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May Newsletter — Twelve Reasons Your Child Should Study Martial Arts

Many myths abound when it comes to martial arts training for kids. First among them might be that martial arts is simply "fight training," and many parents are reluctant to encourage fighting. Others might believe that disciplines like karate, judo, jiujitsu, or tae kwon do (the world's most popular) are too strict for kids to enjoy. Surprise – all false!

While it may not be for everyone, the fact is that martial arts training offers a host of benefits beyond just the physical activity (which is no small payoff itself!). Do you recognize something in the list below that could help your child in his or her personal development? How about your own?

1. Self?control. Students in a martial arts class practice waiting their turn, staying still, moving when instructed, listening and following directions.

2. Discipline, perseverance, goal attainment and patience. In a good school, students attend many classes and learn a series of moves in order to advance to the next level in tapes or belts. Typically, the advancements are small steps at a time. There is no "trophy just for showing up," as they say – the reward comes only after legitimate work. Students are encouraged to set a goal (such as achieving the next belt rank) and to understand the steps necessary to reach the goal. Then, it's a matter of staying patient and sticking with it long enough to succeed. Kids tend to prefer immediate payoff, but as Master Curtis Mast offers, "The next belt comes when you are ready."

3. Mentoring and socialization. In many martial arts traditions, more experienced students (even if younger) are expected and encouraged to help the less knowledgeable kids. This is a boost both ways: the mentor practices teaching and nurturing; the mentee learns humility and recognizes a new goal potential.

4. Responsibility for things and actions. Good martial arts teachers believe that it is the student's responsibility (even the youngest students) to care for the uniform, tie the belt, and take care of other equipment. Pupils are expected to take personal responsibility for their actions as well – both in and out of the dojo. "With great power comes great responsibility" is an attitude common to high?quality martial arts studios.

5. Balance, coordination, proprioception, and posture. Children's neural pathways are very flexible, and the practices of balancing, transferring weight, engaging core muscles, and fine?tuning the positioning of limbs in space are crucial skills for a lifetime of good physical condition. Contrary to the popular belief that people are born either with natural coordination or not, these are all skills that improve quickly with practice (true for adults, too!).

6. Breathing. Coordinating gross motor movements with the breath is an essential skill – and one that can increase the efficacy of nearly any exercise. Martial arts teach deep breathing in various techniques, plus the coordination of breath and movement. In addition, breath control can be useful during times of stress or anxiety, such as test?taking, public speaking, conflict resolution or other emotionally?charged times (parents of 'tweens and teens, take note!).

7. Focus, attention, and mind control. Going along with the breath work, martial arts study requires serious concentration and focus. Narrowing the focus to precise movement is great practice for any task requiring sustained attention, and studies have shown that martial arts can be especially helpful to children with attention disorders (ADD/ADHD).

8. Self?esteem, confidence and self?respect. Working toward a goal and achieving it, teaching others, learning difficult skills and being recognized for hard work all build a child's sense of competence in the world. The ability of a strong martial arts instructor to instill this sense shouldn't be underestimated, and neither should the importance of these qualities in a growing one's life.

9. Physical safety and empowerment against bullies. For any child unsure of his or her physical prowess, martial arts can be a game?changer. Learning to harness muscular strength and control gives anyone an advantage in uncomfortable situations, whether real or perceived. Certain martial disciplines also teach peaceful conflict resolution (sounds contradictory, but it's a deep part of the tradition!), which can bolster a kid's confidence around bullies. It can also give a child the power he or she needs to avoid becoming the bully, since there's little left to prove.

10. Mind?body link, mindful action, eating and more. Just like dance, yoga, and other physical disciplines, martial arts enhances the mind?body connection. It benefits both body and mind to stay connected, in ways that science doesn't fully understand even today. The practice of calming and focusing the mind can pay off in the kitchen, helping kids stop the blind foraging or sugar bingeing to think carefully about why and what they're eating. It can help him or her get to the root of moods and emotions, by zeroing in on the mind's path. Mindful action also helps us enjoy life's little pleasures a bit more, and even find new ones.

11. Memory and retention. Students of martial arts memorize complex sequences of movement and must prepare to perform them for promotion tests. They also memorize accompanying words in both English and the language of the art form (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc.). Together, this learning activates and coordinates various parts of the brain, which make it stronger and faster for all kinds of learning.

12. Teamwork and sportsmanship. While it may look like students on the mat are practicing and performing alone, a closer look shows you that a quality master teaches students to encourage one another and direct positive energy to students being tested. In?class sparring requires the cooperation of two students to perform pretty complicated drills – and without such cooperation, people could get hurt or miss out on rank advancement. In competition, group scores hinge on the performance of a team, not just individuals. When considering lessons, check that your dojo is led by a certified instructor. Avoid places that boast many young black?belts, since they may forgo quality instruction for belt advancement. Likewise, the number and size of tournaments the school attends are less important than the teacher?student ratio, teaching style, and your comfort level with the studio. Finally, look for a dojo that offers at least one observation or trial class will even offer several trial classes to ensure a good fit – and a payment option/contract period that works for you.

By Jessica Covington—http://www.examiner.com/article/twelve-surprising-reasons-your-child-should-study-martial-arts?cid=rss

Elite MMA News


Elite MMA BJJ girls training day 5-17-2014

Elite MMA has one of the biggest ladies BJJ program in the country. We would like to take a day a month to have the ladies from all the locations meet together in a centralized location to have fun and learn from one another. Details for this month is below.

Location: 10640 Westheimer, Houston, TX (Upstairs)

Time: 11am?12:30pm

After Training Lunch: The Original Marini's
Empanada House, 10001 Westheimer Rd
#2570, Houston, TX 77042

Westheimer Assistant Instructor Highlight: Luke Stambush

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?
I currently am one of the instructors for the kids class at the Elite MMA Westheimer location.

What is your current rank in martial arts?
I am currently a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?
I was always the small kid growing up even when i was a baby people told my dad "oh he's small". I usually got picked on in school for my size.

What is your educational background?
I currently attend Austin High School.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?
I was the 2010 Rookie State champion in the 110 lbs division 4. I also placed 3rd at Novice State for wrestling I achieved 4th place D4?110 South Texas Regional Wrestling Open Competition I have won 2 division at naga, gi and no?gi.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?
I feel that the average individual can gain respect for not only for others but respect for themselves as well. Martial arts is probably the greatest stress reliever that is productive.

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?
Seeing all the different types of people coming to train and getting to hear their stories and learn from their past experiences, As well as gaining the confidence to stand up for my beliefs.

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?
I hope that i will always continue to practice martial arts, if I can't do it professionally, then I want to keep training so I can maintain my strength and wisdom to protect those I love and those who can't defend themselves.

Greenway Student Highlight: Adrian Garcia

What is your name and age?
Adrian Garcia, 26

When did you join Elite MMA?
October 2013

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I've been a big fan of MMA and a friend of mine was training at a gym. He took a day to show me some basics of BJJ and we did a small roll. Since then, I felt this was the best way to condition the body and learn valuable skills all in one session.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
Time. There was one point where I was juggling work, college, and BJJ. Others do it well but it became overwhelming for me and I began having less and less time to devote myself with martial arts.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
No. I was part of another gym before joining Elite, training in BJJ until having to leave. This is the point, as said before, where work and school were becoming too much and I was unable to devote myself fully to BJJ as I wanted. I soon finished school and found a great job freeing up my schedule and I was able to start up my training again. I really wanted the whole MMA aspect meaning not just ground skills as what my previous gym only offered but some stand up as well which is one way I encountered Elite MMA. Now with Elite I partake primarily in BJJ and KKB from Greenway Plaza since its closer to home. I have participated in classes at the Westheimer location but Greenway and its class times are perfect for my schedule.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
My biggest concern was the training atmosphere. I tried classes from other gyms before and didn't have good experiences with their training methods which almost deterred me from even pursuing BJJ. I found Elite MMA through online searches and referral from one of their students, I signed up for the free private trial. I met Mitch and Hai whom conducted the private lesson and they addressed all my concerns without even me asking. I felt comfortable and really appreciated their instruction, from that small time frame I recognized that MMA is their passion and spreading it was their goal. So I signed up.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Being with Elite, I've learned tons of BJJ techniques and can actually throw a nice kick but really its had a mental impact for me. My career is in the medical field, applying for medical school is something students wish to only have to do once, its very stressful. Its good to have a place to unwind, relax, and just train. It has all been well worth it, I'm glad to say I have been accepted to Physical Therapy School in Austin, TX starting this Fall 2014

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get in-volved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
Anyone looking to train martial arts should just do it. Its simple, if there is something you want to pursue in life, go for it. If they have doubts about a gym or just uncertainty, call them up and set up a time for you to go observe or try them out. There are many gyms out there and they all have means of reaching out to newcomers and prospects. For those wanting lifestyle change, best thing to do is set some goals and everyday ask yourself "What can I do today that will get me closer to my goals?"

Kingwood Student Highlight: Jamie Alanis

My name is Jamie Alanis and I am 33yrs old

When did you join Elite MMA?
I joined this last fall in September 2013

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I decided to take martial arts because I wanted a new way to work out besides running, cycling, and the gym! So what better way to do that than take kickboxing while at the same time learning self defense!

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
Not having Elite MMA school close by. Now there is one in Kingwood, Thanks for opening one Mr. Jordan!

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
This is my first time taking martial arts and loving it! I take Kickboxing classes.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
My concern were not being able to keep up... I felt a little intimidated, but I took a chance and now love it! Thanks Justin (my coach)!

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Being part of Elite help me accomplish great self defense and confidence knowing the right techniques to protect myself.

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
Absolutely! Elite is a fun great way to stay in shape while feeling confident, but the most important is knowing how to protect yourself, so get out of your comfort zone and try something beneficial to your life style!

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