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Got Lemons?

The course of our lives can be bumpy from time to time.  Few can say they’ve never had to negotiate a rough patch or two.  Sooner or later, things won’t go as planned, the expected reward is not as anticipated, and sometimes life just sucks.  No other way to put it. What’s that have to do with lemons?  Nothing much, other than it brings to mind that old saying… If life throws you lemons, Make lemonade.  That’s all well and good, and the meaning behind that phrase is fairly obvious…turn something not-so-good into something good.  Great.  What if you don’t like lemonade?  No, seriously.  If lemons are sour, lemonade is only the liquid form of that sour.  How is that an improvement?  Oh, sure.  Throw in lots and lots of sugar.  That’ll make is less sour.  But think about it.   Sugar is an additive.  You must actually have that ingredient to put into the mix. So when life sucks, what do you do if you don’t have an additive to make it less sucky?  That’s the question many struggle with on a daily basis.  And most do so quietly, falling further and further into despair.  It’s easy for those of us experiencing one of life’s better moments to say “just be patient, all will work out” which may be tough for the struggling person to hear.  And it may only add to their feelings of inadequacy and failure that they can’t seem to be patient. But how about this—“it’s all mental, just tell yourself to pull out of it, or get over it”.  You may think that little bit of tough love is […]
By |March 11th, 2023|karate, kung fu, martial arts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Got Lemons?

Setting Goals

Whether you dust off old goals and work to accomplish them….OR….you create new goals…it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you have something in mind to keep your motivation going. Keep your goals simple.  Keep them realistic.  Keep them measurable.  But keep them.  Do your best to meet them, and when you do, set new goals. Oh, and this is important.  Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed in all your goals.  Remember…they’re goals.  Something to strive for.  Something to celebrate when reached.  Something to reset if not reached.  They are not something to mentally punish yourself for over and over if you fall a little short.  Sometimes life gets in the way.
By |February 17th, 2023|karate, kung fu, martial arts|Comments Off on Setting Goals

Blackbelts – 2nd Degree!

Congratulations to Daniel, Dylan, and Alfie. All received their 2nd Degree Black Belts on June 4, 2022.
By |June 10th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Blackbelts – 2nd Degree!

2022 – Year of the Tiger

Since 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, let’s talk about them.  From the Chinese Zodiac/Astrological perspective, those born under this sign are considered strong and fearless.  They make great leaders and stand up for what they believe in.  They will often take over projects in their eagerness to finish them, thus they may not always be at their best in a team situation.  They also not only want to complete the task, but to do it right the first time.  Money is not the biggest motivator for a Tiger.  But success in a given endeavor is.  Very often this will translate into wealth.  Surprisingly, the Tiger is a peaceful sign.  Provoking one usually requires a good deal of effort. From a Kung Fu perspective, those who are Tiger practitioners are known for being strong and agile. Their main strategy is to charge and attack directly with brute force to overwhelm an opponent.  The Tiger practitioner relies mostly on their arms but will occasionally use low kicks.  They target any part of the body, but especially those most vulnerable to tearing techniques.  They must be relaxed and capable of speed. Strong stances and the ability to quickly change to another stance is also a characteristic of a Tiger practitioner. In the animal kingdom, Tigers are one of nature’s most feared predators.  Strong, powerful, solitary creatures, they mark their territory and protect it against others.  They can reach speeds of up to 40mph.  Cubs remain with their mothers for two to three years.  Hunting lessons begin around six months of age and by eleven months they are competent hunters.  By approximately eighteen months, they are fully independent.  […]
By |February 17th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2022 – Year of the Tiger

Studio Closed Today, January 7, 2022 ..too, too much snow! Will reopen tomorrow for normal hours.
By |January 7th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on

2022 Goal

Develop a warrior mindset.
By |December 27th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2022 Goal

The Snake – Master of Respect

The snake is one of the animals studied in the traditional animal forms of kung fu.  It’s a challenging animal to study, as stances tend to be very low, and strikes sometimes look like blocks, and blocks are often strikes.  Movements can be both circular and linear.  Truly, one must work hard to masterfully show off this form. But the snake has also, as all of the animals we study, been assigned a character-building trait, and  that trait is Respect.    …..seems like a difficult fit, right?    Well, let’s think about that from a couple of different approaches. First, from an animal-kingdom approach, the snake commands respect, as it is generally able to conceal itself from its predators, yet is able to attack quickly from its stealth position.  If it happens to be a poisonous snake (and so many are!), the snake’s bite often results in a quick death for smaller prey, with larger prey suffering a longer, more painful end.  Even the very large snakes, which use a non-poisonous approach to subdue their prey, would, by most standards command the respect of animals larger than them.   Overall, though, snakes seldom attack for the sake of attacking.  They are either defending themselves against a real or perceived threat, or they need to eat.  Okay, enough of that scary stuff…. Let’s talk about respect from another perspective.  When we ask the kids what respect means, they generally read off the poster in the studio….and they quote “saying thank you, please, and yes or no, as opposed to yeah, or nah or nope”.   That’s a good start, but there’s more to this idea of respect than […]
By |April 30th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Snake – Master of Respect

The Crane – Master of Patience

Anyone who studies the crane in the wild will see the patience it exhibits, as it stands in stillness for extended periods of time, waiting for its food source (small fish, frogs, insects, seeds, berries, etc.) to swim or float by (or sometimes they actually dig for roots or worms).  Whether the crane stands on one leg, or both of its legs, the ability to be absolutely still requires much patience.  As for defending itself, the crane is adept at using its long wings and legs to keep its attackers away, and will use its beak, when needed, to strike. In our kung fu studies, the crane movements are illustrated by mostly using straight-arm strikes, front kicks, and very focused hand strikes where the fingers all come to a point. Vulnerable, soft tissue areas are targeted with a strong flicking strike of the gathered fingers.  The crane stances require much balance and a strong centering of body weight.  It’s a challenging, yet beautiful, part of the kung fu animal form system. As for the patience aspect, this is the character trait that we associate with the crane.  When the kids are asked what patience means, they usually reply that it means to wait…wait your turn in line, to speak, whatever the circumstances.  And this is a very good answer, because to wait for anything does often require patience. Adults all know patience in the form of taking a deep breath and striving to get through life’s minor, and sometimes not-so-minor, annoyances without saying or doing something they will later regret.  It doesn’t matter the environment—work, home, school, shopping, driving—you name it, there will […]
By |March 27th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Crane – Master of Patience

The Tiger – Master of Self-Control

The Tiger is one of the animals we study.  It’s movements are decisive, controlled, and direct.  It’s a great animal to teach us strength and power.  But, we also look to the Tiger for the character aspect of self-control.  When we ask the kids what they think self-control is, the answer we get back the most often is “control of your mind and body.”   That’s a great answer, and nicely sums things up.   But, let’s look a little deeper.  Just what is control of your mind?  If you ask the experts (whoever they might be), you would probably get as many answers as people you ask.  But if you ask us, we think control of your mind means taking responsibility for your words and actions.  That old saying…you can’t control the behavior of other people, but you can control your reaction(s) to it” is very true.  It can be tough to not verbally retaliate against a real, or perceived, insult.  But it can be done if self-control is being practiced.   The same is true if we’re not talking reaction, but initiation.  Avoid making derogatory comments, whether in jest or not.  Doing so shows good self-control.  Sure, you might observe someone doing something foolish, but you need not comment on it.  And who knows, that one time you exercise good self-control and not make a comment that could hurt feelings, might be the one time that person needed to move on from a possibly self-destructive act.  Think about that…..NOT saying something might actually save someone harm.  How cool is that?? Moving on to control of your body…..  this could mean so many things.  When practicing your kung […]
By |January 29th, 2021|karate, kung fu, martial arts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Tiger – Master of Self-Control

Weather Closure

Thursday, December 17, 2020. ALL classes are canceled today due to the snowstorm. This includes both scheduled virtual lessons AND in-studio classes. Stay safe. We should be open Friday for our regular schedule.
By |December 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Weather Closure