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One of the greatest martial artists of all times, Bruce Lee, once said: “To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.” Martial arts have a long and colourful history in the USA with it first being introduced as a mainstream sport after World War II, predominantly by Japanese Masters. Today, more than 20 million Americans participate in some form of martial arts at least once a year, making it almost as popular as golf and tennis.

It all started with a man called Robert Trias

Robert Trias was introduced to martial arts while he was serving as a USA Naval Reserve during the Second World War. While he was stationed on the Solomon Islands he became acquainted with a Chinese missionary named Tung Gee Hsiang who taught him karate. After returning home, Trias opened the first Caucasian-run public karate school in Arizona in 1946 followed by the United States Karate Association (USKA) shortly afterward in 1948. The rest, as they say, is history and today martial arts is a popular sport all over the country.

Martial arts is big in Miami

Although martial arts, in general, has increased in popularity in most parts of the USA in recent years, there are a few cities that boast a surprisingly large number of martial arts schools, dojos, studios & clubs. Miami, Florida is not only a sought-after tourist destination known for its beaches and luxury accommodations. It also boasts a large number of martial arts training and social facilities, currently offering martial art devotees more than 111 options to choose from. While most of these schools revolve around various self-defense classes for men, women, and children, many also offer karate, kickboxing, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and Shotokan karate lessons. Another bustling martial arts hub in New York City, and the borough of Brooklyn in particular, that is currently home to 84 martial arts training facilities.

Texas has a huge martial arts following

The Lone Star State, which is known to produce top-notch football players such as Ricky Williams and Colt McCoy, also has a number of martial arts stars, such as Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal who call the state home. The State also hosts a number of noteworthy tournaments including the Texas Renegade Karate Tournament and the Fort Worth International Taekwondo Championship on an annual basis. The world-renowned World Star Chinese Martial Arts Competition also came to Texas this year and was held at the  Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston from April 26 to 28. Although Houston is the biggest city in Texas, it’s Austin that is the most focused on martial arts, boasting more than 76 related facilities where individuals can undergo training, In total, there are an estimated 1,372 martial arts schools and clubs in the state.

Martial arts has a long history in the USA and continues to grow in popularity every day.  Even if you don’t live in one of the bigger cities in the USA you are bound to find a training facility nearby that can help you develop your skills.

The post USA Fast Becoming A Global Martial Arts Hotspot appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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by Phillip Starr

On various martial arts forums I’ve recently noticed an interest being shown in what can best be described as “the spiritual side of the martial arts.” What is it? Why is it? How do you get there?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Heck, I don’t even know many of the questions! But maybe I can ramble on about this subject a bit and explain some of my personal thoughts about it.

First off, let me say that the spiritual side of the martial arts has nothing to do with religion, per se. Religion can be defined as the belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or being(s) which is/are usually regarded as creator(s) or ruler(s) of the universe, and a personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and subsequent worship. And let me state that regardless of what some people believe, no martial art requires its practitioners to adhere to any particular religious faith.

Certainly, acquiring a fundamental grasp of the tenets of Buddhism, Daoism, and Shintoism can help students better understand the culture(s) from which their chosen art came, what its originators believed, and how they lived. But to practice judo one need not engage in the practice of Shinto and you needn’t become a Buddhist in order to study karate or a Daoist in order to train in Taijiquan.

I believe that students begin to get glimpses of the “spiritual side” of the martial arts when they begin to realize that there is more to them than what they see (or otherwise normally perceive). As they continue in their training (which should be regular and vigorous) they periodically catch glimpses of certain (spiritual) truths and as they encounter and overcome various obstacles – often with the help of a good teacher – they begin to realize that the only real obstacles we ever face are those we’ve created ourselves. And we’re the only ones who can overcome them – no one can do it for us.

With gentle and loving “nudging” by their teachers, the students gradually push themselves beyond the limits of what they thought possible. They “do what cannot possibly be done” and “make the impossible possible”, one step at a time. If they keep an open mind and heart as they take these steps they will begin to acquire a better understanding of who we are, what we are, why we are, and our relationship to each other and to all life.

But it doesn’t happen all at once. Truths come in snippets. The discerning student will pay attention to these slivers of understanding because one small fragment, which is akin to a piece of a large puzzle, can give rise to so much more (understanding). One begets two, two begets four, and so on. Slowly, the student begins to “awaken.” This is, I believe, a natural process and it occurs in every person who devotes him or her self to the study and training of a given martial discipline over an extended period of time.

Those individuals who skip from one martial art to another, who have no real foundation in any particular art and
who dabble in this and that, are perpetually learning the “outer shells” of various disciplines and will probably never penetrate beyond the superficial aspects of any given art.

Over the many years that I have taught martial arts I have had numerous people enroll in my classes in the hopes of becoming “enlightened.” They sought spiritual truths first and martial skill last. The sad truth is that it doesn’t happen that way and although I did my best to explain this fact to them, they persisted in their mistaken beliefs.

Spiritual truths are realized only after the student has “paid his or her dues” in buckets of sweat, endless hours of repetitious tedium, more than a little pain (in fact, we have some types of pain that are referred to as “religious experiences” because you’d swear that you can actually see God!), sacrifice, and great courage (the willingness to do what you cannot possibly do). The “spiritual seekers” weren’t prepared for this and I don’t recall that any of them lasted for more than a few weeks.

Besides, they were looking for a teacher who resembled what they envisioned as the classical image of an Asian sage, complete with wispy beard and flowing robes. What they got was a pot-bellied old fart who smokes and makes comments in class like, “You’ve got a nice tush but tuck it in and keep it to yourself, Buckwheat.” I guess it was too much of a let-down. They weren’t able to look beyond the obvious.

There was a time when martial arts zealots deliberately pushed themselves beyond their own limits. This can be dangerous, of course, and they understood that but they felt that the benefits outweighed the risks and they went ahead anyway. Usually, they weren’t seeking any sort of spiritual truths; they simply wanted to test their strength and push themselves further, physically, mentally, and spiritually, little by little. Masutatsu Oyama was one such person.

For some people martial arts will never be anything more than a sophisticated form of combat. Their hearts and minds are closed to the possibility of the existence of a “spiritual side” to the martial arts. I think this may often be due to confusing spiritual insight with religion and those individuals who, for one reason or another, have become disenchanted with religion turn their backs on this particular aspect of martial arts. But I think that if a person trains diligently and pushes him/her self, he or she will eventually come face to face with certain spiritual truths which cannot be denied.

The post The Spiritual Side to Martial Arts appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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StudyMartialArts.Org by David Roy Kelly - 1M ago

by Phillip Starr

We’ve all heard that we must be like bamboo, that we must be flexible; give way before the onslaught of force in the same way that the long, slender boughs of that giant grass flexes in the wind or under a load of snow. This is one the basic precepts of the martial arts and it’s appeared in all manner of self-help books (for instance, there is “verbal judo”, wherein one acquires a measure of control over the “opponent” by remaining supple…emotionally and mentally).

Being like bamboo

The metaphor of “being like bamboo” for both the martial arts and everyday life has become so familiar that it’s easy to forget that most people who pen or speak such words have never actually SEEN bamboo as it lives and grows in nature. Not much bamboo is grown in the U.S., so most folks have never had the pleasure of watching it do its stuff – to bend to the wind or snow that piles onto its leaves, causing it bend in a U shape until it sloughs off the white stuff and springs back up again. “Bend like bamboo” can be a rather foreign concept if the only bamboo you’ve seen has been in the shank of a fly rod.

In China

When I lived in China, I saw many bamboo groves. Do you know that the stuff can grow a noticeable amount every day? The young shoots do…I’d measure them in the morning and again in the early evening. But it was the bamboo of the north that taught me the most. I spent most of my time in southern China where it’s warm year-round and it never snows. But I did get up to the north, where snowfall is pretty much consistent with what we get here in the U.S. One winter, there came a fairly heavy snowfall and I ventured down to the park (and parks in China are often huge – several miles in diameter.) where I sat in a cozy little shop and sipped on some warm tea as I watched the white stuff pile up on the leaves of the bamboo. The stalks bent over more and more as if they had some kind of bamboo arthritis and then suddenly, they’d shiver and shrug off the snow, then sway back upright again (kind of like drunk college kids wobbling unsteadily).

Flexibility is only part of strength

You see, there’s more to the plant than what you see; its flexibility is only a part of its strength. Its roots are deep, forming a strong network underground and without these tough, deep roots, the stalks would topple easily under the weight of the snow. Its great flexibility is due to its strong roots. I considered…flowing and yielding to the attacks of a strong opponent and snapping back like bamboo just isn’t possible without a strong root (and a rootedness in the fundamentals of your chosen art). A master may well be able to improvise with creative flexibility and come up with amazing techniques, but if a less talented practitioner tried it, he’d end up looking like a drunken squirrel. The master has spent years perfecting basic body movements; the wannabe creator of his own combat system will quickly discover that his techniques won’t stand up to the pressure of a strong attack unless his roots are sunk deeply into an already well-established method.

The power of bamboo

It would be nice if more martial arts practitioners could see firsthand the power of the bamboo. They could better understand the lesson that it teaches…flexibility, a true kind of suppleness that allows one to bend and spring back against opposition is merely an illusion unless there are firm, strong roots to anchor it.

The post Like Bamboo appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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Few subjects in the health space these days generate as much controversy—and are the cause of as much confusion—as medical marijuana. But marijuana is having a moment. As more states and countries legalize its use, it’s more important than ever to understand exactly what medical marijuana is, what it is not, and why it matters. (Hint: The answer to why it matters is simple: cannabinoids.)

Cannabis is a genus of plants that includes different species: Cannabis sativa (also known as marijuana) is one of them; hemp is another. And this is where it sometimes gets confusing. Because while hemp and marijuana are indeed species of the same plant, chemically, they are entirely different.

All cannabis plants—including hemp and marijuana—contain an array of healthy plant compounds called cannabinoids. These are to the cannabis plant what flavonoids are to fruits and vegetables—powerful plant compounds with multiple healing properties. There are about 100 cannabinoids, all native to the various cannabis species. The two most famous are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting marijuana users stoned.

Did You Know?

Evidence suggests that CBD oil has potential to treat everything from anxiety to chronic pain. But there’s so much confusion about CBD oil. Can you separate the fact from the fiction?

What Is CBD?

CBD is found in both hemp and pot, but THC is found only in pot. And hemp is richer in CBD than marijuana. Legally, THC can’t be found in anything labeled “hemp.” CBD doesn’t get you high at all. (If you want to try CBD, hemp oil is the best way to go, and it’s legal everywhere. And CBD is CBD—it’s identical whether you get it from pot or hemp, and the body sees it the same way regardless of origin.)

In U.S. law, the difference between marijuana and hemp is very clear and has everything to do with THC content. To be classified as hemp, there must be 0.3 percent or less of THC (less than one-third of one percent). Marijuana can have a THC content as high as 20 percent.

Cannabinoids don’t just come from the cannabis plant—we also make them in our bodies. The ones we make are called endocannabinoids (endo meaning coming from within). The well-known “runner’s high” is actually an endocannabinoid, which increases in the blood during aerobic exercise and then crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

We have a network of cannabinoids and receptors in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ES). One of the primary jobs of the ES is to keep the body in balance, a state known as homeostasis. The ES has a profound effect on sleep, appetite, exercise, pain, inflammation, female reproduction, metabolism, anxiety, and immunity.

Research-Backed Benefits of Cannabinoids

Scientists have known there was potential for medicine in the world of plant cannabinoids, but the demonization of pot prevented any real research from getting done in the U.S. But that’s changing. The one place in which it’s legal to grow pot for federally approved research (on the campus of the University of Mississippi) was barren more than a year ago. Today, the farm is full of blooming cannabis plants. And scientists are excited about the emerging research.

Researchers at the University of Southern Florida Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute believe that low-dose THC may “slow the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.” (Beta-amyloid plaque is typical in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.) There is also preliminary research suggesting that cannabinoids, particularly CBD, may be neuroprotective.

Does CBD Oil Work?

CBD oil is a well-established anti-inflammatory. Anecdotal reports confirm its ability to moderate pain and inflammation. I have personal experience with this. As a tennis player, I’ve had chronic shoulder pain for years, and I’m pretty skeptical about over-the-counter drugs. Yet adding CBD oil to my supplement regimen made a noticeable difference, reducing pain by 25–50 percent, allowing me to continue with physical therapy.

There’s research showing that CBD makes a difference in inflammatory bowel disease, attenuates cardiac dysfunction and oxidative stress, and induces antidepressant-like effects. It has also been shown to have a promising role in the management of ALS symptoms.

Uma Dhanabalan (also a regular contributor at https://theeliquidboutique.co.uk ), MD, MPH, was so impressed with medical marijuana that she became an outspoken advocate for cannabis and CBD oil. Dr. Dhanabalan became interested in the healing powers of cannabinoids when her mother, who suffered with a chronic illness, urged her physician daughter to get some to help with the discomfort. Dr. Dhanabalan thought this was crazy—but looked into it anyway. What she found excited her. “Cannabis isn’t for everyone,” she said, “yet it should be a first-line option, not the last resort.”

Should You Try CBD Hemp Oil?

People who have been curious about CBD hemp oil may have been reluctant to try it—if they could even find it. One study, in 2015, found that nearly 50 percent of CBD products sold tested negative for CBD; another, more recent study, found that nearly 70 percent of online CBD products were mislabeled.

And that’s why the entrance of a company like Barlean’s into the CBD market is significant. Many people feel that if they’re going to try a new product like this, the safest thing to do is go with a company they trust. The new CBD oil products make it possible to do that.

I say there’s virtually no downside to trying CBD oil from a reputable source, if for no other reason than its proven ability to reduce pain and inflammation.

Remember, virtually every degenerative disease we know has an inflammatory component, and CBD is a known and established anti-inflammatory.

CBD Oil Products

From supplements to beverages to beauty products, there are many choices at health food stores for CBD oil. I usually get my CBD e-liquid for my vape mod at The Eliquid Boutique online vape shop.

The post Wonder Drug? Separating CBD Oil Fact From Fiction appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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Heart health is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Staying active is of utmost importance in ensuring your health. Enjoyable exercise routines can help keep you motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Martial arts is increasingly becoming a popular choice as a consistent fitness routine. It’s a discipline that contributes to overall health and wellness. More importantly, it can help to prevent heart disease.

Improve Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Patrick Hickle, Medical Director of the Elliot ECHO Lab, suggests moderate exercise 4-5 times per week for 20-30 minutes to maximize heart health. Martial arts is a physical activity that improves stamina and endurance as well as mental wellbeing. In addition to enhancing the health of the entire body, this activity directly affects the amount of blood that pumps through your heart with every beat. Strengthening the heart is vital to cardiovascular health.

As martial arts training raises your heart rate, it works your heart to more efficiently pump blood throughout your body – even when you aren’t working out. The less effort your heart uses to pump blood, the lower your blood pressure, reducing your risk for hypertension.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. The intense activity involved in martial arts training helps to burn fat and tone muscle. A single session can burn up to 500 calories. Regular participation in martial arts results in higher muscle mass which in turn helps to burn more calories.

Burning calories is essential to get rid of LDL cholesterol, also known as “the bad cholesterol.” High levels of LDL cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, according to the Center for Disease Control. There is evidence that working out regularly can help to reduce the size of proteins that carry the cholesterol to the heart. Vigorous exercise most associated with weight loss also helps to increase HDL cholesterol – “the good cholesterol.”

Reduce Stress

Not only a perfect option for physical activity, but martial arts is also a discipline that involves mindfulness, peace, and meditation. A team of researchers from John Hopkins University found a link between mindful meditation and a reduction in stress and anxiety. Stress has been shown to contribute to chronic heart diseases, so incorporating martial arts as a regular practice is a great option.

Accessible For All

Not all individuals are fortunate enough to experience full ranges of motion. However, martial arts courses are accessible to everyone. People with limited mobility can benefit greatly from this discipline while also increasing self-confidence in their ability to defend and protect themselves. It’s an excellent option for people of an older demographic who want to strengthen and remain active, or those with mobile disabilities looking for a consistent routine and an encouraging community.

Martial arts can help to fight heart health in so many ways. From improving cardiovascular health directly to encouraging weight loss and reducing stress levels, it’s the perfect option. People of all ages and abilities can start a practice and witness results that last a lifetime.

The post Martial Arts for Heart Health appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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Working out at the weekend can be one of those things that you talk about, but never do. The weekend rolls around and someones birthday pops up. You just feel lazy, maybe those few drinks you had after work Friday turned into a session?

Taking time off for rest repair is a must. But forgoing workouts due to laziness or a lack of motivation is something you’ll want to avoid. So here are some easy to follow tips to help you make those weekend workouts happen.

  1. Do something different: Repeating the same old workouts time after time can become boring. So try out something new. You can shift the time of your workout or maybe do a completely different thing. Cross train, go swimming or use another sport to get the desired exercise.
  2. Plan a long endurance workout: Use the free time to hike or bike, do a spartan run, mini marathon. It’s exciting and motivating to have something to not only look forward to but also challenge you.
  3. Workout with friends: Group exercise can be fun and motivating. In Beijing there is a workout group who do their exercises outside in the cold wearing very little as part of the physical, and mental challenge. OK some might think its a bit weird but its all in an attempt to reduce inflammation and get the blood flowing. More on that later.
  4. Work out at home: If you want to save time, and getting to and from the gym will take too long. Maybe you have people to see things to do at the weekend. Then why not have the option of doing your workout at home. Jump on youtube there are thousands of cool workouts that you can do and follow. All can be chosen based on what you have available, and your own level.

Working out challenges us and is difficult but the feeling afterwards is always rewarding. Good luck with those weekend workouts.

The post Make Weekend Workouts happen with these Tips appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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This often misunderstood hemp extract may be a health miracle for many.

You’ve probably heard of—and wondered about—CBD (cannabidiol), a constituent of the hemp plant that’s being used in everything from topical creams to daily supplement pills. And even though CBD has been used as a medicinal cure for thousands of years around the world, it’s still shrouded in mystery—and fears that it will make you high, or that it’s not safe for kids. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. It comes from the hemp plant, which is in the same plant family as marijuana.

But it’s different. “CBD is like marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin,” says Laura Hollingberry, founder and CEO of https://wowitloveithaveit.com , a marketing company that has done a lot of research into the CBD and hemp market. CBD is made from a type of hemp that’s very low in THC, the component that’s responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effects. The hemp plant has been used for thousands of years for building materials, textiles, and food products such as hemp seed and hemp oil—which is not the same as CBD oil (more on that later).

  1. It’s safe.

Unlike medical marijuana, which contains large amounts of THC, CBD products are not psychotropic, meaning they don’t cause the euphoric feeling associated with marijuana. Most contain miniscule amounts (less than 0.3 percent) and some are completely THC-free, Hollingberry says. CBD won’t impact drug tests, and it’s safe enough for children. In fact, CBD came to national prominence with the discovery of its ability to halt seizures in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. And while both THC and CBD are considered phytocannabinoids, they interact with the body in very different ways. THC works by directly binding to cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). CBD doesn’t bind to these receptors, but instead interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

  1. It impacts a body system you probably didn’t know you had.

CBD works by interacting with the endogenous cannabinoid system or endocannabinoid system (ECS), a collection of cell receptors that play a fundamental role in the function of the nervous and immune system. The human body produces its own endocannabinoids—the highest concentration is in mother’s milk. CBD works with the body’s own system, blocking or reducing the breakdown of naturally occurring endocannabinoids.

Did You Know?

Your body’s endocannabinoid system plays a key role in nervous and immune system function

  1. It’s not the same as hemp oil.

CBD oil is different from hemp oil and hemp seeds found in grocery and natural food stores. Hemp oil is derived only from hemp seeds, and does not contain appreciable amounts of cannabidiol; CBD products, on the other hand, are made from the whole plant, not just the seeds. There are thousands of varieties of hemp, and the cultivars used for CBD oil contain significantly higher concentrations of cannabidiol.

  1. It’s legal—sort of.

CBD is legal, but because of issues related to growing hemp, the production process exists in a regulatory gray area. Growing hemp in the U.S. for commercial purposes is prohibited, and is restricted to research and pilot projects. So hemp that’s used to make CBD products (as well as hemp oil, hemp seeds, and hemp clothing) in the United States is usually imported from other countries—primarily Eastern Europe, where hemp has been grown for the past 40 years. However, because “pilot project” is a loosely regulated concept, Colorado and other states are increasingly beginning to cultivate hemp. CBD, at any rate, is legal in all 50 states.

  1. It’s highly refined—in a good way.

The hemp extract used to make CBD oil comes from cultivars that are already higher in cannabidiol. To further concentrate the active components, that material goes through a solvent-free extraction process that involves CO or other methods, in a manner similar to the production of essential oils. The extracted oil is then tested for contaminants and toxins such as heavy metals, as well as for cannabinoid content.

  1. It really works.

Studies are proving the ability of CBD to stop seizures, calm anxiety, reduce inflammation, ease depression, and soothe chronic pain. “CBD has the potential to be the most important wellness ingredient in the last 50 years,” says Hollingberry. “CBD is important for nervous and immune function, and in the same way probiotics aren’t just for people suffering from digestive disorders, CBD is not just for sick or hurting people. It’s for anyone who wants to be proactive about their long-term health.”

How CBD Can Work for You

Epilepsy

Many studies (and reports from CBD users) have confirmed that CBD is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in both children and adults.

Arthritis

CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can reduce symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, without side effects. It’s effective both orally and topically.

Cardiovascular health

A number of studies have shown that CBD can protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing damage caused by heart attacks and strokes.

Depression

CBD can exert antidepressant activities within minutes of consumption, possibly by impacting levels of serotonin, the brain’s feel-good chemical.

Anxiety

A number of studies show that CBD can treat a wide range of anxiety issues, including general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cancer

As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, CBD can reduce the risk of cancer, and can slow or halt tumor growth in existing cancers.

Dosage guidelines: Effective doses vary widely, based on severity of symptoms and the balance or tone of an individual’s endocannabinoid system. Generally, though, doses start at 5 mg and may go as high as 200 mg. Start small, and increase dosage gradually, dividing the total amount into multiple doses if that is effective, until you find what’s right for you.

The post CBD Oil: Anxiety Aid & Much More appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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A few weeks ago I caught up with SMA student Miguel post training kung fu in China. Miguel booked his training through us, and studied martial arts in China for 3 months during 2018 to 2019. When we connect students to martial arts travel, and training experiences our job doesn’t just stop there. We do our best to prepare students pre-trip, assist them with their travel plans, and then once at the school make sure everything is as they expected. When their kung fu journey is over its my job to check in on them, and get feedback on their experience after they’ve had time to reflect. We do this with a view to keep our information on schools the most up to date and responsive to change. Additionally this offers us the chance to and also to see where we as a company can improve the services we provide for those who book their training through our StudyMartialArts.Org platform. So when Miguel ended his training at Maling Shaolin Kung fu Academy I decided to re-connect with him and get his feeedback.

I helped Miguel seen in the picture to connect to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy located in Xingyi City, Northern Jiangsu Province. The Headmaster of the school Bao Shifu founded the school in 2009. Master Bao is a 32nd generation Shaolin Warrior Monk and someone I knew from when he was a master teaching and Kunyu Shan Shaolin Kung fu Academy in Yantai Shandong. Now with his own school students can learn 7 different styles of Chinese martial arts. The main style is of course Shaolin Kung Fu, nevertheless you can also learn Baji Quan, Tai Chi, Xingyi, Qigong, Sanda (Chinese kickboxing), Wing Chun and Bagua.

Bao Shifu making adjustments while students do qigong.

The school offers three different training plans. Short term, 1-3 months, Medium term, over 6 months and Long term, 1 year and over. Prices start from 790 USD per month to 5,500 USD for a year. This includes food, accommodation, and tuition. Live in places at the School are limited to 30 therefore we recommend you secure your place well in advance of your departure especially during peak seasons. We also advise students to budget for their daily water, personal spending, and the cost of Chinese Visa extensions.

In my post Learn Kung Fu in China interview. I asked Miguel the following questions. Below are his answers.

What do you think of StudyMartialArts.Org?

I think it was the most useful website to use to get to china for Martial Arts training. I was searching a lot on the Internet for a school I can trust before finding the StudyMartialArts.Org website. This site helped me a lot allowing me to compare schools easily and choose the right school for me. You guys are doing a great job! It is a good idea for people who don’t know a lot about Kung Fu schools, training or China to use these services.

What did you like about our service?

I like the fact that someone is taking care of me. Telling me advices about the school I need for what I want to train. Someone is there to answer every worries and or questions I had. I was not left alone during the whole process. This made it less daunting and I felt supported.

How could I help student you in the future?

I honestly don’t think you can do more, everything you did was pretty good. Just find the school you are interested to with StudyMartialArts.Org (SMA). And train hard!

What did you think of the school?

I can’t say it was the best school on earth because it was my first experience. But, what I can say is that this school was perfect for me. A great experience meeting people from all around the world, and training with nice people, and really good Shaolin Masters. Sharing moments with people from around the world, and each of us talking about our country, and our past make things more personal, and you feel like you are part of a big family.

What did you think of the facilities?

It was loyal to the pictures I first saw, beds are nice, everything got repaired when it got broken. It was not a Hotel, but it was enough to train Martial Arts, and I think it was perfect in that way.

What did you think of the training? What did you train? How were the Masters?

I trained a lot of Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Qigong, and Xingyi quan. These were the 4 main class I took. Plus, I did a little Tai Chi and Baji quan.  I love the Masters as they were part of my family. They were nice, but sometimes rude in that they were often very direct. They would definitely compliment and encourage you if you trained hard. They have such a great passion in Martial Arts that it’s contagious.

What did you think of the management?

The management, from my perspective was mostly done by the Masters, even though they were working there, these where then managed by Headmaster Bao. I didn’t complain at all. It was well managed in my opinion.

How was the food?

Since I’m home, I truly miss the food from Mama Bao, and the cook. They work hard 7 days a week to make us good plates of food while we train really hard.

Best and worst experiences?

The only thing I was a little tiny sad about is that there was not a lot of heating during the Winter months from November to February. So sometimes it was getting really cold for some people. But it forged the body, and the soul. Training martial art was, honestly, my best experience I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to come back. 

Power stretching taking students to their limits.

If you would like more information on Learning Kung fu in China check out some of our other blog posts. Alternatively if you would like to arrange a live consultation covering all aspects from travel, to picking the right kung fu school to training, and getting the most out of the experience, email me direct at david@studymartialarts.org or alternatively add us on skype: StudyMartialArts.Org.

When you contact us you’ll get one dedicated point of contact that will help you throughout the experience from start to finish. We check the schools, are legit, and provide independent information that will give you the strengths and weaknesses of each training option based on your requirements.

You can read more about us and our mission statement, or just simply watch our explainer video.

The post Review of Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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Recently I read a article on the BBC that highlighted that the Matsue, Shimane Prefecture police force in Japan is offering martial arts classes to foreign tourists in a bid to build trust, and improve officers’ English proficiency.

The initiative is taking place in the city of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, and follows a trial involving international students, The Mainichi newspaper reports. Starting in March 2017, foreign tourists have been invited to spend an hour learning the principles of judo and kendo. For this initiative black belt police offices will teach martial arts classes to tourists and converse with them in English.

This initiative is designed to not only make the city safer but also more tourist-friendly. The Matsue Police website states that equipment can be borrowed at the police station and after training visitors will be invited to watch the sunset near Lake Shinji.

If you want to take advantage of this unique initiative participants must have travel and martial arts training insurance.

The post Police in Japan offering martial arts classes for tourists appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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More than 18 million people have limited mobility due to circumstances like accidents, aging, and disease. This may cause them to be hesitant about exercise in general but especially martial arts, which tend to be associated with people with higher than average mobility. But this is not the whole story. Martial arts can be accessible for everyone, when approaches are changed and considerations given. These practices can actually be highly beneficial to those who are elderly or those who have limited mobility for other reasons. Martial arts and particularly Chinese Martial Arts with its components of meditation, qigong and traditional dynamic tension exercises have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, strength, range of motion, and other facets of health. With all these benefits, why not give martial arts a try?

Improving Core Strength To Boost Mobility

Taking up martial arts is not only possible for individuals with limited mobility, it’s highly beneficial. Martial arts improves things like core strength and balance even for those who use wheelchairs. They also give you confidence that you can defend yourself in a perilous situation.

Supporting Mind and Body 

For those who have may also have learning disabilities, they improve self-esteem and coordination, as well as intellectual functioning. These benefits extend to everyone. Individuals who are visually impaired can even enjoy activities like judo up to the Paralympic level and reap the many benefits of the sport. Individuals with limited mobility from aging can also enjoy multiple health benefits from martial arts including maintenance of muscle mass, coordination, and cardio.

Even individuals with asthma can enjoy and benefit from martial arts. To help keep track of your body and the health benefits of martial arts, wearing technology that senses your movement and environment is beneficial. All the wonderful health improvements and benefits associated with martial arts can also be enjoyed by those with limited mobility, with some considerations.

Beginning Your Adventure 

Beginning martial arts as an individual with limited mobility is mostly a matter of finding the right fit. Finding the right style comes first. For individuals with a lack of leg mobility, Tae Kwon Do which focuses on kicks might not be the best bet; Jiu Jitsu which focuses on grappling or wrestling-type moves might be a better idea. Judo is known for being a good fit for many visually impaired people. There are many testimonies of people in wheel chairs being able to experience great success with karate. It is also important to find a place where individuals with limited mobility can experience “adaptive martial arts” which involves teachers who know how to adapt their martial art to meet an individual’s particular needs. These are all things to consider when searching for a studio or dojo to attend.

Martial arts is associated with balance, focus, coordination, and cardiovascular health. These benefits are not confined solely to one type of people but can be experienced and enjoyed by all. With the right considerations and finding a place that is the right fit for you, you can achieve these health benefits and derive great enjoyment from these sports and practices. Limited mobility does not limit your success and happiness in the field of martial arts.

The post Mobility And Martial Arts: Accessible For All appeared first on StudyMartialArts.Org.

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