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Ultimate Martial Arts - Lakeville
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Visit our updated OFFICIAL Ultimate Martial Arts-Lakeville Page! Be sure to follow us!

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History in the Making! Join us on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10:30am as we welcome special guest, Master John Olson to present the WMARA Recognition Certificate and dedicate our new Black Belt Wall! ALL are WELCOME and ENCOURAGED to attend! Open to Public.
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WELCOME to the OFFICIAL Ultimate Martial Arts-Lakeville Page!!!

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Your Journey to Black Belt
By: Patrick Childs

Part Two: Your First Month

Showing up to take your first karate class can be a very nerve wracking experience, for both kids and adults. It's understandable. You are entering a new world, most likely nothing you've ever experienced before. You have bare feet, and are wearing this baggy uniform/robe looking thing. You have to go through all of these traditional rituals like bowing before entering the classroom. You get lined up to begin class, and because you are the new guy or girl, you stand at the end of the line because everyone holds a higher rank than you. But, before you bow in to start your first class, it's important to remember that every one of those students ahead of you in line has been the one at the end before you came along. They do understand what you are feeling, because they, too, felt it on their first day.

Once you bow in, it's time to get started learning karate. Karate is not a natural thing. You are going to move your body in ways you have never moved them before. You are going to be using muscles that you hardly use in your everyday life. I often have students, who come back for their second class, express to me that they can't believe how sore their body is, despite the fact that they hardly broke a sweat. It doesn't take a lot to work out muscles that never get used, but over time, your body starts to become acclimated to the movements, and those rarely used muscles begin to strengthen.

Your first month is going to be filled with a lot of repetition of basic techniques, but don't lose interest. In my opinion, the first month is the most important. The basics that you will be learning are the foundation for everything else that you will be learning throughout the rest of your karate journey. A black belt is not a black belt because they can do a back flip kick. A black belt is a black belt because they can do their basics to a very high standard. Yeah, you are going to learn some pretty cool advanced kicks along the way, but at its core, success as a Martial Artist begins with strong basic skills. It is said that it takes one month of repeated action to develop a habit, and that is exactly what you are trying to do in your first month in karate. Create good habits early, so you don't have to fix bad habits later.

The last piece of advice I have for new students is to ask questions. Don't ever feel embarrassed to ask questions about things you don't know. Remember what I said earlier? Everyone was in your position at one point. The more you know and understand about what you are doing, the better you can execute the techniques. Just simply asking "Why?" can produce an answer to help you get better. Also, never hesitate to ask for assistance with something you don't understand, or even ask for clarification to make sure you are doing it right. I love teaching, but more than that, I love teaching those who want to learn. So, come to class with questions, and let me help you be better than you were yesterday!

Visit our website at http://ultimatemartialarts-lakeville.com to take advantage of our ONE MONTH SPECIAL for $14.95 through April 2016.  You will get a new Karate Uniform, 4 classes for SuperKids (ages 4 & 5), or 8 classes for Juniors/Teens/Adults!  Enroll at anytime!
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Your Journey to Black Belt
By: Patrick Childs

Part One: Beginning with the right mindset
I’ve been teaching karate for just over twelve years, and if there is one thing that I can guarantee any new students it is that your journey to becoming a black belt is going to be different than anyone else’s. For some, the first few classes are very awkward as they learn all new ways of moving, in a strange new environment, where you wear a karate uniform, and have bare feet. Others go into their first class excited to finally do the thing that they have wanted to try for years. Some have the ability to do the techniques on their first try, while others need to work at it for weeks, even months before it finally clicks. Some people find they really like hitting pads and sparring, while others find they prefer the more passive aspects of the traditional techniques.

Who you are as a student can only be determined by getting in the classroom and giving it a shot. For those of you reading this who are currently active students may have figured it out, but things change. That’s why I call it “Your Journey”. Not only is it an individual adventure, but what you learn about yourself will always be changing, and could quite possibly surprise you. I’ve been in the martial arts for over 21 years, and I’m still learning new things, not only in the martial arts, but also about myself.

With that said, the best advice that I can give to anyone at the beginning of your journey to black belt is to never compare your abilities to someone else’s. I’ve learned to never compare or make assumptions about my own students because things can change quickly. I’ve had students that are rock stars for the first few belts, but then start to struggle when things get a bit more challenging. I’ve also had students that struggle at the beginning, but once they settle into the routine, they start to really shine. It’s impossible to predict.

The most important thing is that you keep trying. Your success as a martial artist is what you make of it. We have a framed picture in our entryway that reads, “A black belt is a white belt that never quit.” It’s one of the truest statements I’ve ever read. Every day you show up to class gets you one step further on your journey. It brings you one step closer to your goal. The moment you stop showing up, your journey ends. But if you keep at it, no matter how challenging it may become, one day you will be a black belt.

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How My Children Opened Me Up to New Experiences; Karate Lessons as an Adult

10 years ago had you told me I would have earned my brown belt and would be working towards my black belt, I would have thought you were crazy. Why would a 50ish year old man start taking karate lessons for the first time? In many ways it has its roots to taking piano lessons 20 years ago.

When my oldest daughter Janelle was 4 years old, she started to take piano lessons and I decided to take them with her so we would have something to share and so I could help her when she struggled with her lessons. After a while I started doing it for myself as well. I looked forward to putting together an annual CD of some pieces we had learned over the year, when Lori and I were married I performed a piano solo, last year I had the honor of playing a small piece when Janelle got married, and while I'm no longer taking lessons, I still sit down and play "Linus & Lucy" and my Kahlan, Peightan and Rhyse run in to dance. What started out solely as an activity to benefit my daughter became something that has helped shape my life and my relationship with the younger children.

In 2010, my son Raif was exposed to karate when Master Ranch gave a Share the Art session at Raif's school. He came home very excited and couldn't stop talking about it, so we signed up to have his birthday party at the karate school. The kids had a great time and Raif asked to take classes. We used the free month in the treat bags and Raif, Kahlan, Peigtan and Rhyse started to take karate lessons. When time allowed I watched them in class and even though I didn't participate, the kids would still ask for help when they were practicing at home. At first I could keep up since I spent a lot of time watching the classes, but it wasn't too long before I found myself unable to help them. In 2011, right in the middle of middle age, I worked up the courage to take the plunge and sign up for lessons.

Looking back at that decision to start taking piano lessons, it seemed scary to me at the time but it was actually a pretty easy decision. The lessons were private and when I did recitals, they were always duets with Janelle so any mistakes I might make were more than outweighed by the sweetness of playing with my little girl. Taking karate lessons was different. For somebody who grew up fairly athletic, it's a humbling experience to be taught by someone many years your junior and to be in class with much younger people who have been studying for years and are able to perform moves I will never be able to do. I'm pretty self conscious and while intellectually I know people have better things to do than to watch me, I feared people would judge me and it's impossible to avoid performing in front of others; you're rarely in class alone, graduation ceremonies are attended by family members and eventually competing in tournaments is part of the karate experience. But it's very important for me to share something with my children, so I donned my Gi and made the leap.

Much quicker than I had expected, I started looking forward to classes. The karate instructors do an amazing job at pushing each student to perform to their own ability and very much stress that the person you are in competition with is yourself. I find a very good balance of moves that I can do quite well and things I struggle with and see the latter as a challenge to myself to improve, not as a limitation. It's impossible to understate the benefits of karate. Yes, I can help my children with their own skills and have something to share with them, but I am also able to keep in better shape, I have improved my flexibility, am surprised by how much I like forms and have the added benefit of being able to kick my son-in-law, who also takes karate lessons, without my daughter getting angry with me.

Again, I dove into an activity in order to be able to do something with my children and help them learn their own skills, but I have found great benefits to myself and found something that will help shape the rest of my life and the relationship I have with my children. Without reservation, I would encourage any adult but particularly parents of all athletic abilities to give it a try. I am confident you will also be surprised by how much you like it yourself.

By:  Rich Gergen
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