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Is kata, or form, important to martial arts training?

What is kata?

Simply speaking, kata is a choreographed series of movements against an imaginary opponent. In Americanized styles of martial arts you will hear kata referred to as “form”.  In our style we speak English and our kicks, stances, punches and techniques have Americanized names.  This does not change the execution, simply the command given and the name of the form.

Forms are memorized and practiced over and over. The beginner form, or White Belt Form, puts together 3 techniques into a basic combination. As students are more proficient in their training, the forms for each belt become more difficult and demand more intensity.

How does practicing forms help a martial artist in their training?

This is where the topic becomes a little argumentative. Critics  claim that forms are an antiquated waste of time.  Citing they are not practical for self-defense, and certainly play no part in sparring. As mentioned above, forms are a choreographed series of movements against an imaginary opponent. Real and effective defense cannot be learned from an imaginary opponent!

On the contrary, the argument for teaching and learning forms involves a physical and mental aspect. In addition to a solid curriculum of effective self-defense skills involving karate and BJJ, sparring and grappling, we teach forms at every level in a student’s training; from beginner to expert levels.

Reasons forms are an integral part of our training

  • Forms are executed alone, or with a group. The timing, or cadence, should remain the same every time. However, if one student falls behind, all students wait for him or her to catch up. It teaches how to be supportive.
  • Forms are taught in segments, and broken down to the simplest level for the newest student. This means that the rest of the group learns at the pace of the lowest ranking student. Teaching patience is great character building.
  • Students are required to hold positions that are physically demanding. Seeing muscles begin to shake from pushing our bodies to their limits builds our minds and our bodies.
  • Combinations of kicks, blocks and strikes found throughout forms further serve to strengthen our muscle memory for use in sparring and self-defense.
  • Forms  executed properly generate an intensity and focus that does not allow for interference. You enter a zone of full mind and body control. After you’ve done a 3-minute form, you’re drenched in sweat and want to do it again even sharper.  It is an awesome workout for every inch of your body. Improved muscle mass and cardiovascular health increase your sparring, grappling and self-defense ability. And the circle of training continues….

Forms can be learned online

Benefits for our students

While you won’t earn a black belt online with us, we do offer online training tutorials. If you are our student, they are invaluable for practicing correctly. We expect all students to practice at home – but only if he or she wants to be better! Having a Bushido Karate instructor demonstrate the proper way to execute techniques is the best way to “get it right!”. Our tutorials  are broken down into easy-to-follow mini-lessons, and can be viewed as many times are your heart desires.

Benefits for non-students, too!

Our forms tutorials are a fantastic way to get in awesome shape. Performing each move and technique with tension in the beginning and with explosive energy when you get better and better – it’s a muscle-toning, calorie-burning, cardiovascular blast!

Martial Arts Fitness

Check out our FREE Martial Arts Fitness series for kicks, punches and brain-training that will give you a martial arts based workout with a kickboxing feel! Quick videos get you moving and offer combinations that are easy-to-learn and fun to do!

 

 

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Small Group Training comes to Bushido Karate!

jair DeOliveira business card

First session begins September 10th

Certified Personal Trainer and Bushido Karate student Jair C. De Oliveira Jr. will hold his first session on Monday, September 10th at 9:30 a.m. The Bushido School of Karate is so pleased to add Small Group Training, or SGT, to our schedule of classes.

Jair DeOliveira

jair DeOliveira business card
Small Group Training              Monday & Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Register for your first Small Group Training session

Small Group Training means that the class size has to be limited;  Jair wants to be sure all clients are getting the attention each deserves. All levels are welcome in this conditioning-based circuit-training format. It’s helpful if you register for your first session in advance, and you can do that right here!
“YES! I want to be a part of SGT on Monday, September 10th at 9:30 a.m. I understand there is a charge of $15.00 which is payable in person before the session begins”.

If you have questions about SGT, or are interested in the other fitness services offered by Jair, you can contact him at (914) 803-5301 or at DEOLIVEIRAJA84@GMAIL.COM
  • Certified Personal Trainer

  • Corrective Exercise Specialist

  • Functional Specialist

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Martial arts has been shown to improve a person’s emotional wellbeing

“As well as increasing physical fitness and mental health, martial arts can boost brain cognition too”

This is a fantastic article recently published by Ashleigh Johnstone a PhD researcher in cognitive neuroscience at Bangor University. This article was originally published on The Conversation (theconversation.com). 

We are all aware that exercise generally has many benefits, such as improving physical fitness and strength. But what do we know about the effects of specific types of exercise? Researchers have already shown that jogging can increase life expectancy, for example, while yoga makes us happy.

However, there is one activity that goes beyond enhancing physical and mental health – martial arts can boost your brain’s cognition too.

Researchers say that there are two ways to improve attention, through attention training (AT), and attention state training (AST). AT is based on practising a specific skill and getting better at that skill, but not others – using a brain training video game, for example.

​AST on the other hand is about getting into a specific state of mind that allows a stronger focus. This can be done by using exercise, meditation or yoga, among other things.

It has been suggested that martial arts is a form of AST, and supporting this, recent research has shown a link between practice and improved alertness. Backing this idea up further, another study showed that martial arts practice – specifically karate – is linked with better performance on a divided attention task.

This is an assignment in which the person has to keep two rules in mind and respond to signals based on whether they are auditory or visual.

In a US study, children aged between eight and 11 years old were tasked with traditional martial arts training that focused on respecting other people and defending themselves as part of an anti-bullying programme. The children were also taught how to maintain a level of self-control in heated situations.

The researchers found that the martial arts training reduced the level of aggressive behaviour in boys, and found that they were more likely to step in and help someone who was being bullied than before they took part in the training.

Significant changes were not found in the girls’ behaviour, potentially because they showed much lower levels of physical aggression before the training than the boys did.

Interestingly, this anti-aggression effect is not limited to young children. A different piece of research found reduced physical and verbal aggression, as well as hostility, in adolescents who practised martial arts too.

Some forms of martial arts, such as tai chi, place great emphasis on controlled breathing and meditation. These were strongly linked in one study with reduced feelings of stress, as well as being better able to manage stress when it is present in young to middle-aged adults.

This effect has also been found in older adults – the 330 participants in this research had a mean age of 73 – too. And the softer, flowing movements make it an ideal, low-impact exercise for older people.

As several scientists are now looking into the links between emotional wellbeing and physical health, it’s vital to note that martial arts has been show to improve a person’s emotional wellbeing too.

In the study linked above, 45 older adults (aged 67-93) were asked to take part in karate training, cognitive training, or non-martial arts physical training for three to six months.

The older adults in the karate training showed lower levels of depression after the training period than both other groups, perhaps due to its meditative aspect. It was also reported that these adults showed a greater level of self-esteem after the training too.

After comparing a sedentary control group with a group of people doing karate, Italian researchers found that taking part in karate can improve a person’s working memory. They used a test that involved recalling and repeating a series of numbers, both in the correct order and backwards, which increased in difficulty until the participant was unable to continue.

The karate group were much better at this task than the control group, meaning they could recall longer series of numbers. Another project found similar results while comparing tai chi practice with “Western exercise” – strength, endurance and resistance training.

Evidently, there is far more to martial arts than its traditional roles. Though they have been practised for self-defence and spiritual development for many hundreds of years, only relatively recently have researchers had the methods to assess the true extent of how this practice affects the brain.

-End of article-

CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY®

The Bushido School of Karate offers karate classes for all ages, including Little Eagles Martial Arts for toddlers.   In addition to in-person training you can learn and benefit from the brain-boosting  techniques by learning online!
For our students, and those looking to learn Beginner Level Bushido Karate, our online tutorials  provide everything you need to be better.  If you prefer basic tutorials for more of a “kickboxing feel” with complete explanations of moves and simple brain-training combinations, check out our Martial Arts Fitness series on YouTube.
Osu, keep on keeping on
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Fitness: Studies Show You Only Need to Exercise This Many Minutes a Day For Better Health

funny fitness meme

We’re getting ready to film the last 2 episodes of Series 2 in CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY® Martial Arts Fitness by Bushido Karate. The last 2 episodes will be during a class and will involve all the techniques covered so far. View all episodes in about an hour and you’ll be ready to start kicking!

I thought this article recently published in popsugar.com was a perfect fit for our Martial Arts Fitness video’s. All of our workouts can be done in a half-hour, or you can make them longer! By adding workouts together you can easily get a longer session to burn calories and build muscle.

We’ve been conditioned to think if we can’t get a solid 30-minute workout in a day, it’s a waste of our time, and this is especially true from former athletes who spent hours exercising per day in their youth. What can 15 minutes a day really do? The answer is a lot.

A small study by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center showed that a group of 464 women who walked 72 minutes a week for six months had improved heart health and fitness. Seventy-two minutes in a week is just over 10 minutes in a day — that’s it! The women who were picked for the study were all considered overweight or obese and did not exercise prior to their participation.
In addition to this study’s findings, it’s important to note that just 10-15 minutes of strength training or cardiovascular exercise can burn 100 calories or more depending on intensity. One-hundred extra calories a day is approximately one pound a month, or 12 pounds a year, you’re keeping off your body.

Don’t forget you also burn calories after you’re done working out. We all know you burn calories while you exercise, but you also burn a fair amount of calories recovering from exercise. In fact, your metabolism can be elevated from 24 to 72 hours after a workout. This mostly occurs when you complete interval or high-intensity exercise. The higher your heart rate during exercise (even small bursts of elevated heart rate), the more it helps with the “after burn” of additional calories. By exercising more frequently, you keep your metabolic rate constantly elevated, making it easier to stay in a healthy BMI range.

Another thing to note is frequent short workouts may lessen injury risk. Trained athletes may be able to handle two-hour runs or bike rides, but the average person is going to face extreme muscle soreness and fatigue if they extend their workouts too long. Fatigued muscles are more prone to acute and chronic injuries. Injuries and soreness are listed among the top factors for people who don’t exercise. By building in frequent short workouts, you may lower your injury risk and raise your chances of getting into a consistent workout schedule.

Written by Laura Arndt,  published June 12, 2018 in popsugar.com

Osu, keep moving!

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Martial Arts Fitness Series 2, Episode 4

This episode of CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY® Martial Arts Fitness by BUSHIDO KARATE gets us down on the ground for some complementary ab and booty toning.

You already have a 6-pack

Whether you’re in it for over-50 functional maintenance or taking it to a more intense level, your abdominal muscles always need attention. They hold us up, assist in just about every movement and it’s where we see that coveted 6-pack. Did you know you already have a 6-pack? It’s there alright – it’s just hiding. In order to hit those particular muscles (rectus abdominus) you need to get in some specific movements. I cover that in this episode.

An 8-pack is 2 more than a 6-pack

Your “lower ab’s” that add that extra 2 are actually the same as your “upper ab’s”. They are all part of the rectus abdominus.  But your lower abdomen is usually overlooked in fitness and that 8-pack seems so elusive. It’s really not. With some targeting to that area you will develop those lower muscles, too. I show you a certain type of sit-up for that. And OMG – you will feel it.

It’s all about that bass

 

So we like to look just as good going as we do coming. It IS all about that bass! There are tons and tons of ways to sculpt and define that booty. Machines can get you there, but I believe in using your own body to get in the best shape. The exercise I cover in this episode is great because -as you’ll see in an upcoming episode – there are variations. A whole class can be doing basically the same move with varying degrees of difficulty.  Start here, with CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY Martial Arts Fitness Series 2, Episode 4 by BUSHIDO KARATE.

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Martial Arts Fitness Series 2, Episode 4

This episode of CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY® Martial Arts Fitness by BUSHIDO KARATE gets us down on the ground for some complementary ab and booty toning.

You already have a 6-pack

Whether you’re in it for over-50 functional maintenance or taking it to a more intense level, your abdominal muscles always need attention. They hold us up, assist in just about every movement and it’s where we see that coveted 6-pack. Did you know you already have a 6-pack? It’s there alright – it’s just hiding. In order to hit those particular muscles (rectus abdominus) you need to get in some specific movements. I cover that in this episode.

An 8-pack is 2 more than a 6-pack

Your “lower ab’s” that add that extra 2 are actually the same as your “upper ab’s”. They are all part of the rectus abdominus.  But your lower abdomen is usually overlooked in fitness and that 8-pack seems so elusive. It’s really not. With some targeting to that area you will develop those lower muscles, too. I show you a certain type of sit-up for that. And OMG – you will feel it.

It’s all about that bass

 

So we like to look just as good going as we do coming. It IS all about that bass! There are tons and tons of ways to sculpt and define that booty. Machines can get you there, but I believe in using your own body to get in the best shape. The exercise I cover in this episode is great because -as you’ll see in an upcoming episode – there are variations. A whole class can be doing basically the same move with varying degrees of difficulty.  Start here, with CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY Martial Arts Fitness Series 2, Episode 4 by BUSHIDO KARATE.