Mind Body Connection – Youth Martial Arts Training

What they don’t teach you at school anymore is how to really listen to your body. To listen to your body is to also see your thoughts and have heightened awareness of your emotional construct. Parents, I know you see me teaching the kids how to breathe and to remain calm when they are training. A lot of this has to do with getting the kids to connect mind and body.

A martial artist is taught to see, feel, and listen – both internally and externally. Tapping into intuition, fear, and courage are examples of being able to put the physical together with the mental. How often have we heard the phrase “being paralyzed with fear”? Being able to combat such a thing is just one of the many things I want to kids to learn at FightClub.

PS – Parents if you know of any other parents that have kids interested in trying the youth martial arts training program – July and August is the best time. Just forward this newsletter on to them.

See you at FC,


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Martial Arts for Kids – Don’t let them become Summer Zombies!


Hey FC Parents and Kids,

A lot of you have been talking about the issue of kids and the amount of screen time that consumes their days over the summer. Here are a few tips for keeping screen time to a minimum.

Tips to Keep Screen Time to a Minimum 

Consciously and with purpose use your screen. Try to avoid using your screen as a habit of something to just pass the time. If you need to pass the time, look outside, go for a walk, read a book, draw, paint, close your eyes… the list is endless.

Set some boundaries for time. If you just want to watch something for a laugh, set a timer for a specific time. Again, you are adding more of a conscious decision to this.

Set boundaries for your subject. If you need to research something go ahead, but avoid the rabbit hole.

Keep stock of your kid’s emotions before and after screen time. If you notice a big difference you need to act.

Try to project into the future 10 years if you’d like this photo to be put on social media.

You as a parent, need to also be mindful of your own screen time. Kids notice everything. They hear and see everything. If you want them to have minimal screen time, then you have to do it yourself as well.

Have a good discussion about the dangers of social media as well.  Bulling, sexting, online predators are all important points to cover.

Have screen-free times set in your daily routine. For example, no screens at the dinner table. No screens at bedtime. On the weekend, if the weeknights are too hectic, have time together to explore the beach, the park, a board game, paint or draw together, read a good book together, etc.

Last but not least martial arts for kids helps in so many ways too!


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Youth Martial Arts Training – No one sits on the Bench


Many kids have the chance to experience the benefits of Martial Arts early on, however, a big number of children abandon their martial arts training when reaching the teen years in order to participate in school sports.

Although there are many lessons to be learned from team and individual varsity sports, the ‘make the team’ model often favors the more physically developed players while alienating the late bloomers.

Coaches have access to an endless supply of players that renews itself each year, the big and strong get picked and get to play while the less physically developed watch from the bench, this leads to an even greater disparity in skill development as the season goes by.

At the FightClub, our mats are packed while the benches are empty, all kids get equal ‘playing time’. Naturally, some kids develop their skills and physical abilities earlier than others but we personally find that many kids who start out with underdeveloped athletic attributes such as strength, speed, and size, end up blooming onto some of the finest technicians we have in all of our programs.

If your child is an athletic wonder who is able to stay ahead of the game with his natural talents, athletics may very well bring out the best in him or her. But if your child’s full of potential to be nurtured through disciplined and diligent training then bring them for youth martial arts training at FightClub.

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Learn Martial Arts with Positive Power


This is the basis of everything that I teach.

When I’m stuck on an idea, this is what I come back to.  When I’m teaching, this is the first idea I teach.  When I’m doing a seminar, this is the most important thing I need students to understand.

Our bodies are creating energy, which we give to the hands and feet to get moving.  Our bodies move to create the energy, but not all energy that we create is GOOD energy.

I talk about Positive and Negative power.  Positive Power is energy that is created by our bodies that is flowing towards our training and our goals in life. This kinds of energy help us become a force of good, because it originates from a good place.

Negative Power is any energy that our body is creating that is flowing in any direction except at our training and life goals. Think about it.  Why would you want to create energy that is going to AWAY from your goals?

Now, I know that negative energy is going to happen at times, but our goal is simple.

We want our training to generate as much positive energy (energy going towards training and life goals) and eliminate as much negative energy (energy that goes any direction other than our training and life goals) as possible.

But you are probably thinking to yourself but “negative energy happens all the time, is it really that big of a deal?”

This is the reality of martial arts training.  It is hard.  But that doesn’t mean that we give in and just do whatever is comfortable.  Quite the opposite.  We engrain better habits and learn to fight to get as many positive things working for us as possible.

So when you aren’t sure what a part of your body should be doing when you learn martial arts, remember the simple (but challenging) idea of positive power, and try to generate as much of your energy (or effort) towards what you want, not away from it.

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Systema Broadens and Connects


We live in a world of increasing specialization. Doctors don’t even specialize in oncology anymore, now they specialize in particular cancers.

Make sense, right? Hard skills, clear roles, every single thing pointed toward that one goal. There is no doubt this is good for a resume. But it turns out it’s not necessarily good for us.

People in industrialized nations have gotten sharper because their thinking has become more broad, more abstract, less narrow and concrete. This allows us to adapt and apply our knowledge to new domains, an ability that is important now and will continue to be in the future.

“Modern work demands knowledge transfer: the ability to apply knowledge to new situations and different domains… Research on thousands of adults in six industrializing nations found that exposure to modern work with self-directed problem solving and non-repetitive challenges was correlated with being “cognitively flexible.”

And this is what we see in top performers. Yes, they specialize, but they have wide-ranging interests, providing a good amount of mental crop rotation to keep their cognitive soil fertile.

Scientists and members of the general public are about equally likely to have artistic hobbies, but scientists inducted into the highest national academies are much more likely to have avocations outside of their vocation. And those who have won the Nobel Prize are more likely still. Compared to other scientists, Nobel laureates are at least twenty-two times more likely to partake as an amateur actor, dancer, magician or other type of performer. Nationally recognized scientists are much more likely than other scientists to be musicians, sculptors, painters, printmakers, woodworkers, mechanics, electronic tinkerers, glassblowers, poets or writers, of both fiction and nonfiction. And, again, Nobel laureates are more likely still.

Ever meet someone who is a total one-trick pony? Great at their role, terrible at everything else? Don’t let yourself be that. Teach your pony a few more tricks.

Systema doesn’t specialize and separate, rather it broadens and connects. It recognizes that each individual possess the abilities to defend oneself and the curriculum helps to foster those abilities. A premium is placed on using creative ways of defending oneself. It places great value in our collective differences. All this offers great depth and width to learning.

I have always said the “Systema is so much more than a martial art”. I have used its principles in all aspects of life with great results.

See you on the mats,


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