What I Wish My Kickboxing Students Knew When They First Started

Kickboxing Students

Ah. Kickboxing… Gruesome pain and broken bones. Jean Claude Van Dam. Blood Sport. Fights to death… These are some of the misconceptions people have when they hear the term “kickboxing.”

So what is kickboxing exactly? What’s involved? Do you have to fight someone? Will you get really hurt working out?

I’m a kickboxing instructor who has heard all these questions and more from my kickboxing students. So I thought I’d share 5 things you should know when first starting out on your kickboxing endeavor.

1. No, you do not have to fight someone.
When people first hear about kickboxing classes they think, ”oh that’s exactly what I see in the movies.” They would actually visualize guys and girls fighting each other in the ring within fitness gyms and centers. They are very wrong. In fact, most of the time the classes offered consist of intense, calorie-burning workout sessions conducted WITHOUT physical contact. You DON’T have to fight anyone! If you’re hesitant to take a kickboxing class because you’re scared you’ll have to take physical abuse from another person, don’t be. The kickboxing classes that many studios offer prioritize the fitness aspect of the workout without making students spar each other. Being educated and knowing what exactly kickboxing classes entail would have made many of my students start much earlier.

2. It’s not as hard as you think it is.

A while back a friend of mine learned that I was teaching kickboxing classes regularly and had asked me about a practice he had seen in a movie. He actually assumed that I had my students kicking trees with their shins to condition them. He also assumed that I had my students run 25 miles daily, as well as punch hanging carcasses of meat in a butcher shop. No. The classes that I was instructing required a lot of physical activity, but nothing like he described. I would call for many push-ups, sit-ups and things of that nature. I would teach beginners how to punch and kick properly, mostly on a heavy bag. Yes, in the beginning it will be difficult and tiring. But, overtime it becomes easier and many of my students began breezing through the workouts, having fun the more they progressed.

3. It’s not as easy as you think it is.

Many gyms offer cardio kickboxing classes where students do not use boxing gloves or heavy bags. They simply punch in the air. One of my students, whom we’ll call John, told me how he watched one such class, where the members were following dance-like motions that the instructor had them mimic. It looked easy, almost like a joke. No one was even breaking a sweat! So on John’s first day of my kickboxing class, he thought he would breeze through it. But after about an hour-long class, John was on the floor breathing heavily and sweating buckets. My class had kicked his butt! He struggled with the push-ups and he wasn’t kicking and punching the heavy bags properly, which made him a lot more tired than the other participants. This wasn’t some dance class as he had assumed it to be. He told me it was hard, but so rewarding. Like many others on their first day, John was addicted.

4. No, the instructor isn’t trying to kill you.
Looking back at that first class John had taken, he really thought that I was trying to kill him. I pushed and pushed and pushed him to do more. Although all instructors have a different style of teaching, mine seemed very “pushy” to John. He kept thinking, “Wow, calm down. Let me breathe a little.” When it was all said and done, I remember approaching John with the biggest smile, and I told him how proud I was of him. I praised him for his hard work and encouraged him to return. Everything I had said, worked. John pushed himself to a point he had never been before in his life and felt great about it. It was an amazing accomplishment for him. Although I seemed pushy at first, it was actually thoughtful encouragement I was inflicting. For John, it worked. It worked very well.

5. Yes, you will get addicted.

After John’s first class, he was instantly hooked. He told me that the workout was better than anything he had ever gone through. I taught him how to defend himself, all the while burning up to 800 calories per class. The more and more that John learned, the more and more his physical capacity enhanced. Not to mention he finally got a six-pack. His confidence grew so much since his first day. Each class I had presented something new and always left John and fellow students wanting more. John had always said that he wished he discovered kickboxing earlier. For John and many of my kickboxing students, it was life changing.

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3 Ways to Save on After-School Programs Costs

Save On After-School Programs

Looking for an after-school program for your child but concerned about costs?

Here are 3 ways to save on after-school programs:

1. Be aware of early registration deadlines

Many after-school programs increase their rates at certain times of the year. At Urban Martial Arts, for example, we always offer a discount to families who register for our karate after-school program before the end of September, and again in June for those who pre-register for the following year. Ask about these deadlines and be sure to register early to capitalize on the savings.

2. Look for programs that also offer enrichment activities

Just about every after-school program offers supervision for your child, along with time for snacks and homework. But some after-school programs also specialize in a certain enrichment activity. At Urban Martial Arts, for instance, our after-school program includes daily karate classes and an opportunity for students to work towards earning a black belt. If you find an after-school program that also offers specialized instruction in a sport or activity, you’ll cut down the costs of having to enroll your child in multiple programs.

3. Ask about late fees and penalties

One way parents end up spending too much money on after-school programs is by not being aware of the program’s policies. Most after-school programs will charge you a penalty if you pick your child up late. Many also charge a no-call fee if you forget to inform the program when your child is absent from school and doesn’t need to be picked up. And of course, you may incur late fees if you pay the program’s tuition late. So make sure you ask for a copy of the program’s policies and procedures, and be aware of all possible fees. At Urban Martial Arts we want to make sure parents avoid fees like this. That’s why during our enrollment process, we go over our policies line by line with parents, making sure there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.

There you have it. If you use these three tips to save on after-school programs, you’ll avoid having to pay more than you have to for after-school this year.

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Why You Don’t Go to Kickboxing Class As Much As You Should

Kickboxing Class

After looking at fitness inspirational quotes and weight loss success photos on websites like Pinterest, a lot of us have a sudden urge to get fit in order to get our dream body. However, after a few workout sessions, many of us can lose motivation and go back to the status quo. We all know that fitness is a journey, but certain factors tend to get in the way of our workout session. Here are several reasons why you don’t go to kickboxing class as much as you should:

1. Lack of motivation
If you’re losing motivation for your fitness journey, try getting a workout buddy to go kickboxing with you, so that you can both motivate each other on your off days. Instead of thinking of exercise as a boring and mundane activity, you can view it as a fun social activity with your workout body. Sometimes we just need a little push to be motivated – it’s all in your head anyway!

2. Lack of time
The lack of free time tends to be one of the most common excuses, as we tend to blame it on our busy work life or active social life. However, kickboxing is a relatively short workout session, as it takes less than an hour of your life. In order to slowly ease into your workout schedule, try leaving an hour of free time after work or during weekends to go to kickboxing classes. Once you get used to making free time for exercise, it’ll become a priority in your schedule.

3. Busy social life
Other than work, social life tends to get in the way of workout sessions – after all, who wants to stay in on a Friday night and wake up early for kickboxing class the next day? While it is important to have work-life balance, try going to kickboxing classes on non-peak socializing days, such as Monday nights after work. Other than keeping fit, you can kick the Monday blues away!

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Brooklyn Queens Day Camp – June 4, 2015

Mega Fun Day Blog

There’s no better place for a kid to be on the Brooklyn Queens Day holiday than at our Mega Fun Day!

Your child will experience non-stop action, excitement, and fun.

Just have a look at what we’re packing into one day!

  • Dodgeball tournament
  • Nerf gun wars
  • Wii boxing challenge
  • Arts & crafts
  • Karate class
  • and much, much more!

It’s $79 for the day. Save your spot with just $50 down and pay rest by June 3rd.

Spaces are going to fill up fast, so register today!

Click here to pay $50 to save your spot
or
Click here to pay the $79 in full

The activities will take place between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm, but you can drop off as early as 8 am and pick up as late as 6 pm.

All you need to do is pack a lunch, a water bottle, and two snacks. Everything else is included!

Questions? Just call 718-287-5500.

How to Prepare Your Child for a Great Summer Camp Experience

How to Prepare Children for Kids Summer Camps

Since children get such a long summer break, many parents like to enroll their children in kids summer camps to make sure that they have a fun and fulfilling vacation.

If it’s your child’s first time going to summer camp, they’re bound to have some questions or concerns. Here are five ways parents can get their children ready for summer camp activities:

1. Give your child a preview of camp

We all need to be mentally prepared to face new things in life, and the same goes for children. Give them a taste of what to expect at summer camp by showing them brochures, the website and online videos. Once they see how happy the children are and how much fun they’re having, they’ll be more excited about summer camp.

2. Meet with the camp organizer

If possible, have a meet and greet with the organizer to get your child familiar with the adults there. Other than giving them a chance to see that the camp organizer is friendly and not a mean person, it is also a great way to share your child’s specific needs (phobias, allergies) with the camp organizer. The more the camp organizer knows about your child, the better they can make your child’s experience.

3. Show faith in your child’s abilities

We all get a little scared sometimes. If your child is afraid of meeting new people or participating in group activities, don’t criticize those fears. Instead, give kids the tools they need to develop confidence to handle problems. This is a good life lesson. As your child grows up, they’ll need to learn to face their fears in the future. Even if they get scared at summer camp, they’ll remember their parent’s unconditional support and faith in them.

4. Tell your child what to expect at camp

Other than giving them a preview of the summer camp activities, you can go into further details by selling the “fun” element of summer camp. You can tell them about how there will be a range of activities, and that they’ll get a chance to make new friends and have fun together. After all, what child doesn’t like to have fun?

5. Tell your child it’s all part of growing up

Preparing your child for summer camp is also a great lesson for them in growing up. Since parents won’t be there to watch or guide them during summer camp, they can develop important qualities like independence, cooperation, and teamwork. At kids summer camps, they’ll learn that parents can’t always be there for them and that they need to learn to fend for themselves.

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What to Wear for Kickboxing Class

What to Wear for Kickboxing

We all need a little motivation for exercise from time to time, especially on our “off” days. Some people turn to a workout buddy, while others look at photos of their dream body. But sometimes all you need is some new workout gear to get remotivated. If you’re wondering what to wear for kickboxing class, here are a few items we recommend for this intense workout:

1. Sweatpants

Other than lounging, sweatpants are great for working out because they’re easy to move around in and the material will make you sweat out all those extra calories. Since you’ll be doing a lot of kicking in class, make sure your sweatpants aren’t too loose so that they don’t drop down while you’re doing kick routines.

2. T-shirts

Due to the high intensity of the workout, it is normal to sweat a lot during kickboxing. If you feel embarrassed by visible sweat stains from cotton tshirts, opt for sweat absorbent or moisture wicking t-shirts.These t-shirts are designed to pull moisture away, so that you feel dry while you’re working out.

3. Muay Thai shorts

If you really want to feel like a fighter while kickboxing, muay thai shorts are the way to go. These shorts are generally made of silk material, but they come in different colours and sizes, and you can even customize the design if you order them online. Bonus: muay thai shorts also make for comfortable sleepwear.

4. Ankle supports

Ankle supports are more than a fashion accessory – they provide support and help protect the delicate skin on your instep, which can easily get red and sore if you’re not used to kicking in that area.

5. Wraps

If you want extra support during kickboxing class, you can also get handwraps to protect your hands and wrists against injuries. Since you wear gloves while punching in class, your hands are already protected, but if you want extra protection you can use handwraps to prevent punching bag burns.

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5 Ways Summer Camp Will Help Your Child Unplug and Reconnect

5 Ways Summer Camp Will Help Your Child Unplug and Reconnect

Since we live in the age of technology, we often worry whether our children will become too obsessed with gadgets and forget about the joy of interacting with others. In the good old days, childhood was all about running around and playing with other children outdoors, but nowadays most children prefer to stay at home and play video games.

If you want your child to unplug this summer, here are five ways summer camp helps your child reconnect with the real world:

1. Participating in group activities

Children can enjoy group activities, instead of spending time alone all the time. Summer camp includes a range of fun and fulfilling activities that help children bond and become good friends. Other than social interaction, group activities help children learn how to co-operate and compromise with others.

2. Running around outdoors

Instead of staying indoors all day, children can take advantage of the fresh air and sunny weather during summer camp. Unplugging from technology has great benefits for children, as it helps them stay present and active. It also teaches them that running around outdoors with other children can be as fun and exciting as videogames.

3. Talking instead of texting

Although texting has become the communication norm in our society, children should learn to talk to each other in real life instead of texting all day. Face-to-face interaction will help them improve their communication skills, since texting can affect children’s expressions and emotions.

4. Having fun in the offline world

Sometimes children can get lost in virtual reality and use it as a form of escape from the real world. In order for them to stay present in real life and enjoy it, they should learn to have fun in the offline world. Since summer camp consists of fun and fulfilling group activities, this will help children learn the simple joys of real life.

5. Socializing with other kids

If your child is too immersed in the world of technology, they will gradually forget how to interact and socialise with other children. In order to avoid this phenomenon, summer camp can help your child socialize with other children, as they participate in group activities and spend a large amount of time together.

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5 Misconceptions People Have About Summer Camp

Misconceptions About Camp Blog

If your child has never been to summer camp, you may have a doubt or two on its benefits or effectiveness. Before you scratch summer camp off the list for good, here are a few misconceptions people have about summer camp:

1. The best camp is the most expensive one

It is human nature to assume that we must pay a highest possible price for quality, but this isn’t exactly the case for summer camp. Instead of looking for the fanciest or most expensive summer camp for your child, you should find one that suits your child’s personality or areas of development. Other than price, location, course details and duration are also factors to consider when picking out the ideal summer camp.

2. My child must go with a friend to summer camp

A new and foreign environment may seem terrifying for your child, but just like school, your child will make friends in a short time. If your child goes with a close friend to summer camp, this may hinder their chance in making new friends, as they’ll stick together in their comfort zone and may alienate other children.

3. My child is too young for camp

Some parents may have the misconception that their child is too young for camp, but the fact is that there is a wide range of summer camp options for various ages. Instead of focusing on the age of your child, you should instead focus on the activities of the summer camp and whether these activities are suitable for your child’s age group.

4. Not every child is cut out for camp

Parents may assume that their quiet and shy children aren’t cut out for camp, but summer camp helps children develop certain skills, such as leadership and independence. Playing with large groups of children might be out of your child’s comfort zone, but your child will gradually adapt to the changes and become more social in the end.

5. I can start planning in spring

Popular summer camps fill up early in the year, so it’s never too early to start planning a fun and fulfilling summer holiday for your child. Instead of finding a random summer camp as a last minute resort, parents should carefully consider their options and decide whether their children will benefit from the chosen summer camp.

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3 Small Kickboxing Tweaks That Lead to Big Results

3 Small Kickboxing Tweaks Blog

If you’re going to kickboxing classes regularly, you may already feel stronger and leaner. Paired with good quality sleep and eating right, this should maximize your exercise results. Leading a healthy lifestyle is important, but sometimes all you need are a few simple tweaks to significantly improve your results. Here are three small adjustments to common kickboxing exercises that lead to big results.

1. The push-up

Some people tend to get lazy with push-ups and simply do it on their knees or only go halfway down. However, doing push-ups correctly will significantly improve your exercise results, as this will help you build strength in the targeted muscle areas. In order to do a correct push-up, you should go all the way down to the ground, until your chest is inches from the floor. Pause for a second when you’re down, then slow press back up and repeat the routine.

2. The crunch

Another exercise we do often during the warm-up of kickboxing class is the crunch. Some people just want to get it over with quickly, so they end up using the back of their heads to pull themselves up instead of their ab muscles. If order to reap the full benefits of crunches, you should focus on squeezing your abs and let your body slowly rise up and down. Once you use the correct form, you’ll see big results.

3. The squat

We do a lot of squats during the warmup segment of kickboxing class because it works so many muscles at once. But a mistake that many people make is not going down far enough. If you want a round and tight booty, make sure you squat all the way down to the ground instead of halfway. When you’re close to the floor, make sure you pause for a second or two to hold the squat before you come back up.

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5 Ways Summer Camp Will Help Your Child Succeed

feb sc article blog

If you don’t want your kid to become a couch potato and watch TV 12 hours a day, summer camp is a great way for your child to have fun, run around and mingle with other kids. Other than socializing and leading an active lifestyle, summer camp also helps your kid develop valuable life skills that will benefit them in the future. Here are 5 ways summer camp will help your child succeed:

  1. Get used to being more independent

When kids are taken out of their comfort zone, they learn to adapt to a new and unfamiliar environment. Since their parents aren’t there to protect them in summer camp (especially in sleepaway camps), they have to learn to fend for themselves. Becoming independent at a young age is a valuable life skill, as it will help your kid adapt quickly to changes and new environments, such as high school and college.

  1. Learn to work in a team environment

On the other hand, summer camp also teaches kids the importance of teamwork. As summer camp includes a range of group activities, kids have to learn to work with new friends and kids from different age groups. Even if they have different ideas and opinions, they learn to work together and compromise in order to achieve the end result.

  1. Boost their self-confidence

Learning a new skill or completing a new task can give kids a sense of accomplishment. At Urban Martial Arts, our karate sports summer camp helps boosts kids’ confidence, as karate is a new skill for most of them and they learn to conquer new challenges outside of the academic and social competition.

  1. Increase their self-esteem

If your kid suffers from low self-esteem, you should send them to a summer camp. As kids at summer camps are exposed to different personalities and age groups, this will help develop their interpersonal skills and hence build a higher sense of self-esteem. Once they learn how to interact with different kinds of people, they’ll no longer feel socially awkward or have a low self esteem.

  1. Learn to never give up

Sometimes kids require the support of other kids to develop perseverance. Encouragement from others in summer camps can help your kid develop this valuable life skill, as they will help motivate each other in completing challenging tasks. Once your child learns this valuable life skill, they’ll be able to develop perseverance internally and use it to get through challenges in life, such as studying for a difficult exam or learning to adapt to a new environment.

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