In Isshinryu, there are certain standards that must be attained before earning a new belt. My students know that I can be particularly picky about small details. I'm sure you have overheard me making sure that a student's stance is just right or that his posture is correct. These are standards that we all must strive to achieve--they are set for everyone. But these aren't the only requirements to earning rank in at our school.
We are still a very young dojo and with that comes many unique advantages and disadvantages. One advantage that we do have, is that we can set our standards as high as we would like them to be. And while it is very debatable about what it means to hold a green or brown belt in the martial, there still remains a certain mystique about the coveted black-belt. When you hear that one is a black belt in karate, what…
"At seventy you are but a child, at eighty you are merely a youth, and at ninety if the ancestors invite you into heaven, ask them to wait until you are one hundred... and then you might consider it."
This ancient Okinawan proverb rests on a stone marker in Ogimi, a small village typical of Northern Okinawa. This phrase could very well typify the mindset and vigour of the Okinawan people, especially when considering the…
In a quest to earn her Little Dragon Black Belt, Naomi demonstrated compassion and leadership by undertaking a considerable community service project--collect diapers for women and children in need. All collected packages were sent to Wellspring Women's Center where they were distributed to families in…Continue
Added by Mike Oliver on October 23, 2010 at 10:54pm —
Kristoffer is a student at Zen Martial Arts. In order to test for their green belt, every student must perform a community leadership project. Kristoffer chose to do inspire 100 acts of kindness. He is just one of many Sacramento karate kids that are acting as leaders in your… Continue
As our Martial Arts school in East Sacramento has continued to grow, I frequently heard requests to teach younger students--4 and 5 year olds. For years I had taught these ages at my teacher's school in Auburn and I am pleased to say that we are now offering classes designed just for this age group at Zen Martial Arts in Sacramento!
Verbal Judo founder George Thompson developed Verbal Judo years ago as a way for police officers to deal with verbal insults and assaults as well as getting voluntary compliance without getting physical. With the help of 'Doc' Thompson and other Verbal Judo instructors we have incorporated these same lessons into our martial arts curriculum. Many of your kids have already had great success in using these techniques to deal with bullying.
Here's a short message from Doc explaining why… Continue
Added by Mike Oliver on August 22, 2010 at 12:26am —
In our classes last week we talked about awareness and how real self-defense happens long before violence actually occurs. The U.S. Marines have a system for coding and identifying the various mental states that one can be in. We can apply these same color codes to our own awareness levels so that we stay safe.
Condition White - Oblivious In this mental state you are completely oblivious to your surroundings. This is the state that people are… Continue
Added by Mike Oliver on August 4, 2010 at 12:24pm —
Compassion must be practiced. You see, our school is about much more
than kicking and punching. Kindness is self-defense. Helping others is
self-defense. This video shows just one of the many ways that our
Karate Kids PRACTICE compassion… Continue
Added by Mike Oliver on July 27, 2010 at 1:32pm —
Jack, a Sacramento 3rd Grader, organizes "Operation Backpack" at Zen
Martial Arts in order to earn his next belt rank. At Zen Martial Arts
students are required to choose a Community Leadership Project that
demonstrates compassion. Jack chose to collect Backpacks for homeless
children in the Sacramento area. This is the news coverage from… Continue
Added by Mike Oliver on July 27, 2010 at 1:29pm —
Outline: Jane is
a 10-year-old white belt. Her project is to get 10 of her friends and/or classmates at school to do 10 acts of kindness each; recording each act in log that she supplies them. Ten students doing 10 acts of kindness each, equals 100 acts of kindness! Jane and her mother will design their own kindness log--and Jane will have an experiential lesson in… Continue
Added by Mike Oliver on July 27, 2010 at 10:30am —
Helping this group would make a for a great adult project for Green-Belt.
Women Take Back the Night is an international tradition with marches and rallies occurring around the world since 1976. That year, in Belgium, women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women marched together in solidarity, holding candles to protest the ways in which violence permeates the lives of women worldwide.…
The Sacramento-area community was more than generous last year – Operation Backpack 2009 exceeded its goal and collected more than 3,000 backpacks. That more than doubled 2008's figure and demonstrates that even in tough economic times, children in need command attention.…
Every office has one - loud, rude, egotistical, two-faced, and sometimes even dangerous. Left to their own devices, an office bully can turn your livelihood into a living nightmare. Carrie Clark, co-founder of the California Healthy Workplace Advocates, who promotes anti-bullying policy throughout the country, defines what qualifies as bullying and how to stand up to a growing problem that she describes as a national "epidemic".…
Go to any corporate training program, seminar, or meeting and the topic of goal setting and time management is likely to be of primary concern. Goal setting is also a major part of your martial arts training as well. People that don't set goals are less likely to achieve success in their lives. I can't tell you how many martial artists I've seen fail to achieve the rank of black belt because they never set real goals.
Today though, I'm not going to tell you that the secret to goal… Continue