Tag Archive for: Kids

1 in 9 children (aged 2–14 years) are considered clinically obese in New Zealand. Learning healthy eating habits and engaging in enjoyable physical activities can counteract hereditary and metabolic tendencies.

What causes childhood obesity?

Learning healthy eating habits is the first key to a lifetime of physical wellbeing. The average teenager eats fat-and-calorie-laden fast food at least twice a week, while only three of ten high school students report eating green vegetables nearly every day or more often.

The second key to a healthy life is frequent aerobic exercise. By converting at least half of a child’s sedentary time (watching TV, playing video games, working on a PC) into daily, fun physical activities, the obesity epidemic can be greatly reduced.

How martial arts can help

One of the strategies experts recommend for reducing childhood obesity (in addition to serving sensible, healthy meals) is to increase daily physical activity. Taking martial arts classes is a great way to do this because with martial arts, the activities don’t feel like chores or laborious exercises. They’re all fun!

As children learn new martial arts skills – how to focus, how to think and act responsibly, how to think like, and evolve into, a life-long champion – they develop an awareness of themselves and others that fosters respect and a sense of independent accomplishment that is hard to match in any other way. With the martial arts belt system students remain motivated, encouraged, and positive because they’re always moving forward in measurable and emotionally satisfying ways.

For parents there is very little more satisfying than watching their beaming martial arts student achieve physical dexterity and a passion for daily activity that’s certain to promote a future bright with promise.

Why is fighting childhood obesity so important?

Increasing numbers of youngsters are developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, trouble with bones and joints, sleep disorders, and other weight-related issues that were formerly seen only in adults. Should this trend continue, our own children may become the first generation of Kiwis to have shorter life spans than their parents!

Obesity is also detrimental to the human spirit. Overweight and obese children often suffer from bullying and teasing by similar-age classmates, causing many to develop low self-esteem and depression.

At Okinawa te Karate, children learn skills and lessons that benefit them for the rest of their lives. By encouraging discipline of mind and body, martial arts go a long way toward providing children with esteem for their own bodies, respect for others, and a passion for achieving excellence in all they choose to pursue.

*excerpts from urbandojo.com

How do you tie your Karate belt? In my travels around the world, I’ve seen it done many different ways. The way below is how we expect you to tie your belt in class and this is the standard way expected from Yellow belt and above.

  1. Halve your belt and make sure that the ends are perfectly even.
  2. Place the centre at the level of your navel. Pass the ends around the back and cross them over. Pull it firmly.
  3. Bring the ends back around to the front and check that they are still perfectly even.
  4. Take the right hand end and pass it over the top of the left. Pass that end up under both strands of the belt and pull it through. Pull the ends firmly.
  5. Check the ends are still even.
  6. Now take the left hand end and pass it back over the right. Pass it through and form a simple knot.
  7. Take a moment to check that the strands are sitting flat and untwisted.
  8. Pull the knot tight and make a final check that the ends are even.
  9. The knot should have two folds coming together that face off to the right.
  10. On advanced belts your will see the name of the student on  the left and the name of the style on the right.

When tying the belt you must first make certain that it hangs evenly from the middle. This symbolizes the balance between the physical and mental aspects of our training. The belt is first wrapped around the waist by placing the middle of it just below your belly button.

The following video shows you how to tie your belt correctly one way.

Watch & learn:

 

There are a number of different things to look for when looking to study Martial Arts.

  1. Confidence: When you’re confident you can defend yourself and don’t come across as an easy target that most bullies look for. Also, if you have accomplished something a little difficult then you have confidence that you can move onto a new level, not just in martial arts, but in any area of your life.
  2. Defense: Learn techniques to help them defend themselves in hostile situations.
  3. Learn How to Take a Punch: The best defense in most situations is to run, flee or remove yourself from the situation. If there is some reason you have not left the situation it usually means your opponent has thrown the first punch and is on top of you or has attacked you in some way. If you know what it feels like to take a punch and keep your wits about you, you’re chances of survival are much greater.
  4. Discipline: This is another point that ripples throughout a child’s life. However, to master the different levels of any martial art you’ve got to have physical and mental discipline. Martial arts give children practice using the body and mind in harmony.
  5. Endurance: Martial arts is a sport, you build strength and endurance.
  6. Leadership: Part of becoming a yellow, purple, blue, green, brown or black belt, and higher is teaching beginning students. Senior belt students are the role models of those below them.
  7. Health: We have an epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. Martial Arts is a great way to get moving and burn off calories.
  8. Fight in a Controlled Environment: Kids get the experience of fighting in a controlled environment where they don’t get hurt (too much). This makes them safer outside the dojo if they get into a fight as they understand fighting and how to control themselves and their opponent.
  9. Situational Awareness: Studying martial arts requires that you always be aware of your environment. This is an invaluable skill to have later in life for any number of daily adult tasks.
  10. Ability to Assess an Opponent: If you can determine that your opponent is weak in an area you can use that to your advantage in any hostile environment. This is an invaluable skill.

Getting your kids into Karate and Martial Arts is one of the greatest things we think you can do for your children. It gives so much to them that they can take with them when the leave the dojo or into their adult life. Contact Sensei Chris at the dojo to find out about our kids classes and give your child a head start in life skills.