How to Prepare Your Child For Their First Karate Class

How to Prepare Your Child For Their First Karate Class

There’s always a first time for everything. Do you remember when it was your child’s first day of school? Their first time being away from you? Or even their first trip to a memorable place, like the zoo or amusement park. These are places and events that your child will react differently to. They can react by being scared, afraid of being alone, excited, happy, etc. The same goes for their first karate class. If you are a parent who just enrolled your child for karate classes, here’s how to prepare them for their first karate class.

1. Being nervous is OK
Let’s face it. Everyone gets nervous their first time doing anything. That shouldn’t be any different for your child. Remember that they’re going into a totally new environment different from what they’re used to. They’ll be dressed differently, see many different faces and will have a new authority figure. It’s OK for them to be nervous. Just like all their other first experiences, guide them through it successfully. If your child cries, that’s completely ok too. Don’t freak out. Freaking out and overreacting to your child crying will add fuel to the fire. Put your trust in the karate school and their instructors. Eventually your child will adapt to the change in environment and begin to have lots of fun.

2. Encourage but don’t push

Many parents are guilty of it. It’s natural to want your child in excel in everything they do. But there’s a thin line between healthy encouragement and pushing beyond reason. Remember that what your child may have seen on TV is very different from what they’ll experience in real life. It’s the same with karate classes. Yes they see many cool techniques and moves, but most of those techniques take time to learn and perfect. They won’t learn everything they see on TV overnight. Try not to be so hard on your kid if they don’t learn new things right away. Don’t push them so hard to the point where they’ll want to give up, being too afraid of failure or too afraid to disappoint you. Instead, give them healthy encouragement. Be their pillar of success. If they fall, be there to pick them up to try again. If they’re seemingly distraught during class, remind them how cool it was in the beginning and how they’ll practice to be perfect. Don’t push behind them, rather walk along side them and guide them through.

3. Be a cheerleader

It’s as simple as is sounds. Be a cheerleader. Be the best cheerleader for your child during and after class. Provide praise when things are done correctly and provide encouragement when they need a little boost. Remember that your child wants to please you in every way possible, especially during karate class. They are “on stage” and want you to be proud of them. When you’re cheering on your child, it gives them an incredible boost to their self-esteem. You’ll notice that they’ll want to try harder, practice more and attend class more often. So make it clear that you’re proud that they are trying their best learning new skills and a martial art. Most importantly, let them know that you’re proud of them.

It may seem simple enough, but often times many parents forget that learning and perfecting a martial art takes time. Don’t push your child too hard and discourage them. Healthy encouragement is key, and cheering them on will lead them to succeed. That’s how to prepare your child for their first karate class. Their first karate class may be frightening for them, but after a few times, it will be all fun.

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Here’s Exactly What to Eat to Achieve Any Kickboxing Goal


You are what you eat. Keep that in mind, always. Whether your goal is weight loss, strength, or endurance, nutrition plays a key factor. You can think of it like being a car. Ideally, your car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles to keep a healthy, functional engine. No oil changes equals a slow, malfunctioning engine. The same idea pertains to the food you eat, and how your body reacts to it. For the healthy, functional and responsive body that you’ll need for kickboxing, you want to eat nutritious, healthy foods. Sorry, but that does mean fewer cupcakes and french fries. Whether your goal is weight loss, endurance or strength, here’s exactly what to eat to achieve any kickboxing goal.

1. Weight loss

Here we’ll quickly remind you on what NOT to eat. Temptation is a hard battle when it comes to the comfort foods you love, but when it comes to your goals, you have to make a decision and stay committed. More than 75% of weight loss has to do with dieting and nutrition alone, not exercise. And that means it’s important to stick to your plan. Do NOT indulge in unnecessary sugars and calories by consuming things like heavy pasta sauces, brownies, or cookies. Instead, alternate your meals around lean proteins, lots of leafy greens, and plenty of water. For protein, eat skinless chicken or turkey, beans & lentils, nuts (almonds & cashews) and fish (wild salmon or tuna). Watch your portion size. You should be eating between 4 to 6 oz of lean protein at each meal. Loading up with healthy greens like kale, collard greens, swiss chards, and spinach will heavily assist with weight loss. They are low in calories and carbs, but high in fiber and incredibly nutritious. You’ll be providing your body with high sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And don’t forget to drink lots of water throughout the day to remain hydrated.

2. Endurance
This section is particularly important when it comes to kickboxing. Naturally you’ll need enough energy to sustain the intense workouts. You can’t expect to last long during training when you’ve just put away a double cheeseburger and fries. For a good source of energy that’ll help your body go through the workouts, you should have an intake of nutrient dense healthy carbs (energy). Instead of those French fries we all love, eat sweet potatoes. You also want to substitute your sides with beans and lentils, which contain complex carbs that’ll fill you up and keep you energized. They are also potent in protein and fiber. Having fruits will also provide you with quick sources of energy. Eat bananas, avocados and apples. They are naturally sweetened with fructose and balanced with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Lastly, eat whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa. Quinoa is rich in iron, magnesium and fiber, which will keep you energized. Oatmeal is also high in soluble fiber content and high in protein, antioxidants and minerals, which will provide a sustained release of energy that your body will need.

3. Strength
For greater strength, you want to feed your muscles. Since it’s a muscle-building agent, protein is the essential factor here. One of the best sources of protein is the egg. Eggs are considered to be the perfect protein that will help muscle cell membranes stay intact. Having two whole eggs in the morning is an excellent source of protein. Salmon is another food that’s rich in protein. It’s also high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. Eating salmon will help boost muscle growth and increase glucose as well as amino acid uptake, which is essential to developing strength. While salmon is a great source of healthy protein, skinless chicken and turkey are other lean meat alternatives that will provide the same benefits. Lastly, eat plenty of spinach. Spinach has an incredibly rich supply of antioxidants and ingredients that assists with muscle strength and size. As with weight loss, portion control is important. Try not to exceed 5 ounces of lean meat per serving. Also keep in mind that you’ll want to provide your body with nutrition and protein no longer than 30 to 40 minutes after your kickboxing workouts.

To summarize, eating lean meats for protein and leafy greens will generally assist will any kickboxing nutrition goal. You must keep you portions controlled for weight loss and stay away from tempting foods such as sweet treats and fried foods. Drink plenty of water and keep your body hydrated. Strength and endurance go hand in hand which will result from intake of healthy whole grains and lean protein. Stay the course and adhere to your dieting regime. Results come with consistency and dedication. Good luck on your journey to a healthier, leaner, stronger you.

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Urban Martial Arts Represents At The New York State Martial Arts Tournament 2015!

Congratulations to everyone who competed at The New York State Martial Arts Tournament 2015 in Islip Terrace, NY!

Great job, everybody! We look forward to seeing how you’ll do in the next tournament!

Interested in karate for kids in Brooklyn NY? Learn more about our program.

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Whiat Parrish (7-Under Intermediate Boys Sparring and Forms)
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Video from Our 2015 Halloween Party

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Halloween Party!

Joe the Magic Man put on an amazing performance as always, and our kids got to show off their dance moves.

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Karate Classes: Traditional Karate VS Sport Karate

Karate Classes Blog

Are you searching for a karate school for your child? Then you should know that broadly speaking, there are two different types of karate schools in the United States: traditional karate schools and sport karate schools like Urban Martial Arts. What’s the difference between traditional karate vs sport karate? This article will explain.

1. Training atmosphere and objective
One of the biggest differences has to do with the setting that you’ll be training in. Traditional karate school facilities are often minimalist studios without much in the way of fixtures or decorations. Classes are conducted on hardwood floors to mimic the way karate was traditionally taught throughout history in Japan. Most sport karate schools, on the other hand, conduct their classes on mats. Some use simple puzzle mats, similar to those you’d find in a daycare. Others, like Urban Martial Arts, use professional-grade mats just like those you’d find inside the cage at a UFC fight. Matted floors provide a safer training environment for students, especially when practicing rolls and throws.

2. Traditional forms vs open forms
At traditional karate schools, students learn forms (or kata) that have been passed down unchanged from generation to generation. These traditional forms never change over time. They consist of the exact same moves in the exact same sequence. At sport karate schools, on the other hand, students learn open forms. These forms evolve over time, and often include gymnastics-inspired techniques such as backflips and somersaults that wouldn’t be found in traditional kata.

3. Self-defense techniques
If you’ve ever watched archival footage of boxers fighting in the early part of the century, you’ll notice that their motions seem very rigid compared to contemporary boxers. The same type of difference can be seen in the self-defense techniques taught at traditional karate schools vs sport karate schools. At traditional schools, the self-defense techniques students learn have been passed down unchanged for generations. At sport karate schools, the self-defense techniques are designed for modern-day combat, so they are more fluid and reactive. Sport karate schools will sometimes even mix in techniques from other styles of martial arts, such as boxing or Brazilian jiujitsu, so that students can learn the most effective way to defend against common attacks, regardless of style.

Those are the major differences between traditional karate classes and sport karate classes. If you’re someone looking to discover deep cultural roots of the art of karate and can adhere to strict rules and guidelines, then a traditional school would be a good fit for you. If you’re someone looking to train in a more relaxed atmosphere with up-to-date techniques, then a sport karate school would be the ideal choice.

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Genius Kickboxing Technique You Should Be Doing Now

Genius KB Tech Blog

Kickboxing in itself is a very taxing activity. You give all you can during class and you’re left with nothing in the tank. But why are some days easier than others? Some days you feel strong while other days, you simply want to drop. The answer may have to do with the way you breathe. Having the ability to control your breathing properly will enhance your performance during training. Remember, your body needs that oxygen intake to continue the aggressive training and sometimes it’s easy to forget to breathe hold your breath while you perform techniques and combinations. Here are 3 steps to help you better control your breathing.

1. Say the word “house”
House? Sounds odd, but it will help you tremendously. Here’s why. Have you ever watched a professional boxing or kickboxing match and hear the competitors continuously grunt as they punch and kick? That grunt is actually a breathing method. By grunting as they attack or perform a technique, they are essentially exhaling, instead of holding in their breaths. It’s a memo to your brain that you have to breathe. Make sense? Now back to the word house. Say it. Say it loud and proud while you punch and kick. When you say the word house, you’re doing the same thing the professionals do as they grunt. You’re exhaling. Try it the next time you’re in class and you’ll notice that your breathing and energy level will improve. It may be silly at first, but it beats holding your breath.

2. Yell out any word you want
So you’ve tried saying the word house for while and it’s improved your breathing. You feel a lot better during training and you notice that things are getting a little easier to get through. But now, you’re getting strange looks from other trainees from time to time. People think you’re weird and maybe you want to change that. Here’s when you start saying any word you want while performing your techniques. The idea is to create that memo for your brain to remember to exhale and breath. Gradually move from saying the word “house” to saying anything that you can easily remember, and lock that into your muscle memory. People will often say or yell things such as “hi”, “ha”, “rock”, “bop”, “bah”, etc. The main point is that you let a breath out and exhale so that you aren’t restricting airflow in and out of your lungs. Holding your breath is the last thing you want to do while you punch, kick and perform combinations.

3. Simply grunt
By now you should be yelling the phrase of your choice as you perform techniques. Yelling should be second nature as you punch, kick and perform combinations. Your breathing is on point and the instructors aren’t yelling at you every other second to breathe. Great! Congratulate yourself, because you’re doing exactly what a professional athlete would do. Now, to continue your progress, you can stick to yelling your phrase of choice or simply gravitate towards grunting. The last step in this process is to simplify things. Instead of yelling words or phrases, gradually move on to grunting or exhaling your breath while you perform techniques. Those phrases you were used to yelling were meant only to act as a reminder and to train yourself on proper breathing patterns. Now that you’ve gotten used to it, move onto breathing out entirely by itself, but by all means stick to your phrase if you need to. Prime examples of what you’d expect to hear from professionals or more experienced trainees would be sounds such as “shhh” and “ssss”.

And there you have it. This simple but effective technique will help you enhance your training. A genius kickboxing technique if you will. Try step 1 for the first week and step 2 for the next 2 weeks after. Once you’re on week 3, your breathing patterns will have been dramatically improved as well as your overall ability to perform. Feel great, enjoy yourself and continue your success for a better, healthier you.

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Urban Martial Arts Represents At The Twin Towers Karate Tournament 2015!

Congratulations to everyone who competed at The Twin Towers Karate Tournament 2015 in Queens, NY!

Great job, everybody! We look forward to seeing how you’ll do in the next tournament!

Interested in karate for kids in Brooklyn NY? Learn more about our program.

Just $179 for 6 Weeks of Classes!

KarateKidsKickingGet 6 weeks of karate classes, plus a free karate uniform and T-shirt ($60 value) for just $179! Enter your email address below to see schedule and details.


Aaron Rice (12-13 Black Belt Boys Sparring)
Jaiden Paul (8-9 Intermediate Boys Sparring)
Whiat Parrish (7-Under Intermediate Boys Sparring and Weapons)
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5 Kickboxing Mistakes Even Veterans Make


Mistakes are common when it comes to kickboxing. You can’t expect perfection during every session and that goes for even the most experienced kickboxing practitioners. Here are 5 kickboxing mistakes even veterans make.

1. Neglecting to pivot your foot

When you throw a cross or hook, pivoting your foot enables your body to be in the proper position. This small but important motion is necessary for creating balance and ensures safety. Pivoting your foot also gives you the snap and power you want from your punches. If you’re neglecting your pivot, don’t fret. Even the most experienced kickboxers forget to pivot once in a while. One helpful tip is to pretend that your foot is the tip of a cigarette that you want to put out. You want to twist and push, as if you are putting out a cigarette.

2. Forgetting to breathe

Ever noticed that professional fighters often yell or grunt as they hit heavy bags? That’s not just for effect. Exhaling while you perform a technique is a breathing method that ensures you’re taking in oxygen as you punch and kick. Breathing is especially important during long combinations that require 3 or 4 punches followed by kicks, because it is easy to become exhausted without proper oxygen intake. Do you find yourself forgetting to breathe during combinations? Even veterans forget sometimes. It happens to everyone.

3. Not keeping your hands up
When you’re punching with proper technique, you punch with one hand while simultaneously guarding your head with the other hand. This is called “keeping your guard up.” Even veterans can sometimes forget to keep their hands up because they’re so focused on executing their punches. But even if you’re taking a fitness kickboxing class and there’s no one there to hit you back, it is essential to keep your hands properly guarding your face to ensure correct form and safety. Another factor to consider is dropping your hands after completing a combination. Often times, beginners and veterans will drop their hands after completing a combination or series of punches. Remember, it’s always a good idea to keep your defense and guard up. Be ready for everything, even in fitness kickboxing.

4. Taking too long of a break

Your body needs breaks in between workouts, especially one that is as intense as kickboxing. But often times, people will take too long of a break, including veterans. How long is too long? Usually a day or two is enough to recover from a grueling workout. But people sometimes take seven days to ten days off from training. That is the range for too long of a break. Anything past three days, and your body will begin to adapt to being dormant or not actively training, making it difficult to return to intense training. You get used to being too relaxed and will begin to deter yourself from training. This happens with veterans as often as it does with beginners. They will take a week off from training and return only to discover that their gains have been lost or have decreased dramatically. Aim to train at least 2 to 3 times a week to avoid taking too long of a break.

5. Having unrealistic goals
It’s easy for a beginner to have an unrealistic goal, simply because they don’t know any better. Beginners are starting from scratch so they don’t know what it takes or how long it takes to achieve certain goals. The veteran however, should know exactly what it takes, but where they make their unrealistic goal is within how long it takes. If a veteran has already lost 10 pounds, they may often assume that losing another 10 pounds will be easily done in a short period of time. Even with strength, a veteran may assume they will be stronger in too short of a time frame. Remember, veterans have already done the work. They know the routine and have already made their gains. Because they know the routine, they will assume further development will take the same amount of time, which may not always be the case. You should always have a realistic goal. Don’t expect to lose 10 pounds in one session and don’t expect to excel without coming to class often.

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How to Get The Most Out of Your Child’s After-School Program


After-school programs can be expensive. Your hard earned money should yield the most for you, which includes your child’s after-school program. Ideally, your child should be able to head into his or her program ready to participate in all activities, without issues. Here are 3 ways on how to get the most out of your child’s after-school program

1. Bring required equipment or materials each day

Equipment is likely the most important factor on this list. Simply put, your child may not be able participate in various programs without proper equipment. For example, here at Urban Martial Arts, our karate after-school program requires the children to wear karate uniforms. If a child does not have their uniform readily available, they cannot take class. It would be like a baseball player coming to a game without his bat or mitt. Having your child’s program equipment with them each day will ensure full participation, getting the best out of the program. You want your child out playing and participating, not sitting on the bench waiting to be picked up. Pack the equipment and have your child ready.

2. Let the program staff know of any special needs or sensitivities

Every child is an individual and has their own personality, including yours. Maybe your child dislikes a certain color or maybe he is very afraid of spiders. Whatever the case may be, these are issues you must let the program staff know about. A great example to use would be learning differences. If your child requires more specific attention, the staff must be aware. Perhaps he requires certain techniques that will help him get his homework done, let the staff know so they can be effective.

3. Allow your child ample time to grow

Your child needs time. Allow your child that time and don’t expect results to come overnight. Often times, parents are displeased with their children because of high expectations. Remember that your child is unique. Just because other children maybe be excelling faster doesn’t mean your child won’t. Here at Urban Martial Arts, our students are ranked according to skill set, knowledge of our art and time spent participating in our program. Not all of our students graduate to the next rank in the same time frame. If your child may be a little behind in learning a new skill, don’t be hard on them. Some children require a little more time and allowing them that time will result in greater outcomes. New skills take practice to perfect. Parents who speak on their displeasure are not aware that they may actually be deterring their children from continuing to like the program itself, pushing them away from wanting to continue. Allow your child to be themselves, have fun and grow.

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