Posts Tagged ‘BJJ Peabody MA’


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!

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!

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


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!

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


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.  


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.


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:



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!

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



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!

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




Miss USA’s statement supporting self defense training for women created a firestorm of support and condemnation. Sentiments that were renewed after a number of sexual assaults on college campuses became big news. Here are some of the most common concerns and some responses…

Fighting Back Doesn’t Work for Women/You’re More Likely to Get Hurt

Certain situations aren’t worth the risk. If someone just wants your money, car, or other material possessions, just hand them over. However, once the attacker threatens or causes physical harm or if an attacker tries to take you away, then fighting back does work.

A large amount of research, including a 2005 study from the Department of Justice, has found that women who fight back can often stop an assault with no greater risk of injury. Some research has also shown that women who learn self defense are less likely to be attacked.

It Takes Hours of Specialized Training to Learn Effective Self Defense Techniques

In truth, self defense does not require specialized moves to be effective. Some well-timed and well-placed smacks can go far. The thought process is also one of the most important elements in self defense. Even a single self defense class can help change how you approach self defense.

There are several self defense systems but not many are effective for the general population. Even some forms of martial arts don’t translate to self defense. Be selective, if something seems too complicated for you to grasp, it probably won’t work. Regular training in any defense system will increase your options, make you more efficient, and improve conditioning. If you aren’t interested in regular training, attending a single class and occasional refreshers may help.

Krav Maga is one of the most effective and efficient ways of dealing with attacks. It focuses on simplistic response based on instinctive reactions you already have so there are fewer steps to learn.

Women Are More Likely to be Smaller and Weaker Than Their Attacker, It Is Unlikely They Can Overpower Their Attacker

This concern has come up in every women’s self defense seminar that I have been at in Dragon Within Martial Arts. And it’s true. If someone is attacking you, they are pretty sure that they can overpower you. If your only defense plan is to physically overpower your attacker, you will probably lose. In fact, as soon as you feel the attack, the fight may be mentally over because you will know you cannot physically beat your attacker.

Fortunately, effective self defense methods like Krav Maga start with the assumption that you are physically overpowered. Instead of physical strength this method relies on overwhelming the attacker’s thought process through smaller but effective attacks. No matter who the attacker is, he has vulnerable areas, and there will be opportunities to use them against him. Taking your attackers mind off of their goals even for just seconds at a time can give you the opportunity to escape.

A Focus on Self Defense Puts the Blame on the Women if She Can’t Adequately Defend Herself

Self defense simply provides more options, it does not mean a woman is responsible for stopping any attack or has to fight back. Decisions are completely dependent on the individual and their assessment of the situation. All negative outcomes from the attack are solely the responsibility of the attacker no matter how the victim responds.

Closely related is the mental health after an attack. Some studies have suggested that women who fought back but were unable to stop an attack had better mental health outcomes after a rape.

Focus Should be on Programs Targeting Attackers Not on Self Defense

This is a common concern on college campus or any community offering self defense options. It would be fantastic if simple intervention programs would completely stop violent attacks. However, violence is a complex social problem. It should certainly be addressed but it will take some time for social change to take place.

Self defense provides immediate options. It is also an empowering option in contrast to many other safety recommendations that focus on restrictions like not traveling alone at night or not drinking.



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.

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your 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

I have PTSD and Anxiety: is martial arts good for me?

Posted: October 30, 2014 in DWMMA, DWMMA - Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Fitness, Inspirational, Krav Maga, MMA, Self Defense
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So, last week I took my first Krav Maga class at Dragon Within. I thought since I have been working here for about 6 months it would be good to see what everyone does and get a better understanding of the arts. I also had a lot of personal issues to get over. I have a fear of being too close to people, I don’t like being touched or really touching others. I have hardly any confidence in my abilities to do anything. I’m over weight, shy and embarrassed about nearly everything. I have also had a lot of “traumatic” experiences in my life that I have yet to be able to get over.

You see when you have something traumatic happen, with out going into gory details to make people heads spin, it takes something away from you. Some people are strong enough to get over it on their own. Some people let it haunt them and really hold them back from a lot of things. Some people like me, relive the trauma every day and with subtle movements or conversations, it can put you in a bad place mentally. So the old saying goes, you can either run from it or face it. So I suggest to all you out there like me who suffer from living nightmares… just face your fears. You wont regret it.

Enough about me, and the reasons I have for staying away from anything challenging. I decided it was time for me to try to push myself to a whole new limit. It wasn’t about working out, or using my boss for his gym and space. It was about learning. It was about getting over my fear, and maybe gain the confidence I need and stop being so emotional and fearful.

My First DAY

So I walked into my first class, scared out of my mind just praying that I wouldn’t cave. Praying that I wouldn’t cry, or freak out, or give up. I was surprised I was able to jog and shuffle and keep up with everyone. “Okay this isn’t so bad, I got this”…. Then we bear crawled and I felt so out of place. It is an awkward position with your butt in the air, and your crawling across the floor. I was the slowest one in the room. I finished last. But then I got up and stretched out with the group caught my breath and kept going. Then we went over bear hugs. So basically someone has to grab you from behind and you have to get out of it. Great so I get to feel like I’m about to be taken by some huge man. But okay, I keep repeating to myself, I can do this, I can do this. And I did! Slowly at first, but then faster and I hit harder. I felt myself getting angry at the pads and would ram my knee into them like I was hurting the people that have hurt me so many times. Then it was over…. So I thought.

We moved on to the next exercise. I have to stand alone by myself with my eyes closed and let someone attack me. Once again all I could think about was someone sneaking up on me and doing unspeakable things. But I pushed through it. And every time someone hit me with the pad, I would get scared out of my mind and freeze for a second. But then I was instinctively hit, and keep hitting the pad. I felt good to hit it. I let out all the anger. Then it was over. I made it through….

But we weren’t done! Now we have to get in a group and put one person in the middle and get attacked from all over by 4-5 other people. By the time I was in the middle, I was the only girl with 4 men surrounding me. My heart was pounding through my chest. I wanted to roll over and cry right then and there. But I didn’t. I hit and hit again. I booty bumped, and high kneed those men. I was fearless, on the outside. I was praying no one could see my fear that I was holding in. Then I was getting exhausted. It hit me that I’m extremely out of shape. But I wasn’t letting my mind quit on me. I hit those men with every last ounce of energy I had.

I did it. I made it through my first class. It felt so good to finish it. I accomplished my first goal. I was on top of the world. I felt like I could accomplish anything. I was hot, sweaty, and sore but I was pumped. I couldn’t wait to go back and challenge myself again.

I will admit, I went into my car and cried and called my friend who made a very valid point…. I DID IT! I didn’t give up. That’s the key here is you can do anything if you put your mind to it. All of a sudden I felt better and was so confident, I was almost high on life. I had such a burst of energy and thought to myself… I can do anything I want. I can’t wait to go back.

Dont Hesitate!!

Don’t wait: Get your free intro lesson today! 

Call: 978-745-8511 

Krav maga, Thai kick boxing, martial arts, bjj, brazilian jiu-jitsu, workout, anxiety management, PTSD management,

Partner Drills — Three Reasons to Pair Up with Someone New- Oldie but Goodie

Posted: October 27, 2014 in BJJ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, DWMMA, DWMMA - Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Fitness, Inspirational, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, MMA Fights, MMAXOUT, Newsletter, Self Defense, Specials, Thai Kickboxing, Workshop
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Thai Kickboxing

Remember your first day of school? Remember walking into the classroom for the first time and taking a seat? Probably not; but I bet you were sitting in the same seat at the end of the school year? C’mon, you know I’m right. As human beings, we are creatures of habit. If we find something we like, we are hard-pressed to change… even if we know it’s good for us. It’s no different with martial arts training.  In Thai kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/BJJ and Filipino Jiu-Jitsu, we rely on our training partners to help us to learn and get the best possible workout. Naturally when paring up to do partner drills, we gravitate toward people we know, people we like and people have worked with before. However, if you work with the same person every night, you might not be learning as much or progressing as fast as you can. Sure, you may be comfortable… but, maybe, you’re too comfortable. Rather than falling into your comfort zone and training with the same partner every night, you should try to branch out and work with someone new every chance you get. Here’s why: 1. Different people give different energy — people come in all sizes and shapes; all with different temperaments — some are gentile, some are aggressive. If you always train with a smaller, less aggressive person, you’ll never learn how to deal with a more aggressive opponent. Training with different people will give you a feel for how to deal with different people’s energy. 2. You’ll learn faster — training with people of varying skills will help you learn faster. By mixing up your training partners, you have the opportunity to learn from more advanced students and to help coach, teach and mentor the lower ranks. Either way, forcing yourself out of your comfort zone will make adapt and think about what you are doing, making you a better martial artist. 3. You’ll meet new people — our gym is a community. Training with new people will introduce you to new people, you’ll learn a few more names and who knows, maybe even make a friend or two. So next time the instructor calls out “pair up”… what are you going to do? Head toward the same partner as last night, or are you going to branch out and work with someone new? You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose by branching out.

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), Filipino Jiu-Jitsu and Children’s programs.

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Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your 30 DAYS FREE! 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

My Child is being Cyber Bullied!!

Posted: October 16, 2014 in anti-bully, DWMMA
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Dragon Within is taking a stand against cyber bullying. By bringing your child into Dragon within for martial arts training, you can be sure to notice a change in your child’s attitude. We take bullying seriously and work with our kids to avoid the bully and avoid being the bully.


What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber bullying happens over the Internet, cell phone, text messaging, and any other social media source. People are posting pictures, verbal complaints, and hurt full words to each other. It is a serious problem and cannot, should not, be taken lightly.

How to Protect Your Child…

So there are many side effects to cyber bullying. If you notice your child is having episodes of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, failing in school, violence or suicide thoughts, then it is time to take action. Online bullying can have a huge impact on our kids that children may not be aware of.

Examples of Cyber Bullying

Facebook lies; posts, comments or pictures can all cause a huge impact on ones life. . Ever have someone take a picture at the wrong time and make you look like your doing something your really not? Even Photoshop has come a long way and anyone can be changed into anything now.

Tweets, and Instagram can be just as bad. People are vicious.

If I post something on Facebook about Johnny saying he slept with Mary and now has a disease. People will take that and run with it. Now I know that’s graphic but its true and it happens all the time. People are labeled “slut”, “whore”, and all kinds of names for action they may not even have done or actions that got blown out of proportion.

The same goes for texting. Direct or indirect texting can be hurtful. I can send a text to you calling you names or saying ugly things about you, or I can say it to everyone else and let them attack you.

The Impact of Cyber bullying

Any bullying can have a significant impact on kids and adults. Every child responds to bullying in a different. Bullying triggers each person in a different way. The same bully may not have control or effect on one person the same way as another.

Any child may be subject to harassment online. This may cause a child to feel depressed, or have a fear of school. Kids may keep to themselves. They may even have feelings of suicide or start to fall into the path of drugs and alcohol to block out the feeling and to succumb to peer pressure so the bullying will stop.

What can parents do to help make a difference?

A child’s self-esteem can be severely damaged, causing them to feel worthless, powerless and helpless. This hopelessness experienced by a child who is cyber bullied can have significantly negative effects. As parents we need to take a stand and take action. You can do so by following these simple steps.

  • Make yourself available to your child with open communication and lack of judgment
  • Intervene as soon as possible, by contacting the school, parents or police
  • Assist your child in stopping or reducing the harassment, this could be as simple as deleting a Facebook account
  • Buffer the impact of cyber bullying and help your child cope with the negative emotions he or she experiences
  • Keep close attention to all your child’s social media accounts and texts.
  • If you notice something, say something.

If you start to notice any changes in mood, sleep habits, school interests and activities, or a sudden change of friends or even picking up nervous hobbits like nail biting. Don’t wait, talk to your kids, watch the Facebook, and read the text messages. These are our children and this is their future.

For more questions or concerns, please call or visit Dragon Within. We make a huge effort to changing a child’s life, boosting there confidence and work vigorously to bring an end to bullying.