Benefits of Martial Arts General Musings Scholarly Pursuits

Speed vs. Power? Speed IS Power!

Have you ever seen “tension” moves in a form? They’re often slow, and the martial artist’s body vibrates as they execute them.

Sempai Jasmine at a demonstration. (Credit: Bec Thomas Photography,
Sempai Jasmine doing a “slow” move in a Karate form. Whats the difference between “slow” and “tension” moves? Read on to find out!!!


Have you ever wondered why they’re there?

Mental Requirements Musings Scholarly Pursuits

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.

Special Events

June 8 Board Breaking Seminar

Sempai Jasmine doing a combination break.
Sempai Jasmine doing a combination break.

Saturday, June 8, 2013, NWSMA will be hosting two guest instructors from TMA Overlake to give a board breaking seminar.

  • We will still hold regular class.
  • Seminar will begin at 12:00 pm. 
  • Cost is $20 and includes 2 boards. Additional boards will be a small extra fee $3/board. You must decide ahead of time how many boards you want.
  • AGE LIMIT: 8-11 year-olds will only be doing stomp kicks. 12 year-olds will be considered on an individual basis. This is for safety purposes.
  • Fill out a sign-up slip in class. One per student. We need this done ahead of time so we can order boards.
Benefits of Martial Arts

Language Learning: One of the Least-Discussed Benefits of Martial Arts

Look at any martial arts website, and you’ll often find a list of benefits of martial arts. No matter the source, the lists of benefits are usually pretty accurate.

However, something I have never seen mentioned is the benefit of learning a foreign language.

Benefits of Martial Arts Learning a Language
Vocab study notes on a sticky note are great to attach to a mirror or cupboard so you can look at them every day!

In martial arts, often, it is required for the student to learn vocabulary in a foreign language. The actual language depends on the art. It can be as simple as learning to count to ten, or as complicated as learning to recite dojo creeds in another language.

Granted, the instructor may not be a native speaker. But generally speaking, exposure to a foreign language at a young age does cool stuff to the brain.

Additionally, martial arts is a kinetic activity, involving movement. By learning in a way that connects language with movement, children may also become more flexible learners.

Special Events

Happy Mother’s Day!

**Happy Mother’s Day!**

Martial arts moms, we know it’s not always easy to get the kids to class. We and they appreciate all your hard work!

The demo team bows after their performance.
Thanks, Mom!

Yesterday’s women’s self-defense class was a big success! Thanks to all the ladies who showed up, we were able to make a donation to the Mason’s Bikes for Books fund!

We are planning a follow-up self-defense class for this summer. Please make sure we have your email address & we’ll let you know about that one in advance.

Instructor Resources

Instructor Tips: 5 Martial Arts Awareness Drills

Instructors are always telling their students, “Be aware.” Today, I have 5 martial arts awareness drills that focus on doing awareness, not just telling it. Let’s first talk a bit about the importance of awareness.

We all know that awareness is a key part of basic self-defense. Knowing what is around you and sensing intention are easy ways to avoid bad situations. Any long-time practitioner of martial arts knows this, and probably practices it pretty unconsciously.

Beginning of test
Clearing the mind opens it for awareness of your surroundings.

For your students, though, this may not yet be part of their routine. As an instructor, it is your job to convince them of the importance of habitual awareness.

I was lucky enough to have a terrifying instructor as a white belt. I was 11, and taking Mr. U’s class always made me sore the next day. One day, he sat us down and gave us a lecture that, 13 years later, I still remember vividly.

Special Events

Upcoming! Arnis Tournament June 1

Saturday, June 1, 2013: Arnis Tournament at TMA – Pine Lake in Sammamish! If you like playing with sticks, stick fighting, or stick forms, then we highly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity! 😛

Arnis demonstration.