Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Manners & Martial Arts

Perhaps one of the most profound benefits children can develop through martial arts are manners. Plain and simple. Well, its probably not that plain nowadays though it can be that simple.

Growing up in an Ireland of the 1960' &70's good manners were a fundamental part of childhood."Please" and "Thank You" , "Yes Sir "and "Yes Ma'am" were daily phrases used abundantly and without a second thought.

The subsequent decades have seen a steady erosion of what is often refereed to as old fashioned values.The common knee jerk reaction to this lowering of basic etiquette and general good deportment is to blame the parents of today's youth. However, to do so ignores the profound impact T.V., movies, internet and social network sites have on children. Schools no longer  assert  the influence over students that they once did.

So, where then are today's youth to learn good manners. Well, there's the military. Have you ever noticed the very fine manners and general good etiquette displayed by those who have served in the military? When you encounter a former career military person who has moved up the ranks you will be impressed with their old fashioned courtesies .You see, in the military you are taught to serve first before you earn the right  to command.

Short of enrolling your child in the armed forces where then can you ensure that they receive first rate education in manners, deportment and civility.

 Martial arts training, conducted by a mindful coach can teach really great manners.. Here's how. Like the military most schools of martial arts have a structured system of rank. In the martial arts we call it grade rank , denoted by a belt, strip, sash, badge or whatever depending on the school. Students can, with hard work, move up the ranks. In a good school this advancement is not just a matter of physical skills.Students must learn, demonstrate and advocate discipline, respect, courtesy, humility, etiquette and many more attributes of " good manners".

By virtue of its structure and  nature martial are an ideal method to imbue good manners.

If I can be of any service regarding martial arts please don't hesitate to contact me on 089-4567533 or
 email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Motivational Martial Arts

Childhood Obesity & Diabetes

It may appear unusual to find a blog here,on a martial artists blog site, relating to childhood obesity and its role in the ever increasing incidence of  type 2 diabetes.

However to Wicklow based martial artist Alan Ellis topics such as this are part of his mindful curriculum at his Motivational Martial Arts school. Ellis who is a member of Tom Callo's The 100 group believes that martial arts teachers should pay more than lip service to the ideal's of exercise and good diet.

"When I started out in martial arts some forty years ago, it was unheard of for instructors to talk of healthy diet" remarks Ellis." Unfortunately in many cases that hasn't changed"

Ellis feels that while some martial arts leaders do refer to diet, its only in passing to advertise their lessons.Quotes such as "we teach kids to eat healthily" are sometimes just lip-service.

At his schools throughout Wicklow, Ellis implements programs that address and educate students in various topics, not least that of mindful eating.

" Levels of childhood obesity in Ireland have reached epidemic proportions" states Ellis. These levels are now among the highest in the world , a lack of exercise,unhealthy diet,and socio-economic background all play a significant role in this"

In addressing these alarming statistics Ellis believes that education and example will pave the way for a reversal of these trends.

"If we fail to rectify this problem then society as a whole will suffer" he believes.

In a recent article in the Irish Times Dr  Donal O Shea consultant endocrinologist at St Columcille's Hospital , Loughlinnstown , Dublin echo's his concerns:


While children are constantly bombarded with media advertisements to eat junk food and imbibe endless quantities of fizzy drinks, Ellis believes that those with influence in children's lives should seek to educate young people on healthier and ultimately more enjoyable options.

Martial arts teachers are ideally placed to exert that positive influence, however Ellis encourages parents to question their kids martial arts instructors on the programs available at their schools that address issues such as obesity and diabetes.

" A martial arts teacher has a duty of care to his students while they are on the mats at their training facilities" says Ellis " I believe that the duty of care should extend beyond the mats and into the daily lives of the students"

At his schools healthy mindful eating is a prerequisite to advancement in grade rank. Students are encouraged to follow a program which will evolve as they progress and ultimately make a great difference in their lives. In fact Ellis believes, it may save their lives.

 For more information on programs at Motivational Martial Arts or for advice in any area of martial arts training Alan Ellis may be contacted at 089-4567533 ,email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Monday, 30 July 2012

Questioning - You’re First Step In Kenpo

Questioning - Your First Step In Kenpo
Ask a question. In fact ask as many as you can. Remember this, there are no stupid questions. At his Kenpo school in Wicklow, Motivational Martial Artsowner Alan Ellis encourages his students to constantly question.
“I have been to various clubs and schools of martial arts where to question is deemed as disrespectful” remarks Alan.” My own view is that if you don’t ask then you’re going to significantly impair your ability to learn”
Some schools have a policy that the students should never question. In Ellis’ view this philosophy is short changing the student.
“If I go to my solicitor or my doctor, I’ll ask questions” states Ellis. In fact asking questions of his doctor may just have saved his life! Ellis documents that experience in his Heart Defence Project.
When it comes to learning a martial art and one that pertains to be a self defence art, the Wicklow based martial artist belives that students should be encouraged to ask questions from day one.
Some students will learn more visually. Others will take in information through auditory means. Its important that instructors recognise this and seek training in how to communicate with students.
Ellis is thankful that his instructors encouraged his questioning.
“I’m sure that at times I was at bit too much “ quips Ellis. “I was fortunate to train with men such as Tommy Jordan and the late Erle Montaigue” “Questions were always encouraged and answers explained in depth ”
Ellis recommends  that if you’re thinking of taking a Kenpo class, or any martial arts class, then you should look at a class and watch how the instructor will interact with his students.
“Use your common sense” " You wouldn’t accept second rate service in any other area” states Ellis
“Martial arts training should be no different”
If you need help in finding a martial arts class that is right for you Alan Ellis may be contacted on 089-4567533 or email at aemartialartist@gmail.com

Friday, 27 July 2012

Mindfulness or Mindlessness in Training

Mindfulness or Mindlessness in Training
Training in any discipline requires effort.That should go without saying. In examining our methods we should look at how effective those training methods are and what return we actually get from our efforts. Repetition it has been said is the mother of perfection. So perhaps it might make sense to understand what we are repeating in our training sessions and why.
In Kenpo, we learn through a process of seeing , doing and feeling. Our conscious mind filters this information and with enough repetition it is (we hope) hard-wired into our sub concious mind. Once there ( in the sub conscious) the information is stored forever, ready for utilisation in the case of a pathogenic attack.
In training at my school Motivational Martial Arts based in Wicklow, I am looking at  training methods by which accessing the sub conscious mind is made easier.
To learn marital arts or self defence on a conscious level by looking as if we are ,well, learning to fight, doesn’t yield as much as if we were to practice abstractly.
In order to assimilate the physical and bio chemical attributes needed to actually fight, for real, we must by pass or distract the conscious mind. This involves shutting out the “clutter” of the conscious mind.
In my study of Kenpo and Tai Chi I have found that this “distraction” or “abstractness” occurs most significantly in form work. Long seen by many as a mere prerequiste for grade testing or a collection of techniques, forms or kata serve a much more important purpose.
Enraging the body in form practice will, after the basic understanding of the physical motion, enable a relaxation or slowing down of conscious thought. Once this is achieved the real lesson can begin.
With the conscious mind now relaxed or distracted the sub conscious mind is open to suggestion. The suggestion or information that we present to the sub conscious is contained within the form. This data includes correct body alignment,balance, integrity of our physical structure, power generation through optimum body mechanics, sequential flow and harnessing of explosive energy.
By being mindful of becoming mindless we really begin to reap the rewards of our systems form work and training methods.
Note: Accessing the information in kata or forms requires an understanding of the sequences of movement in a particular form. This requires practice. In my opinion this is one of the prime reasons for a high drop out rate in classical martial art. Most students will not stick around long enough to really learn the form and to reap the benefits. In my locality , as is the trend nationally, the most popular ”martial arts” are kickboxing and mma along with the occasional ulitamte commando killer elite “guru” ( not to be confused with those who genuinely teach real defensive tactics, from real experience). The rise in popularity of the aforementioned is in my opinion partly due to the ommision of any type of form or kata in their systems apart from a make your own up musical form which would be more at home on the X Factor than in a real dojo. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Try your best! You can only TryTry, Try, Try again ! A veritable library of inspirational quotations accompany this mantra. Yet it seems only sensible to adhere to this advice. For if we try then perhaps we’ll succeed ? Well maybe.But would you really leave your life to chance? To the hope that your trying would yield a profit, a net gain, an end result. Wicklow based martial artist Alan Ellis thinks differently.
Ellis in quoting Tom Callos of The 100 Project, echo’s the statement ” Nothing Nets Nothing” . Or more commonly put ” You only get out what you put in”
After a lifetime in the practice and teaching of martial arts Ellis is adamant that nothing takes the place of hard work.
“ Persistence is the key. I’ve seen many talented martial artists who could not develop the discipline to have consistency in their work” states Ellis.
Ellis has taught literally hundred of students over the past twenty years, producing black belts and champions from his base in Wicklow.The experience has led him to the conclusion that those who succeed do so because of a mindset based on a personal tenacity. 
“Society has encouraged the culture of try. Children are encouraged to “try your best”. On the face of its an admirable philosophy but one that Ellis feels will ultimetly lead to non achievement.
” We are in an era of the “everyone’s a winner” mentality, remarks Ellis.” Nowadays if every child at a competition or belt ranking test does not come home with a medal, trophy or belt they are upset and parents grumble.
While we all want what’s best for our child Ellis believes that handing it to a child ”on a plate” only gives a false sense of accomplishment and neglects to teach the rich lessons of the martial arts.
“Children are naturally competitive, inqusitive and very much open to learning”  ”Martial arts teaches should and must respect this and guide the child in understanding that real effort, dedication and tenacity will ultimetly reap rewards”
“Of course you have to try says Elllis ” “But that should go without saying and not be the consolation speech for a child who has not prepared properly for an event such as a grade test or competition”
Ellis believes that the lessons learned in planned , methodical preparation for an event are invaluable lessons for any child.
At his Motivational Martial Arts school in Wicklow Ellis employs the Empty Cup Curricuum philosophy. 
” Each child is treated as an individual. Of course some basics are shared by all but in general I design the curriculum around the individual.
The policy applies to adult students also.
Ellis is dismayed by the casual methods employed by some martial ars schools in awarding grade rank.
“Without meaning to be overly critical of others in the martial arts world I recently saw a school advertise an upcoming grade test whereby students were advised to contact the school in advance and book their grade.This was advertised on the club’s Facebook page”
“Students were told to contact the club if they (the students) felt that they wanted to go to the next level” ( and what students wouldn’t!)
” A not unsubstantial fee was advised “
The post appeared a few days prior to the test. 
Ellis feels that this attitude is typical of a loss of value in grade rank and of general accomplishment. In trying to address this in his school Ellis has returned to a more traditional approach.
“A student should not be allowed to decide if he or she is ready for the grade test. This is the prerogative and responsibility of the instructor” states Ellis.
While trying is of course laudable and necessary, hard work, commitment,dedication, perserverence and tenacity trump it.
Alan Ellis is available for group and private tuition for adults and children. He is happy to offer a free trial period at his school so as you can see his philosophies in action and see how his Motivational Martial Arts can help you.
He can be contacted on 089-4567533 email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Martial Pilgrim

Setting out on a pilgrimage requires a certain preparation. One has a goal in mind and perhaps a map of the territory ahead. Equipment is needed, essential provisions are packed and then the pilgrim sets out. At first the way is gentle though it takes time to get used to the pace of the journey. Feet blister and joints ache from the new regime. The terrain gradually becomes a little steeper and each step forward causes struggle. Eventually the road levels out and the strain on the body abates somewhat. This is the honeymoon period , the view improves and although it may seem daunting, the territory the pilgrim travels becomes easier to transverse. At this stage the pilgrim has met others along the way. Fellow travelers who have chosen to move along the same path.

Gradually though the pilgrim notices that his companions one by one, retire from their quest. The pilgrim's journey now becomes more solitary. The initial enthusiasm for the journey begins to wane and his route takes him away from main roads and along little used trails where unexpected obstacles present at regular intervals. At this point the temptation to abandon his holy mission is strong. He misses home comforts.The company of a loved one , the warmth of a winter fire , a rest from his weariness. Still, he is compelled to continue. A force within him , stronger even than his own will moves him forward. He undergoes a metamorphoses. Changes in his body are apparent. The pilgrim gains a physical strength he thought he may never have known. His body becomes lithe. Muscle's and sinews become taunt. A swiftness and sureness in his every step become quite noticeable. Although the terrain is now at its worst the pilgrim is more than capable of meting its challenge. Winding hills , dark forests, rocky paths are all taken in the pilgrim's steady stride. As he nears his destination the pilgrim is elated. He can see his "mecca". His place of fulfillment where he can reflect on his journey. He imagines what is will be like. To finally stand in front of his idol. To pay respect and to rejoice in the blessings of the hierarchy. The keepers of  this holy relic.The temple of his veneration is now within sight. Not far to go now for our pilgrim.

Suddenly though and without warning his body tells him that it has taken him as far as it can.  Human flesh is all he is. The journey has been hard, a testimony to what his body can endure. But now he is spent. With the last vestiges of strength and will power he manages to complete the final mile. Standing in the grand temple he is elated.  His euphoria is however, short lived. For standing ahead of him, receiving blessing from the prophets are his companions from his journey's start. They had fallen back. Now though they stood before him. Their robes embellished with the insignia of the blessed, the chosen. Their bodies showing no scars of struggle, of the hardship he has endured. They had taken another route, one that was more expedient. A route where effort was not the currency required. A trail where favors, gold and influence had paved an easier quicker route and where struggle was a forbidden word. Yet, they revived the blessing, the acclaim, the veneration of their peers.

Dejected the pilgrim turns his back on the temple. Leaves behind the idolatry. He walks from the great square with all its pomp and wanders with heavy heart back towards the paths end. Mindlessly his steps take him back along the route he has traversed. In solitude he makes his way back.This time the path is familiar but seen from another perspective. He notices things that he had not seen previously. The new perspective allows him to appreciate the wonder of his surroundings. Now, with his mind unburdened by the urgency of completing his pilgrimage he can begin to see. A calmness descends upon him and for the first time he feels at one with his surroundings. He is not making a journey now, he is part of the journey. Part of the landscape, the birdsong, the wind. The broken hull that was his body now begins to rejuvenate. Now, however he knows deep inside of himself that all he must do is walk. To move along the path. He realises that which he had sought had been where it always existed.  Inside of him.  In his very being he had always possessed what he needed, what made him unique, and what he could share with others. Finally, all too soon this time, he reaches the end of the path.

 Standing there contemplating which of two paths to take towards the great temple are new eager pilgrims. They ask the way. "Come " he says, " I will show you"

By Alan Ellis- Martial Artist

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Reasons the Young should take Martial Arts

Young people should take martial arts lessons for the following reasons:

1. Exercise is a life-saver. 

Child hood obesity, diabetes, heart disease are all preventable through regular exercise. The mental benefit of a regular training regime cannot be over looked .Feeling good physical can greatly effect the mental health of any child. Today's fast food culture promotes very negative dietary habits. Many young people are now actually under nourished through bad dietary choices.At our martial arts school Motivational Martial Arts we are encouraging our junior students to actively become concious of mindful eating. Healthy choices need not be boring. In fact, expanding one's palate can be the start of a wonderful healthy love affair with great nutritional food.Regular exercise helps to increase the metabolic rate , encourages the growth and development of major muscle groups ,which,burns calories and regulates weight. HDL or "good" cholesterol is increased by regular physical activity and exercise.This has a profound long term effect. Also, the cardio vascular benefits mean that the heart muscle can operate more effectively. Children have a habit of growing up. If we can encourages our children to engage in mindful exercise with a purpose then we can help protect them in later life.

2. Self-defence training can, in a worst-case scenario, be a life-saver.

Self defence, that is real , gets you out of trouble and home safe material, can be the best gift you ever give your child.We don't necessarily mean that its all about the "physical " either. Of course,we teach the block, strike, kick , escape tactics and then a whole lot more. You see, at our school our instructor Alan Ellis believes that education , in many areas , is self defence. You might be the world's best kicker, grappler, boxer etc , and good for you, but, if you can't take care of your body, mind and spirit those skills are mostly window dressing. Martial Arts, that is true Martial Arts seek to develop the student holistically. Some of the benefits that we like to promote and help develop among our students are great diet, anti bullying strategies, community service, mindfulness, kindness, activism, "owning" projects, developing projects and much much more.

3. There’s more talk and focus on respect, courtesy, and self discipline in a week of good martial arts lessons than the average young person will hear in a year of TV and computer time.

While we now live in an age of great technological advances which can be of great assistance to us all ( I'm using that technology now) , its fair to say that we now have a generation of children for whom life without internet, TV and computer games is unimaginable. TV shows and on line games have eroded the discipline and work ethos that exemplified the courtesy and respect of our parents generation. Its now all too easy to tune in and tune out! Switching on the PC or TV is switching off the imagination, ingenuity , engagement and sheer joy of mindful play and eager inquisitiveness. In many cases that which gets into our children's minds through these "modern mediums" can go uncensored. In fact it might be said that we become somewhat immune to what we would heretofore regard as a "bad influences"

Our curriculum for children , and you can check it out for free at Holistic Martial Arts, encourages children to see the great benefits of investing their time and minds in productive activity.Sure it require self discipline, and OK some use of the PC , thought its constructive use and respectful use.

We are always happy to talk to parents who really want the very best for their kids. While watching some TV or playing the odd PC games can be fun there is so much more to experience on this spinning planet. We'd like to offer you the oppertunity to give your child the gift of a lifetime

Feel free to call us on 089-4567533 or email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A Notice to the Prospective Student

As we all know, men and women sometimes walk through huge sections of their lives like the living dead, oblivious to the beauty, the mystery, and the wonder around them.  Likewise,  the martial arts teacher, who has at his or her disposal a multitude of ways to wake up, to contribute, to transcend the mundane, and to live the promise of clarity-in-life through the practice, can walk through the training, the lessons, and the brilliance of it all without being awake ---and without tapping into or realizing what is beyond the obvious.

The obvious is the quest for recognition, usually in rank and awards, or in the brand of the car and the watch and the suit. The obvious is the distinction of the color of our uniforms, their cut, the patches we wear, and the titles we give ourselves. The obvious is that we can, indeed, block the punch, execute the arm bar, and teach hand-to-hand survival skills that can serve people when put in situations where they might be needed. The obvious is the business acumen we must acquire to operate our schools in a way that supports what it takes to run them. The obvious is that the martial arts can deliver a vigorous exercise program.

Beyond the obvious is martial arts training as a tool for deepening spirituality, connection, and a sense of involvement, mission, and purpose in the world. What better use of the idea of self-defense than to apply it not only to the physical protection of the body, but to the mind (As doesn’t the mind get soft and out of shape or even twisted, without challenge, focus, and purpose!), to the emotions, to the family, to the community, to environmental issues, to the food we eat, to the way we deal with conflict, with stress, with joy, and with kindness? Is not self-defense found in the values we pass onto the young? To the example we set for them? To how we demonstrate, through our own practice,  what is wonderful and meaningful and valuable in the world?

If you’re thinking about starting the martial arts as a way to get in shape or to learn self-defense, look for a teacher who is struggling (as it is always a struggle) to move beyond the obvious, beyond the superficial aspects of what the practice of martial arts training brings to the table. The great teacher isn’t necessarily driving the latest model Mercedes, sitting in the most stylish school, wearing the most ornate uniform, or teaching 5000 students in 25 locations. The great teacher is, ideally, living a kind of practice that is beyond the obvious and beyond the ordinary.

If you can find that kind of practitioner/teacher, then you have a chance to practice with someone who can talk about and show examples of what the martial arts does for a person, for their family, and for their community, when it is taken out of the “dojo” and put to work in the world. While many men and women walk through huge sections of their lives like the living dead, oblivious to the beauty, the mystery, and the wonder around them, there are also many people who are awake and engaged.

I work with martial arts instructors around the world who are vigorously working to move beyond the obvious. To see what these teachers are engaged in, what we’re working on, and how it’s affecting our practice of the martial arts, visit www.holisticmartialarts.ning.com

Tom Callos


For further information on how we can help you engage in life contact
Alan Ellis on 089-4567533
email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Sunday, 15 July 2012

If you're over the age of 30 should you consider studying the martial arts?

If you're over the age of 30, should you consider studying the martial arts?

Well, yes --and no.

You should consider a regular, daily, exercise program. A sensible one; one that starts slow and lets your fitness sneak up on you (rather than hitting you over the head with it).

A martial arts program certainly has the potential to be a wonderfully complete training program, as it includes stretching, strength training, aerobic exercise, and requires a kind of mental focus akin to deep meditation. That is, if the instructor you choose has the right kinds of experience. Instructors that are under the age of 30 are often spectacular athletes, but it’s important that they have an understanding of how to teach people of all ages.

But Oh, find a great teacher and the martial arts can become your best friend. The training can keep you supple, sharp, and clear thinking. A martial arts school, directed by a conscientious teacher, can be a centering, inspiring, refreshing place that you love going to --and leave thinking about your next session.

Yes, look to the martial arts for new perspective on your life, after the age of 30. It’s not too late, even at 40, 50, or 60. To choose a school take their trial course (which should be free or close to it). All the best school offer new students an opportunity to test drive “the car” before buying. I think you should try my school, of course, but I might be a wee bit prejudice.

If you’re thinking about taking classes, allow me to be the first to invite you in. Mention that you’re over 30 and I will offer you 2 weeks of lessons to try us out (no strings attached). Warning: It’s fun, affordable, and invigorating. It’s never to late to start working out. The most difficult aspect of exercise is taking that first step.

Reach me here:
Alan Ellis 089-4567533 email aemartialartist@gmail.com
Website www.holisticmartialarts.ning.com

2 Simple Self Defence Techniques

Here are two simple self-defense tips, a one-minute-read, that could save your life --and/or the life of someone you love.


1. Eat MINDFULLY. Eating without paying attention causes you to eat the wrong things and/or too much food. Doing either (or both) could, as they say, “take the shine off your shoes.” Heart disease, diabetes, and all sorts of ailments await the person who doesn’t practice mindful eating. Look to the video, below, for for some mindful eating basics (it’s Harvard Professor, Dr. Lilian Cheung, co-author of Savor, Mindful Eating, Mindful Life): The video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emd9q6_o6Z0

 2. The self-defense expert Sanford Strong, author of Strong on Defense, sets forth four survival rules that everyone should know if faced with a dangerous situation or attack:
  • React immediately
  • Resist,
  • Avoid crime scene #2
  • Never give up.

Want more? (We want you to want more!)

We are actively recruiting women (mothers and daughters) in our community for an upcoming 2 hour “What I Need to Know About Self-Defense” workshop. 

If you would like to be on our “Self-Defense Tips” mailing list and/or hear more about our workshops, please contact us here:
Alan Ellis 089-4567533 email aemartialartist@gmail.com
Website www.holisticmartialarts.ning.com

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Few Things You Need In Martial Arts

In the martial arts, to make true and worthwhile progress, you would do well to have a few "things."

One of those things is patience. Patience means you look at the long-term benefits of steady, consistent training; not too hard and not to easy, but training that’s varied, interesting, and --eventually --both meditative and challenging.

Another thing is the big picture view. Your martial arts practice should not be limited to --or even predominately on --the mat. The awareness, the calmness, the confidence, should make it’s way off of the mat and into your world.

“My favorite saying about the martial arts and life is,'My life is my dojo.'” --Tom Callos (www.tomcallos.com)

And yet another great thing to have is an instructor with a brain and some awareness. It’s a great, great thing to have friends and mentors who have the makings for a full picnic lunch --and it’s a real bummer when you end up hanging out with someone who turns out to have brought the basket, but forgot to pack the sandwiches.

Oh, and a really wonderful thing to have is a good diet. Without a good diet, the body doesn’t cooperate the way it should and training is never as much fun or as productive as it could (and should) be.

If you’re considering martial arts classes as a way to have some fun while polishing those “things” that you like most about yourself, consider using the pass you can find here. I like to give new students a good, healthy opportunity to see what the training is like (we always start slow and easy). If you have questions, please, call this number.
089-4567533 email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Self Defence is Found in the Simple Things

Self-Defense is Found in the Simple Things

We teach self-defence --and self-defence is found in the simplest of things. Kindness, for example; kindness is a beautiful form of self-defence. Good food --and the appreciation of it; there’s a fine, fine kind of self-defecse. Oh, and how about love of community? Participation in --and love for --one’s community is a kind of self-defence that’s impossible to put a value on. And my favorite kind of self-defence is found in a simple rule, The Golden Rule:

Treat others as you would want them to treat you.

Simply perfect.

We like Tom Callos’ (www.tomcallos.com) description of self-defence too: “Self-defence isn’t only about personal protection, it’s about taking care of the people around you and the place you live as well.”

And of course, self-defence training is all you already imagined it to be, but with this particular attitude about it, self-defence becomes about living a good life. What a great idea.

For information about our school and self-defence lessons for today’s world, contact us here.
089-4567533 email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Martial Arts Lessons: It’s Not About Violence

Martial Arts Lessons: It’s Not About Violence

Just the other day a parent asked me if she thought my classes promoted violent behavior in young boys. She was inquiring about lessons for her son and was concerned that he and his friends might take what they’re learning and use it inappropriately.

I thought it was a fine question.

Yes, there have been a few cases (very few) of students “playing martial arts” with friends, the same way they play as their favorite superheroes, but I’ve never heard of the play being malicious or hurtful. I do, however, hear many stories of my young students using the kind of restraint we talk about in almost every class. I hear many stories of the young people in my program --and other martial arts schools --avoiding violence, avoiding conflict, and staying out of trouble as a result of their training.

A good martial arts teacher adds instructions and advice about how NOT to use martial arts, as often as he or she teaches the technical aspects of the arts.

“The ‘cake’ that is what a martial arts teacher offers his or her students,” says Tom Callos (www.tomcallos.com), the National Director of The One Hundred (www.flavors.me/masterteachers), an association made up of martial arts instructors who embrace education over the more media-prevalent aspects of martial arts instruction, “is made up of blocks, punches, kicks, and other maneuvers, But the real “flour” of the recipe is in the restraint, the self-control, and the attitude of self-discipline that makes up the best-of-the-best the martial arts has to offer.”

And by way of an offer, any reader of this piece that would like to “taste” the cake we produce at our school, need only to contact us on 089 456 7533 and drop by our school.

And no, it is not about violence or aggression or hurting people. The martial arts are about grown-up adults mentoring young people in the ways of non-violence, self-control, and contribution.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Children’s Classes in Martial Arts, What to Expect

Children’s Classes in Martial Arts, What to Expect

Expect there to be one or more experienced teachers on the floor in your child’s class. Expect the teacher to, at times, appear to have the patience of Job. Expect a bit more, Oh how shall we say it? ENERGY, every so often. Expect the teacher, whether gently guiding everyone along or cranking up the troops, to wear a smile (a happy one!).  

Expect a lot of talk about respect, about leadership, about good manners, about anger, about a whole bunch of things just about any parent would love to hear some OTHER adult talking to them about. That’s the way we do it.  

“I haven’t been a ‘karate kid’ for some time, like decades, but the experience is still in my mind like it happened yesterday. Parents, enroll your child in a good martial arts school. You’ll never regret it -- and your children will never forget it.” -- Tom Callos, www.tomcallos.com

Expect a lot of good-sleep-inducing exercise. And expect some special events, as one of our primary goals is to teach our students to take what they practice on the mat and apply it to other things (like school, like work, like fun, and -- to the community).

Expect to look back on your son or daughters martial arts lessons with great pleasure and fond memories. Expect, genuinely, some very good times.

For a free trial program and mark my words here, there’s no “hook” or sales pitch in this offer. This is simply a way for you to test drive our school, before ever THINKING about enrollment. Click here or contact us at:  089-4567533 or email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Advice for Men and Women over the age of 40, Thinking About Taking Martial Arts Classes

Advice for Men and Women over the age of 40, Thinking About Taking Martial Arts Classes

First, take it slow. No, really. There’s no hurry, it’s not a competition, and you’re not 20 any more (even though you look like it). Going too hard, too fast, is why a lot of people who would like to enjoy all the benefits of training, no longer practice the martial arts (or any number of activities). Go too fast, get injured; get injured, quit training.

Second, if the instructor is your age (or older), that’s a good thing. If he or she is younger, make sure they know who’s the boss (you!). You only do what your body says you can do. If and when a class moves into an area you, for sure, want to avoid, you can always find an alternative way to stay engaged. What you shouldn't do is “100 reps” when your body is telling you the 50 would be wise. 

Trust me, your teacher will appreciate your input. Give yourself enough time and you will not only keep up with the group, you might be leading it!

Be consistent. Being inconsistent about class attendance can dampen the fire of your enthusiasm. Stay on course!

Try out the class you’re interested in, first, before enrolling. There’s nothing wrong with a class with an instructor you’re interested in studying with. Most all schools will provide you with an introductory or trial class, without a fee (if you like classes, they’re going to know you for a long, long time). If a school doesn't offer an introductory, it’s a red flag to enrollment.

By the way, call us  on 089 456 7533 to receive a free  class at our club.

Tom Callos, 51 years of age and a 40 year veteran of martial arts practice (see his bio at www.tomcallos.com) offers the following advice:

“Don’t hesitate to enroll in martial arts classes,” says Callos. “It’s a wonderful, thorough, and engaging form of exercise. Just be mindful about the way you practice. Study some of the history of the art you engage in. Enjoy the process of improvement.”

For more information on our classes and schedule please contact us on 089 456 7533

Monday, 2 July 2012

Mom, Dad, Here’s The Honest Truth About The Martial Arts for Your Child, Age 5 to 13.

Mom, Dad, Here’s The Honest Truth About The Martial Arts for Your Child, Age 5 to 13. Written by Tom Callos of www.TomCallos.com for...Alan Ellis Martial Arts

I took my first martial arts lesson at age 9. By the age of 13, when my friends were experimenting, when peer pressure seemed at an all time high, when I just knew my brain power had far surpassed my father’s, and when I couldn’t pass any reflective surface without gazing in wonder at what it beheld, I was firmly and deeply entrenched in my identity as a martial artist.

The classes anchored me, in fact, they were just about the only place where I could stand completely still for any extended period of time (except, of course, if front of the TV).  The instructors emphasized respect, courtesy, and a code of honor that nobody else I knew seemed to care about. 

For me, that was good. It made me feel unique.

In a good martial arts school, your child will feel like a part of “the team.” And this team, if they’re good at what they do, will have daily talks about compassion, about respect for self and others, about kindness, and about non-violent conflict resolution.

But equally as good as the philosophy can be is the fact that your little one will be training, as in legs flying, rolling, punching, blocking, jumping, and spinning. Each maneuver has an effect on your child’s brain and, of course, their body. When I watch the young people in my classes doing what we do, I always think about how good it is that they’re here, doing something so constructive and positive.

I also reflect back to when I was a child --and that’s usually followed by a silent “thank you” to my parents.

Football, soccer, baseball, tennis, and guitar were all fun, but not one of them affected me as my martial arts lessons have. If you’re a parent, I would highly recommend enrolling your child in a good school --and you might even consider some classes for yourself.
By the way, I'm 51 now --and the martial arts are STILL keeping me out of trouble.

Here’s a guest pass for the family:
Contact us on 089-4567533
email aemartialartist@gmail.com