How Gradings Work

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How Gradings Work

How Gradings Work

How Gradings Work – At Function First Martial Arts

Every now and then a student will ask about gradings. Or why there are people in an advanced group and they are not. We figure if one is asking then many more are thinking the same. So we feel we’re not getting the message across well enough.

Heres an attempt to address that

How Gradings Work – Process

Grades are every three months

Year 1 = Yellow – Red – Orange – Green Grades

Year 2 = Blue and above grades

Little Vipers age 5-8. This is nice and simple, we don’t pressure the kids at this age too much. Vipers need to complete twelve classes, so once a week between grades.

Cadets aged 9-14.

Year one is like the little vipers. Once a week meaning twelve classes between grades is sufficient.

Year 2. Now we ramp up the pressure a little. In year two cadets really need to be training twice a week and averaging 24 classes between grades. Kids who train once a week at this level struggle to retain the information so we grade them every 6-9 months. Unfortunately they fall behind a little, and this often develops into a defeatist attitude. They often seem to lose interest and leave. If we look at all our year three cadets virtually 100% of them train two or more times a week. Those who stick with it the longest are the ones who experience the growth and benefits.

Adults. All adult classes require a minimum of 2 classes a week to grade.

It is worth pointing out that those that train twice a week develop the skills at a much faster rate than those who train once a week. We have some kids that train 6 hours a week and compete, I think it goes without saying. Their confidence and attitude are unlike other kids of their age. They are formidable capable young people who walk shoulders back and head held high.

How Gradings Work – What counts?

Class attendance is important as it develops good habits. Though this alone is not enough, we grade on attitude and work ethic.

In year one for all our students, we are fairly relaxed. We want you to figure out if this is something you wish to take seriously. The work becomes more complex in year two and one class a week is no longer sufficient to remember the work.

Now we understand that some simply cannot make it in more than once a week. If it’s other hobbies getting in the way or were getting in the way of other hobbies. Then we advise picking one and studying deep as the benefits are profound if you allow them to be.

Of course one hour a week is better than none, though two hours a week is a 100% improvement. Twice the growth in a year, well actually it’s like compound interest. It exponentially develops so you end up accelerating your learning at a much faster rate over time.

Exactly the same as if you put £100 a week into a savings account and I put £200 in. After one year I would have more than double because of interest, over time this makes a massive difference.

A £10,000 investment with a 20% return each month over 3 years earns you over £20,000,000 yes 20 million pounds.

Martial arts repetitions are exactly the same.

How Gradings Work – Don’t grade?

So if you don’t grade then you stay in year one of our syllabus and repeat the same work. This, of course, is fine, it just means you never get to progress to the more complex work and close quarter clinch work of the kickboxing for example.

Once you have completed all four grades you move into the next group and cover the more advanced work from the syllabus.

Its an old cliche but there is some truth to it. Jack of all trades master of none.

Master one and you have insight into the self that others do not. You grasp concepts and see patterns that give you an edge in life.

Off The Mats As On

OTHER RAMBLINGS

 

 

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Laser Beam Focus

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Laser Beam Focus

Mental Strength

Laser Beam Focus at Function First Lincoln

Laser Beam Focus

Focus and attention play a huge part in martial arts. When someone is moving around in front of you throwing kicks and punches it pays to be in the moment.

The mind is a tricky little thing though before you know it, there it goes. Thinking about PS4 or whats for tea.

Laser Beam Focus – New ways we have been working it with the kids

So in our kid’s classes, we have been working with some new simple techniques to improve focus. Into laser beam focus of course.

Thes can be used at home by the parent for two minutes at a time twice a week. We noticed almost instant results. Though saying that it is something that should be done with persistence. Over many years if you really want a warrior mindset

  1. Simply get a meditation bell (follow this link) Now sit down with your child, eyes closed. Ring the bell and when you can’t hear the bell any longer raise your hand. You can stop the bell ringing at different times. Or let it fade away naturally. This really does focus the mind and you can do it along with your child. Hey, you might feel the benefits too. Actually, let me rephrase that. You will definitely feel the benefits if you do this.
  2. Get a cushion, lay down and put it on your child’s belly. Instruct them to breathe in and move the cushion up, breath out and bring it down. Repeat, do this twice a week for two minutes at a time. Breathing techniques are at the heart of martial arts and meditation. Breathing helps you control your power, emotions and resistance to strikes. Join in with your kids, as with exercise 1 you will benefit from this enormously.

Laser Beam Focus – In a crazy distracted world

Just a few minutes a day can have a profound effect. In todays world the skill of controlling the mind, not being distracted. Well, I think we all know, Facebook, Twitter and on and on it goes.

Theis is not wishy-washy hippy nonsense. The studies are out, they have been confirmed by science and millions of people worldwide.

Look after your mind because the revolution is internal

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Punch Power Seminar Feb 2017

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Punch Power Seminar

Saturday 4th March 2017





Matt Chapman returns to deliver his fantastic improve your punch power seminar

This time round we will be looking at

  • Improving your punch power standing
  • Improving your punch power on the ground

Seriously, last time Matt held this seminar at Function First we all stopped halfway through to wrap our hands from the heavy hitting, very cool indeed

Secure your place by paying below or see our lovely ladies on reception

NO PAY ON THE DAY – COMMIT OR QUIT

 





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Talent Vs Hard Work

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The Hare and the tortoise.

Success mike and stu

Ive seen this a lot over the years, new member joins the gym and picks stuff up so fast. All the other members are blown away and impressed by the seemingly effortless talent. I immediately think, “slightly higher maintenance relationship”

Now thats not a negative thing to say, its my job to notice these things and deliver the required coaching.

So heres how its played out so many times over the years, and i hope this resonates with some of you.

The ones who pick it up quick often get bored quicker or lose interest quicker and go looking for alternative stimuli. While their away missing a class or 2, i mean a class or 2 is no big deal right?

Well during those classes the tortoise gets the basics drilled and drilled and the tortoise never misses a class and stays consistent. The tortoise gets 10 reps in to every 8 of the hare, now that might not sound a lot but that means the what the hare does in 4 years the tortoise does in 3, thats a whole year of extra training and thats without missing any classes. Just attending the same classes and getting in 2 extra reps with a methodical consistent approach can make all the difference.

Now what happens is the hare returns to class after flying their remote control plane at the local model plane club where their also regarded as talented and the swimming club and the football club and the, yeah you get it talented at everything they touch club.

So they return to the martial arts club and they grapple with the tortoise, but now the tortoise is in control and the talent isn’t cutting it. They now feel frustrated and de moralised, i mean this just doesn’t happen at the other clubs (YET) they are the kiddy the gifted but now the scrawny little kids are all over them.

They go home deflated and now miss a few more classes, i mean why would you want to go to a class and be dominated and lose against tortoises?

And here lies the vicious circle of unfocused talent.

Consistency and focus are not just important for martial arts but in many areas of your life.

Wherever you are, be all there and be there often as hard work will almost always beat talent. 

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Recovering After your Martial Arts Workout

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Recovering After your Martial Arts Workout

A lot of time, effort, and study is put into how to perform during a martial arts class. This is definitely a good thing. You do want to be prepared and to be in great shape when you attend your classes. However, you also will be required to put some time into thinking about what to do after class. Even a moderately paced martial arts workout can be a little testing for the body. When you have finished with your session, you will need to do what is required to properly recover after the workout.

Invest in your Martial Arts workout recovery

Not everyone puts much thought into recovering from their workout. They simply just look forward to the next class. There is definitely nothing wrong with this attitude, but it is also well advised to also invest time in making sure you do what is required to aid in your body’s repair of muscle tissue and to replenish its lost nutrients.

Good nutrition helps recover from your Martial Arts workout

Good food = good martial artsNutrition should not be ignored after a Martial Arts workout. When you are investing time in a high intensity cardio workout, lot of vitamins and minerals will need to be replenished. There are quite a number of nonstimulant workout recovery drinks which can do this. Beware of the sugar content on some of those drinks though. You ideally would want to keep refined sugar low. Others may suggest going the natural route and simply eating an orange as this fruit is considered perfect for recovery. A bit of protein in the form of chicken or brown rice is helpful. The key here is you want to add some carbs to your system so you have energy and you need the protein to rebuild and repair the muscle tissue stressed during the class.

Water is vital to your Martial Arts workout recovery

Water is vital to your recovery from a martial arts workoutYou definitely will want to drink some water after having worked out quite intensely. Sweating means you will have lost quite a bit of water during your workout. Martial artists surely need to replenish that water or else you will end up feeling dehydrated. Then again, you won’t just feel dehydrated. You probably will be dehydrated.

Give your body ample rest after the workout to recover. Rushing into the next workout without taking time out to help your body heel a bit can be the path to injury. If you feel excessively sore, you are going to end up in even worse condition if you do not take time out before the next workout session.

Recovery is a very important component to your martial art training. Never skimp or avoid doing what is required to properly recovery from your workout session.

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Cut Out Unnecessary Motions to Make your Martial Arts More Successful

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Cut Out Unnecessary Motions to Make your Martial Arts More Successful

One of the most common ways to make a martial art decidedly less effective would be to add unnecessary extra motions. What would be the best way to define an extra motion? Basically, this would be any type of motion that does not contribute to economy of motion, and slows down the ability to actually deliver an effective offence.

 The problem here is that there will also be times when movement is required. For example, when someone is charging on you and a kick would be a preferred technique, you might not be able to kick from where you are. You might have to move in order to deliver the kick. Would this be unnecessary extra motion?

It may or it may not be. There are certain factors that come into play when trying to define whether or not it is extra motion.

What is unnecessary motion in martial arts?

If you move  two feet out of the way of an incoming attack, you may be moving far too much. Six inches or so may have been enough. The extra movement is exactly that. It is extra and it is unnecessary. Intelligent martial arts training and working on improving distance would cut down on any excessive movement.

Over time, as your skill develops even further, your martial arts skills will allow you to have greater timing, speed, and overall attributes. This could lead to you being able to perform that kick without sidestepping at all. A common misconception about cutting down on unnecessary motion is that it must start on day one. This likely is not possible.  A beginner can only do their best based on their current level of martial arts skill. With good commitment, that skill level will improve to the point of smoothness, and a sense of logic will lead to cutting down on moves that are not necessary.

Of course, training methods will also play a critical role in whether or not the student will be able to avoid performing a lot of unnecessary movement. Martial arts training methods that put an emphasis on the volume of techniques will never aid someone looking to cut down on the amount of movement required to perform a technique in the simplest and most economical manner.

This is a critical point because simplicity and economy of motion are the only way to make techniques work in both sport martial arts and self-defense.

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Improving Your State of Mind Thanks to Training Martial Arts

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Training martial arts will improve your state of mind

Training martial arts will always have a number of positive benefits. Virtually everyone realises and agrees that training martial arts can be quite good for self defence. Others will be quick to point out that training martial arts will contribute to improvements in health and fitness. There is another area of improvement that can sometimes be overlooked. This would be the mental health benefits that can be gained from training martial arts.

Training martial arts can help relieve this feeling.

The notion training in MMA, kickboxing, or a traditional martial art could lead to improvements in mental health might seem more than a bit “out there”. It may be easy to assume someone is suggesting that studying a combat sport or learning self defence can easily replace serious therapy with a health care provider. No one is suggesting training martial arts are the sole way to treat a major psychological problem. However, the arts can be effectively used to create more peace of mind and enhance a positive mental state.

We know this because they have been doing so for centuries.

Training martial arts for stress relief

The easiest way this can be seen is how training martial arts can be a great stress releaser. No one likes to deal with pent up stress from work or other responsibilities.  Getting away from it all even if it is only for an hour or two can have a positive impact on your state of mind. Hitting a heavy bag or getting a really good workout in can definitely burn up a lot of stress in a good way. We all know that some of the ways people deal with stress are neither positive nor healthy, such as possibly drinking alcohol or smoking. Training martial arts offers a much better alternative.

Training martial arts takes your mind off things

The martial arts can also get your mind off of things that may be troubling you even after you leave the dojo. Thinking about your training or reading a book on the subject contribute to thinking about positive things. This would certainly be preferable to just wallowing on things that are neither positive nor helpful.

This is not to suggest the martial arts should be used for the purpose of permanent escapism. That would be a very self-defeating venture. At some point, you do have to take time out and deal with your responsibilities and sources of stress. Doing so at the proper time is recommended. Training martial arts can give you a reprieve until that time.

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Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk

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Insights and Tips for Sparring in the Martial Arts

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Get the most out of your sparring

Sparring is something taken very serious by those that are equally serious about their martial arts journey. Sparring might not be everything there is to the martial arts, but it is definitely a major part of the learning process. Whether you are training for competition, for self-defense or even personal development, you want to be sure your skills at sparring are at  solid level.

Questions do arise among martial artists regarding safety and sparring. While many would like to spar, they will be concerned about suffering any potential injuries. These concerns are not the result of being overly cautious. It is definitely important not to get hurt in sparring because doing so will undermine any benefit you are seeking from a sparring session.

Simple rules to sparring safely

To be sure you get the most out of your sparring, you should follow a few basic rules:

  • SparringAllways have the proper safety equipment. A mouthpiece, knee pads and a groin protector will be a must for any sparring whether it be standing or on the ground. Errant injuries can occur when you do not have these basic pieces of equipment in place.
  • When you are performing boxing and kickboxing sparring, you definitely will want 16oz boxing gloves, headgear, and thick shin guards. For those sparring MMA style with MMA gloves, be very careful as these gloves do not offer a lot of protection.
  • Where you spar is equally important when safety is concerned. You need an environment that is safe for sparring. A boxing ring, a cage or a Judo/BJJ mat are designed for the safety of the practitioners. Training in the local park might be fun but you would be taking quite a few safety risks in such an environment.
  • Train under adequate supervision. When you are new to sparring or are a relative beginner in the martial arts, you will best served sparring while an experienced expert is watching. This will boost safety levels immensely.
  • Only train with partners that are considerate and conscientious. It would not be of any benefit to train with people that can present a safety risk to you. Such people have no place in the dojo.
  • Train slow and in a controlled manner. This will reduce injury potential immensely. Being reckless in sparring is a very, very bad idea. Always spar in a manner that enhances safety. Do this at all times!

Sparring safely and effectively in the martial arts is not hard to do. Just following a number of common sense tips will ensure you achieve the desired results.

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Five Things to Think About When Wondering if MMA Lincoln is For You

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Is MMA Lincoln for you??

Has the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) bug bitten you? No, that question was not directed towards those interested in purchasing the next PPV (Pay Per View). It was directed to those wondering whether or not MMA Lincoln lessons are for them.

You might have watched an event and might be seriously wondering whether or not you should sign up for Mixed Martial Arts lessons. Thinking about taking lessons is certainly a good idea. It is also a good idea to read the following MMA facts because they might just help nudge you towards making the decision to sign up.

MMA Lincoln

#1 You do not have to compete to take part in MMA Lincoln classes.

As with any other martial art, you can train for fun and for hobby. If you do wish to compete, you can certainly follow the path towards doing so. However, if you are just looking for something fun to do, MMA classes can be worth investing time in.

#2 There is no age limit for taking MMA Lincoln lessons.

You might be over middle age and wondering whether or not MMA is for you. For high intensity competition based training, youth does play a major factor in whether or not you will be able to get the most out of your training. That said, for fun, hobby and fitness, you can be up there in age and still get a lot out of MMA training.

#3 MMA Lincoln is fine for kids as well.

MMA material is commonly weaved into a traditional kid’s martial arts program. That means the kids might end up training with the karate uniforms on and follow a traditional TKD (Tae Kwon Do) or Kempo program. Judo, BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and kickboxing may be weaved into the program to help bring a little MMA to the traditional program kids enjoy.

#4 MMA Lincoln is great for weight loss and health.bjj to mma

You are performing quite a bit of cardiovascular work when you are engaging in an MMA class. This means you will burn a lot of calories and contribute to the burning of a great many unwanted calories. There is a reason why MMA fighters look lean and ripped. Their workouts lead to such results.

#5 Those interested in self-defense will find MMA Lincoln very helpful.

While MMA is a sportive endeavor, it also covers all manner of striking and grappling. This means it presents excellent tools for use in a self-defense scenario. It is strongly recommended to study personal protection and street self-defense so you can tweak your MMA training for reality based training.

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Power side forwards or to the rear??

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Power Side Forward vs. Power Side to the Rear: The Eternal Martial Art Discussion

Power side forward vs. power side to the rear: which is better? This is a commonly debated topic among the striking arts. To a degree, whether to put the strong side forward or to the rear is also a common discussion in grappling arts circles. In truth, personal preferences and goals will factor into whether or not the power side should go forward or remain in the rear.

Power side - Sport at the rearWhat is your power side?

Strong side vs. weak side will be based on whether you are right handed or left handed. If you are right handed, your right hand would reflect your power hand. Hence, strong side forward means your right hand and foot would be forward. The rational here is both the right hand and foot would be far more capable of handling the tasks required of them since they are stronger. This is why so many self-defence arts stress the strong side forward.

Power side in sports martial arts

Sportive arts will follow a different paradigm. In sportive endeavors, the weak side is put forward for the purpose of setting up a massive power shot from the strong side in the rear. In a sportive endeavor, there are very few options available to those in the ring or the cage. The reason is an opponent will be moving and jabbing. Therefore, it becomes harder to find a clear shot. As a result, it becomes necessary to set up shots through using the weak lead hand and cutting lose with the weak side when an opportunity arises.

Power side in self defence

In self defence, this might not be a wise approach because time is not on the side of the person who is being attacked. Assaults commence and end rather quickly. Due to this fact, striking with the most powerful tool is vital and placing the tool closer to the target makes sense.

That said, you will likely be in a natural stance when you are assaulted and that means your weak side may be forward. You would have no choice but to act from the weak side. Rarely do you ever have any choices when you are dealing with an assault situation. This is do to the rapid nature of such clashes. So, for self defence purposes, it is best to train both the strong and the weak side to ensure you are capable of handling anything that comes your way. With the right effort and training, the weak side can be made much stronger.

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Matt&Phone3

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