Aug 252014

 Childhood Obesity: What the Martial Arts get right and Everyone Else gets Wrong.

Childhood obesity is the big question health of our time.  Like so much in childhood, the ramifications of being unhealthy at a young age will be felt in adulthood.  Heart Disease is one of the biggest causes of death in developed countries.  While many risk factors are out of your control, some are well within it.  Diet and exercise are chief among them.  While it can be very difficult to regulate what a child eats at all times, you can create opportunities for exercise.  The amount of exercise someone gets can do great things to mitigate the risk of weight related health problems, and there are many of them.  It is important to create a level of activity in children that can keep them at a healthy weight range.

Hudson Valley Karate Classes Hudson Valley Karate Classes

Hudson Valley Karate Classes

The problem with physical activity is finding the right program.  For many that is easy, play a team sport.  The problem arises for people who are not as physically developed or who are not athletic in general.  Whether they are too small, slow or out of shape they get marginalized in team sports because winning is such a big part of them.  As children age this threshold gets increased and children who are not physically gifted find themselves not just sitting on the sideline, but not on the team at all.  In other words the children who need it the most are getting forced to the side.  This cannot be the case with such a huge problem on our hands.

The answer is to focus on a physical activity that stays fun and engaging, but doesn’t send people away.  The martial arts provide a friendly encouraging environment for anyone who tries it.  Kids who can’t make their middle school baseball team don’t get turned aside at a karate class.  They are included and it can yield wonderful results.  Some of these children suffer from constantly being compared to their more physically gifted peers.  They have stuck labels on themselves and come to view themselves as “unathletic” because they couldn’t make a team.  The change in how they view themselves can be remarkable.  They gain a new confidence in their abilities and appearance.

If you are interested in giving your child the opportunity to become more fit and confident come into Precision MMA today.  We offer a FREE 30 day trial and private introductory lesson.  Stop in, give us a call at 845-392-8495 or go to our website at


Aug 182014

Poughkeepsie Karate Classes: End to Bullying Cycle

Bullying is becoming a cause celebre in this country.  While in the past it was dismissed as a right of passage or glossed over with empty platitudes like “boys will be boys”, it is now being given the serious attention it requires.  While at times the act of bullying may not seem very harmful, the implications of why someone is being bullied or bullying can be very disconcerting.  As with anything the reason behind the behavior is what needs to be remedied.  A cause common to both sides is self-esteem and confidence.  The martial arts can be the perfect way of shaping the way at risk children view themselves into something more positive and prevent this kind of behavior.

Poughkeepsie Karate Classes Poughkeepsie Karate Classes: End to Bullying Cycle

Poughkeepsie Karate Classes

The way in which you view yourself is very important.  Self-esteem and self-confidence are character traits that become the arbiter of so much in life.  One of the sadder parts about the whole bullying phenomena is that the victim and the bully is often targeted for their lack confidence.  This leads  into a cycle that feeds into itself and creates increasingly poor self image problems.  Children who bully others are often the victims of bullies themselves.  In a different scenario with different people involved they are the ones being victimized.  These children will turn around and bully others as an escape from the powerlessness that they felt.  They will use the same means others have used against them.  The coercive tactics, threats of and actual violence and derisive language, that will all be mirrored back at a new victim.  Again we see a system that feeds into itself and reestablishes it’s terrible hold on new persons time after time.  Steps need to be taken to prevent this sort of cyclical stagnation.

The martial arts help stop bullying by teaching people a few key things.  They can be divided into two basic but overlapping categories, physical and mental.  On the physical side of things the martial arts can teach someone how to defend themselves.  They can’t be bullied in the most extreme sense because the bully cannot use the threat of force as a means of coercion.  They also now have the confidence that comes with being free from this rather cumbersome mental burden.  The bully can gain the confidence to not project their insecurities onto other people and the bullied now has the assertiveness to not be a viable target for bullying.  The bully can also learn how to properly understand what violence means and come to grips with how atrocious using it to control people is.  The martial arts are in a sense a philosophical exploration of what violence is.  To practice the martial arts is to gain a better understanding of violence.  Bullies use violence as a tool to get something out of someone else.  Someone who studies the Martial Arts gains an understanding of just how terrible it is to use violence for any reason outside of self defense.

Poughkeepsie Karate Classes 2 Poughkeepsie Karate Classes: End to Bullying Cycle

Poughkeepsie Karate Classes

Once someone has gained the self-confidence to not be either a bully or a target of bullying broad and exciting new vistas are open to them.  Self-confidence is a truly marvelous state of mind.  I would urge you to not limit the martial arts to just anti-bullying, but really explore the transformative power that the martial arts can have.

If you are interested in having a  child develop positive self-esteem and not become a bully or a victim, check out Precision MMA.  We offer a FREE 30 day trial and private introductory lesson.  Come in, give us a call at 845-392-8495 or go to our website at