers a healthy way to vent out such aggression.

Children suffering from ADHD usually suffer from low self-esteem and self-confidence too. The multiple benefits that derive from Martial Arts exercises boost self-confidence and self-esteem, which in turn could translate to improved behaviour and improved grades. Children suffering from ADHD who take up Martial Arts can become role-models for other similarly placed children to emulate.

While Karate is a mainstream Martial Art, there are many other types of Martial Arts including Judo, Aikido and Taekwondo that are equally beneficial for children with ADHD.

Finally, a word of caution. Most experts recommend the use of Martial Arts exercises to complement rather than replace regular ADHD medications. While combining Martial Arts with medication could help generally lessen the symptoms of ADHD, it is important to consult a registered medical practitioner to ensure that the exercises are safe and appropriate, considering the child's situation. It is also important to be flexible on the mode of exercise and the regime, as each child is unique.

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