Karate Training during COVID-19

This post’s title “Karate Training during COVID-19” is a statement, not a question. The day we had to close in March 2020 was also the day we began planning our virtual karate classes. Everything we had known for 22 years in business changed overnight. And so did we.

Our downloadable tutorials to help students learn at home were already produced. This was a huge bonus in keeping students training while we were all in quarantine. Once our online class schedule was developed, we were ready to begin teaching with ZOOM.

Training at home; pros and cons

The first hurdle we all faced was simply learning the technology. You might call the first few classes a comedy of errors. A lot of feet or noses on the screen. Audio, no audio. Bad lighting. You name it, we saw it. Because just about everything was being done online, we all learned very quickly!

Next, there were some students, or their parents, who simply did not want to take their karate lessons online. This was especially true for our Little Eagles® preschool program. Unfortunately there was nothing more we could offer for the majority of students in this group. Until now! Necessity is the mother of invention. Turning some of the cons of training at home into pros means we now offer even more opportunities for Bushido Karate training.

Turning cons into pros

Providing excellent and top-notch Karate training during COVID-19 meant that after learning the basics of ZOOM we had to know more. Breaking out classes into smaller groups, using multiple cameras to capture all angles, sharing our screen to review tutorials with students – we do it all.

Secondly, we had to listen to our student’s concerns. We realized our youngest group needed some hands-on guidance during virtual classes. Little Eagles® online classes are now “Kid’s & Caretaker’s” twice weekly sessions! Preschoolers participate in a half-hour class with their mom, dad, babysitter, grandma, grandpa – whoever is in charge!

Thirdly, some parent’s do not want their kids to participate in online classes nor do they feel safe enrolling their children in public in-person classes. We had lost many students for exactly those reasons. Because they know the importance of physical exercise and social interaction, it was important to include extracurricular activities during the week. By offering to teach these small, private groups safely in their home we were able to provide the kids with much needed activity. In turn, we were able to enroll new students.

Lastly, and until we think of something new, we knew Karate training during COVID-19 was the perfect time to bring back the BEST training. Those of you who have been with us since the beginning (1998!) will forever remember Bushido’s Extreme Student Training, or B.E.S.T. Weekends. Fitness events in the great outdoors! Now it is even more relevant to a) be outside and b) be active. Bushido’s Extreme A**-kicking Strength Training – B.E.A.S.T. -fitness bootcamp gives you both! Our first B.E.A.S.T. BOOtcamp is on Halloween, October 31st. Adult’s deserve a treat – 2020’s been a BEAST!

You find what you look for

When most people think of karate, or martial arts, certain images might come to mind. If those images were translated to words they might include strong, determined, focused, resilient, courageous and tenacious. The list goes on and on with positive character traits. No doubt this pandemic has affected us all in one way or another, or in every way imaginable. We don’t have a vaccine because nobody was looking for one. Scientists will have a vaccine in the future because now they are looking for it.

We never stopped looking for ways to teach our students. If we had looked for disappointment when we were forced to leave White Plains, we would have found it. Had we looked for excuses to stop educating, we would have found them. Failing to plan is planning to fail. That is not who we are. Our loyal students deserve the very best we have to give them. We will continue to look for opportunities that will contribute to their strength, determination, focus, resilience, courage and tenacity! OSU

Students of Bushido Karate

Who is in the spotlight this week?

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

The spotlight is on Adriana!

Adriana is 8 years old, is in 2nd grade and is currently a yellow belt at The Bushido School of Karate. She began her training with us in August 2018.

Bushido Karate makes me feel: strong My favorite part of class is: learning the yellow belt form I like to learn: kicks and punches

– Adriana, age 8

(The best thing about training at The Bushido School of Karate) is the discipline they teach; they have a lot of fun. Adriana is always happy and ready for her classes. (We chose Bushido Karate ) first for the flexibility of the schedule and for the good recommendations. As parents we are very happy that our children love the classes. We think it is an excellent school!

– Adriana’s mom
Student spotlight is on Adriana
March 11th, 2020

Students of Bushido Karate

Who is in the spotlight this week?

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

The spotlight is on Kaiden!

Kaiden is 6 years old, is in 1st grade and is currently a yellow belt at The Bushido School of Karate. He began his training with us in July 2016 in our Little Eagles Martial Arts® program. Kaiden graduated into our Kid’s Beginner Karate program in November 2017 and has been moving up ever since!

Bushido Karate makes me feel: strong My favorite part of class is: games I like to learn: kicks

– Kaiden, age 6
young karate student balancing on a ball
Kaiden was a Little Eagle’s student in April 2017

We joined the Bushido Karate family 4 years ago when Kaiden was 2 years old. I remember the first time we visited Sempai Burrell and Sensei Schwartz made us feel so welcomed. The staff has always been so positive and alre always challenging Kaiden to become his best version and we love that!

Training at Bushido Karate has been an amazing experience. From the moment Kaiden started in Little Eagles with Sensei Schwartz we have seen tremendous growth. Kaiden is now a confident, disciplined little boy!

– Kaiden’s mom
Spotlight on Kaiden
February 26, 2020

Inspiration to persevere!

At one time or another each of us needs a reminder of why we need to keep going, no matter what it is. For those of us in the martial arts, it usually involves testing for the next belt. Eventually it means testing for a black belt.

A little while ago we posted 10 great motivating quotes about discipline. A student just will not get to the level of black belt without discipline. That’s why black belts are held in high esteem; most people know it involves mental discipline.

With our black belt test a little over a month away, we thought this was a good time to remind us all of why we start something in the first place!

10 Fantastic Quotes on Perseverance

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. –Albert Einstein

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas A. Edison

You just can’t beat the person who never gives up. – Babe Ruth

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. – Harriet Beecher Stow

What holds you back is not what you think you are. It’s what you think you aren’t. -Unknown

Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway. -Unknown

Keep going, because you did not come this far just to get this far. -Unknown

If you’re going through hell, keep going. –Winston Churchill

Don’t count the days. Make the days count –Muhammed Ali

Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other. –Carlos Castaneda

Keep on keeping on, OSU

Is board breaking important in martial arts? Part II

We’ll continue where we left off in “Is board breaking important in the martial arts? Part I”. This post will cover some practical reasons for board breaking, and some intangible results, too!

We explained about confidence, technique, focus and speed in our first post. Now we’ll address how all that works together for self-defense.

Board breaking and self-defense

Imagine you repeatedly practice a front kick while holding onto a barre, kicking a heavy bag, and even against a partner while sparring. If you are “light” sparring that kick will be controlled and neither opponent may even be wearing protective gear. Harder sparring will undoubtedly mean full protective gear, including a chest protector. If you land a front kick right into your opponent’s belly, he or she will feel it, but not as much as they would without a chest protector!

Sparring also implies a mutual understanding between partners. Students are usually paired with an equally trained partner. And with consideration given to age, weight and height. That is not the case in self-defense.

Self-defense is not mutual, and never pre-arranged. Self-defense must be fast and effective the first time. A combination of confidence, technique, focus and speed are absolutely necessary for succesful self-defense. The simulation of being attacked and having to defend oneself is rarely, if ever, achieved in a controlled environment like a karate class. So how does a student know if that front kick will work when landed effectively in a self-defense situation? Board breaking.

Practical reasons

Obviously, seeing a bunch of broken boards surrounding you is a tangible result! This gives a student better understanding of the power contained in that front kick. Having the ability to control that power is learned when more than one board is being broken in one front kick.

Beginner students always start with one technique, and one board. Progressing through the belt ranks means more boards and more techniques. Compare two adult students of the same age, but one being a white belt and the other a brown belt. You would see a noticeable difference in not only the ease of the technique but in the complete body control of each student. The white belt may exert excessive power to break one board, while the brown belt is able to know exactly how much power needs to be generated to break one board. Crucial differences when it comes to effective self-defense. Self-defense is about “one and done”.

Those are some of tangible and easily seen benefits and results of board breaking. But there is more. Much more!

Intangible results

There are countless intangible results from board breaking! Student’s lacking confidence suddenly find self-esteem after having the courage to break their first board; pushing themselves out of their comfort-zone to break more boards with one technique; Learning to support fellow students who may struggle with board breaking. And on and on and on.

Stop placing limits on yourself

For me personally, I remember three defining moments involving board breaking. The first was when I succesfully performed a “double kick” ; one board broken with a right leg front kick, the other broken with a left leg front kick, simultaneously. That’s when I realized if stop applying limits to my ability – like I was able to do in that moment – I could accomplish anything.

Get out of your comfort zone

The second defining moment was when I was able to break three boards with a spinning back kick. That was my weakest kick, I loathed that kick! I was trembling with fear and anticipated failure, then something clicked. I visualized it, I commanded it, and I did it. Moving out of my comfort zone was scary as hell but it was then I learned that there is more comfort in accomplishment than always playing it safe.

Never underrate being supportive

My final moment of life-changing board breaking came at my test for 1st degree black belt. I had to perform a three-station break in rapid succession. I got through the first two without a hitch. The third one was a jump front kick at chin height. This was a technique I was very comfortable with and had performed succesfully many times before. But not this time. I tried once – “clunk”. I tried again – “thud”. There was only one more chance left to break this board or my test was over! Through an audience of about 200 people I could spot my fellow students who had come to show their support. I saw their look’s of concern and anticipation. I felt their support and confidence in me.

It was that energy that helped me smash through that board on my final attempt. The crowd cheered and I looked around to see my fellow students hugging each other, jumping up and down, shouting their happiness. BEST FEELING EVER.

Inspiring Discipline

Inspiring discipline is one of the roles of a great martial arts teacher. The quotes that follow will speak to just about every human being, from every walk of life and with varying interests.

Making resolutions can be premeditated failures if they are not accompanied by purpose and direction. Someone trying to quit smoking, for example, might have better health as their purpose. Speaking to a health care provider and choosing a method of quitting is the direction he or she has chosen. Now, the wanna-be-ex-smoker must have the discipline to do it!

The 10 quotes we have chosen are meant to motivate and inspire you to KEEP GOING . Whether its quitting smoking, losing weight, working-out, learning a new hobby, going to bed earlier…know your purpose, have direction and have the discipline to see it through!

10 Fantastic Quotes on Discipline

Even as you make progress, you need the discipline to keep from backtracking and sabotaging the success as it’s happening. –Nipsey Hussle

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment. –Jim Rohn

It’s absolutely true that unless you can instill discipline upon yourself, you will never be able to lead others. –Zig Ziglar

At the center of bringing any dream into fruition is self-discipline. –Will Smith

Discipline is just choosing between what you want now, and what you want most. -Unknown

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. -Jim Rohn

Through self-discipline comes freedom. -Aristotle

Success doesn’t just happen. You have to be intentional about it, and that takes discipline. –John C. Maxwell

Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power. –Clint Eastwood

Discipline strengthens the mind so that it becomes impervious to the corroding influence of fear. –Bernard Law Montgomery

Keep on keeping on, OSU