The Secret to Excelling at Cardio Kickboxing

pic4

CARDIO.

To many, this word is met with groans and firm shakes of the head. Whether you’re biking, running, swimming, spinning, jumping rope or, of course, kickboxing, it can seem overwhelming and intimidating.

 

“I can’t do it.”

 

This part of the workout is where we kickboxing instructors at I Love Kickboxing Loganville hear these words many times.

10 seconds into the round, your body is warming up.

20 seconds in, your heart rate is gaining momentum.

30 seconds in, your heart feels that it’s at its maximum speed and you’re gasping for air.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

Here’s the secret to excelling at cardio kickboxing (or any cardio workout):

 

Ready?

3
2
1…

Control your breathing.

—It’s that simple.

Here’s the basic idea:

Each thrust of energy should be in combination with either an inhale or an exhale.

Many people unintentionally hold their breath during grueling combinations. This technique not only tires them out quickly, but they become unnecessarily overexerted. The key is to slow your breathing to a controlled pace in order to keep your heart rate slowed. Athletes aren’t born with equestrian lungs,  but they have over time mastered the art of breathing.

Practice breathing from your gut, which allows deeper breaths, rather than from your chest. To figure out which breathing technique you’re doing, do about 10 minutes of cardio. When you’re finished, assess how your breathing moves your body: 1) Breathing heavily through your chest moves your shoulders up and down, or 2)  Breathing heavily from your diaphragm or “gut” moves your abdomen in and out, which is what you want. The greater the oxygen intake, the greater oxygenation reaches the worked muscles, resulting in fueling them to work faster, harder, and longer.

Let’s use the first combination as an example on how to practice breathing from your gut: Jab, Cross

If you’re working on technique or strength (slower movements)

Jab: breathe out

Cross: breathe out

or

Jab: breathe in

Jab: breathe in

If you’re working on speed (faster movements)

Jab: breathe in

Cross: breathe out

1. Breathe in Patterns

As combinations progress to more intricate combinations, maintain control over breathing and remember each kick, punch, elbow, or knee should be accompanied by either an inhale or exhale, depending on what your body needs at that moment.

2. Practice

If you’re new to this breathing technique, it may feel difficult and foreign at first. It may even feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen. STICK WITH IT. After a couple of weeks, your body will automatically respond to cardio with this breathing technique and it will feel completely natural.

3. Keep Going

Now that you’ve trained and strengthened your lungs, something you once thought was tough, you can go test your body to see what else it can do. Your body can always do much more than you think; test it, push it.

 

Keep fighting,

Idaliz Seymour

Did You Know? – Kickboxing Etiquette on the Mat!

mat

Written by: ILKB Loganville Instructor Idaliz

 . . .

Hey there, Kickboxers!  I wanted to go over a few quick reminders on mat etiquette while at the I Love Kickboxing Loganville studio.

  1. No shoes on the mat. Here’s why. First, there are millions and billions of bacteria we carry around on the bottoms of our shoes, and we don’t need to spread it onto our meticulously cleaned mat. Second, at ILKB, we do a lot of jogging, jumping, and moving. Wearing no shoes allows us to avoid possible injuries from being stepped on by size 14 shoes or tripping over untied shoelaces.
  1. No clutter. The only personal items allowed on the mat are gloves, a water bottle, and a small towel or rag. Line up your gloves flat against the wall so that no one trips over them. Cell phones, car keys, shoes, purses, etc. should all be kept in the cubbies by the front door and  safely out of the way.
  1. Be on time. If you need to use the restroom, wrap your hands, or put your hair up, then make sure to allot plenty of time to do so before the start of class.
  1. No bash talk. We do not allow any sort of self-defeating talk on the mat. Not only is it contagious to other students, but it’s counter-productive to our environment. We want to uplift, motivate, and inspire one another —especially on the mat!
  1. Introduce yourself to newbies. It can be intimidating coming to an ILKB studio where you don’t know anyone. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to newbies and make them feel comfortable. We’re a family, afterall!

Mastering these five mat etiquette guidelines will ensure a fun, safe and awesome workout! See you in class!

For more information on I Love Kickboxing Loganville, visit here.

Karate Is Better When You Share It

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville

. . .

Training update: I recently passed another belt test! The success now allows me to enter yellow belt training!

The first few tries of practicing double inside kicks brought me back to ballet class, when trying to nail a series of single pirouettes. But unlike pirouettes that call for precision and poise, each spinning kick ended with loud yells from the gut. In the words of my friend Emily, who came to class with me a while ago, “It’s (karate) like angry ballet!”

Emily made the first day of yellow belt training memorable. As she is the first person to approach me about karate lessons, I couldn’t help but feel excited to bring her to class. After days of figuring out a mutual schedule and finding out that we’re both huge Harry Potter fans, she participated in her first day of karate training – and it is thanks to the free trial offered at Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville. Her session had her stretch, kick, yell, somersault, and learn a couple of self-defense techniques. She mingled with my HapKiDo peers and found she liked them. She cannot wait to come back again!

Meeting new HapKiDo students is always a pleasure and sometimes brings me back to my first day. But I now know it is a different feeling when you help a friend on his/her first day. It definitely becomes a new topic/hobby to talk about and do.

For more information on how to start a free trial at Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville, visit: http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php.

Follow us on Facebook!

. . .

LoganvilleBlogpost

Exercise cannot be substituted by daily tasks that require using the same muscles repeatedly. If exercise is not added to your daily lifestyle, chances are the muscles in your body need to be worked out. In a way, exercise is saying “I love you” to your body. Once you start and maintain a regular routine, your body reaps in many benefits such as weight loss and more energy. Exercise also helps those with health problems like asthma, reflux/GERD, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

But the key about exercise is consistency. In most cases, it is about finding the right exercise. If you don’t like running, weight-lifting, or swimming, then what do you do?

Reasons to go healthy and start exercising motivate all who participate in I Love Kickboxing Atlanta. And the main attraction of kickboxing is that it’s fun. The hearts of kickboxers feed off of the high energy from everyone yelling and kicking and pushing to their limits. Once these fitness-crazed people start, they keep coming back for more.

For more information on I Love Kickboxing Loganville, visit: http://www.ilovekickboxing.com and http://www.ilovekickboxing.com/georgia.

. . .

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan

I Took My First Legit Karate Test…and PASSED.

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe’s HapKiDo of Loganville
Info Page: http://www.loganvillekarate.com/

. . .

I couldn’t believe where I was Saturday night. As I sat down to join strangers and peers of Choe’s HapKiDo for a celebration dinner, the accomplishment of passing my yellow belt test that morning had finally sunk in. A test that I had been anticipating and obsessing over since having spectated July’s belt test…was strangely over. Somehow, the calm feeling that came over me the second I entered Grayson’s HapKiDo studio finally wore off by dinner time. A couple chairs down from me at the celebratory table, Instructor Gasstrom explained the feeling was the result of positive inner energy and strong focus, a karate concept that is also identified as ‘Ki’. He also explained how the energy could have easily turned negative.

There were good reasons to be nervous:

  • The test required students to demonstrate in front of a panel of judges – all whom are the head instructors of different Choe’s HapKiDo studios.
  • Not knowing how the judges were going to run the test.
  • If you were a white belt (first belt rank in HapKiDo), this test initiated the first of many to be demonstrated in a public and collaborative setting. This reason applied to me and ten other students.
  • Feeling not so confident with certain moves.
  • Any miscellaneous reason or reasons that could affect a student’s performance. For some it was emotions; for me, I was testing with a elbow/wrist injury.

I am beyond glad that none of these factors affected my mind negatively.

My surprise of the day: One of the students who I competed against in a board breaking competition this past summer – we became pals during the test. There is definitely some comfort in seeing someone experiencing the same things as you. At Choe’s HapKiDo summer tournament, neither of us had a belt or the required uniform federation patches. And now we had the opportunity to test for our yellow belts…AND PASSED!

But my favorite part of the test, aside from passing, was getting to watch peers from Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville test and pass too. These are students who I have had the pleasure of working with and hope to continue as long as possible. Watching them gives a younger belt a sneak peek of what to expect next. From what I saw, sparring is definitely something I am going to work hard at in order to not fear it so much…..Hopefully all works out!

WAY TO GO EVERYBODY!!!

WAY TO GO EVERYBODY!!!

For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo Karate and Kickboxing, visit http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php and http://www.ilovekickboxing.com/.

 

 

Keep and Carry On Through the HapKiDo Way

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan

Student at Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville

. . .

Calm

It is common for people to harbor negative energy such as stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. In fact, focusing solely on these emotions and the problems from which they derived can make people sick. Participating in Choe’s HapKiDo a few times a week could be the distraction needed. Yes, the kicking and yelling helps a lot, but sometimes all a person needs is an opportunity to get out of the house. Bottom line – HapKiDo stabilizes emotions.

The benefit of HapKiDo, aside from receiving a great workout, is that it soothes the mind. From meditation exercises to stretches benefiting the entire body, the addition of music playing in the background transports the mind to a calm, relaxing state. The low energy is soon kicked into high gear as individuals continually fill the air with yells while practicing various kicks and self-defense moves. The workout concludes by guiding the body back to a calm state.

As individuals are setting aside time to let off steam, positive vibes are received from the fun working with others and the confidence built from persevering through hard work. Plus, individuals are surrounded by caring people. As a result from this wonderful distraction, the mind gets a break from chaos. A person in a struggling state-of-mind will experience these positive reinforcers by engaging in HapKiDo.

For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo karate and kickboxing, visit http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php and http://www.ilovekickboxing.com/.

 

**Image found at www.ringof5.com.

 

Did You Know? – Information about the Do Bok

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville

 . . .

Img3

The different uniforms of Choe’s HapKiDo.

Uniforms can be different depending on the martial art school. At Choe’s HapKiDo, the various kinds of uniforms differentiate based on status: student, assistant instructor, instructor, master, and grandmaster. But regardless of rank, there is general uniform knowledge that applies across the board.

Things to know about the HapKiDo Do Bok:

  • “Gi” is the Japanese term for martial arts uniform, “Do Bok” is the Korean term.
  • When fixing the uniform, it is part of HapKiDo etiquette to turn away from everyone to fix it.
  • One must also turn away from the country’s flag when fixing the uniform.
  • Students earn patches for the uniform as they do belts.

Like other sports, martial art uniforms scream school spirit, and they resemble loyalty and respect for the school. They also eliminate the hassle in figuring out what to wear for class. In addition, putting on the uniform before each class initiates the preparation and focus needed. When individuals come to class with uniforms on, the class suddenly looks like a team. And in a way, it is one. The students work together to help each other improve, and in turn creates a healthy environment.

For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo karate and kickboxing, visit http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php and http://www.ilovekickboxing.com/.

Reaching Goals through HapKiDo Karate

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville

. . .

Rocky-2S U C C E S S ! ! !

 Part of the success in advancing in life comes from making and achieving goals. As the idea of making them sounds like a tedious task, they prove to work well because people aspire to do their best. And regardless of the outcome of set goals, they lead people to make new ones; they show the reality of ideas. It is okay to take breaks from goal setting, but living without them for long periods of time result in aimless running.

In a martial art like HapKiDo, students realize how making daily goals affect the mind when aiming for long-term goals. This idea can relate to trying to run a mile. To think of the mile as one long trip may be a turn off, but if the runner makes mini milestones throughout the journey, it becomes doable.

When people think of goals with smaller steps in mind, they almost act like safety nets from quitting. People are less likely to come up with excuses to take a break because the goal looks more realistic, more approachable.

Students at Choe’s HapKiDo see that there are many possibilities to accomplish. Examples include earning belts and developing strength, flexibility, and stamina. And with each day that someone shows up to training, there is some goal in mind. Maybe it is to nail a specific kick, or maybe it is to progress in another kick because one might take four months to perfect.

Through all the training, the students learn to persevere. They observe that they are not alone when trying to reach goals. Their peers are cheering them on, and the Martial Art Instructors are there to guide them. The experience gained during training will help them approach other obstacles in life because they understand that they take hard work, dedication, and patience to overcome.

For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo Karate and Kickboxing, visit here. Come on in for a free trial!

Christie’s Karate Tip of the Week: Aim for Flexible

Writing Contriubtor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe’s HapKiDo of Loganville

Last Tip
Tip #6: Be Patient

. . .

Training update: I am not too much of a newbie anymore. With the karate world, although I have many more new experiences to come, I don’t feel too new anymore. On top of being around for several months, I have gone from no uniform, to uniform, to earning school patches, to passing the first belt (white!), and now to anticipating the yellow belt test. But now there are more people signing up for HapKiDo, more new students! I admit, I do miss inhabiting the last spot in line (everyone stands according to belt rank), but it is amazing watching new students jump in on their first day.

However, with each day in training, I still pick up ways to improve in this martial art.

Photo (vglounge.com)

Tip #7: Don’t underestimate the power of flexibility!

On one hand, being flexible in life involves time management. Depending on the situation, the success of a flexible week relies on how much control a person has. If it is not from having too much free time, then certain events are negotiable or adaptable. Regardless, deciding on what to do with time requires decision making – how much can a person handle without snapping?

On the other hand, having the body be flexible is hard work, but it pays off. While increasing muscular strength and muscular endurance are necessary, sometimes flexibility is overlooked. However, with all types of exercises, stretching is important: it allows a person to prepare the body for the physical work, and it increases the body’s capabilities. To start intense workouts without stretching is like eating one large meal, a person could get injured. That is why it is best to pace the amount of work, from eating to running to even writing.

From training at Choe’s HapKiDo of Loganville, students see how working on the body’s flexibility is relevant to performance. For instance, it increases the height of kicks, but it also improves the technicalities of them. One kick in particular requires the knee to be able to touch the shoulder before the kick. Technique like this is a reason to want to increase the body’s flexibility.

In a way, flexibility is an underlying strength that accompanies all movement. It is a slow and quiet process, but adding music in the background shifts the mind into a new zone: a person is able to exercise while meditating!

For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo karate classes and kickboxing classes, visit: http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php.

July 2014 Karate Belt Test

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe’s HapKiDo of Loganville

. . .

The karate world still looks shiny to me. Six months into training, and no has pushed me to wax a car or paint a fence. But I did earn my first belt recently (White!). I thought it was going to be intense, and I thought how crazy the instructors were to almost talk me in to taking my next belt test so soon after. I didn’t understand until later that the yellow belt test consisted of many of the things I’ve worked on since January. But still, the white belt test looked like a midterm compared to what I saw the other day. Instead of testing alongside the other belts, I gratefully took the opportunity to spectate at Choe’s HapKiDo‘s July 2014 test at Grayson, GA.

I am not sure how others normally view the belt tests, but I found myself watching the recent HapKiDo belt test as entertainment. As the event went on with the kids and adults taking turns for a new segment, it was like a ten-course meal—I gorged event after event, but without ever getting full! However, it wouldn’t have been wise to blink.

For an hour-and-a-half, thirteen hopefuls braved through various portions of the test, with the goal of passing on to the next level of training.

Like watching a film, the audience became attached to the testers. Of course, the observing eyes belonged to the parents of the testers, but they have all been watching the other testers for the last couple years, along with their own. There were times when the audience held its breath, and a couple of times when they sighed in relief.

With every segment, I couldn’t help but look over at the judges’ panel to look at their reactions. I think they had reactions similar to the audience, but they had a more crucial role. However, the judges resumed their roles as Martial Arts instructors several times during the test. Maybe someone’s technique was off, or maybe everyone’s technique was off. Depending on the situation, sometimes a judge would leave the table to advise a student, and sometimes another judge would advise from his chair. But regardless, the judges/instructors wanted to see everyone succeed.

10353031_10152094929147574_5820060648409955435_n

 AND THEY DID. ALL 13 PASSED!

I hope to be cool as them when I test next!

For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo Karate & Kickboxing, visit: http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php.  Come in and sign up for a free trial!