Martial Arts Meditation – Why Do It?

What is the purpose of opening meditation?

Beginning of test, martial arts meditation

Clearing the mind.

Many martial arts classes, especially traditional ones, begin with an opening “martial arts meditation.” During this time, students are asked to close their eyes and try to clear their minds. Its nothing crazy, and it’s not even inherently religious (unless you want it to be).

So, why do we do it?

Well, there are lots of reasons! Here’s a list:

  • Martial arts meditation helps you deliberately separate training time from rest of daily activities.

  • Martial arts meditation helps you enter a martial arts class with an open mind and a blank slate.

  • Martial arts meditation helps you to take a momentary pause from the pace and stress of life.

  • Martial arts meditation helps you to cultivate focus and a strong “martial spirit.”

But let’s talk about the “why” you should do all those things!!!  Continue reading

Building Good Character in Children: NWSMA’s “Character Contract”

If you’ve been at the dojo recently, you may have noticed that a new activity has taken the place of the Summer Bingo Board.

building character in children

NWSMA’s “Character Contract” aims at building character in children.

Many parents hope that martial arts programs will help with building good character in children. Inherently, they can & do.

But I got to thinking. (Nothing new here).

What if there was a way to encourage our students to think critically about their actions, both IN and OUTside of the dojo? Especially outside, where we instructors often don’t know how they act.

And so, the “Character Contract” was born. Read on to find out specifics!

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What is Provisional Black Belt and Why Does It Exist?

A provisional black belt is a probationary rank. It falls in between the highest colored belt and a full-fledged 1st degree black belt. In other styles of Tae Kwon Do, this rank may be called “poom belt” or “recommended black belt.”

Sempai David

Receiving a black belt is a great honor.

Poom is a junior black belt rank, used in Korea for holders of black belts who are under 15. “Recommended” gets closer to the idea of “candidacy for black belt.”

As for why it exists, it’s very, very complicated, grasshopper.

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Mental Requirement: Understanding the Importance of a Proper Diet

“Understands the importance of a proper diet” is a mental requirement for our Tae Kwon Do students.

Each TKD belt level has 4 mentals, and students must memorize and recite them at tests. We also usually ask each student to talk about what they mean, and occasionally ask for a short essay if a student has not been displaying the values contained in the mental requirement.

But back to the importance of a proper diet. If you train like an athlete, you should eat like one.


You know what they say about an apple a day…

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