fitness motivational quotes (27)

Looking to do something exciting to lose weight and stay fit? There is no better way than martial arts training like Krav Maga/Self-Defense, BJJ-Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Kickboxing. Apart from self–defense, there are various other reasons you should consider it as a means to stay fit.

Weight Loss

Many trainers and fitness experts are incorporating several exercises and training techniques from martial arts. You will come across many trainers who make extensive use of kick pads or punching bags during their sessions. Martial arts training has been used for cardio workouts for some time, which in turn aid in weight loss. The techniques and workouts are high intensity and can last an hour or more. This means you will start burning calories in no time and is hence the most effective way to lose weight fast.

Fitness

Fitness has a lot to do with building muscle strength and flexibility. In the same fashion, martial arts incorporate drills and techniques which enhance endurance and cardiovascular fitness. It is the perfect method of improving your overall fitness as you will undergo a series of exercises that will train you to be resilient using your own body weight. Additionally, almost all styles include stretching exercises that enables you to improve your flexibility.

Coordination and Balance

The benefits of martial arts are not restricted to helping you become faster or stronger. Since you are taught different techniques, you will learn more about your limitations and how you can overcome them. The only way you can possibly master these techniques is by having superior body coordination and being well balanced. While you practice to master these techniques, you naturally train to improve your coordination and balance, which can help you in various other aspects of life.

Spirituality

Considering the fact that Martial Arts has been practiced for centuries, they can renew, heal and comfort you in times of distress. In other words, learning martial arts is spiritually uplifting, it allows you to achieve a better connection between your mind and body. If your mind is at peace, you will be able to function effectively during training routines. Furthermore, it allows you to transcend to a new level where you will find it easier to connect with others and the world around you.

A Great Stress Reliever

One of the most important and perhaps the biggest benefit of Martial arts training is it provides you an outlet to get rid of the stress which builds up inside your body and mind. Practicing martial arts trains you to focus on yourself.

As you can see, there are several compelling reasons why you should opt to learn Martial Arts like Krav Maga/Self-Defense, BJJ-Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Kickboxing. That being said, all of them offer the same benefits equally.

Keeping these factors in mind, you will come to realize martial arts train your body and mind to function as one. Aside from losing weight and improving your fitness, you can motivate yourself to accomplish feats you might not have considered before.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga/Self-Defense and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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Summer is almost here! All of us are looking forward to lots of daylight, warmer weather, and of course trips to the beach. Wouldn’t it be comforting to know your child will be safe and independent this summer? Here are 5 reasons why Martial Arts will help your child to feel capable and self-assured this summer.

  1. Self-Defense

Your child will feel empowered by learning self-defense techniques and strategies during their martial arts training. Self-defense is a need for kids that they wont learn anywhere else. Learning Martial Arts will help the build confidence in their ability to handle themselves if necessary.

  1. Bully Proof

Just having the confidence to know they can handle a situation can make all the difference in the world. We often tell our children to stick up for themselves if someone is bulling them. However, if kids don’t have the confidence in their physical ability then they wont feel comfortable speaking up for themselves. Martial Arts will Bully Proof your child.

  1. Increase Self-Esteem

Martial Arts instill confidence and self esteem in its students. Learning how to master a punch can make a child feel more capable in their physical abilities. The increase in self-esteem leads students to feeling more confident in taking on new challenges.

  1. Exposure to diversity

Participating in a Martial Arts Program this summer will give your child an opportunity to meet other children that they wouldn’t normally meet. Through interactions with new people your child will learn that the world is a big place with lots of people that do different things than they do.

  1. New Friendships

Often children will continue Martial Arts long after the summer is over. The relationships made through a martial arts program are positive lasting friendships.

Helping your child to establish lasting friendships, confidence, and assertiveness will benefit them when they doing things on their own. The skills they learn will help them in all aspects of life for years to come. In the long run enrolling your child in a Martial Arts Summer Camp will benefit your child for their lifetime.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga/Self-Defense and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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The start of the new year brings the inevitable New Year’s resolution followed often by the abandonment of the resolution. While most start out on waves of positivity, the challenges brought by reality can become difficult to overcome. If you are miserable, bored, or not reaching your goals there is little to keep you motivated to continue. Choosing the right activity and support for your resolution can be the difference between success and starting again in 2018.

Beginning Martial Arts like Thai Kickboxing, Krav Maga, or (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not a common choice, but it can help you reach many of your fitness resolutions…

FITNESS AND CONDITIONING

Martial Arts training, like Thai Kickboxing, Krav Maga, and (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, can provide full body conditioning and it doesn’t matter if you are an athlete, workout novice, or recovering couch potato. Punches and kicks not only work arms and legs but also require a lot of work from the abdominal and back muscles so you’ll get full body workouts in every class. Training also involves mixed periods of high and low intensity workout which is a great way to improve endurance and burn calories.

The nature of this training also allows you to work at your desired intensity level, instead of keeping up with the class. You set your pace and push yourself as you feel ready. At the same time athletes will find routines that challenge their current Fitness levels and skills. The nature of Martial Arts training also means that your workouts will vary from class to class keeping you regularly challenged.

CHALLENGES

Without challenges, there is no growth, and without growth it is easy to become bored. Martial Arts can provide both physical and mental growth. Even those who have trained for years continue to grow, adapt, and learn.

Learning and applying new skills is a constant physical challenge throughout martial arts training. Martial Arts training also requires persistence and a willingness to face obstacles. Reengaging and committing to your training helps develop a mental toughness that carries into everyday life. And, yes, mental toughness comes in handy when you are trying to stick to your resolution.

CONFIDENCE

Most believe confidence from Martial Arts comes from knowing physical skills or how to fight. It is true that learning an art, progressing in your skills, and reaching goals can give you a confidence boost. Learning Self-Defense techniques, like Krav Maga, will also naturally make you feel more confident out in the real world. However, confidence also develops from understanding your limitations and learning how to handle yourself in difficult situations. When you know what your limitations may be, it gives you the confidence to approach challenges head on inside or outside of the Martial Arts school.

PROGRESSION

Standing still is boring and not motivational. By its nature martial arts is about constantly growing and improving your skills through training and interacting with a variety of fellow students and coaches. A martial art program that includes belt levels can also help you set smaller goals to help you focus through training. Both those who have trained for a few months and those who have trained for several years will have paths for growth and new challenges, a lifetime of training opportunities.

All resolutions start with one step, visit a Martial Arts school to see how it can help you reach your resolution goals.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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It’s that time of year when you begin to explore activity options for your child. While both martial arts and team sports can provide conditioning and team camaraderie, martial arts has a unique set of benefits for your child. Whether martial arts and self-defense is your child’s sole focus or a part of their activity schedule, they can find the following benefits.

Everyone Gets a Chance

One of the best features of martial arts is that everyone gets the chance to shine. Each child is taught to focus on achieving their best in every class and encouraged to participate no matter what skill level they are at. In sport teams, the focus may fall on team achievements. Developed players often have more opportunities than late bloomers. As a result, some are left to watch from the sidelines, leading to a disparity in skill development. This can be demoralizing.

With martial arts, the mats are always full and “benches” remain vacant. Everyone has a chance to participate and engage with a variety of students. Children are encouraged to try even if they may fail because this helps them develop physical and mental strength to grow their skills and face obstacles with confidence.

Self Confidence

The growth of physical skills and progression through belt ranks can boost your child’s confidence, similar to that in team sport accomplishments. However, part of martial art and self-defense training is the ability to assess a situation and problem solve. This thought process is not only helpful in self-defense situations but also in finding ways to navigate awkward social encounters, stressful situations, or new environments.

Stopping Bullying and Safety

Bullying is a common and stressful childhood encounter. There is no doubt that martial arts can teach children to physically defend themselves when needed. However, the majority of bullying can be stopped when a child or children stand up to the bully. Martial arts can give children the confidence and knowledge to stand up for themselves and others.

There is also a fear that martial arts build bullies, but that is not true. Compassion and respect are deeply rooted principles of martial arts, practiced in class, and encouraged in everyday life. Since bullies are often struggling with self-respect and control, martial arts can help them feel more positive about themselves and decrease the risk of them bullying others.

Gender Equality

Both boys and girls benefit from martial arts training and it is one of the few activities where they can compete together. This gives both genders an equal opportunity to bring out the best within themselves and avoid gender-set limits.

If you have more than one child it is also an opportunity to have all your children in one place at the same time.

As you begin to search for activity options for your child consider martial arts training for a well-rounded activity that includes skill development, confidence building, self-defense, compassion, respect, and opportunity. Your child may find that martial arts are their main focus or an important part in helping them excel in other sports.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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Belt blindness, when the quest for the next belt becomes more important than the martial art itself, is a common affliction among those training in martial arts like Krav Maga, Thai Kickboxing and  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ). Of course students can be proud of belts they have earned but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that you aren’t working toward your next belt rather, you are furthering your Martial Arts training and your commitment and work are acknowledged by belts. The differences may seem subtle but the effects can be significant.

In pursuit of the belt

Chances are most didn’t start with the sole goal of earning belts but at some point the martial arts journey became secondary to receiving a belt. Obsession over what belt they have, who ranks higher, how they compare to others, and how long to the next belt, took over. And this leads to the primary problem with belt blindness…

Worrying or agonizing over your belt changes your focus to others, where a martial arts journey is about you and the changes you’ve made. When you are frustrated with your coach for not bestowing the next belt or obsessive of the belts of your fellow students you are throwing your energy away on things you have no control over instead of focusing on your Martial Arts Training. You lose the opportunity to truly progress in your martial art and may even irritate yourself into quitting.

Belt levels generally require a demonstration of specific skills but martial arts progression isn’t simply about a checklist. It is a combination of skill growth, time, respect, attitude and commitment. When you pursue a belt instead of the art, your training becomes focused on the checklist not on your overall progress. Yes, the factors on the sheet are important but only working on what you think needs to be done for the belt can blind you to your personal progression opportunities.

In pursuit of a martial art

A martial arts journey requires patience, humility, and an openness to learning which are generally lacking in the pursuit of a belt. A martial artist will learn not only from drills but from experiences, making mistakes, and overcoming obstacles. When you do earn your next belt, it will be a personal representation of all the work you’ve done not simply the completion of a checklist.

Martial arts training can become an integral part of your life by providing any number of benefits like fitness, stress relief, increased confidence in and out of the Martial Arts School, or pride in meeting challenges. These benefits can be easily missed or dismissed if your focus is the next belt and not on your personal journey.

The day you earn a black belt in Krav Maga, Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ) may be the first time you truly appreciate the value of your belt because although your belt journey is done, your martial art journey is just beginning. The experiences that have brought you to the black belt have also taught you that you are never truly done, you are always a white belt, and there are always ways to grow and develop as a martial artist. Those that never move beyond the mindset of a belt quest are unlikely to ever earn a black belt, not because of a coach’s decision, but rather because a pursuit without a purpose isn’t worth pursuing.

When you pursue a martial art, each belt is a representation of your journey. When you pursue a belt you get a belt. Which path you choose is completely up to you.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

Gold Fish

There are hundreds of options for conditioning but few have the all around benefits associated with martial arts training like Krav Maga, Thai Kickboxing and (BJJ)Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Classes can offer both cardiovascular and strength benefits through dynamic routines. They also provide an alternative to single focus activities like running or lifting and improve agility which can transfer to other sports or physical activities.

Interval Training

Most martial arts training include intervals, periods of high intensity followed by rest or low level    activity. Rounds may be 2-5 minutes of all out effort with a rest in between rounds. From the bleachers, 2-5 minutes may not seem like much, but working at high intensity can make those few minutes feel much longer. Training in these burst help your muscles work more efficiently under high demands and recover quickly in case you have another round to go. This type of conditioning not only improves your martial arts capabilities but is also associated with:

  • Improved cardiovascular endurance for workouts and day to day activities
  • Improved muscle strength and power
  • Increased metabolism (calorie burning) during and for a few hours after workout

Martial Arts training includes a variety of interval training options. Pad drills in Thai Kickboxing have 2-3 minute sessions where you’re working hard, then you hold for your partner and have down time before you do your next round. (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has 2-3 minute rolls which may be all out or have bursts of activity. Krav Maga principle requires all out defense efforts and training follows that suit. In any of the activities you have potential to reach heavy breathing intensity then have time to recoup before you go again.

Interval training is suitable for the beginner to advanced students since everyone works according to their abilities. Beginners may use rest period as actual rest where more advanced students may use lower activity during the time to keep it challenging.

Core Conditioning

Very few, if any, martial arts skills can be done without the core. A punch loses its bite without pivots and the core helps transfer power from the hip pivot up to the arm. A (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu roll would simply be flailing legs and arms without the core to connect and move your body. Kicks would be impossible without the core’s ability to stabilize the rest of the body while energy moves through the hip and leg.

The core is constantly challenged in martial arts training because it is called on to stabilize you during certain movements, load or transfer power, and manage sudden explosive changes in direction. It is a nice alternative to millions of crunches. Core strength will improve as you practice and many martial art skills will improve as your core strength grows. A strong core will also help to:

  • Decrease the risk of injury to the back and other areas of the body
  • Improve balance and stability
  • Improve efficiency of movement

Muscle Conditioning

Muscle training is associated with strength but faster reflexes, being able to work in full range of motion, and agility are equally important benefits. Healthy muscles also decrease wear and tear on joints, reduce chance of injury, and increase energy levels. Traditional strength training can increase strength but does not always improve function.

Improvements to muscle strength are achieved by overloading muscles and in martial arts this is often done with body weight based exercises. In addition to providing overload, body weight exercises can engage smaller stabilizer muscles that often go unchallenged with traditional strength training. Stabilizer muscles help make movements more efficient and protect joints. Most martial art exercises also encourage movement through a full range of motion which can help maintain flexibility. This type of training can lead to both strength and agility improvements.

Of course, as with any training, the overall effects will depend on the work you put into it.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

Cat-Kicking-Dog

Perhaps you’ve also started or studied a Martial Art as an alternative workout, as part of your path to competition, weight loss, or just general conditioning. You may not have started martial arts specifically for self defense but it’s probably entered your mind. It seems reasonable that you can defend yourself if the need arises but do all martial arts like Boxing, Kickboxing, (BJJ)Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, automatically add up to Self Defense?

Self Defense Difference

As good as your punches or takedowns may be how confident are you that those skills could get the job done against anyone with any degree of training? All martial arts have the humbling moments when you are on the receiving end of a punch, kick, or arm bar. We know that defenses no matter how good aren’t 100%, so what would happen if even one hit got through in a Self Defense scenario? How about if your attacker is an expert in takedowns or the attacker is armed with weapons?

Self Defense has different rules than sport training or more accurately Self Defense has no rules:

  • You’re not matched by physical size or abilities. Chances are your attacker is larger or at least sure they can overpower you.
  • You’re not working with a training partner, just an attacker with their own agenda.
  • It’s not going to happen in a controlled environment…no padded mats in real world just slippery or uneven surfaces and hard ground.
  • Weapons and multiple attackers may be present which means your focus needs to change.

Krav Maga training is not sport training it is solely focused on Self Defense. It is solely focused on getting home safe.

Krav Maga—Combined Defense

Relying solely on your ability to physically overwhelm your attacker through strength or superior skill is a dangerous gamble when you know nothing about the person attacking you. Krav Maga starts with the assumption that you are physically overpowered and instead relies on overwhelming the thought process of the attacker. The attacker’s thought process can be interrupted by a series of moves that can:

  • Maintain constant pressure & counterattack
  • Create pain
  • Off balance the attacker

Fortunately, the strikes and techniques used to interrupt the thought process come from a variety of martial arts so what you’ve learned so far is often incorporated into Krav Maga Self Defense techniques. If you’ve been training, you’ve got a head start. What you may need to close the gap is a change in the thought process, both yours and the attackers.

Krav it Up

Because Krav Maga was designed for a wide variety of people and inclusive of the best techniques of several different martial arts the end product will have a unique signature for each user. So if you’ve trained in Boxing, those are techniques you may build your Krav approach on, if you’ve trained in (BJJ)Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you may lean on those techniques.

If you are currently taking classes in Boxing, Kickboxing, or other Martial Arts consider exploring Krav Maga to better develop Self Defense strategies using the skills you already have. If regular classes aren’t possible, Self Defense training seminars may help you piece together a Self Defense strategy that suits your strengths. Even a brief introduction can help you begin to understand how to adapt your current skills for efficient Self Defense.

 

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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A commitment to Martial Arts and Self-Defense includes regular training and practice. Sorting through the puzzle of (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, improving reaction time of Thai Kickboxing, and kicking butt in Krav Maga all require a sound mind and body during training. Some basic steps will help you support your physical and mental health to keep your training on track.  

Sleep

Your body uses sleep to rest and recover, the brain uses it to sort out everything it processed that day and get ready for the next. Not getting enough sleep can affect mood, energy, and mental and physical performance. Over time, not getting enough sleep can even increase risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Perhaps you rely on chugging caffeine to stumble through low sleep days, but poor sleep habits will still:

  • Make it harder for your body to recover. Your muscles need to recover from intensive workouts and sleep is the best recovery option.
  • Make concentration difficult during training. Lack of sleep may also make it more difficult to remember what you are learning.
  • Contribute to weight gain which can sabotage all your conditioning efforts.

Adults generally need 7-9 hours of sleep, teens about 8-10 hours, and children around 9-11 hours. The more routine you make your sleep time, the better your sleep will be. Light from electronic devices, including your phone, can make it harder to fall asleep. Avoid these devices for at least an hour before bed.

Nutrition

Physical conditioning needs good fuel and proper building blocks for recovery. If you aren’t supporting your physical efforts with good food, you’ll slow or even stop your progress. Good nutrition does not require extreme diets instead follow basic steps:

  • Focus on whole foods. This means foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. The more processed food is the less nutrition it tends to have.
  • Focus on eating well 80% of the time and allowing some wiggle room 20% of the time. Find healthy options that you enjoy.
  • Beware of diets that severely limit a single food group. They are generally no more successful than plans with balanced food groups, are hard to maintain in the long run, and can decrease your energy during workouts.

Staying hydrated is also important for your best physical performance and recovery. This can be simply done by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, through your workout, and after your workout.

Balanced Training

Commitment to training is an important part of martial arts. Physical challenges are part of the process and breaking out of training ruts may require extra effort but there are limits. Overtraining is the point where training stops being beneficial and starts becoming an obstruction to progress; training intensity overcomes the ability of the body to recover. Physical signs can include:

  • Having low energy, fatigue
  • Frequent muscle and joint pain
  • General aches and pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decrease in performance
  • Headaches
  • Lower immunity—may lead to more frequent colds or sore throats

Overtraining can also lead to:

  • Loss of interest in training
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

It is difficult to predict overtraining since everyone reacts different to a training routine. Once you begin to see these signs, scale back on your routine and begin to build a more realistic plan. To help avoid overtraining:

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Martial arts training is a journey from the moment you sign up to the moment you receive your black belt. While each journey is unique, there are some common characteristics and challenges at each stage:

1.    Walking Through the Door.

You’ve thought about visiting the gym. Maybe you did some research. Thought of it again, but just didn’t quite get there. All that extra time allows more and more doubts to creep in. Maybe you won’t like it, maybe you won’t be able to do it. Will you make a fool of yourself? Are they just a bunch of meatheads or karate kids wannabes?

The answer to all is Maybe. But you won’t know until you walk through the door. Take the first step. Set an appointment to give yourself that last little push. It’s the only way to actually begin your journey.

“The most difficult part of [training] is not learning the first kick or punch. It is not struggling to remember the [combinations or routines]. Rather, it is taking the first step across the threshold of the [gym]. This is where roads diverge, where choices are made that will resonate throughout a lifetime.”
― Doug Cook

2.    First Few Classes

You made it through the door. You feel nervous/excited to go, then, you actually walk into the first class. It would be great to make a seamless start to training but in reality the first couple of weeks have a bit of awkwardness and a few muscle aches. The good news is that you’ll also see a lot of improvement during this time. Muscle memory will begin to build, you’ll begin to know the names of techniques, and your body will begin to adjust to new movements.

Many new students also worry about dragging down the workouts for partners, especially partners with higher belt ranks. But consider that:

  • Everyone was new at some point and was helped by other students. Sometime in the future it will be your turn to support a new student.
  • The match up helps both, since teaching someone and focusing on technique will help the advanced partner in their own journey.

Struggling to get technique right is part of learning. Wildly flailing about because you’re trying to prove your strength, skill, or fortitude will slow your learning and is a waste of your energy. Remember this is about progression. Stay open to the process and know that the pieces will eventually start fitting together.

“Wearing a black belt does not make you a super hero, and wearing a white belt does not mean you have little to offer as a person. It is what we do in the belts we wear, and not the belts themselves that matter.”
― Chris Matakas, My Mastery: Learning to Live through Jiu Jitsu

 

3.    Settling into Routine

Muscle memory is building, there is a much smaller gap between what your brain wants and your body does. You know core skills for Thai Kickboxing and Krav Maga, or you can survive a roll in (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and have earned your first few belts.

Pieces are coming together but don’t forget to keep focusing on the basics with every move. Listen for tips that coaches repeat over and over. “Pivot, keep your fighting stance, hands back to your face, don’t give them your back, get a base.” You’re starting to build habits now, make them good ones and it will make it easier to progress through more advanced work. Rush through training and you’ll be fighting bad habits throughout your journey.

Your speed and power are probably picking up and beating on the pads or an intensive roll can be fun but keep a balance. At any belt level, high intensity with low skill gets little done.

“Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter! Try again. Fail again. Fail better! Understand? Good. Play.”
― Masaaki Hatsumi

 

4.    Advanced Belts

This is a part of the journey where people tend to fall off. There are longer periods of time between belts and the learned skills are more abstract. Individual techniques are always important, but now the focus is on understanding application and personalizing your approach. This relies not only on technique but also experience.

Furthering your training is not just about following what coaches lay out but assessing how you would use it and what situation it would apply to. It’s also about understanding what your weaknesses or strengths may be in the approach. Your thought process becomes an important part of your progress.

Working with students with white belt or other early ranks is helpful for those with advanced belts. If a fellow student asks “why” we do a certain technique or do I a certain way, you need to be able to answer with more than “because coach told us to”. Breaking down techniques and explaining why we do what we do can help jumpstart your thought process.

“Never forget that, at the most, the teacher can give you fifteen percent of the art. The rest you have to get for yourself through practise and hard work. I can show you the path but I can not walk it for you.”
― Master Tan Soh Tin

 

5.    Black Belt

When you reach your black belt, you finally understand that the black belt is just the beginning. The years leading up weren’t just about learning techniques but understanding how to grow as a martial artist. Even if you keep training for years to come, there will always be more to learn.

Jiu Jitsu gives me an ideal to strive toward. Technical mastery lies on an infinite continuum and completion of this skill is impossible. Every time I train I have something that I can improve upon, and this will hold true for each and every training session that lies between me and my grave.”
― Chris Matakas

 

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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Many students begin their martial art journey with the black belt in mind, while others may only begin to envision a black belt once they’ve begun training and climbing through the belt ranks. Either way, all start with enthusiasm, confidence, and determination but few make it to advanced belts and fewer still to black belts.

The physical challenges of training are expected but a black belt journey also requires perseverance. Bad days and stalled progression can make training a difficult commitment, and soon you’re off the black belt path. Motivation challenges will always be present but setting some basic goals and keeping focused on your journey can help you stay on track…

Set Your Goals

Black belt is the ultimate goal but there are many steps in between. Keep that black belt in mind but set some short term goals along the way.

Make goals that are focused on training and tackling areas that you are stuck in. Avoid relying solely on the next belt rank as your main goal. Rising in belt ranks is a great acknowledgement of your achievements but the purpose isn’t to have a belt but to earn that rank through training. Focus on your progression and the belts will come. Examples of training-focused goals include:

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu—if you are always getting swept in guard, make a commitment to put yourself in guard every time you roll until you find what works for you.
  • Thai Kickboxing—If you feel like your general progression has come to a halt but you can’t pinpoint why, commit to spending 10 minutes after every class shadow boxing the drills worked in class to practice live use.
  • Krav Maga—if you work with the same person each class, commit to working with a new person at least once every week. New energy can help challenge your habits.
  • General Goals—commit to taking class 3 times per week for 2 months.

Using these kinds of goals throughout your training will help keep you focused on your conditioning and skill progress instead of wondering when they’re going to give you a belt. Talk to your coaches if you need help focusing on areas to improve.

Your goals may only take a few classes, a few weeks, or perhaps a couple months to reach. In general, keep the goals challenging but realistic. Avoid making short term goals that last longer than 3 months, motivation can be hard to maintain if the finish line is too far out.

Life Happens

It can take years to earn a black belt. There may be a lot of life changes during this time which, unfortunately, can translate into the end of the black belt journey. Children, weddings, school, house hunting, new job can all push martial arts training off of your schedule.

If you are feeling positive about your journey you are far more likely to keep your workouts on the schedule. If your life change is happening while you are struggling with your progress it can be a little too easy to walk away.

Use your short term goals to help you adjust to your new situation. Maybe you move from 4 to 2 days per week but spend an extra 15 minutes after class to work on the bag or roll a bit longer after jits class. Also consider talking to fellow students. There are a number of people that have similar commitments, who have found solutions. If you need a brief hiatus, schedule a return date so it doesn’t become “one of those things you’ll eventually get to”.

Your Journey

Many people feel discouraged when they see other people receiving belts and feel that they have worked just as hard, come as often, or demonstrated the same or better skill level. There are a number of reasons why some may advance faster or slower but it’s really a waste of your energy to compare your progress to someone else’s.

At the end, when you receive your black belt, it is only about your journey, no one else’s. Worrying about someone else’s progress simply brings short term misery, which gets you no closer to your goal. Celebrate fellow student’s achievement, see inspiration in skills that higher belts have achieved, then focus on your journey so you can, one day, celebrate your well-earned black belt.

A black belt journey requires commitment, persistence, and patience that you will most appreciate the day you receive your black belt. So remember that challenges and overcoming them are part of the journey and continue to push on.

 

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA