Elite Karate Academy will host a free Self Defence Seminar on Saturday 4th November 2017 between 1pm-3pm.  Places are limited and only by advanced booking.  Contact us on here or on Facebook or text/phone 086 822 4902 to secure a place.  We will be covering simple effective techniques, tactical training, armed attack survival, threat management, fight psychology and street awareness.  All the topics about to be covered in this 4 part free online course.

Threat Management

TRUST YOUR INSTICTS, ALWAYS.  Being fair to a potential attacker is being unfair to yourself.  If you feel unsafe/unsure/threatened take action, better to prejudge a stranger wrongly then allow yourself to enter an unsafe situation.  Thinking like an attacker/criminal and being aware of potential threats, and taking steps to avoid compromising situations, will greatly reduce the risks of you being a victim of a crime or attack.

Remember all cases will be treated independently in a court of law, maybe months or years after the event.  Always use reasonable force in defending yourself.  Only you can decide if you must use physical force to defend yourself.

When human beings communicate 7% is verbal, 38% is tonality, and 55% is physiology or body language.  Your brain processes approximately 2,000,000 pieces of data through your five senses every second.  To maintain your sanity, this deluge is filtered through a network of cells in your brain so only a minute proportion of the information gets through to the brain.  This network is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS).  The RAS works like antenna noticing stimuli and alerting your brain to pay attention.  The RAS lets in only data that meets one of the following 3 criteria:

  1. It is important to your survival.  For example when you are in a deep sleep but wake up because you hear a strange noise in the house of if you are walking and in a daydream you will be alerted to traffic bearing down on you.
  2. it has novelty value
  3. it has a high emotional content.  For example the survival aspect also applies to others than yourself and you will be alert instantly if your baby’s breathing changes but sleep through your husband’s snoring or mumbling in his sleep.

With some forethought and mental training, the RAS can be trained to be more alert to potential risks.  So trust your instincts, you may have noticed something you were unaware of at the time, i.e. a gesture, or a weapon.

When something shocks us, we typically freeze, and that’s what the bad guys rely on. The key to not freezing is having a plan.   Plan your run, your trip home, how you will exit your home in case of fire, if somebody threatens or attempts to causes you harm.

 

If you see an unsavoury character or potential threat ahead of you on the street, cross the street, if it is an innocent member of the public nothing happens, if the person crosses after you, he/she has given you some notice of their intentions.

When passing a group on the street you must take in to a number of factors.  Firstly that group may have been there for a long time and is probably bored.  By continuing to walk into the midst you may be presenting them with a pleasant diversion.  If there are displaying mocking fighting or rough housing behaviour beware they could start this on you if you give them the chance.  If you must walk through a group or gang, beware of groups that try and stop you with a question. Do you have a match?  Do you have the time?  This is called the “interview” and may be used to distract you to pick pocket you or attack you.  As long as you keep walking they won’t be able to corner you.  Do not engage them in conversation either, they have all the answers, and some statements no matter how you answer them will lead to a fight.

If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!  What about carrying a fake/empty wallet?

A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

  • Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor and in the back seat.
  • If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.  Hopefully this is more appropriate for the US of America…
  • Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side… If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

As women, you are taught to always try and be sympathetic: STOP.  It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

If you think you are being followed, walking into a shop or knock on the door of a house.  If the person remains outside, phone the police.  DO NOT LEAD THEM TO YOUR HOME.

Not all criminals are adults.  Unfortunately in this day and age young children are trained to be criminals.  The child running around on the train or street may be trained to pick pockets etc.

Verbal street harassment, by acknowledging it, you are giving him what he want; attention.  Sticks and stones can break you bones, but words should never hurt you.   It can be humiliating or offensive but you gain nothing by answering, but risk the situation escalating.

Getting into a taxi notice the taxi number?  Is the driver displaying his details?  Tell the taxi driver you are texting a friend or family member his taxi number, legitimate drivers will not be offended and will greatly reduce the risk of you being attacked.

When running, plan your route be at your freshest at the darkest dangerous part of the run.  Bad guys don’t work office hours.  Many rapists have described woman running as akin a “call of the wild”.

You’re in a parking garage and you’re loaded down with lots of shopping bags. This is an ideal opportunity for an attacker.

Do:

  • Walk toward your car with your keys ready. Don’t be distracted with your shopping bags.
  • If he’s asking for your property — purse, money, car keys — give it to him.
  • Run, preferably toward a well lit, public area where there will be people.
  • If he’s trying to get you into your vehicle, fight! Scream, scratch, bite, kick, strike — do as much damage as possible to stun the attacker, so you can run away.   If possible take your keys with you.
  • Use your environment. In survival confrontations, everything at hand can be used to help you escape. Throw your keys, purse, coins, sand, gravel, rocks at the attacker’s face. Use it as a distraction so you can escape.

    Don’t:

  • Don’t get into a vehicle with the attacker. You never want to let him take you to a second location. Statistically, it is not in your best interest. If you get into the vehicle, he has a much better opportunity to drive to a quiet place where you’ll be 100 percent at his mercy and have no way of getting help. Even if he’s pointing a knife or gun at you, do whatever you can to get away. It’s much more likely that he will leave to find an easier target than chase you and draw attention to himself.

    You’re at the ATM and have just gotten cash. As you walk away, you’re distracted with putting your money away.

    Do:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. The number one self-defense technique is being aware of potential threats. Know what the possible dangers are. Note where the exits are.
  • Notice the people in your area. Make eye contact — aggressors tend to back down if they notice you noticing them.
  • Put your money into a pocket immediately.
  • If you see a suspicious person nearby watching you, change your route and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Act confident. Do not act or look like an easy target.

    Don’t:

  • Don’t be oblivious of your surroundings.
  • Don’t count your money or be putting it in your purse as you walk away. This distracts you and is a perfect opportunity for the attacker.
  • Don’t wander without direction. Walk briskly, head up, with purpose. Don’t look intimidated

 

Self Defence Course Part 3 – Fight Psychology coming soon (the mindset of self defense)

Self Defence Course Part 4 – Street Awareness coming soon (being more aware of danger)

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2017

Welcome to our October Newsletter.  This email newsletter will hopefully keep you up to date with all you need to know about what’s going on in Elite Karate Academy over the coming months.  Please feel free to share this newsletter with family and friends, I hope you find it informative.  Feel free to comment on our Facebook (insert link here) page with comments and be sure to like our page while you’re there.  Sign up for our newsletter at http://www.elitekarateacademy.com/contact-us/

News – Updates – Events

  • There is a grading coming up shortly for eligible students. Click the following links to view the child’s syllabus or adult’s syllabus, to view what you need for your next grade.
  • If you wish you can now pay your fees by Credit/Debit Card or set up a Standing Order, simply ask for a standing order form to complete the next time you are in the dojo.
  • Join for 2 months in October and get a third free for new members in Child/Adult Karate Classes.
  • As of 1st September 2017, absolutely no class credit will be given without prior consent. Unfortunately, every summer a minority of parents abuse my goodwill.  You cannot go swimming or to the cinema and pay later, so too with karate classes.  Students, especially below green belt, who owe class fees will be made to sit out the class.  Do not put me or your child in this situation.
  • Parents now get an email 7 days before fees are due and another email the day the fees are due. Students will also receive a card on their last prepaid class.
  • Donations for St Vincent de Paul of clothes, bedding, toys, books, household items, DVDs etc. as always may be dropped off at the dojo anytime.
  • Saturday 4th November 2017, we will be running a free 2 hour free self defence seminar for parents and adults. See info further down for details.
  • Saturday 11th November 2017 Parent/Child train together class.  See link below.
  • That so many of you recommend our Academy is a great source of pride for me. Please go our Facebook page and write a review your club and it may be posted on our website.
  • As always parents are invited to join either our Cardio Combat Fitness Boot Camp. Ask Sensei about a FREE TRIAL.
  • I have Elite Karate Academy T-shirts back in stock in all sizes from child 5-6 through to adult XL

Free Self Defence Seminar

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY WILL HOST A FREE SELF DEFENCE SEMINAR ON SATURDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2017 BETWEEN 1PM-3PM.

PLACES ARE LIMITED AND ONLY BY ADVANCED BOOKING.  CONTACT US ON TEXT/PHONE 086 822 4902 TO SECURE A PLACE.

COURSE CONTENT WILL BE COVERING SIMPLE EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES, ONES ANYONE CAN LEARN AND REMEMBER.

TACTICAL TRAINING,  WHAT TO DO IN A THREATENING SITUATION.

ARMED ATTACK SURVIVAL, HOW TO DEAL WITH EDGED WEAPONS.

THREAT MANAGEMENT, HOW TO HANDLE OR AVOID A SCARY SITUATION.

FIGHT PSYCHOLOGY, THE MINDSET OF A FIGHT, MAKING A DECISION TO STAY SAFE AND

STREET AWARENESS. RAISING YOUR AWARENESS OF THE DANGERS AROUND YOU.

ALL THE TOPICS WILL BE COVERED IN OUR 4 PART FREE ONLINE COURSE.  PART 1 AVAILABLE HERE

TO SIGN UP WE SIMPLY REQUIRE A NAME AND CONTACT NUMBER OR EMAIL, USE OUR CONTACT US PAGE OR ON FACEBOOK OR TEXT/PHONE 086 822 4902.  PLACES WILL BE LIMITED AND ARE ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS.  PARTICIPANTS MUST BE OVER 15 YEARS OF AGE.

Tell Your friends share the link

Online Self Defence Course

We are also running a 4 part online self defence course in conjunction with the above seminar.  Follow the link to share or read some tips for self defence.

Parent/Child train at home together

There is nothing better then a parent who wants to see their children improve.  Helping your child train at home is a great bonding experience and helps improve your childs performance and keeps them motivated.  Elite Karate Academy will run a run a hour and half seminar for parent & students to teach parents some simple drills and exercises to train together at home. Click the link to find out more.

Yoga

Anyone interested in starting Yoga on a Saturday morning click the link  for details

VINYASA FLOW YOGA STARTING SOON

Student of the Month

This month’s student of the month is Roisin Kavanagh.  Click here to follow her story.

Picture Competition

The winner of this year’s summer photo competition was Sean Smith winner the titled Sean Claude Van Damme.  Click here to view.

Cardio Combat Introductory Offer Get Fit – Lose Weight Before Christmas

This October we’re offering a special offer on our Cardio Combat Fitness Classes to any new participant.  Class are high intensity interval training adapted for your fitness level and are designed for fitness and weight loss.  The class consists of karate, circuits, core and ab work and is ideal for beginners.  Participants must be over 15 years of age and not tried the classes before in order to avail of the offer.  Click the link for our amazing special offer.

New website

Every week we have new blogs on our website.  Click the links to read about

News

Student of the month

Dojo Kun Programme – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion and dedication.

Elite Karate Academy teaches our students how karate training can improve their lives. Read more in our blog section below.

Word of the Week – Our word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter. Read the lessons in our blog section.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perserverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Elite Mental Training – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress and increasing mental well being. Read some lessons covered in our blog section below.

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Anti Bullying Programme – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self belief.  This starts in September.

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial here.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

YouTube Channel

Each Month I will be posting teaching videos on our Academy’s channel on the grading syllabus for students to train at home.  These videos will have points for parents to watch out for in order that they may help their child learn and improve quicker.

Passport Fees

Any Student who got their grading Passport for the first time last September, it is now due for renewal.  Renewal Fee for the year is €10 and can be paid in class.  Students cannot grade without an up to date passport.

Zen Tip

To ask is a moments shame.  Not to ask and remain ignorant, is a lifelong shame.

Fitness Tip

Increase exercise daily is small manageable ways.  Walk up escalators instead of standing still, take the stairs instead of the lift.  Park further from work and walk the remaining way.  Walk down one flight of stairs then take the life the rest of the way.

There is nothing better then a parent who wants to see their children improve.  Helping your child train at home is a great bonding experience and helps improve your childs performance and keeps them motivated.

Elite Karate Academy will run a run a hour and half seminar for parent & students to teach parents some simple drills and exercises to train together at home.  Starting 1pm on Saturday November 11th 2017, I’ll teach you some simple games and drils to play together.  If you have focus mitts to use, great.  If not we’ll supply them or you can use your hands.  If your child has gloves they can bring them also.

Parents wishing to take part please book a place by letting me know.  The cost is €5 per adult with current students training for free.

Saturday 11th November 1-2.30pm limited places due to space.  1st come 1st served book early.

Self Defence Concepts Free Seminar

Elite Karate Academy will host a free Self Defence Seminar on Saturday 4th November 2017 between 1pm-3pm.

Places are limited and only by advanced booking.  Contact us on here or on Facebook or text/phone 086 822 4902 to secure a place.

Course content will be covering simple effective techniques, ones anyone can learn and remember.

Tactical training,  what to do in a threatening situation.

Armed attack survival, How to deal with edged weapons.

Threat management, How to handle or avoid a scary situation.

Fight psychology, the mindset of a fight, making a decision to stay safe and

Street awareness. raising your awareness of the dangers around you.

All the topics will be covered in our 4 part free online course.  Part 1 available here

To Sign up we simply require a name and contact number or email, use our contact us page or on Facebook or text/phone 086 822 4902.  Places will be limited and are on a first come first served basis.  Participants must be over 15 years of age.

 

Elite Karate Academy Self Defence Blog.  We will be covering simple effective techniques, tactical training, armed attack survival, threat management, fight psychology and street awareness.  All the topics about to be covered in this 3 part free online course.

Self Defence Course Part 1 Tactical Training

A first aid course teaches you a basics medical knowledge and the confidence to help in a crises.  It does not train you to be a doctor.  That takes years of training and continual practice.  It is exactly the same with a self defernce course.  It should give you the confidence to walk the street and lay the ground work to build your own self defense procedures.  But ultimately if you are afraid, long term training in martial arts is what you require.  This course wont deal with how and where to hit (we cover that in class), if you need these techniques, your self defence plan has already failed.  This course will deal with tactical training (the tactics used in a fight), armed attack survival (how to deal with knives), threat management (how to deal with threatening situations), fight psychology (the mindset of self defense) and street awareness (being more aware of danger).  For a true self defense plan to work, it should involve small changes in behaviour and increased awareness of your surroundings, leading to you or your family never being in a threatening situation.

Most people even advanced students forget their greatest weapons.  Your Voice and Mental Attitude.  Screaming and shouting can scare of a potential attacker to draw others to your rescue.  A never-give-up attitude builds from years of experiences and it the reason why 86 year old women fight off muggers with umbrellas, while younger women may freeze.

Simple Effective Techniques – Where to hit and with what?

What are your Greatest Weapons?              Your Voice and Your Mental Attitude

Technique                                                          Some Targets

Front Punch                                                        Nose/Jaw/Throat/Ribs/Liver/Kidneys/Solar Plexus/Groin/Knee

Opposite Punch                                                Nose/Jaw/Throat/Ribs/Liver/Kidneys/Solar Plexus/Groin/Knee

Hammer fist                                                       Temple/Side of jaw/Nose/Side of Neck/Ribs/Kidneys/Liver/Groin/Knee

Hook Punch                                                        Temple/Side of nose/Side of Jaw/Ribs/Liver/Kidneys/Solar                                                                                                       Plexus/Stomach/Knee

Palm Heel                                                            Ears/Nose/Jaw/Groin/Knee

Knife Hand/Chop                                             Neck/Throat/Ribs/Groin

Elbows                                                                  Temple/Face/Nose/jaw/Neck/Throat/Ribs/Groin/Knee

Finger pokes                                                      Eyes/Throat/Groin

Front Kick                                                            Shin/Knees/Groin/Stomach/if attacker is bent over Head

Side Kick                                                              Shin/Knee/Thigh

Foot Stamp                                                         Foot/Ankle/Knee

Knee                                                                     Knee/Thigh/Groin/Stomach/Ribs/Head

Sweeps & Takedowns                                    Ankle/knees/hips

 

Wrist escapes, locks and sweeps may only be used to restrain/control or take an attacker to the ground after you have hit them.

Learning Self defence techniques properly is about skills acquisition, any technique learnt needs to be reinforced, ideally by continued regular practice.  Contact Elite Karate Academy for classes or to host your own self defense course in work or school.

 

Tactical Training 10 points to get you thinking

1  AVOID TROUBLE WHEREVER AND WHENEVER YOU CAN.    All self dwfence procedures should start with avoidance.  The best way to block a punch is not to be there.  If you turn a corner and see an unsavoury character or group, turn around and walk back around the corner.

2  Use your voice, make a scene, scream, shout, this can attract help, and can also deter your attacker.  Screaming or shouting will also build your confidence, can aid in breaking you out of “the deer caught in headlights” effect often associated with the fight or flight reflex, which may make you freeze up.  Using your voice can also unleashes anger, anger at the injustice at being attacked, the fear of being hurt, use this anger to increase the power of your techniques.

3  You have 2 battles to survive.  The first is the immediate physical confrontation; the second is a possible legal battle to defend your actions, months or years later.

4   Four stages in defending yourself

  1. Defend – block/evade/avoid/deflect/run
  2. Disable- strike/punch/kick/slap/claw/bite
  3. Disarm – lock/sweep/throw/disarm
  4. Escape

5  Use your environment.  Attackers can be pushed into walls or you can support yourself against a wall to increase balance and power of kicks.  Push attackers into tables and chairs to hurt them or cause them to stumble etc.

6  Don’t get out of cars to confront attackers, use your car as protection and or as a weapon.

7  Use natural weapons – DO NOT CARRY ILLEGAL/LEGAL WEAPONS.  Do however use everyday items you may have on your person, keys held between the fingers can cut, slash or poke, combs may be racked across the face, pens used like a hammer fist or poked into eyes.  You have felt the pain of a mascara stick in the eye and that wasn’t done with force etc.

8  Where to hit?

Hit hard parts of your attacker’s body with soft parts of yours.  For example jaw with your palm heel.

Hit soft parts of your attacker’s body with hard parts of yours.  For example groin with your knee.

Hit and run. Cause him pain and get away.

9  A physical action demands a physical response.  If he puts his hand on you, a verbal response like “Please remove your hand”, may not be enough, removing his hand yourself sends a stronger message and you appear more confident.  (even if you’re not)

10  Your goal is to disable an attacker and get away.  Run. Run away fast.  Don’t drop your attention until you are in a secure safe place.

Over the next three parts we will deal

Self Defence Course Part 2 – Threat management Coming 23rd October 2017 (how to deal with threatening situations)

Self Defence Course Part 3 – Fight Psychology coming soon (the mindset of self defense)

Self Defence Course Part 4 – Street Awareness coming soon (being more aware of danger)

Unleash your inner warrior.  Increased fitness, weight loss, and toning.  Get Fit for Xmas with this funny effective class in our indoor full time venue

A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) boot camp featuring martial arts pad work, core and circuits training.

If fitness is a battleground, welcome to the front line.

Ideal for beginners, as every participant pushes themselves as hard as they want.

You don’t have to be a champion to train like one.  Ideal for weight loss, toning or general fitness, watch your confidence grow as you get fitter, push yourself regardless of fitness level and watch the calories burn off. Join a group of fun like minded people

Wednesday 8.15-9.30pm
Saturday 10-11.15am

Contact us for a 1st time free trial. Phone/Text 086 822 4902

Price per class €10 non-member.  €8 member

Special 8 week Offer ends 31st Oct 2017

1 class per week €48

2 classes per week €75

 

Student Name:   Roisin Kavanagh

Age:   11

Grade:   5th Kyu Blue Belt

Class:   Junior Black Belt Club

Length Training:   2 Years

Favourite Move:   Roundhouse Kicks

Favourite Kata:   Pinan Godan

Hobbies:   Art & Talking 🙂

Sensei’s comments:  Very dedicated  and enthusiastic student. Roisin recently moved into the Junior Black Belt Club class and her dedication, committment and passion have increased considerably. She has benefited hugely from the etra training and she has really progressed lately, especially her fighting techniques.

All of our circumstances in life are a reflection of your subconscious beliefs.  That voice that plays incessently in your head, guiding you to success or failure.  Giving you all you belief you deserve or think you are worth.  Thankfully once you become aware of this tape their are many techniques available to change it.  Check out NLP techniques or BCT techniques, which I will cover later in this series.

To change your subconscious beliefs we using auto suggestions.  Specially chosen tapes we can use to rewire the voice in your head, to achieve success.  This can work very simply, by changing how you view yourself, you can change your behaviour, which in turn changes how you see yourself.  Think of wanting to own your own home.  You start to imagine yourself owning your own home, liking the idea of becoming a homeowner.  So you start to change your behaviour, you spend less, you go out less, start to save more.  As you savings increase you start to make more sacrifice in order to get the money together.  Then when you have enough to start to view houses and seeing banks.  Eventually taking out a mortage and buying a home.  In time becoming the homeowner you wanted to be.

Subconscious beliefs start with changing how you think about yourself, which in turn changes your behaviour, which in turns gets you what you inititially wanted.  These auto suggestions can work on any thing you wish to change in your life, weight loss, friendships, romance, money, or any goal.  1st step involves working out your current subconscious belief

What is Social Bullying?

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships.  More likely to happen in primary school then in secondary school, and also more likely to happen to girls more then boys.

Social bullying includes:
*Leaving someone out on purpose
*Telling other children not to be friends with someone
*Spreading rumors about someone
*Embarrassing someone in public

The effect o social bullying?

There are many effects of social bullying. There are effects like depression that can lead to suicide. think the four main effects are low self-esteem, the victim feels rejected, unwanted or hated. Rejected and unwanted because if a group of person bullies you and treat you like if you’re nothing, you’ll feel like nobody likes you and then you’ll feel rejected. Hated because when you’re a victim, you know that the bully hates you. Your self-esteem won’t be as good as a normal person. These four words are the ones that say the most about how the victim of social bullying feels. I think the word unwanted describes better how the victim feels than unloved and unpopular, but they are still good words to show how the victim feels. Humiliated, intimidated and inferior are also good words to describe the victim’s feelings.

Dealing with it

Support your child emotionally.  Let them know its ok to feel upset, talking can have a huge effect, also knowing someone will listen can greatly help.  Concentrating on other friends can help also.   Ignoring the excluding children, or making light of their behaviour or focusing on friendships with other children can be good tactics in trying to move on from the situation. However, it is important to acknowledge that for many children who feel socially excluded these tactics can be very hard to put into practice. Feeling excluded can make you feel powerless and isolated, especially when there is more than one child involved.

For advice on dealing with it read this report from the Irish Times

24/7 365…  Our thoughts loom large in our heads, never stopping, insistently rolling like waves on the beach.  The correct thoughts can make us feel happy, elated, glad to be a life, negative thoughts however can lead us down a darker road, to sadness, guilt, misery or depression.  Correct karate training with the correct mental attitude and instruction will lead to “control” over our thought process, allowing us to control our emotions and thoughts leading to calmer, less stressed lives.

Think of your thoughts (mind waves) like ripples in a pond.  You want to get ready of the ripples (lets say stress).  By throwing a pebble into the pond we get more ripples, so we throw a larger stone and get more ripples, which collide and bounce off each other creating chaos.  The way to get the ripples to stop, is to leave the pond alone.  Let the ripples fade of their own accord.  So too it is with the mind.  Aimlessly sitting in front of the TV, does nothing to reduce stress or benefit the mind.

Karate or meditation, and they are two sides to the same coin focuses your mind, giving it something to concentrate on, to allow our thoughts to settle and stress to melt away.  The purpose of training is to develop Zanshin (awareness) or mindfulness and later to develop Mushin (No Mind).  See other articles in this series for explanations of these terms.  Your practice the correct mind set in class.  Calm, focused, alert, positive, proactive.  At first your practice is limited to moments within a class, then filling an entire class, then becoming a sustaining habit your entire waking life and in the fullness of time sleep life.  Leading to calm, controlled stress life, where you learn to respond, not to react to the world around you.  As your studies progress you gain insight into your negative triggers and purposely condition more positive responses.

The secret to this mind set… is practice.  Correct physical and mental practice.  Goal setting is important  but do not be concerned with your destination. Just practice.  Initially on the dojo floor, and then later in your life outside the dojo.  Practice for practice sake.  One step at a time, one class at a time, one thought at a time.  We all have a unconscious tape playing over and over in our minds.  It is with our whole lives that many are unaware that they are listening to it.  But this tape may be holding your back not making you happy and your dreams come true.  How do you know what the tape is saying in your head.  Listen to your feelings.  Ask at any moment of the day how your feeling?  The answer is what your head is saying to you.  If your feeling sad your having sad thoughts.  If you are happy you are listening to happy thoughts etc.

Proper training will lead to greater mental abilities, like those shown by master in martial arts movies throughout the years.  once this great power has been achieved it becomes nothing, commonplace, like child birth.  Ask any expecting mother in the glow of pregnancy and they will tell you it is a wonderful thing.  But once the child is born it giving birth becomes more common place.  So it is a special thing and a ordinary thing at the same time.  So too are the mental stress relieve abilities of a high grade karateka, a special thing to taking years of practice, that becomes everyday ordinary once it is achieved.