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1. Walk away from worries

"The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep," says nutrition-and-wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD. Aim for a brisk, half-hour walk every day.

2. Do less, enjoy more

"We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event," says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. "Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more."

3. Stick with your daily routine

Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don't try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle, says Katherine Muller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City

4. Go tech-free

Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together? Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry

5. Turn up the tunes

Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it's Jingle Bell Rock or the latest from Jay-Z. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.

6. Fit in exercise

It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.

7. Stay Positive

Positive thoughts and thinking transfer to positive actions.   Look of the best and make  active appreciation part of your daily routine.

8. You may want to consider starting a martial arts class this time of year.  

I know you may be thinking "What - something new this time of year?"  A true martial arts class is all about mind, body and spirit, according to Greg Silva, president of Black Belt Schools International.    "You get healthy exercise and flexibility training, a positive atmosphere and stress release."   Getting started now will be beneficial for your health, stress level as well as jump start  your healthy goals for 2017.

We are having a Krav Maga workshop scheduled for December 1 at 6pm. This seminar is specifically about what to do in a Hostage Situation, but it relates to what to do in any stressful situation!!  Click HERE for more information


 
 
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I have been pretty open about being diagnosed with diabetes, changing my diet, and maintaining an exercise regime. However, I haven't been very forthcoming about the emotional struggle and the self-dialogue that makes this such a daily hassle. I haven't shared that part because --well, we all wrestle with something. Many of my friends have much more of a struggle than me! I have several friends who deal with chronic pain. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. I have friends who suffer from depression. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. I have friends who are fighting cancer. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. I have friends who are in abusive relationships. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. There are all kinds of suffering -- I don't own a corner on that and I don't want to wallow in the negative. 

As I was working out this morning, I didn't feel strong. I have been trying to increase my weights in my kettle bell workouts, but my blood glucose levels sometime limit how much I can do. Today was one of those days. In fact, I was losing form and started to just quit. But then, I thought, "I could reduce the weight and finish the exercise." The other side of me said, "But you will not meet your goals - you should just quite until you feel stronger!" Then I told myself, "Well, at least I will finish the workout. There will be some gains!" (Yup, I talk to myself -- you know that you do it, too!) So, I took the weight down by 10 pounds and finished my Turkish Get Ups. (That was the first exercise! I was ready to quit before I had even started good!) I kept the weights manageable and finished the entire circuit.

What does this have to do with the struggle? Sometimes we lose form when we are carrying all the weight of our burdens. And we don't HAVE to carry ALL of the weight of our pain. We are created to be social. We are created to be a team! God created Adam AND Eve. He even said, "It is not good for man(kind) to be alone." If we help to shoulder each other's burdens, then we can lighten our load - and then finish our day. I'm equating the day to my workout because we can only take one day at a time. Look, all we really have is the decision that we make at this moment. What decision will you make? Are you gonna quit? You may not get the benefit of this workout. Will you lighten the load? You will be making progress toward your goal!

So, I want to encourage you to reach out to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed. Take the self-talk out of your head and directly interact with another person. If you are feeling like you can't handle the weight, then unload some of that onto someone else. You CAN finish this race. You CAN conquer this task. You CAN overcome this obstacle. It may just take a team to do that. And that may just be the ultimate reason for this trial.


Be blessed, my friends -- Dana

 
 
Adults in our community - This is National Bully Awareness Month.   This is not only a month to help school kids.   It's a month for everyone to step up against bullying.  Please pass these tips on to other parents and adults.  The mission is to get a large community involvement to make a large impact.

Take Steps to Stop It Checklist

Start early. Parent/child talks are essential. Teach kids to respect others before they start school and continue to talk about this topic on an ongoing basis. Even small acts of teasing should be stopped in their tracks. Don’t fail to correct this kind of behavior due to a child’s young age. This is exactly when to stop it.

Teach your children how to be assertive. Encourage your children to express their feelings clearly, say no when they feel uncomfortable or pressured, stand up for themselves without fighting and walk away in dangerous situations.

Stop bullying when you see it. Adults who remain silent when bullying occurs are encouraging it and making it worse.

Listen and support children who speak up. Telling an adult about bullying is not easy for children.  If a child comes to you seeking assistance with bullying, spend time listening to them and provide affirmation and support before taking actions.  

Recognize the signs of depression.  Youth who experience persistent bullying can develop signs of depression like sadness, isolation, poor concentration and sleeping problems. These symptoms can affect their relationships and school performance.  Many children do not recognize or speak up about their emotional needs. Make sure to reach out and get them help when you see these signs.

Tell your children to take action when they see bullying behavior. Tell them to speak out against the bully and inform a teacher if the behavior doesn’t stop. Bullying continues only when we allow it to.

Communicate clear policies and consequences. Bullying is less likely in schools where adults are involved and firm about stopping bullying behaviors. Send out a clear message at your school that bullying will have negative consequences.

Team up. Work with your PTA or local MHA affiliate to make sure that schools treat bullying as violence. Help them develop programs to prevent bullying and promote safe school environments.


Bring your kids and join us on October 7, 2017 at 11:30 am on our training mat inside Legends Gym and Health Club for a free workshop on how we can Stand Up Against Bullying!
 
 
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 from Creative Child
by Rebecca Eanes on May 2nd, 2017

If you’ve ever been the victim of a bully, you know too well how it feels to humiliated and overpowered. While there is no way to 100% bully-proof anyone, there are important skills we can teach our children to minimize the impact a bully has, to turn them away, and to help our children get out of sticky situations.

Help your child build a positive social network.

Connection with caring friends and supportive adults act as a shield of sorts, giving your child strength to overcome the challenge a bully presents. In fact, being socially connected is an important factor in overall happiness. How can you help your child build this network?

Keep the parent/child relationship a top priority. Maintaining a positive relationship with your child is essential. They need to know they can confide in you. Otherwise, you may never know they are being bullied. By practicing positive parenting, you can both guild your child while keeping your relationship strong. Teach and practice respectful, positive communication so that they have the skills and comfort level to talk to you about what’s going on in their lives.

Foster as many positive connections as you can with relatives, friends, people at church or in other groups, etc. The bigger your child’s village is, the bigger his shield.

Teach your child friendship-building social skills, such as how to introduce themselves, how to start a conversation, eye contact, showing interest, and joining a group activity.

Give Your Child the Gift of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays an important role in our relationships, social status, success, and happiness. A child who is comfortable with her emotions and knows how to confidently handle them is less likely to be shaken by the words or actions of a bully. She is better able to move through emotions like anger, sadness, fear, and disappointment. Try these tips to increase your child’s EI.

1. Talk about feelings. Start the discussions at an early age by helping your child verbalize what he is feeling. “You’re sad that we have to leave Grandma’s already.” “You’re upset that I won’t buy you this toy.” By naming emotions, we increase our children’s emotional vocabulary and, at the same time, validate what they are feeling.

2. Teach regulation skills. The calm down area is a good tool for children to learn to get a grip on those big feelings. At first, you’ll need to sit in the calm down area with your child and teach her how to self-regulate. Provide sensory and calming items such as a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a calming glitter jar, books, paper and pencil, or balloons filled with playdough. Figuring out how to soothe the mind and body so that logic and reason can come back online is a critical skill that will keep children (and adults) from reacting in a negative way or lashing out and regretting it later.

3. Teach conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. This requires a lot of time and patience while the child is young but has a big pay-off when they are older. Teach this by talking your child through a conflict, assisting with ideas when needed, and help her bring about a peaceful solution. For example, if two siblings are fighting over a toy, you might say, “It looks like there’s a problem with this toy. You both want it. Can we come up with a solution? Jane, you first. Can you think of way to solve this problem?” Coach Jane as needed to come up with ideas like taking turns, finding a new toy to play with, or playing with it together. “Okay, so you have decided you want to take turns. Amy, Jane would like to take turns. Does this work for you? Okay, how about you hand over the toy to Amy as soon as you are finished? Thank you! Good problem-solving!” Then you’ll just watch to make sure she follows through. Here’s a great article on helping your child with turn taking. This will take many repetitions, but eventually they’ll start doing it on their own, and when they do, it’s bliss! How does this help when faced with a bully? It gives them confidence to handle themselves when an adult isn’t immediately present.

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Teach Your Child to Be Assertive

Bullies prey on victims who are isolated or who they can intimidate. Being assertive means your child can voice how she is feeling and stand up for her rights without being aggressive or passive. Assertive people can calmly state their feelings and needs in a respectful way. Here are some tips:

Talk about boundaries. Teach your child about physical and emotional boundaries. Let them know that it is their right to say “no,” to leave a friendship that feels bad, and to tell an adult when someone isn’t respecting their boundaries.

Let your child make decisions. This is an easy way to build the assertive muscles. “I’d rather wear the red shirt today” is good practice for “I’d prefer not to attend that party tonight.”

Role play various situations so that your child becomes comfortable with assertive responses. Teach him to say “Stop it. That’s not okay.” Play out scenarios where your child will need to tell an adult and what to do when no adults are around, and discuss that it is NOT tattling if someone is being hurt!

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting, and co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early Childhood. She is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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Join us for a free Bully Prevention Workshop on October 7, 2017 at 11:30 am. Click on the picture to register!
 
 
The days have become a little shorter, there is an eclipse coming soon, school is starting next week and it has been raining here in T-town - a lot!  It does seem as if summer is coming to a close earlier this year than it did last year! When does the water park close? Only open on weekends after this week!  Yep, summer is ending way too soon! Maybe you are wondering how you can help you and your child to succeed this school year.  Here is a little acronym that I came up with to help out a bit.
S - Show up!  Don't just sit in class, but SHOW UP!  Make sure that you are focusing on the teacher and on other students. People like folks who genuinely show interest in them. When others see that you like them, they will like you better AND if it is a teacher, he or she will be much more likely to work with you!

T - TAKE NOTES!  Taking notes in class help to fire off several areas of the brain and helps you to put that knowledge in to longer term memory!

U - Seek to UNDERSTAND!  If you are having trouble understanding, then ask questions that lead to your better understanding the problem. If you still do not understand, then ask a better question. Keep asking until you have achieved that goal of understanding the problem.  After that, you will be better equipped to solve the problem!

D- DECIDE TO BE DETERMINED!  Make the mental preparation now to stick to your goals and finish the year strong. It may seem too early to look that far ahead, but you have to be able to see where you are going in order to actually make it there!

E- ENDURE TO THE END!  This is not a sprint, but a marathon race.  Pace yourself and make a plan to break everything down into bite size pieces.  For example, we performed 100 push-ups in every Krav Junior class last week!  How did those guys accomplish this goal? We broke it down into do-able chunks.  They never performed more than 10 at one time, but they got them all done!

N- NEVER GIVE UP! Perseverance is a time honored tradition in martial arts, but it is also necessary for any student to achieve at high levels.  Make up your mind now to keep going no matter what obstacles stand in the way.  When you keep going, you discover that you have much more in you than you ever imagined!!

T- TRAIN!!  Train your body, soul and mind!!  Make sure to maintain your physical fitness.  This will give you the mental stamina to make it through this school year.

Hey, we can help you with that physical training, too!  Join us for our Back to School Bash and we can get you hooked up on a great deal for starting out this year strong with Krav Maga training for your whole family!!!  Check it out!

 
 
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Vacation was wonderful! Now it is back to life. Back to reality. The comedian on our cruise was right about one thing: I got back home, stepped on the scale and it did say "Lido Deck!"

Seriously, Greg and I have been doing tons of research regarding our diet and training plans. We discovered that we are made very differently and required different nutrition. Since testing is coming up, Greg and I made serious plans to change eating habits and training schedule!

DANA-

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I began with a total vegan plan. I cut out all sugar and processed carbs as well as animal proteins and dairy for 3 months. I dropped over 20 pounds and lost a great deal of muscle/strength in the process.  However, I was able to cut my medicine in half and control my sugar with that approach. I had a great deal of trouble training, though. So, I had to adapt and add lean proteins back into my diet.that, I really wanted to enjoy sweets every now and again. For that reason, I took on more of an 80%/20% approach. Most of the time, I ate very sensibly and 20% of the time (not daily) I allowed myself to slip. "Just eat REAL food!" has become my motto.  If it comes in a box, then it

My training consisted of Krav Maga, Han Mu Do, some running and kettle bell training. I was considering a goal of completing a marathon this year, but then thought I'd push that off until the spring of 2018. The Little Rock Marathon has a gigantic medal and we shall see if I can earn that sucker!  Kettlebell training has made me much, much stronger and helped me to build muscle. I am about to head into the next phase of my training so that I can blast through my testing in the fall.

GREG -

Greg needed more protein in his diet and could handle a larger caloric intake.  So, has begun to take in far fewer refined carbohydrates and, of course, sugar.  That began by cutting out sodas and sweet tea - in the south! That was an amazing feat!  He also began increasing his vegetable intake (another amazing act!!). He has just begun this new diet transformation, but we both know that good health requires good nutrition. There is no substitute for good food.

He has trained Krav Maga and Han Mu Do, but was inconsistent with cardio and weight training. Greg needed a schedule to help organize his time and training. Since he worked two jobs (and ran a home business and was/is an amazing dad and hubby), he really had to create something that he could live with!  He has begun a training schedule to prepare for testing in the fall and is focused on crushing those goals.

Do you have fitness goals? Self defense goals? We would love to help you demolish your goals.  We can all work together!!  Give me a call 903-224-5728 or drop in and see us inside Legends Gym.  Here is a FREE PASS to training!



 
 
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Summer is here and many of us are thinking VACATION!!! We love to spend time with our families and take on adventures and make great memories. However, it is also important to keep everyone safe on these ventures! Here are a few thoughts to help keep you safe.

1. Plan ahead. It seems to me like planning is second nature to most folks. To people like me, it is a chore! I would much rather jump in the car pick a direction and just drive! I love to find an adventure wherever the road may take me, but that is not always the safest route. Look at the reviews of the attractions at your destination. Check to see if there are any road closures and look at folks opinion of the area. Check out the crime stats and decide if that is the area for your and your family and friends. Have a plan to get to your destination safely. If you are travelling by air, be sure to have a plan to get to your hotel. I feel most vulnerable when transporting my luggage to my hotel when I am travelling. It is best to get to your lodging place and then go exploring.

2. Check in with the State Department. Look up the Department of State's travel alerts and warnings.  The website is HERE.  The most up to date information is given on the website and can help you to make decisions based upon your travel destination. You can get information about vaccinations, local laws, crime and security warnings, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

3. Have an exit plan. You might be staying in a swanky hotel, but haven't you seen adventure films? They are not always that safest places! Okay, I'm kidding - sort of. Make sure that you review the exits and fire escape plans.  You'll be glad that you did - especially if you need to get out in the middle of the night. I have been in a hotel when the fire alarm was pulled and I was happy to know where the stairs were!

4.  Don't flash your wealth. I will never forget the time that we were travelling in Haiti and had car trouble. One of the fellas with us started to hand out cash to the men who had helped us to get the car started again. We were suddenly swarmed with men who claimed to have been of assistance and had to nearly run them over to get out!  They were shaking the car and pounding on the windows. It was scary!  Keep your cash in your wallet or in a belly band or in your sock! If you must tip someone, have a small amount of small bills prepared for such an occasion. Never start randomly handing out cash - you will NEVER have enough! I have found that this device - FlipBelt - held my passport, hotel key and extra money quite well. I could hide it under my clothes, it stayed in place and it was very comfortable. (No, I don't get money from them)

5.  Stay with a group. There is safety in numbers. I like my alone time, too. However, it is just too tempting for a potential kidnapper or thief to target solitary figures. Although, I would like to point out that who you are with can make a huge difference. I have walked the streets of New York City with three other Krav Maga Instructors (one was a Master Instructor) and felt quite safe and got into zero trouble. I have also walked the streets (dirt paths) in the mountains of Mexico with my girlfriends (who are missionaries) and nearly got into a fight for disturbing goats - you can ask me about that story at the gym.  I'm just saying that we were much safer as a group than we would have been all alone.

6. Train to hone your observation skills.  The best training that I have ever received was my training in Krav Maga. The more you train, the more you realize what can go wrong and the more observant you become to your surroundings.  I'm going to take that a step farther and say that the more proficient I become in this craft, the more I want to avoid potential fights. I walk into a room with a plan to escape and I position myself so that I can see the entrance and exits while I am there because I would rather be able to get my kids out if things go bad.

Would you like to train to learn more? Come on by and see us! We are located in Legends Gym and Health Club on Stateline Ave.  Click HERE or on the button below.to get registered for a free class! Adults train Monday -Thursday at 7 pm and on Saturday at 10 am.  Kids train Monday-Thursday at several times depending on their rank and age.  Check out our schedule and come and see us!


 
 

    You’re walking home on an otherwise nice brisk evening with your family or loved one when, out of nowhere, you are surrounded by aggressive and intimidating people that want to harm you. They may just yell and/or push at first. They may grab you, or swing or threaten you with a gun or a knife. What would you do? Would you know what to do to protect yourself and your family? How would you feel? How would you react? 

 

    Any of these scenarios are scary at best and deadly at worst. Over 1500 people die from injuries involving knife attacks each year; 5 times as many as those killed by rifles. Statistics aside, the brutal reality is that knives are prevalent and dangerous, knife wounds are nasty and becoming a victim is totally preventable. It is wise to train to defend against threats and attacks with knives, and the best time to think about this is not when the attack is imminent and real. I highly recommend that every reader get some training. For the purposes of this article, I will address 5 hacks that could save your life in a knife attack scenario.

1. Understand the Threat. 

    Knives are a real threat! They are common, easy to carry and conceal, and can inflict severe wounds and damage, up to and including death. I really don’t think that most people understand how nasty slashes and stabs of the knife upon human flesh can be. This is a mistake. Awareness of the seriousness of the threat is an important step in preparing to deal with it. Awareness can also help you to pay attention, noticing who around is carrying a knife well before any threat exists. 

    On the other hand, it’s very important to know that it’s very possible to survive an attack if you know how to. In the best case, of course, you have trained in advance. The time to condition to react correctly is when the threat isn’t real; I often remind my students that, “it’s a good thing to get stabbed with a rubber knife all day long”. What can be a painful or deadly mistake in real life is, in training, only feedback. 

    With or without training, it is important to understand that fighting back aggressively will more likely improve your situation. We know from the defensive wounds of attack crime reports that the victim will not often be killed by the first, second or even first several attacks. Most attackers are not trained knife fighters, but rather an angry person attacking viciously with an overhand (icepick) stab, underhand upward vertical strike, stabbing or slashing, and probably repeatedly, but probably with more aggressiveness than accuracy. It is for this reason that actively defending is so important, and this leads us to knife hack number two.

2. Aggressive Counterattack

    As I alluded to in number one, the victim that tries to defend without fighting back is the most likely to be killed by a knife attack. Of course, if the scum bag threatening you with a knife just wants your money, you should give him your money because, as I have also already suggested, a knife fight situation is not something that you really want to get into. The variables are many and the stakes are high; so, if he wants something that you can easily replace, the right play is to give it.

    My teacher once told me, though, that when you are dealing with a terrorist, you should consider yourself already dead, and that any move that you make to improve your situation improves your situation. While I am certainly not saying that every knife attacker is a terrorist, I am saying that not everyone with a knife will leave you alone just because you give them what they want. You will have to make the call of which one you are dealing with and act accordingly.

    This decision only applies to a knife threat, of course. Once the knife is in motion towards you, your decision time has been ended. This is the time when, as I say, you must deal aggressively with the problem. In my system, Krav Maga, we will use a block and a simultaneous counterattack. While the block will hopefully stop the first attack and, if not the first then the second; the aggressive counterattacks address the problem. The problem isn't the knife but rather is the attacker wielding the knife, and that problem must be dealt with aggressively.

3. Control The Weapon

    As soon as we block and counterattack, we should also attempt to control the weapon. The exception to this rule would be wherein we counterattack strongly enough that we make enough distance to completely disengage and get away so quickly that we don't have to, which is even better. In close proximity to the attacker, however, by necessity or because we can’t move quickly enough, we must control the weapon hand as soon as possible, stopping its ability to continue cycling the attack. We need to control long enough and well enough to affect knife hack number four.

4. Disengage or Neutralize

    As stated in number 3, making distance and getting away from the attacker and attack is the best case of all. The disengagement can happen directly after the initial defense and counterattack, if you made sufficient distance to escape and are fast enough to do so; or it could be after you entered and controlled the weapon, have already struck multiple times in the correct areas to slow down the attacker and then you disengage and exit the area while scanning for more attackers. Still other times, the situation may dictate that you can’t leave the scene; perhaps a small child or elderly parent keeps you from the ability to flee quickly. In this case, one must be able to neutralize the threat to ensure that he’ll be able to get his family home safely.

5. Prepare Today

      At the risk of being redundant, the very best thing that you can do to survive a violent knife attack is to start preparing for that scenario today. Be aware, of your own abilities and limitations, and also of your surroundings, including where you are, with whom and who else is in the area. Practice doing this always. At first it will feel funny, or even awkward; but like all new skills, awareness will become natural when practiced over time. If you can, get some training from an experienced instructor trained in a reality based martial art including knife defense. If you already train, practice seriously. I believe every Krav Maga student should have their own training knife and training gun. The combination of proper instruction on how to best defend yourself, with significant repetition and practice under stress, is the very best way to prepare today to defend tomorrow.

     I hope that nobody reading this ever has to defend themselves against a knife attack. In the best case, should you decide to take my advice and get some training, all the preparation will be only insurance. In a great school, the training will come with some bonuses including fun, fitness, friends and family, as well as the confidence to walk in peace. I pray every day that none of my students ever has to use the self-defense that I teach them because, by definition, somethings gone really bad and someone’s going to get really hurt. The only thing worse than having to defend, though, would be to have to and not be prepared for it. This is why we pray for the best, but train for the worst today.  

--Stephen Del Castillo  

 Grand Master Del Castillo (Shihan Steve) is the Founder and Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts. He has over 35 years of martial arts experience with the last 15 specifically in the Israeli Self Protection system known as Krav Maga. He is a 7th Degree Blackbelt and Master Instructor with Blackbelt Schools International, an MBA, and the Chief Instructor of KMMA USA, with affiliate instructors and schools around the country.
 
 
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What an eventful weekend we had.  In fact, we have had quite an eventful month!  Now we are already into May and I am beginning to reflect a bit.  I will likely be doing several posts about

Words cannot begin to describe how proud I was this past weekend as Rita Kennedy tested for her 2nd Dan in Han Mu Do.  What an honor it was to stand beside her and to be her crash test dummy! That woman is phenomenal and is an example to us all of courage and tenacity.  She has a condition called Arnold-Chiari Malformation I.  From what I understand, it basically means that the cerebellum in her brain grew differently than that of other people, blocking the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid and compressing parts of the cerebellum against the skull.  She has had surgery to relieve pressure and other technical procedures that, frankly, I do not completely understand.  What I do know is that these procedures left her with an inhibited ability to remember things and her balance has been affected.

Mrs. Rita began training with Master Mateo Lopez at the gym and was able to reconnect her brain to her body.  She was doing physical therapy, but she attributes much of her progress to the practice of Han Mu Do. The repetition and practice in balance helped her to regain basic function in her body and mind and spirit---although, I believe that it would be very difficult to break Mrs. Rita's spirit. She's got a great deal of determination, discipline and energy. Just being able to train in class shows amazing resiliency.  How much more does it show that she has been able to push beyond the limitations set upon her and test all the way to 2nd Dan? This means that she has demonstrated the ability to remember and perform over 250 different techniques as well as over 20 forms (hyung)!!! 

As she has continued to train, she has inspired and empowered so many of us to excel and become better people through training; to push through those things that seem hard to succeed on a level beyond what we could imagine.

So, congratulations to Mrs. Rita Kennedy on earning your 2nd Dan Black Belt in Han Mu Do and thank you for inspiring us all to be better at what ever we attempt to accomplish!  I look forward to training with you more over the coming years!  God bless you, my friend!!


 
 
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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month: There are organizations worldwide that are working to prevent rape. Please take a minute ad read about one such organization:

NO MEANS NO - Kenya is an organization that works to provide simple, high impact self defense training to as many women and children as possible worldwide. This organization works hard to prevent sexual assault. They work with boys and girls in schools in 6 week cycles three times per school year, with the number of students ranging from 7000-9000 per cycle. For far too long the overwhelming focus has been on aftercare strategies -- this needs to change. It is believed that self defense training can raise a woman or a child's chance of prevailing in a sexual assault by up to 85%!!

I agree with this organization that the best response to the epidemic of sexual assault is to provide our male and female student with an awareness of the causes and effects of sexual gender based violence and to provide the skills to intervene or prevent it. You may not live in Kenya, but the need for effective self defense is important worldwide. Please consider attending our workshop Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 2-4.  The proceeds go to support an organization that works to prevent sexual assault in the US. To register, click on the picture of the flyer or on the button below.