7 reasons why your child should practice martial arts.

Recently on a visit back home, I met my one of my close friends at his son’s martial arts studio so I could drop in and see what young Ethan was up to. Ethan was one step away from getting his white sash in Poekoelan, an Indonesian martial art. He beamed with pride as we watched him do various forms and drills. Shortly after I left town, Ethan earned his white sash, upon which he got to join the big kids in the adjacent room. There the big kids practice more advanced forms, techniques, and even some sparring. He was thrilled.   Ethan’s always been a good kid, but from what I observed the martial arts gave him quite a healthy dose of self esteem and self respect - two of the many benefits one gains with participation in them. Whether your kid is too bossy, too shy, or perhaps just a little hyper, the martial arts can help your child learn many important life lessons. (And, of course, those same lessons apply for all of us, not just kids.)   Why Your Child Should Practice Martial Arts   Reason #1: They (and You) Will Get More Active This is the obvious reason kids should do martial arts in this day and age - to get active and moving. In case you haven’t noticed, we have an epidemic when it comes to our nation’s obesity problem. We’re also increasingly unfit in addition to being overweight. The problem is particularly alarming as it relates to our kids. Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but not every kid is an athlete and many schools no longer offer PE. The martial arts offer many benefits, but when it comes to fitness, becoming a true martial artist means becoming a supremely fit person. When I was practicing boxing or muay Thai kickboxing on a daily basis, I was in the best shape of my life by a long shot. Martial arts can help your child get fit and healthy.   Reason #2: They’ll Learn to Find Focus and Stillness Of the many challenges that parents face today, one is that we are constantly plugged in. While there are a great many benefits to the Internet, there are many more benefits in stillness and silence. Unfortunately stillness and silence seem to be rare to find. At some juncture in life, every one of us comes to learn that the greatest obstacle we face in this lifetime is ourselves. That battle is fought in the stillness of our hearts and the willingness to confront ourselves. As Bruce Lee pointed out, behind the punches, kicks, and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are.In years of martial arts classes, I remember many challenges, breakthroughs, and setbacks. What I do not remember are distractions or gimmicks like you often see at your local health club. At the martial arts studios and boxing gyms where I trained, there was no loud music or flat screen TVs, just hard work and sweat equity. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged, and focused.   Reason #3: They’ll Learn to Take Hits In the martial arts, your child will learn what it is to take a hit, whether that hit is a literal blow or a disappointment like failing a test.   Part of life is learning that we all take hits. The key is in learning how best to take that hit and get back up. Unfortunately, this lesson seems to be lost on many in our every-kid-gets-a-trophy culture. In the martial arts, your kid will learn to fail - a lot. Half of martial arts is hitting, but half is also getting hit.   When people hire me to teach them boxing, they can’t wait to lace up the gloves and start hitting things. Seldom does someone mention how enjoyable it is when I tap him or her upside the head with a focus mitt for dropping their hands.   The first time I got struck in the head sparring in kung fu, I immediately rushed to the mirror to see if there was a mark on my face. The students in class laughed about it for months. While I didn’t find it too funny at the time, I came to learn that accepting I would get hit enabled me to relax and better protect myself. That acceptance led me to be able to better respond, maneuver, and anticipate. Ironically, learning how to take a hit is perhaps the best way for your kid to learn how to avoid it.   Reason #4: They’ll Gain Self Confidence and Self Respect As noted in talking about my friend’s son Ethan, I was able to witness firsthand the confidence he gained by participating in the martial arts. Being able to advance and play with the big kids gave Ethan a tremendous amount of confidence.   Of course, playing with the big kids also gives all of us a little reminder of humility - someone is always bigger and stronger. I remember Sifu gently threatening the two young boys in our kung fu class that if they ever used their kung fu training in the wrong way or to show off he would have their hide.   The right martial arts school will teach your child that there are no tough guys. Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence and respect for others comes from a deep sense of self-knowledge.   Reason #5: They’ll Connect Their Mind and Body What they don’t teach you at your local health club 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.   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 what you learn in the martial arts.   Reason #6: They’ll Learn Conflict Resolution People often ask me whether I have ever used my martial arts and boxing training in a fight. Indeed I have used the skills learned from martial arts many times to resolve conflict, but thankfully, never in a physical altercation outside the ring.   One of the first lessons Sifu taught us in kung fu was that words were never grounds for a fight. That advice right there has saved me many times. In the martial arts, you learn that there is no such thing as “fighting” words. Instead, you learn to respond without reacting in the martial arts.   Reason #7: They’ll Learn to Breathe Of the many things I have learned in the martial arts and boxing, breathing is near the top. Back in my kung fu days, Sifu told me that he could tell how someone fights just by observing how he or she breathes.   Indeed, nothing is more essential to the success of how we move our body than tapping into the life force of our essence - our breath. Ask a professional athlete, or an actor, dancer, or signer, and they will tell you that to succeed in any physical craft is to access your breath correctly.   I am shocked at times working with adults who never learned to breathe properly when under physical exertion. This skill can literally save your life. In the martial arts your kid will learn the essence of how to breathe and even relax under pressure.    

Recently on a visit back home, I met my one of my close friends at his son’s martial arts studio so I could drop in and see what young Ethan was up to. Ethan was one step away from getting his white sash in Poekoelan, an Indonesian martial art. He beamed with pride as we watched him do various forms and drills. Shortly after I left town, Ethan earned his white sash, upon which he got to join the big kids in the adjacent room. There the big kids practice more advanced forms, techniques, and even some sparring. He was thrilled.

 

Ethan’s always been a good kid, but from what I observed the martial arts gave him quite a healthy dose of self esteem and self respect - two of the many benefits one gains with participation in them. Whether your kid is too bossy, too shy, or perhaps just a little hyper, the martial arts can help your child learn many important life lessons. (And, of course, those same lessons apply for all of us, not just kids.)

 

Why Your Child Should Practice Martial Arts

 

Reason #1: They (and You) Will Get More Active

This is the obvious reason kids should do martial arts in this day and age - to get active and moving. In case you haven’t noticed, we have an epidemic when it comes to our nation’s obesity problem. We’re also increasingly unfit in addition to being overweight. The problem is particularly alarming as it relates to our kids. Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but not every kid is an athlete and many schools no longer offer PE. The martial arts offer many benefits, but when it comes to fitness, becoming a true martial artist means becoming a supremely fit person. When I was practicing boxing or muay Thai kickboxing on a daily basis, I was in the best shape of my life by a long shot. Martial arts can help your child get fit and healthy.

 

Reason #2: They’ll Learn to Find Focus and Stillness

Of the many challenges that parents face today, one is that we are constantly plugged in. While there are a great many benefits to the Internet, there are many more benefits in stillness and silence. Unfortunately stillness and silence seem to be rare to find. At some juncture in life, every one of us comes to learn that the greatest obstacle we face in this lifetime is ourselves. That battle is fought in the stillness of our hearts and the willingness to confront ourselves. As Bruce Lee pointed out, behind the punches, kicks, and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are.In years of martial arts classes, I remember many challenges, breakthroughs, and setbacks. What I do not remember are distractions or gimmicks like you often see at your local health club. At the martial arts studios and boxing gyms where I trained, there was no loud music or flat screen TVs, just hard work and sweat equity. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged, and focused.

 

Reason #3: They’ll Learn to Take Hits

In the martial arts, your child will learn what it is to take a hit, whether that hit is a literal blow or a disappointment like failing a test.

 

Part of life is learning that we all take hitsThe key is in learning how best to take that hit and get back up. Unfortunately, this lesson seems to be lost on many in our every-kid-gets-a-trophy culture. In the martial arts, your kid will learn to fail - a lot. Half of martial arts is hitting, but half is also getting hit.

 

When people hire me to teach them boxing, they can’t wait to lace up the gloves and start hitting things. Seldom does someone mention how enjoyable it is when I tap him or her upside the head with a focus mitt for dropping their hands.

 

The first time I got struck in the head sparring in kung fu, I immediately rushed to the mirror to see if there was a mark on my face. The students in class laughed about it for months. While I didn’t find it too funny at the time, I came to learn that accepting I would get hit enabled me to relax and better protect myself. That acceptance led me to be able to better respond, maneuver, and anticipate. Ironically, learning how to take a hit is perhaps the best way for your kid to learn how to avoid it.

 

Reason #4: They’ll Gain Self Confidence and Self Respect

As noted in talking about my friend’s son Ethan, I was able to witness firsthand the confidence he gained by participating in the martial arts. Being able to advance and play with the big kids gave Ethan a tremendous amount of confidence.

 

Of course, playing with the big kids also gives all of us a little reminder of humility - someone is always bigger and stronger. I remember Sifu gently threatening the two young boys in our kung fu class that if they ever used their kung fu training in the wrong way or to show off he would have their hide.

 

The right martial arts school will teach your child that there are no tough guys. Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence and respect for others comes from a deep sense of self-knowledge.

 

Reason #5: They’ll Connect Their Mind and Body

What they don’t teach you at your local health club 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.

 

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 what you learn in the martial arts.

 

Reason #6: They’ll Learn Conflict Resolution

People often ask me whether I have ever used my martial arts and boxing training in a fight. Indeed I have used the skills learned from martial arts many times to resolve conflict, but thankfully, never in a physical altercation outside the ring.

 

One of the first lessons Sifu taught us in kung fu was that words were never grounds for a fight. That advice right there has saved me many times. In the martial arts, you learn that there is no such thing as “fighting” words. Instead, you learn to respond without reacting in the martial arts.

 

Reason #7: They’ll Learn to Breathe

Of the many things I have learned in the martial arts and boxing, breathing is near the top. Back in my kung fu days, Sifu told me that he could tell how someone fights just by observing how he or she breathes.

 

Indeed, nothing is more essential to the success of how we move our body than tapping into the life force of our essence - our breath. Ask a professional athlete, or an actor, dancer, or signer, and they will tell you that to succeed in any physical craft is to access your breath correctly.

 

I am shocked at times working with adults who never learned to breathe properly when under physical exertion. This skill can literally save your life. In the martial arts your kid will learn the essence of how to breathe and even relax under pressure.

 

 

How to prevent your child from becoming a victim of bullying.

Many of us remember what it was like to be bullied when we were younger. All those nights spent crying because someone would always steal your lunch, or those mornings when you dreaded going to school, just so you wouldn’t have to face being called names again. Being bullied is a traumatizing experience and has the capacity to have a lasting influence on a child.  

Here are the cold, hard facts:

Across the world, DoSomething.Org reports that:

  • Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
  • Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school.
  • 1 out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying. 
  • 1 out of 8 children are bullied on a weekly basis in Singapore.
  • 4 out of 35 children are repeatedly being bullied by their peers.             
  • What is bullying? 

Bullying is defined as unwelcome behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. A powerful bully intentionally harms someone who is weaker through repeated hurtful behaviors that could result in damaging consequences.

Studies show that bullying has a serious negative impact on a child’s life and development. They may find it more difficult than others to adjust, have a low psychological well-being, face psychological distress and are almost always physically unwell.

 

How do I bully-proof my child?

 

1) Teach them self-confidence.
Children who grow up with low self-esteem are often more prone to bullying. Giving them the confidence to deal with and avoid physical aggression will most certainly increase their self-esteem. This confidence can be developed by learning martial arts. Not only will a child learn the skills necessary to neutralize an attack, but also  how to avoid conflict.

 

2) Build trust.
The easiest way to build trust is by showing your child that you want to be an active part of his or her life. Stay connected and keep lines of communication open all the time. Ensure them that you are always there for them, no matter how trivial their problems may seem. If you have an open relationship with your child, the less likely he or she will be bullied.

 

3) Ensure that they grow up in a compassionate, loving home.
This is probably one of the most effective ways to prevent your child from being bullied and becoming a bully himself. Remember, children are very impressionable and often act out what they see at home. If your discipline methods include shaming or hitting, there may be a chance that they will do the same to others. Make sure that your child grows up in a loving home that disciplines with compassion.

 

 

 

4) Teach them basic bully-avoidance.
Since bullying often occurs when adults aren’t present, teach your child to avoid potential situations where they know bullying could occur. Sitting at the front of the bus or hurrying to the classroom when the bell rings could substantially minimize contact with bullies.

 

5) Encourage them to learn basic self-defense. 
Self-defense means exactly what it does — defending yourself against an attacker. For children, learning how to deal with confrontation without the use of physical aggression is paramount. This not only prevents the child from becoming a bully himself, but also gives them an enhanced sense of responsibility by giving them the ability to take control of the situation until help arrives.

 

 

Unfortunately, most children continue to tolerate bullying despite the havoc it wreaks on their lives. Thus, with some very basic training in self-defense, many children’s lives can be vastly improved.
Through martial arts, violence and bullying can be dealt with by using non-violent techniques. Children will be taught to stand up for themselves and gain the confidence they need to take control of their lives and control bullies in a safe and proven manner.

 

8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Reached Your Full Potential In Martial Arts Yet (And How You Can!)

It’s almost the end of the year and you’re probably wondering: where did all the time go? Have I accomplished all the New Year’s resolutions that I made early this year?  As martial artists, setting goals comes naturally. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of effort and perseverance to ensure that they get done. Do you still have a few more goals that you’d like to achieve before the end of the year? Worry not because Evolve Daily is here to help give you that final push before the year ends. We’ve come up with several tips to ensure that you meet those martial arts goals that you’re dead set on accomplishing. Today, Evolve Daily shares 8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Reached Your Full Potential In Martial Arts Yet:   1) Because you aren’t asking enough questions.  

It’s almost the end of the year and you’re probably wondering: where did all the time go? Have I accomplished all the New Year’s resolutions that I made early this year? 

As martial artists, setting goals comes naturally. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of effort and perseverance to ensure that they get done.

Do you still have a few more goals that you’d like to achieve before the end of the year? Worry not because Evolve Daily is here to help give you that final push before the year ends. We’ve come up with several tips to ensure that you meet those martial arts goals that you’re dead set on accomplishing. Today, Evolve Daily shares 8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Reached Your Full Potential In Martial Arts Yet:

 

1) Because you aren’t asking enough questions.

 

Your instructors are there for a reason and it’s not just to teach you techniques. They are also there to answer your training-related questions and give you guidance when you need it. Looking for someone to boost your morale? Your instructor is just the right person to give you that little spark of hope that will get you through a tough spot or a plateau. Don’t be shy — it’s OK to ask your instructor questions. Trust us!   2) Because you aren’t training enough. 

Your instructors are there for a reason and it’s not just to teach you techniques. They are also there to answer your training-related questions and give you guidance when you need it. Looking for someone to boost your morale? Your instructor is just the right person to give you that little spark of hope that will get you through a tough spot or a plateau. Don’t be shy — it’s OK to ask your instructor questions. Trust us!

 

2) Because you aren’t training enough. 

Do you think that you could squeeze in a few more training sessions into your weekly schedule? Yes, we understand that certain commitments take precedence over training, but adding an hour or two of classes per week shouldn’t hurt. And one more session on top of your usual two sessions a week is already 50% more training!  The more you train, the easier it is for your body to adapt and learn new techniques.   3) Because you aren’t sleeping enough. 

Do you think that you could squeeze in a few more training sessions into your weekly schedule? Yes, we understand that certain commitments take precedence over training, but adding an hour or two of classes per week shouldn’t hurt. And one more session on top of your usual two sessions a week is already 50% more training!  The more you train, the easier it is for your body to adapt and learn new techniques.

 

3) Because you aren’t sleeping enough. 

When was the last time you had 8 hours of sleep? If you have to think about it, that means that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Your body needs to rest and recover, especially after training. By adjusting your schedule and night-time habits, it will be easier for you to get the shut-eye that your body desperately needs.   4) Because you aren’t drilling. 

When was the last time you had 8 hours of sleep? If you have to think about it, that means that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Your body needs to rest and recover, especially after training. By adjusting your schedule and night-time habits, it will be easier for you to get the shut-eye that your body desperately needs.

 

4) Because you aren’t drilling. 

What you do before and after your martial arts class could make all the difference. Dedicating an extra 15-20 minutes of your time to drilling techniques can help you improve your game by leaps and bounds. Remember, just watching your instructor and practicing techniques a few times in class aren’t enough to master them!   5) Because you aren’t drilling with purpose. 

What you do before and after your martial arts class could make all the difference. Dedicating an extra 15-20 minutes of your time to drilling techniques can help you improve your game by leaps and bounds. Remember, just watching your instructor and practicing techniques a few times in class aren’t enough to master them!

 

5) Because you aren’t drilling with purpose. 

If you’ve been drilling, but you still feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, then you probably aren’t doing it right. Drill with purpose — find one or two specific techniques you want to master and do them at least 10 times each. Start with no resistance and gradually add increasing pressure and speed. This way, you can also work on your counters!   6) Because you aren’t working on your strength and conditioning. 

If you’ve been drilling, but you still feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, then you probably aren’t doing it right. Drill with purpose — find one or two specific techniques you want to master and do them at least 10 times each. Start with no resistance and gradually add increasing pressure and speed. This way, you can also work on your counters!

 

6) Because you aren’t working on your strength and conditioning. 

The most high-level martial artists know the value of adding strength and conditioning to their repertoire. It gives them that extra edge they need to get better, faster, and stronger than their opponents. Why not try it out for yourself?   7) Because you aren’t working on your flexibility. 

The most high-level martial artists know the value of adding strength and conditioning to their repertoire. It gives them that extra edge they need to get better, faster, and stronger than their opponents. Why not try it out for yourself?

 

7) Because you aren’t working on your flexibility. 

One of the best attributes a martial artist could work on is his flexibility. For those who practice Muay Thai, it could make their kicks faster, stronger, and more versatile. BJJ practitioners on the other hand, will enjoy better mobility and guard retention, which will make it difficult for anyone to pass their guards. Make time to work on your flexibility before and after class. If you feel like it isn’t enough, why not attend a yoga class to achieve better flexibility faster?   8) Because you aren’t working on your weaknesses. 

One of the best attributes a martial artist could work on is his flexibility. For those who practice Muay Thai, it could make their kicks faster, stronger, and more versatile. BJJ practitioners on the other hand, will enjoy better mobility and guard retention, which will make it difficult for anyone to pass their guards. Make time to work on your flexibility before and after class. If you feel like it isn’t enough, why not attend a yoga class to achieve better flexibility faster?

 

8) Because you aren’t working on your weaknesses. 

As martial artists, it is comforting for us to stick to our strengths, especially during sparring. Unfortunately, this notion is holding us back from achieving our full potential as martial artists. The more we work on our weaknesses, the faster they will eventually become our strengths. If you get tapped out because you weren’t playing your a-game, don’t feel bad. It’s all part of a learning process that will make you a better martial artist in the end.   Remember, even the most talented World Champions understand that each training day must be treated as a learning experience. As the legendary Bruce Lee once said, “Life itself is your teacher and you are in a state of constant learning.” It is never too late to become the best martial artist you can be so don’t put a deadline on your success. Go on and train!

As martial artists, it is comforting for us to stick to our strengths, especially during sparring. Unfortunately, this notion is holding us back from achieving our full potential as martial artists. The more we work on our weaknesses, the faster they will eventually become our strengths. If you get tapped out because you weren’t playing your a-game, don’t feel bad. It’s all part of a learning process that will make you a better martial artist in the end.

 

Remember, even the most talented World Champions understand that each training day must be treated as a learning experience. As the legendary Bruce Lee once said, “Life itself is your teacher and you are in a state of constant learning.” It is never too late to become the best martial artist you can be so don’t put a deadline on your success. Go on and train!

Adorable little boy tries his hardest to break a board in Taekwondo

You're never too young to put up a good fight, as demonstrated by one little boy who mustered up all his might to break a board during a taekwondo class.

We'll admit we're not sure it's as easy as it looks, but this kid was ready to do whatever it took. While it could've taken blood, sweet and tears, he was all laughs.

The first time he eagerly jumps on top of the box and stamps his feet as he shouts "hai YAH" over and over again, getting quite the giggles out of his fellow classmates. Then the teacher instructs him that the task must be completed with one leg. So what does he do? Naturally he just tries to kick over the board with his foot. Unfortunately, there's no easy way out on this one!

RELATED: Teacher creates Instagram account for all the funny, cute, wise things kids say

The teacher then demonstrates on the floor what must be done. Not surprisingly, the boy just copies the teacher and slams his foot down on the floor. Per usual the class is amused. It seems he's quite the class clown!

Next, he tries breaking the board by smashing his hands on top. Wrong body part, buddy! Eventually, he realizes it's supposed to be just one foot slammed on top. After a few tries, he finally does it and earns his white belt. All in a hard day's work!

The little boys reaction is absolutely priceless. He's so proud of himself, clapping for himself along with the rest of his classmates and doing, of course, a little victory dance. He sure knows how to ham it up!

It's no wonder this adorable video has received over a million views in just two days. Looks like there's a new karate kid in town! Watch The full video here: http://www.today.com/news/adorable-little-boy-tries-his-hardest-break-board-taekwondo-t37826

Theres a New Black Belt on the scene in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and you might know him from The Avengers

Clark Gregg, who is well known by comic and pop culture geeks as Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Renato Magno of Street Sports BJJ in Santa Monica, CA. Gregg received his black belt after being rewarded his brown belt by Professor Magno back in December 2013. Congratulations to Clark on this amazing martial arts and life achievement!

Clark Gregg, who is well known by comic and pop culture geeks as Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Renato Magno of Street Sports BJJ in Santa Monica, CA. Gregg received his black belt after being rewarded his brown belt by Professor Magno back in December 2013. Congratulations to Clark on this amazing martial arts and life achievement!

5 ways Martial Arts Gives You a Great Life

Many of us spend our lives simply passing time from one day to the next, without ever feeling any sense of accomplishment. After awhile, we start to wonder: what is life really all about? All of us are worthy of living full, exciting lives. As humans, we are built to face challenges, proving our worth through our actions. For martial artists, living life to the fullest is one of the greatest benefits of practicing martial arts. Not only does it encourage one to embrace any opportunity to unleash their greatness, but it also helps them improve themselves on a continuous basis. Today, Evolve Daily shares 5 Ways Martial Arts Gives You A Great Life:  1) It builds character   US Olympian and Evolve Fight Team Head Coach Heath Sims and ONE Superstar Amir Khan enjoy a funny moment after training. For martial artists, every training session is truly character building. Choosing to be patient, admitting defeat and doing it all over again isn’t easy, but that’s what training martial arts is like. Martial artists understand that training without reflecting on what they’ve learned won’t get them anywhere. They’ll be stuck where they are for a very long time, unable to level up. By adhering to decisions that are in tune with one’s moral compass, you become not only a better person; you’ll also strengthen your positive self-image.   2) It builds confidence     The Evolve Fight Team is Asia’s most decorated professional fighting team with World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Wrestling, No Gi Grappling, and more. Nothing builds your confidence more than knowing that you can defend yourself from an attacker or be able to submit someone that is twice your size. Martial arts teaches you techniques that can be applied in real-life self-defense situations. This confidence one learns from martial arts also translates into personal confidence. Confident people know their worth and what their positive attributes are. The more you embrace your confidence, the easier it will be for everyone to see what a great person you really are.   3) It encourages you to work hard   ONE Superstar Angela Lee is known to be one of the most well-rounded MMA fighters in ONE Championship. Martial artists understand that hard work is a must, especially if they want to level up. They know that they have to go above and beyond what is required of a student — drilling after class, taking notes, sparring with advanced students in order to become a better martial artist.  This dedication transfers well into one’s daily life. A good work ethic will take anyone places, giving them a stronger sense of self and a deeper belief in their abilities.   4) It helps you embrace the unexpected   Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your core and boost endurance. The moment you bump fists with your sparring partner, you become aware that literally anything can happen. There’s a chance he could submit you, even if he’s at a much lower level than you are. And when he does, you realize how unexpected martial arts can be. Just like martial arts, life is also full of surprises. One day you could be at the top of the world and the next might be the complete opposite. Martial arts teaches you to be OK with it and just embrace it. Everything is a learning experience that will make you a better person in the end.   5) It encourages you to be healthy   WBA Boxing World Champion Yodsanan Sityodtong demonstrates a jab. While you don’t have to be at the peak of fitness to practice martial arts, it certainly encourages you to take care of yourself. If you eat unhealthily, you know it could take a toll on your training. If you don’t sleep well, you’ll feel lethargic the rest of the day. Martial arts teaches you to reconsider your priorities by aligning them with your martial arts goals. Every serious martial artist knows you can’t level up if you don’t make the effort to maintain a healthy diet or include strength and conditioning to your workout regimen.   It can be easy to forget the many benefits of martial arts, especially if you’ve practiced it for a long time. However, when you reflect on your life and see how much it’s changed because of martial arts, you’re definitely in for a surprise. So go on and train, be the best version of yourself – not only in martial arts but also in your daily life. Live your life to the fullest with martial arts and eventually, winning in all aspects of life will come naturally.

Many of us spend our lives simply passing time from one day to the next, without ever feeling any sense of accomplishment. After awhile, we start to wonder: what is life really all about?

All of us are worthy of living full, exciting lives. As humans, we are built to face challenges, proving our worth through our actions.

For martial artists, living life to the fullest is one of the greatest benefits of practicing martial arts. Not only does it encourage one to embrace any opportunity to unleash their greatness, but it also helps them improve themselves on a continuous basis.

Today, Evolve Daily shares 5 Ways Martial Arts Gives You A Great Life: 

1) It builds character

 

US Olympian and Evolve Fight Team Head Coach Heath Sims and ONE Superstar Amir Khan enjoy a funny moment after training.

For martial artists, every training session is truly character building. Choosing to be patient, admitting defeat and doing it all over again isn’t easy, but that’s what training martial arts is like.

Martial artists understand that training without reflecting on what they’ve learned won’t get them anywhere. They’ll be stuck where they are for a very long time, unable to level up.

By adhering to decisions that are in tune with one’s moral compass, you become not only a better person; you’ll also strengthen your positive self-image.

 

2) It builds confidence

 

 

The Evolve Fight Team is Asia’s most decorated professional fighting team with World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Wrestling, No Gi Grappling, and more.

Nothing builds your confidence more than knowing that you can defend yourself from an attacker or be able to submit someone that is twice your size. Martial arts teaches you techniques that can be applied in real-life self-defense situations.

This confidence one learns from martial arts also translates into personal confidence. Confident people know their worth and what their positive attributes are. The more you embrace your confidence, the easier it will be for everyone to see what a great person you really are.

 

3) It encourages you to work hard

 

ONE Superstar Angela Lee is known to be one of the most well-rounded MMA fighters in ONE Championship.

Martial artists understand that hard work is a must, especially if they want to level up. They know that they have to go above and beyond what is required of a student — drilling after class, taking notes, sparring with advanced students in order to become a better martial artist. 

This dedication transfers well into one’s daily life. A good work ethic will take anyone places, giving them a stronger sense of self and a deeper belief in their abilities.

 

4) It helps you embrace the unexpected

 

Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your core and boost endurance.

The moment you bump fists with your sparring partner, you become aware that literally anything can happen. There’s a chance he could submit you, even if he’s at a much lower level than you are. And when he does, you realize how unexpected martial arts can be.

Just like martial arts, life is also full of surprises. One day you could be at the top of the world and the next might be the complete opposite. Martial arts teaches you to be OK with it and just embrace it. Everything is a learning experience that will make you a better person in the end.

 

5) It encourages you to be healthy

 

WBA Boxing World Champion Yodsanan Sityodtong demonstrates a jab.

While you don’t have to be at the peak of fitness to practice martial arts, it certainly encourages you to take care of yourself. If you eat unhealthily, you know it could take a toll on your training. If you don’t sleep well, you’ll feel lethargic the rest of the day.

Martial arts teaches you to reconsider your priorities by aligning them with your martial arts goals. Every serious martial artist knows you can’t level up if you don’t make the effort to maintain a healthy diet or include strength and conditioning to your workout regimen.

 

It can be easy to forget the many benefits of martial arts, especially if you’ve practiced it for a long time. However, when you reflect on your life and see how much it’s changed because of martial arts, you’re definitely in for a surprise.

So go on and train, be the best version of yourself – not only in martial arts but also in your daily life. Live your life to the fullest with martial arts and eventually, winning in all aspects of life will come naturally.

23 Martial Arts Masters Reveal the Most Important Teachings of the Self-Defense Arts

The external lessons of the martial arts are obvious. Use a jab to strike an opponent in front of you. Practice kata to polish your basic techniques and movements. Lift weights to build your strength. You probably know them by heart because you’re exposed to them every day in the dojo. What you’re not exposed to as often are the deeper, more esoteric lessons — the ones your instructor acquired after years, even decades, of training. Black Belt polled 23 martial arts masters to learn their secrets. Presented below are the most inspiring ones.   <<Learn Which Techniques Are Appropriate for Which Situations “Mixed martial arts for competition and mixed martial arts as a form of self-defense are two different problems, but you use a lot of the same techniques. Mixed martial arts for sport is an intense one-on-one situation in a static environment, but it’s very intricate in the one-on-one. “A self-defense situation is much bigger. You have to observe the room constantly because there might be more than one person. You have different environmental concerns to address: Where’s the furniture? How can I get to an exit? However, it’s usually not as intricate as competition. Usually, you’re not going to try to pull a deep half-guard in a street fight because your opponent’s friend will kick you in the head. Knowing which techniques are appropriate for which situation is very important.” — Greg Jackson; MMA coach for Holly Holm, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and others; featured in the MMA Core Curriculum online course   <<Know Why You’re Training “This sounds obvious, but some martial artists train in a way that doesn’t at all match their stated goals. They say they’re training for self-defense, yet their teachers emphasize things that don’t reflect the realities of fighting. “Know why you’re training. Does it give you a sense of adventure? Are you seeking self-perfection? Do you simply enjoy the thrill of competition or relish a challenge? Is it because you get to spend time with inspiring people? If you’re clear as to why you train, you’ll be more likely to find the best teachers and lessons.” — Stephen K. Hayes, ninjutsu, to-shin do, author of The Complete Ninja Collection   <<Explore Your Mind “Be clear on what you want out of the martial arts. Some people want to be a kicker, while others couldn’t care less about kicking. Some want to do forms but don’t care about fighting. Some prefer to concentrate on weapons. You have to understand yourself because to be successful, you have to develop the right mindset. “When I was competing, my mindset was, if you were going to beat me, you were going to carry me out of the ring. I’d say to my opponent, ‘You’re fighting a losing battle already — you can’t beat my mind.’” — Bill Wallace, kickboxing   <<Have Patience While Mastering the Basics “Learn the fundamentals and perform them to the best of your ability before moving on to more advanced techniques. The basics — stances, punches, kicks and blocks — form your foundation. “If your foundation is weak, whatever you build on it will collapse. For example, you must be able to hold a perfect horse stance to be able to move in and out of it or to perform hand techniques from it.” — Karen Sheperd, wun hop kuen do   <<Develop Patience “The martial arts aren’t a form of recreation; they’re a way of life. After a month or two of lessons, don’t expect to conquer the world. Plan to stay with your style for the long haul.” —Lisa King, muay Thai   <<Know That Reality Isn’t Open to Interpretation “If you don’t understand reality, it will work against you. Although everyone can have a point of view, there’s only one reality, and it’s not open to interpretation or personal preferences. “Someone may believe he can fly and talk all day about flying. He can discuss various theories on how to fly and even jump off an 80-story building and ‘fly’ for the first 79 floors — until reality hits. Resistance separates reality from fantasy. Reality-test everything before you adopt it.” — Richard Ryan, Dynamic Combat   <<Study the Most Likely Attacks “It does little good to learn defensive techniques to counter moves that your opponent may never launch. Know how a street criminal attacks, how a mentally ill person attacks, how a terrorist attacks and so on. Seek that information from people who’ve been there.” — Sgt. Jim Wagner, reality-based self-defense, author of Reality-Based Personal Protection Bolster Your Determination “Through the testing processes that are inherent in the martial arts, you learn humility. Losing does that to you. However, every loss should push you to train harder so you can be better than you were. Don’t dwell on losses; learn from them.” — Lisa King   <<Keep Your Hands Up “This is obvious to anyone who’s been kicked, punched or otherwise whacked in the head. But if you haven’t fought much, you need to make an effort to remember it.” — Frank Shamrock, mixed martial arts   <<Learn What It’s Like to Be Hit “Become familiar with being struck. Condition yourself through drilling with a medicine ball, striking a makiwara and engaging in impact sparring with kicks, punches and grappling maneuvers.” — Maj. Avi Nardia, author of Kapap Combat Concepts, star of the Kapap Combat Concepts DVD set   <<Don’t Get Hit “The most important skill you must have is the ability to avoid getting punched during a fight.” — Rorion Gracie, Brazilian jiu-jitsu Get Intimate With Your Moves “Don’t just do a technique; mechanical repetitions have no meaning. To truly own it, internalize it. Realize its potential, especially if you plan on relying on it. “Connect to each technique’s rhythm and nuances until you find the sweet spot, that place where its power crackles and pops. You’ll know it when you feel it.” — Melissa Soalt, self-defense Know Your Body “In fact, know all its capabilities. You can make your mind strong, but if there’s something wrong with your hips or shoulders, it will limit your performance. Of course, you might be able to work around the problem. “Another example: You might think you can start training at age 50 to become a competitor, but chances are you’ll lose a lot because the other guys will have much more experience.” — Bill Wallace   <<Contemplate Your Navel “More precisely, contemplate the region just below your navel. Lower your center of gravity and move it into your hara. It translates as ‘belly,’ but the word denotes your physical and spiritual epicenter of power. It’s the source of and connection to the primordial life force. Practically speaking, it’s your center of mass. “By lowering your center of mass and cultivating hara, you develop an internal, shock-absorbing base of power. That helps you hit harder, remain calm under fire and move economically with purpose and speed. It also shortens the rise that naturally occurs when you’re surprised or threatened.” — Melissa Soalt   <<Master Your Technique “Martial artists often sacrifice technique for power and speed, but power and speed are no good without technique. Technique gives precision to your hand strikes and kicks. It also leads to better control, which is essential to the philosophy of the martial arts. “Technique and philosophy are the qualities that differentiate you from a street fighter.” — Steve DeMasco, Shaolin kempo, star of the Shaolin Chuan Fa DVD set   <<Stay Balanced “As you practice, think about art, sport and self-defense. It’s easy to get carried away with just one aspect of the martial arts. Too much focus on sport or fitness will slow your thinking about the practicality of things on the street. That can create an error in judgment. “Likewise, too much focus on the artistic part of your style can cloud your mind and keep you from seeing other things.” — Julius Melegrito, Filipino martial arts, star of the Philippine Fighting Arts DVD set   <<Be Aware of Your Surroundings “Know where you are and if that man who’s approaching you is likely to ask for directions or jack your wallet. If it’s the latter, look for escape routes or begin doing what you need to do to stand your ground and fight.” — Tim Tackett, jeet kune do, author of the Chinatown Jeet Kune Do book and Chinatown Jeet Kune Do DVD Remember That Ability Is Knowledge Applied “In other words, knowledge plus repetition equals training. To achieve greatness, first acquire realistic knowledge, then put it to work through repetition. The more reality-based knowledge you acquire and the more you work at it, the more skilled you become. Once you have a firm grasp of reality, you need to work at it to become good.” — Richard Ryan (To be continued.)  

The external lessons of the martial arts are obvious. Use a jab to strike an opponent in front of you. Practice kata to polish your basic techniques and movements. Lift weights to build your strength. You probably know them by heart because you’re exposed to them every day in the dojo. What you’re not exposed to as often are the deeper, more esoteric lessons — the ones your instructor acquired after years, even decades, of training. Black Belt polled 23 martial arts masters to learn their secrets. Presented below are the most inspiring ones.

 

<<Learn Which Techniques Are Appropriate for Which Situations

“Mixed martial arts for competition and mixed martial arts as a form of self-defense are two different problems, but you use a lot of the same techniques. Mixed martial arts for sport is an intense one-on-one situation in a static environment, but it’s very intricate in the one-on-one.

“A self-defense situation is much bigger. You have to observe the room constantly because there might be more than one person. You have different environmental concerns to address: Where’s the furniture? How can I get to an exit? However, it’s usually not as intricate as competition. Usually, you’re not going to try to pull a deep half-guard in a street fight because your opponent’s friend will kick you in the head. Knowing which techniques are appropriate for which situation is very important.”

— Greg Jackson; MMA coach for Holly Holm, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and others; featured in the MMA Core Curriculum online course

 

<<Know Why You’re Training

“This sounds obvious, but some martial artists train in a way that doesn’t at all match their stated goals. They say they’re training for self-defense, yet their teachers emphasize things that don’t reflect the realities of fighting.

“Know why you’re training. Does it give you a sense of adventure? Are you seeking self-perfection? Do you simply enjoy the thrill of competition or relish a challenge? Is it because you get to spend time with inspiring people? If you’re clear as to why you train, you’ll be more likely to find the best teachers and lessons.”

— Stephen K. Hayesninjutsu, to-shin do, author of The Complete Ninja Collection

 

<<Explore Your Mind

“Be clear on what you want out of the martial arts. Some people want to be a kicker, while others couldn’t care less about kicking. Some want to do forms but don’t care about fighting. Some prefer to concentrate on weapons. You have to understand yourself because to be successful, you have to develop the right mindset.

“When I was competing, my mindset was, if you were going to beat me, you were going to carry me out of the ring. I’d say to my opponent, ‘You’re fighting a losing battle already — you can’t beat my mind.’”

— Bill Wallacekickboxing

 

<<Have Patience While Mastering the Basics

“Learn the fundamentals and perform them to the best of your ability before moving on to more advanced techniques. The basics — stances, punches, kicks and blocks — form your foundation.

“If your foundation is weak, whatever you build on it will collapse. For example, you must be able to hold a perfect horse stance to be able to move in and out of it or to perform hand techniques from it.”

— Karen Sheperd, wun hop kuen do

 

<<Develop Patience

“The martial arts aren’t a form of recreation; they’re a way of life. After a month or two of lessons, don’t expect to conquer the world. Plan to stay with your style for the long haul.”

—Lisa King, muay Thai

 

<<Know That Reality Isn’t Open to Interpretation

“If you don’t understand reality, it will work against you. Although everyone can have a point of view, there’s only one reality, and it’s not open to interpretation or personal preferences.

“Someone may believe he can fly and talk all day about flying. He can discuss various theories on how to fly and even jump off an 80-story building and ‘fly’ for the first 79 floors — until reality hits. Resistance separates reality from fantasy. Reality-test everything before you adopt it.”

— Richard Ryan, Dynamic Combat

 

<<Study the Most Likely Attacks

“It does little good to learn defensive techniques to counter moves that your opponent may never launch. Know how a street criminal attacks, how a mentally ill person attacks, how a terrorist attacks and so on. Seek that information from people who’ve been there.”

— Sgt. Jim Wagnerreality-based self-defense, author of Reality-Based Personal Protection

Bolster Your Determination

“Through the testing processes that are inherent in the martial arts, you learn humility. Losing does that to you. However, every loss should push you to train harder so you can be better than you were. Don’t dwell on losses; learn from them.”

— Lisa King

 

<<Keep Your Hands Up

“This is obvious to anyone who’s been kicked, punched or otherwise whacked in the head. But if you haven’t fought much, you need to make an effort to remember it.”

— Frank Shamrock, mixed martial arts

 

<<Learn What It’s Like to Be Hit

“Become familiar with being struck. Condition yourself through drilling with a medicine ball, striking a makiwara and engaging in impact sparring with kicks, punches and grappling maneuvers.”

— Maj. Avi Nardia, author of Kapap Combat Concepts, star of the Kapap Combat Concepts DVD set

 

<<Don’t Get Hit

“The most important skill

you must have is

the ability to avoid getting punched during a fight.”

— Rorion GracieBrazilian jiu-jitsu

Get Intimate With Your Moves

“Don’t just do a technique; mechanical repetitions have no meaning. To truly own it, internalize it. Realize its potential, especially if you plan on relying on it.

“Connect to each technique’s rhythm and nuances until you find the sweet spot, that place where its power crackles and pops. You’ll know it when you feel it.”

— Melissa Soaltself-defense

Know Your Body

“In fact, know all its capabilities. You can make your mind strong, but if there’s something wrong with your hips or shoulders, it will limit your performance. Of course, you might be able to work around the problem.

“Another example: You might think you can start training at age 50 to become a competitor, but chances are you’ll lose a lot because the other guys will have much more experience.”

— Bill Wallace

 

<<Contemplate Your Navel

“More precisely, contemplate the region just below your navel. Lower your center of gravity and move it into your hara. It translates as ‘belly,’ but the word denotes your physical and spiritual epicenter of power. It’s the source of and connection to the primordial life force. Practically speaking, it’s your center of mass.

“By lowering your center of mass and cultivating hara, you develop an internal, shock-absorbing base of power. That helps you hit harder, remain calm under fire and move economically with purpose and speed. It also shortens the rise that naturally occurs when you’re surprised or threatened.”

— Melissa Soalt

 

<<Master Your Technique

“Martial artists often sacrifice technique for power and speed, but power and speed are no good without technique. Technique gives precision to your hand strikes and kicks. It also leads to better control, which is essential to the philosophy of the martial arts.

“Technique and philosophy are the qualities that differentiate you from a street fighter.”

— Steve DeMascoShaolin kempo, star of the Shaolin Chuan Fa DVD set

 

<<Stay Balanced

“As you practice, think about art, sport and self-defense. It’s easy to get carried away with just one aspect of the martial arts. Too much focus on sport or fitness will slow your thinking about the practicality of things on the street. That can create an error in judgment.

“Likewise, too much focus on the artistic part of your style can cloud your mind and keep you from seeing other things.”

— Julius Melegrito, Filipino martial arts, star of the Philippine Fighting Arts DVD set

 

<<Be Aware of Your Surroundings

“Know where you are and if that man who’s approaching you is likely to ask for directions or jack your wallet. If it’s the latter, look for escape routes or begin doing what you need to do to stand your ground and fight.”

— Tim Tackettjeet kune do, author of the Chinatown Jeet Kune Do book and Chinatown Jeet Kune Do DVD

Remember That Ability Is Knowledge Applied

“In other words, knowledge plus repetition equals training. To achieve greatness, first acquire realistic knowledge, then put it to work through repetition. The more reality-based knowledge you acquire and the more you work at it, the more skilled you become. Once you have a firm grasp of reality, you need to work at it to become good.”

— Richard Ryan

(To be continued.)

 

3 Types of Push Ups to get Explosive Power for Martial Arts

Three specific push-ups to get explosive power for martial arts – the third one looks hard! We love the push-up. It’s one of the simplest and most functional exercises around, and it works almost every muscle we’ve got: the triceps and chest get a great workout, but the movement also engages the shoulders, core, lats, lower back, legs, and glutes. Doing the same old push-ups day in and day out can feel a little vanilla. A variety can supercharge a workout and throw a whole range of new muscles into the mix. This video article will show you three push-ups that will help martial artists build explosive power. Who doesn’t want explosive power? The first push up in this video is the Dive bomber push up. These look a lot like yoga/Hindu push-ups, but the dive-bomber requires you to bend your arms to get back to the starting position, effectively reversing the movement and bringing the head back past the hands and elbows. The second push up is the Spartan push up, aka, the staggered push up. Get in the standard pushup position with your right hand slightly above your the right shoulder and your left hand slightly below your left shoulder. Lower your body to the ground, keeping your core tight and elbows close to your sides. Once your chest touches the ground, pause, and then press back up to the starting position. Repeat, then reverse arm position. The last push up is the hardest. The Rocky Balboa push up. If you’ve never seen a Rocky movie, stop reading and go watch Rocky 1. This push up is basically alternating one-handed push ups. In this video, ONE Superstar Mark Striegl from the Evolve Fight Team demonstrates 3 essential push-ups to build explosive strength for martial artists. With World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Submission Grappling, Wrestling, and more, Evolve University is one of the most comprehensive mixed martial arts universities in the world.

Three specific push-ups to get explosive power for martial arts – the third one looks hard!

We love the push-up. It’s one of the simplest and most functional exercises around, and it works almost every muscle we’ve got: the triceps and chest get a great workout, but the movement also engages the shoulders, core, lats, lower back, legs, and glutes.

Doing the same old push-ups day in and day out can feel a little vanilla. A variety can supercharge a workout and throw a whole range of new muscles into the mix.

This video article will show you three push-ups that will help martial artists build explosive power. Who doesn’t want explosive power?

The first push up in this video is the Dive bomber push up. These look a lot like yoga/Hindu push-ups, but the dive-bomber requires you to bend your arms to get back to the starting position, effectively reversing the movement and bringing the head back past the hands and elbows.

The second push up is the Spartan push up, aka, the staggered push up. Get in the standard pushup position with your right hand slightly above your the right shoulder and your left hand slightly below your left shoulder. Lower your body to the ground, keeping your core tight and elbows close to your sides. Once your chest touches the ground, pause, and then press back up to the starting position. Repeat, then reverse arm position.

The last push up is the hardest. The Rocky Balboa push up. If you’ve never seen a Rocky movie, stop reading and go watch Rocky 1. This push up is basically alternating one-handed push ups.

In this video, ONE Superstar Mark Striegl from the Evolve Fight Team demonstrates 3 essential push-ups to build explosive strength for martial artists. With World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Submission Grappling, Wrestling, and more, Evolve University is one of the most comprehensive mixed martial arts universities in the world.

Daisy Ridley's Star Wars Stunt Double is a Martial Arts Champion and World record Holder

  Rey, the heroine at the heart of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has become nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon since the film debuted last week. The character has been hailed as a “feminist icon,” and the achievement of “peak strong female character.” She’s become an instant hero for girls across the world thanks to her intelligence, strength, and skill, and stores are having trouble keeping her action figures in stock. Even her few detractors have to admit that Rey kicks butt. In fact, their only argument against her is that she’s too good at what she does – a point that io9′s Charlie Jane Anders beautifully refuted earlier this week. At least part of what makes this scavenger with Luke Skywalker-levels of Force so appealing are her combat skills. The Force Awakens cast and crew clearly put a lot of thought and effort into the mysterious character’s physical presence on screen, and it pays off incredibly well in her acrobatic fight scenes. Daisy Ridley, the up-and-coming actress who plays Rey in the film, worked with a stunt expert from HBO’s enormously popular series Game of Thrones to prepare for the role. She also became quite handy with a bo staff thanks to her Bõjutsu training. “Daisy trained with the sword fight choreographer of Game of Thrones…She learned the Bõjutsu fighting style,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said during a press conference in Japan in May, 2015. “Rey uses the staff she has in the trailer to fight. Daisy’s gotten to be so good at Bõjutsu that even grown men on the set fear it.” But Ridley wasn’t alone in her efforts to bring her character’s bo-wielding game to the big screen. As we celebrate the record-breaking success of the most beloved Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi, let’s take a moment to learn a little more about the woman behind the woman behind cinema’s newest action hero: Daisy’s stunt double Chloe Bruce.   In addition to being one of the most sought-after young stunt women in Hollywood, thanks to her work in films like Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Thor 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy (where she worked as Zoe Saldana’s stunt double), Bruce is also a highly decorated martial artist. She has a 4th Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do and has won multiple martial arts championship titles. She holds the Guinness World Record for most amount of kicks in one minute, clocking in at a whopping 212 kicks. Bruce started training in martial arts very early on in life. “I learnt at a school in Essex, and I started in Korean Tang Soo Do – (A very similar style to Tae Kwon Do),” she told Experience Days Blog in a 2011 interview.  “I started originally because of my Brother, Danny Bruce. He was already training and I went along to watch some of his classes and really wanted to give it a go. My parents obviously encouraged me also as they thought it would be useful for a girl to know a little self defense… little did we know at the time though that Martial Arts would end up to be such a great career for me!” She won her first championship title, in Korean Traditional forms, Musical Open hand and Musical Weapons, at her very first WKA World Championships in 1996. “I was only around 14 years old and I was the under dog having never competed at the Worlds before, so I went out there with nothing to lose. I travelled out with my brother Danny and my parents – and seeing their faces when I won was just so over-whelming. My parents were in tears and I was just so happy!! Standing on the rostrum whilst the whole tournament was up on their feet listening to the British National Anthem was just a memory I will never forget!” She has been teaching and competing in martial arts ever since. In 2009, she formed a performance duo with her younger sister, Grace. “The Bruce Sistaz” auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in 2011 and wowed the judges.   The pair made it to the live semi-finals of the reality competition before they were eliminated. They continue to perform and teach seminars together all over the world.   In addition to her efforts with Grace, Chloe started working on film sets. That’s how she stumbled into her current career. “I got into stunt work by chance to be honest,” she told Geek Girl Con in September. “I was working on the movie John Carter, and from there a fight coordinator noticed I had a talent for fighting and martial arts, and was going on to work on Wrath of the Titans and asked if I would come on board as the stunt double for the lead actress. It was an awesome experience and one I will never forget, as from there I have pretty much been non stop.” Bruce went on to talk about how much she enjoys her gigs in the film world, particularly when she’s working as a stunt double. “You get to form a great bond with the actresses and learn to portray the character together. After all you are both out to achieve the best overall appearance for the character on screen. You can help train them and prepare them for the shooting days along with the stunt coordinators, and just generally form a great connection so that when you are shooting you get to help and rely on one another.” Although she – like everyone involved in The Force Awakens – was unable to speak about her work in the Star Wars universe at the time, she was willing to say that Guardians of the Galaxy has been her favorite experience so far. Her signature move – an impressive display of flexibility and force that she calls the scorpion kick – even made it into the film.   Bruce also had to remain tightlipped about her future film gigs when talking to Geek Girl Con, but she did say that she would love to run her own school in the future. “For now I am just happy with where my career has taken me and so grateful for these opportunities that have already come my way.” Just don’t ask her to follow in the footsteps of her fellow stuntwoman Zoë Bell, and star in her own movie any time soon. According to her official Facebook page, she’s “too shy” to act.   Have you seen The Force Awakens yet? What did you think of Rey? What did you think of Chloe Bruce’s moves? Let us know in the comments! -Sarah Kurchak  

 

Rey, the heroine at the heart of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has become nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon since the film debuted last week. The character has been hailed as a “feminist icon,” and the achievement of “peak strong female character.” She’s become an instant hero for girls across the world thanks to her intelligence, strength, and skill, and stores are having trouble keeping her action figures in stock. Even her few detractors have to admit that Rey kicks butt. In fact, their only argument against her is that she’s too good at what she does – a point that io9′s Charlie Jane Anders beautifully refuted earlier this week.

At least part of what makes this scavenger with Luke Skywalker-levels of Force so appealing are her combat skills. The Force Awakens cast and crew clearly put a lot of thought and effort into the mysterious character’s physical presence on screen, and it pays off incredibly well in her acrobatic fight scenes.

Daisy Ridley, the up-and-coming actress who plays Rey in the film, worked with a stunt expert from HBO’s enormously popular series Game of Thrones to prepare for the role. She also became quite handy with a bo staff thanks to her Bõjutsu training. “Daisy trained with the sword fight choreographer of Game of Thrones…She learned the Bõjutsu fighting style,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said during a press conference in Japan in May, 2015. “Rey uses the staff she has in the trailer to fight. Daisy’s gotten to be so good at Bõjutsu that even grown men on the set fear it.”

But Ridley wasn’t alone in her efforts to bring her character’s bo-wielding game to the big screen. As we celebrate the record-breaking success of the most beloved Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi, let’s take a moment to learn a little more about the woman behind the woman behind cinema’s newest action hero: Daisy’s stunt double Chloe Bruce.

 

In addition to being one of the most sought-after young stunt women in Hollywood, thanks to her work in films like Harry PotterPirates of the Caribbean 4Thor 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy (where she worked as Zoe Saldana’s stunt double), Bruce is also a highly decorated martial artist. She has a 4th Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do and has won multiple martial arts championship titles. She holds the Guinness World Record for most amount of kicks in one minute, clocking in at a whopping 212 kicks.

Bruce started training in martial arts very early on in life. “I learnt at a school in Essex, and I started in Korean Tang Soo Do – (A very similar style to Tae Kwon Do),” she told Experience Days Blog in a 2011 interview.  “I started originally because of my Brother, Danny Bruce. He was already training and I went along to watch some of his classes and really wanted to give it a go. My parents obviously encouraged me also as they thought it would be useful for a girl to know a little self defense… little did we know at the time though that Martial Arts would end up to be such a great career for me!”

She won her first championship title, in Korean Traditional forms, Musical Open hand and Musical Weapons, at her very first WKA World Championships in 1996. “I was only around 14 years old and I was the under dog having never competed at the Worlds before, so I went out there with nothing to lose. I travelled out with my brother Danny and my parents – and seeing their faces when I won was just so over-whelming. My parents were in tears and I was just so happy!! Standing on the rostrum whilst the whole tournament was up on their feet listening to the British National Anthem was just a memory I will never forget!”

She has been teaching and competing in martial arts ever since. In 2009, she formed a performance duo with her younger sister, Grace. “The Bruce Sistaz” auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in 2011 and wowed the judges.

 

The pair made it to the live semi-finals of the reality competition before they were eliminated. They continue to perform and teach seminars together all over the world.

 

In addition to her efforts with Grace, Chloe started working on film sets. That’s how she stumbled into her current career. “I got into stunt work by chance to be honest,” she told Geek Girl Con in September. “I was working on the movie John Carter, and from there a fight coordinator noticed I had a talent for fighting and martial arts, and was going on to work on Wrath of the Titans and asked if I would come on board as the stunt double for the lead actress. It was an awesome experience and one I will never forget, as from there I have pretty much been non stop.”

Bruce went on to talk about how much she enjoys her gigs in the film world, particularly when she’s working as a stunt double. “You get to form a great bond with the actresses and learn to portray the character together. After all you are both out to achieve the best overall appearance for the character on screen. You can help train them and prepare them for the shooting days along with the stunt coordinators, and just generally form a great connection so that when you are shooting you get to help and rely on one another.”

Although she – like everyone involved in The Force Awakens – was unable to speak about her work in the Star Wars universe at the time, she was willing to say that Guardians of the Galaxy has been her favorite experience so far. Her signature move – an impressive display of flexibility and force that she calls the scorpion kick – even made it into the film.

 

Bruce also had to remain tightlipped about her future film gigs when talking to Geek Girl Con, but she did say that she would love to run her own school in the future. “For now I am just happy with where my career has taken me and so grateful for these opportunities that have already come my way.”

Just don’t ask her to follow in the footsteps of her fellow stuntwoman Zoë Bell, and star in her own movie any time soon. According to her official Facebook page, she’s “too shy” to act.

 

Have you seen The Force Awakens yet? What did you think of Rey? What did you think of Chloe Bruce’s moves? Let us know in the comments!

-Sarah Kurchak

 

9 Reasons Why Kids Should Do Martial Arts

There have been countless stories of how people have changed their lives with the many benefits that come with practicing martial arts. However, one big misconception still exists: that martial arts are only for adults. Contrary to what many people think, martial arts can benefit children as much as or maybe even more than it can for adults! And these benefits go beyond just keeping them fit and healthy; they provide qualities and life lessons that are undeniably valuable to a growing child. Are you thinking of enrolling your child in martial arts? Don’t worry, Evolve Daily is here to help with 9 Reasons Why Kids Should Do Martial Arts: 1) They will learn how to defend themselves. Here are the cold, hard facts. Across the world, DoSomething.Org reports that: Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year. Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school. 1 out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying. According to the Coalition Against Bullying for Children And Youth and Bully-Free Campaign, 1 out of 8 children are bullied on a weekly basis in Singapore. 4 out of 35 children are repeatedly being bullied by their peers. One of biggest concerns parents have is that their children would not be able to defend him or her self in times of need (i.e. being bullied). On top of teaching children to avoid trouble altogether, martial arts will also prepare them both mentally and physically to defend themselves should the need ever arise. 2) It helps them stay active and fit. In an age where people turn to the screens of their phones, computers and television sets instead of outdoor activities, martial arts is the perfect way to get kids off their couches and stay active. On top of that, martial arts build muscle and increase cardiovascular performance, ensuring that your child is fit and healthy. 3) It develops their athleticism. The movements involved in martial arts will challenge and build motor skills, flexibility, reflexes and dexterity, which help develop a child’s athleticism. This helps create a good athletic base for children that will help them excel in all other physical activities. 4) It teaches discipline and focus. Discipline and focus are hard to build in children nowadays, and parents would no doubt agree with this. But with martial arts, a child will learn focus, patience, restraint, and the many qualities that come with discipline. The same level of discipline and focus obtained from practicing martial arts will no doubt become a part of their daily lives. 5) They will learn respect. Respect for adults, authority, or anyone in an advanced position is rare among children today. However, respect is a big part of martial arts and its traditions. Thus, the child will learn to be well mannered and respectful not only to their instructors, but towards everyone else as well. 6) It builds their confidence and self-esteem. A lack of confidence and self-esteem can be detrimental and plague a child for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is important for anyone to develop a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem at an early age. The satisfaction of learning and achieving in martial arts will strengthen a child’s self-belief. 7) It will strengthen their minds. Martial arts doesn’t just strengthen the body, it strengthens the mind as well. Most of the time, it is our minds that stop us from performing at our best. Martial arts will push anyone to break barriers and overcome fears and obstacles. A strong mind is a powerful tool to help children overcome tough times and succeed in all areas of their life. 8) They will learn to be independent. While martial arts teaches the importance of teamwork, it is also one of the few activities that requires a practitioner to be self-reliant and independent. Learning how to do a technique, progressing to the next level, or even winning a competition is completely based on the hard work and commitment put in by an individual. So with martial arts, a child will excel when the time comes to be independent. 9) They will learn to be goal-oriented. Successful businessmen, elite level athletes, and big achievers all have one thing in common: they set goals. Being goal-oriented is one of the keys to being successful in life. It gives individuals direction and motivation, helping them focus and organize their resources in the best way possible to achieve those goals. Martial arts will help children learn to set goals for themselves. This will help them in every aspect of life, whether it is in school, work, or other sports. So, are you convinced that martial arts is the perfect activity for kids? Whether it is just for fun, fitness, or to bully-proof a child, martial arts is a great way to build a child’s character that will last a lifetime.

There have been countless stories of how people have changed their lives with the many benefits that come with practicing martial arts. However, one big misconception still exists: that martial arts are only for adults.

Contrary to what many people think, martial arts can benefit children as much as or maybe even more than it can for adults! And these benefits go beyond just keeping them fit and healthy; they provide qualities and life lessons that are undeniably valuable to a growing child.

Are you thinking of enrolling your child in martial arts? Don’t worry, Evolve Daily is here to help with 9 Reasons Why Kids Should Do Martial Arts:

1) They will learn how to defend themselves. Here are the cold, hard facts. Across the world, DoSomething.Org reports that:

Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school.
1 out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.
According to the Coalition Against Bullying for Children And Youth and Bully-Free Campaign,

1 out of 8 children are bullied on a weekly basis in Singapore.
4 out of 35 children are repeatedly being bullied by their peers.

One of biggest concerns parents have is that their children would not be able to defend him or her self in times of need (i.e. being bullied). On top of teaching children to avoid trouble altogether, martial arts will also prepare them both mentally and physically to defend themselves should the need ever arise.

2) It helps them stay active and fit.

In an age where people turn to the screens of their phones, computers and television sets instead of outdoor activities, martial arts is the perfect way to get kids off their couches and stay active. On top of that, martial arts build muscle and increase cardiovascular performance, ensuring that your child is fit and healthy.

3) It develops their athleticism.

The movements involved in martial arts will challenge and build motor skills, flexibility, reflexes and dexterity, which help develop a child’s athleticism. This helps create a good athletic base for children that will help them excel in all other physical activities.

4) It teaches discipline and focus.

Discipline and focus are hard to build in children nowadays, and parents would no doubt agree with this. But with martial arts, a child will learn focus, patience, restraint, and the many qualities that come with discipline. The same level of discipline and focus obtained from practicing martial arts will no doubt become a part of their daily lives.

5) They will learn respect.

Respect for adults, authority, or anyone in an advanced position is rare among children today. However, respect is a big part of martial arts and its traditions. Thus, the child will learn to be well mannered and respectful not only to their instructors, but towards everyone else as well.

6) It builds their confidence and self-esteem.

A lack of confidence and self-esteem can be detrimental and plague a child for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is important for anyone to develop a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem at an early age. The satisfaction of learning and achieving in martial arts will strengthen a child’s self-belief.

7) It will strengthen their minds.

Martial arts doesn’t just strengthen the body, it strengthens the mind as well. Most of the time, it is our minds that stop us from performing at our best. Martial arts will push anyone to break barriers and overcome fears and obstacles. A strong mind is a powerful tool to help children overcome tough times and succeed in all areas of their life.

8) They will learn to be independent.

While martial arts teaches the importance of teamwork, it is also one of the few activities that requires a practitioner to be self-reliant and independent. Learning how to do a technique, progressing to the next level, or even winning a competition is completely based on the hard work and commitment put in by an individual. So with martial arts, a child will excel when the time comes to be independent.

9) They will learn to be goal-oriented.

Successful businessmen, elite level athletes, and big achievers all have one thing in common: they set goals. Being goal-oriented is one of the keys to being successful in life. It gives individuals direction and motivation, helping them focus and organize their resources in the best way possible to achieve those goals. Martial arts will help children learn to set goals for themselves. This will help them in every aspect of life, whether it is in school, work, or other sports.

So, are you convinced that martial arts is the perfect activity for kids? Whether it is just for fun, fitness, or to bully-proof a child, martial arts is a great way to build a child’s character that will last a lifetime.

Karate Kids: The Benefit of Martial Arts Training for Kids

Karate Kids: The Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Kids By Alison Hendrie With a bloodcurdling cry, your 6-year-old leaps into the air in a karate kick, raising your hair and blood pressure simultaneously. Before you panic and pad the walls, try channeling this urge into a martial arts class. Activities like karate and tae kwon do are a fun way for both boys and girls to achieve fitness and focus. Some parents may think they also promote violence, but that’s a myth, according to experts. The martial arts actually help teach self-discipline and socialization skills. In fact, many parents whose children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success with these programs because self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids. A typical hour-long class begins and ends with a bow to the teacher, or master. After a warm-up, students practice the art’s particular skills, which may include kicks, punches and blocks. Each requires concentration and strict attention. Progress is often marked by the belt system, which takes the beginner from a white belt through a variety of colors until black. Testing for each new level, generally every three months, is a good exercise in setting and achieving goals. But, say experts, it’s the respect kids learn, whether from bowing or standing still and waiting for the next command, that can be the most important benefit: It often carries over into school, helping to improve behavior and even grades, according to recent research. “Six is usually a good age to start classes,” says Mimi Johnson, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. By that time a child should have enough muscle control to punch and turn properly and safely—essential to getting a real kick out of the martial art he chooses.

Karate Kids: The Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Kids

By Alison Hendrie

With a bloodcurdling cry, your 6-year-old leaps into the air in a karate kick, raising your hair and blood pressure simultaneously. Before you panic and pad the walls, try channeling this urge into a martial arts class.

Activities like karate and tae kwon do are a fun way for both boys and girls to achieve fitness and focus. Some parents may think they also promote violence, but that’s a myth, according to experts. The martial arts actually help teach self-discipline and socialization skills. In fact, many parents whose children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success with these programs because self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids.

A typical hour-long class begins and ends with a bow to the teacher, or master. After a warm-up, students practice the art’s particular skills, which may include kicks, punches and blocks. Each requires concentration and strict attention.

Progress is often marked by the belt system, which takes the beginner from a white belt through a variety of colors until black. Testing for each new level, generally every three months, is a good exercise in setting and achieving goals.

But, say experts, it’s the respect kids learn, whether from bowing or standing still and waiting for the next command, that can be the most important benefit: It often carries over into school, helping to improve behavior and even grades, according to recent research.

“Six is usually a good age to start classes,” says Mimi Johnson, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. By that time a child should have enough muscle control to punch and turn properly and safely—essential to getting a real kick out of the martial art he chooses.

This Is Why Martial Arts Makes You More Attractive

What makes a person attractive? Is it a charming personality, eyes that sparkle or smooth, flawless skin? We wouldn’t know for sure. But one thing we can confirm is that all attractive people tend to sparkle with confidence, and are happy in general. You may not know it yet, but martial arts can play a role in helping you gain confidence and ultimately, become a happier person. (Psst, these are only two of the several reasons why you’ll be more attractive when you start training!) Want to be more desirable? Then read on to discover Why Martial Arts Makes You More Attractive. 1) You’ll learn to love and respect your body

What makes a person attractive? Is it a charming personality, eyes that sparkle or smooth, flawless skin?

We wouldn’t know for sure. But one thing we can confirm is that all attractive people tend to sparkle with confidence, and are happy in general.

You may not know it yet, but martial arts can play a role in helping you gain confidence and ultimately, become a happier person. (Psst, these are only two of the several reasons why you’ll be more attractive when you start training!)

Want to be more desirable? Then read on to discover Why Martial Arts Makes You More Attractive.

1) You’ll learn to love and respect your body

Once you start training martial arts, you’ll learn to take better care of yourself – from eating the right kinds of food to getting sufficient rest. Besides giving you the energy to power through an intense training session, these good habits would improve your complexion while giving you a nice, toned body. When you see progress, you’ll be even more motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as perhaps reducing the amount of junk food and alcohol you consume. As you get stronger and healthier, you’ll appreciate your body so much more. All the flaws that used to bother you would be insignificant when you compare them to what your body is capable of doing.   2) You’ll radiate positivity

Once you start training martial arts, you’ll learn to take better care of yourself – from eating the right kinds of food to getting sufficient rest.

Besides giving you the energy to power through an intense training session, these good habits would improve your complexion while giving you a nice, toned body. When you see progress, you’ll be even more motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as perhaps reducing the amount of junk food and alcohol you consume.

As you get stronger and healthier, you’ll appreciate your body so much more. All the flaws that used to bother you would be insignificant when you compare them to what your body is capable of doing.

 

2) You’ll radiate positivity

Ever notice that optimistic people tend to be more charming than their pessimistic counterparts? This is because they can always see the bright side of things, even when they’re caught in the darkest of situations. The positive energy they exude makes them attractive because it’s contagious! When you have the power to influence others around you to smile, you’ll notice that more people will be drawn to you. Martial arts will teach you to be more optimistic because you might find yourself disheartened at times, for example, if you take a longer time to master certain techniques. But fret not, because this would train you to stay positive and eventually view these challenges as ways to become a better fighter. This optimism you acquire would help you to embrace life’s challenges, as well as see the world from a new, happier perspective.   3) You’ll be in control of your life

Ever notice that optimistic people tend to be more charming than their pessimistic counterparts? This is because they can always see the bright side of things, even when they’re caught in the darkest of situations.

The positive energy they exude makes them attractive because it’s contagious! When you have the power to influence others around you to smile, you’ll notice that more people will be drawn to you.

Martial arts will teach you to be more optimistic because you might find yourself disheartened at times, for example, if you take a longer time to master certain techniques. But fret not, because this would train you to stay positive and eventually view these challenges as ways to become a better fighter.

This optimism you acquire would help you to embrace life’s challenges, as well as see the world from a new, happier perspective.

 

3) You’ll be in control of your life

Life has its way of challenging us, by occasionally putting us through tests and obstacles. Sometimes, we might end up feeling helpless and defeated as these are caused by external factors that we can’t control. Martial arts will empower you to become the master of your own life, so you’ll never let things you can’t control knock you down. Instead, you’ll focus on what you have power over – such as keeping fit by training regularly and doing what it takes to get into the best shape of your life. Once you realize that you have the power to get the most out of every day, you’ll be extra motivated to make every moment count.   4) You’ll grow stronger inside and out

Life has its way of challenging us, by occasionally putting us through tests and obstacles. Sometimes, we might end up feeling helpless and defeated as these are caused by external factors that we can’t control.

Martial arts will empower you to become the master of your own life, so you’ll never let things you can’t control knock you down. Instead, you’ll focus on what you have power over – such as keeping fit by training regularly and doing what it takes to get into the best shape of your life.

Once you realize that you have the power to get the most out of every day, you’ll be extra motivated to make every moment count.

 

4) You’ll grow stronger inside and out

We believe this is one of the most attractive traits you’ll develop when you practice martial arts! As you get through intense training sessions week after week, you’ll find that you’re able to push yourself harder and perform much better when you’re training or sparring. Besides challenging you physically, martial arts will shape you to become a more resilient person so you can take on all kinds of obstacles and become a fighter in all aspects of life.   5) You’ll be more adventurous

We believe this is one of the most attractive traits you’ll develop when you practice martial arts!

As you get through intense training sessions week after week, you’ll find that you’re able to push yourself harder and perform much better when you’re training or sparring.

Besides challenging you physically, martial arts will shape you to become a more resilient person so you can take on all kinds of obstacles and become a fighter in all aspects of life.

 

5) You’ll be more adventurous

The more you train and step out of your comfort zone, the more daring you’ll be when taking risks. That means you’ll always be open to trying new things, be it a different martial art or a new kind of food. The new experiences that you gain from taking risks would add lots of excitement into your life, both in and out of the gym. What’s more, this would give you major attractive points because – let’s face it – who can resist a badass that thrives on adventure?   Practicing martial arts will make you attractive in more ways than one. Besides giving you the ability to protect yourself and your loved ones, it will transform you into a sexy beast! So take the first step of your martial arts journey by signing up for a class, and get ready to become the most attractive version of yourself!

The more you train and step out of your comfort zone, the more daring you’ll be when taking risks. That means you’ll always be open to trying new things, be it a different martial art or a new kind of food.

The new experiences that you gain from taking risks would add lots of excitement into your life, both in and out of the gym. What’s more, this would give you major attractive points because – let’s face it – who can resist a badass that thrives on adventure?

 

Practicing martial arts will make you attractive in more ways than one. Besides giving you the ability to protect yourself and your loved ones, it will transform you into a sexy beast!

So take the first step of your martial arts journey by signing up for a class, and get ready to become the most attractive version of yourself!

Do Sweat Hormones Really Get the Opposite Sex's Attention?

Do sweaty men turn women on? Informal office polls say no, but science tells a different story.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have conducted a study that concluded a few whiffs of androstadienone–a pheromone found in male sweat and perfumes–can raise levels of the hormone cortisol in women. Cortisol is associated with stress, but also arousal and brain activation.

The study, reported this week in The Journal of Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that humans, like rats and some insects, secrete a scent that affects the physiology of the opposite sex.

“Many people argue that human pheromones don’t exist, because humans don’t exhibit stereotyped behavior,” said Claire Wyart, a postdoctoral researcher in the Berkeley Olfactory Research Program, in a prepared statement. “Nonetheless, this male chemical signal, androstadienone, does cause hormonal as well as physiological and psychological changes in women. More cognitive studies need to be done to understand how androstadienone affects female cognitive functions.”

In two trials, 48 female undergrads at Berkeley were asked to take 20 sniffs from a bottle containing androstadienone, which the researchers say smells vaguely musky. Over a period of two hours, the volunteers provided five saliva samples, from which cortisol levels were determined.

The control group sniffed a yeast solution, while the other group took a hit of androstadienone. The group exposed to the pheromone reported an improved mood and significantly higher sexual arousal, as well as physiological responses such as changes in blood pressure and heart rate.

Cortisol levels in the group exposed to androstadienone rose within about 15 minutes and remained elevated for more than an hour.

Are you missing college yet?

Although androstadienone appears to incite changes in hormonal levels in women, there is no hard evidence–or any personal, anecdotal experience for that matter–that male sweat induces subliminal or instinctual behavior on the part of women that might make them gravitate toward a sweaty male.

In rats, hormonal secretion can cause behavior changes in the sniffer because of a vomeronasal organ rodents have. Humans have a similar organ, but it appears to be vestigal with no nerve connection to the brain.

Anger Management for Children

By: Lynne Namka, ED D.

I’m getting so many letters from baffled parents with angry children. Some of the parents have a background of abuse from childhood. Others have a child with an anger prone temperament. Other angry children have a history of sexual abuse the parents may not know about. Some children have a combination of these three factors. If your child has a change in behavior for the worse, ask him or her if someone has touched their private parts or has hurt them in any way.

I call these kids who are different from your ordinary type of discipline kids the Industrial Strength Kids. They require Industrial Strength Parenting. Even more than the ordinary garden variety type of child, Industrial Strength Kids need to learn the skills talking about feelings instead of acting them out, containing their anger, handling criticism and being able to see things from other people’s eyes.

So after you read this letter, sit down with your (older) child and read the parts of it to him or her that could be understood. Then work together in making a plan to address the various aspects of what I describe.

Children who talk about their feelings decrease their anger. As they grow up, they are less likely to turn to alcohol or drugs or join gangs. One of the MOST IMPORTANT skills for children with anger to learn is to talk about their feelings instead of acting them out in anger outbursts. Children who talk out their hurts and disappointments have an outlet for their stress.

Some other skills that can be taught and reinforced are taking turns, listening to others, inhibiting behaviors that threaten others, following directions, stopping sarcasm and egging others on. Some of the higher level skills are resolving conflict, listening with empathy when pain and hurt are described, giving support and encouragement and creative problem solving.

Social skills are easy to teach. Children can learn the positive values of treating each other with respect and taking responsibility for their own behavior. The steps to teaching social skills are similar to teaching academic subjects except that play and group activities and discussion plays a stronger role.

  • Identify the skill that needs to be learned.
  • Introduce the skill through discussion and modeling of the desired response.
  • Give the rule and alternatives to the rule.
  • Cue the child what to say and do regarding the new skill.
  • Have the child cue himself through self talk.
  • Provide practice of the skill through modeling, games, puppet and doll play, and role playing.
  • Reinforce the new skill during practice.
  • Teach the child to reinforce himself using self talk for using the skill. (Feel good about using the skill!)
  • Provide opportunities for generalization and reinforcement of the skill in daily play.