Tag Archives: activity

Why I Love Karate

14 Dec

Last winter, in an effort to instill some discipline into our children, we enrolled them in karate. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it but I can say it’s far exceeded whatever expectations I may have had.

Activity

The kids are active from the time they walk in the door to the time they leave. Back in January, when they started, neither one of them could do a real pushup. Now, they can crank them out. They do a great warmup with the kids to get them ready for the rest of class. For the first few months they boys were completely exhausted after class. Cameron and Logan have always been active but taking karate has stepped it up a notch for them.

Cameron is rocking some serious abs for a nine year old!

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That’s Cameron in black w/the silver helmet.

Concentration

They have to learn “forms” to advance to the next belt rank. The forms are different moves strung together and the more advanced they get, the more movements are in each form and the more difficult those moves become. They really have to pay attention and concentrate to know the moves and remember the forms.

This is one of the things that has amazed me the most. Both boys have a real grasp on the forms they need for their level. It’s impressive to see them learn and know their forms.

I was worried that they would struggle to memorize the forms but so far those worries have been completely unnecessary.

Hard work

In karate you have to work had to succeed. Everything is earned and nothing is given. It’s not easy to learn the forms. It’s not always easy to have the level of concentration needed and expected. What the boys have really seen is how their hard work pays off.

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Logan receiving a new belt rank.

The hard work pays off in achieving the next belt rank and realizing they can do something they never thought possible. They have to earn everything they do in karate, nothing is given and nothing is handed out.

The pride just rolls off of them when they receive their next belt.

Respect

They really ingrain respect into the kids. Respect for themselves. Respect for others. Respect for parents. Respect for their school.

Not that the boys were ever overly disrespectful but it’s been a nice reinforcement for our expectations at home.

The discipline of karate Cameron and Logan do is called Tang Soo Do.

As a parent, it’s hard not to like something that has the following as it’s codes:

Loyalty to country.

Obedience to parents.

Honor and friendship.

No retreat in battle (always finish what you start).

In fighting, choose with sense and honor.

They end each class with those words.

They begin each class with this:

I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth and my physical health.

I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

I will use what I learn in class constructively and defensively to help myself and my fellow man and never be abusive or offensive.

We are a black belt school, we are Motivated, we are Dedicated, we are on a Quest to be our Best.

I wasn’t so sure about how the boys would take to the expectations since they give me a hard time when I ask them to do a simple task like brush their teeth. The instructors make all the difference though, they have a way of making the kids listen and do what they’re told with a, “Yes, sir!”

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Logan rocking the Flying Sidekick.

Not only do the instructors demand and receive respect but they make everything fun. They are firm with the kids without being abusive. They are strict but fun and I think that’s how they get the respect from the kids. They don’t put up with nonsense but they give the kids the opportunity to be kids at the same time.

If there is one thing that is quite clear, it’s that every instructor cares. They want to see the kids learn and succeed. They are willing to help out when there is a problem outside of karate too. As a parent it makes me feel at ease knowing that the instructors have my children’s best interest at heart.

Karate is not a team sport but it also teaches the kids to work as a team. It’s amazing how they can all be working independently but together at the same time

If you’re looking for a great activity for your kids that is a really well rounded experience, consider karate.

I will warn you though, it’s not an inexpensive activity. In almost a year we’re probably a little more than five grand in. Between the classes themselves, the gear, the tests and the extra activities at the school it adds up quick. We’ve tried to save a few bucks here and there by purchasing some of our weapons on Amazon and I’m sure there are ways to save even more if you’re clever.

I can honestly say that I feel the experience is worth every penny we’ve spent and all the pennies we will spend as they work their way up the Tang Soo Do ladder.

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Learning how to use nunchucks.

Are your kids involved in martial arts? How has your experience been with it?

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How To Take 10,000 Steps A Day

10 Sep

Just about everyone has some kind of wearable technology to measure activity. OK, maybe not everyone, but most people I know.

If you don’t have one there are affordable options that are fairly accurate. Recently rated the number one activity tracker is the one I wear, the Fitbit One. It’s not one of those super trendy trackers you wear on your wrist but it is the most accurate on the market.

So how do you get those 10,000 step in a day?

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Get up and get moving.

I hear you moaning and groaning that you sit at a desk all day and don’t get to move around. Well, you might just have to work a little harder to get those steps in at other times of the day.

I spend a lot of time chained to a desk as well, both at home when I work and at my part time job, but I’ve found little things I can do to get a few steps in here and there and those few steps add up at the end of the day.

I do a few things to help myself out. First, when I have to go to the bathroom or fill my water bottle I go to the bathroom in my room, not the one right outside the office door. The other thing I’ve done to help me get up more throughout the day and it’s actually made me more productive, I’ve installed an application on my computer called Time Out (for Mac only).

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What Time Out Looks like on my screen.

With Time Out I can customize the timing for little breaks. At the interval I’ve set the screen will be blocked and it will make me take a break. Now there is an override incase your in the middle of something super important when it comes time for that time out but I try not to use them whenever possible. When Time Out tells me it’s time to take five I use that time to get up and walk around. It’s also a good time to clear my head and a lot of times I come up with the solution I’d been trying to find when the time out came.

Outside the office. These are some really simple ones.

Park far away. This will have the added bonus of reducing your chance of getting door dents in a parking lot too. It could be more than 100 extra step just to get to the door and then it’ll be 100 more when you come out.

Take the stairs. Skip the elevator or escalator and opt for the stairs. You’re not only getting some extra steps but you may just get that heart rate up a little too.

Make more than one trip. Instead of carrying twenty pounds of laundry upstairs at once, fold it while you’re enjoying a good show then during the commercial break take a small stack at a time up to put away. Did you know you don’t have to carry ALL of your grocery bags in the house at one time? Grab your bags two at a time and take more than one trip.

Stuck at work all day? Take ten minutes of your lunch break and go for a brisk walk. The added benefit is that it’ll have you feeling energized when you go back to work. Just like I got to the further bathroom when I’m in my home office, if you have more than one bathroom in your office find the furthest one from your desk.

It usually takes me the entire day to get to my 10,000th step, especially on days that I don’t run. I even have days where I need to do a few laps around the house at night just to squeak them in.

10k a day Mommyland

Basically be mindful throughout your day and know when you’ve been sitting too long and need to stretch you legs.

What tips do you have for getting those steps in?

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