Classes Cancelled, special Saturday November 23rd class

Just a reminder that ALL Kung Fu classes are cancelled tonight, November 22nd due to adult testing at The Academy of Kung Fu.  As a thank you and in consideration of any inconvenience I will be holding a special Saturday class, November 23rd at 5:45 pm.  ALL Kung Fu students including Family Fu and kids are invited and encouraged to participate.

Much love,

Sifu

November 22nd adult class cancelled

There will be a test held at The Academy of Kung Fu, 3228 SE 21st, Friday November 22nd beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Because of the test the 6:00 class at NPAKF is cancelled.  Please be sure to come by Sifu Kyles school on SE 21st and Powell to observe some of the test.  There will be several higher ranking students testing and one person testing for their black belt.  It’s pretty incredible to see.

Love,

Sifu

Kids and Martial Arts

Oct_2013_kids_tournament-1There will be a kids martial arts tournament held at the Academy of Kung Fu on SE 21st and Powell (3228 SE 21st) on October 19th.

The approach of the tournament has caused me to think a bit about what it means for kids to train martial arts.  I’ve had a tremendous amount of feedback from parents for which I am extremely grateful.  In EVERY case the mom or dad has expressed that training Kung Fu has improved their childs behaviour.  It shouldn’t be a surprise considering a few of the principles most martial arts focus on are self discipline, self control, compassion, awareness and good health.  Still, every time I hear a parent say how much Kung Fu has helped their child it reinforces in me the virtues of the art. Oct_2013_kids_tournament-1

So kids, (parents feel free to share this please) if you train here at NPAKF its important that you understand that as you get higher up in rank there will be more expected of you than to simply know how to punch, kick and defend yourself.  I will be communicating with your parents to determine if training is helping you in everything you do.  Are you doing your homework?  Are you getting along well with sisters and/or brothers?  Do you help with chores around the house?  Are you kind, and respectful, a good listener, a strong support for those who may be weaker than you and I don’t mean just physically weaker.  What you learn through your martial arts training should be seen in everything you do.  Getting your next sash depends on it!  If you are truly becoming a real martial artist you will become a stronger person.  A stronger person makes the world a little bit better place by doing things to help others and the planet.  Does your training reflect that?  It should for kids AND adults.

Take a minute to think about how training martial arts is helping you become a better person.  Go out of your way this week to do at least one nice thing you wouldn’t normally do for someone.  You may be surprised to find it makes you feel even better than the person you were nice to.

Much love,

Sifu

Professor Anderson Seminar October 12th!!!!!

This is one you don’t want to miss, really.  Professor Anderson is one of the premier martial artists in the country.  Not only that he’s a lot of fun to work with.  Professor Anderson has a long and deep connection to Mo Duk Pai and is good friends with Professor King.  The flyer gives you some insight into his qualifications but doesn’t relay his ability to communicate his art in a class setting.  I’ve had the privilege to work with him a few times.  He’s fantastic!  This seminar is open to all styles so spread the word.  A fun time will be had by all.

anderson_seminar_2013-1012_v2

Feels Like Fall

 
Autumn is a transitional time of year. The leaves on the trees change, it becomes darker earlier, and the temperatures cool down. It is a favorite time of year for many people. However, these same changes can also lead to stress for individuals who tend to fall off the health and fitness wagon during the transition. There are many enjoyable opportunities to remain fit, or even begin a fitness program, in the fall that can work for everyone. Martial arts is one great option. Planning for seasonal changes, finding support from group exercise and embracing events and activities that the season has to offer are key factors in staying fit through the transition.

As the days grow shorter, cooler and wetter activity tends to move indoors a bit more.  Too often that can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which will inevitably make it all the more difficult to navigate the sometimes dreary Oregon winter.  Stay active!!!!  Kung Fu is a great way to stay in shape.  Don’t let the lack of sunshine or the cooler weather keep you from staying fit.

Much love,

Sifu

Attitude

I experienced a beautiful meditation the other day.  It was one that when I finished I felt like I was just a little bit more compassionate and understanding.  One of the main thoughts that came to me as I was trying desperately not to think was to look at the positive even when things are hard.  Later that same day I read this quote in a Yoga publication:

Carlsbad Sunset“When we choose to look for the positive in each situation, we can replace obstacles with opportunity and mistakes with growth.  We can reclaim the childlike wonder and awe of being in a state of constant discovery and absorption in the moment.  In this state, the point is to enjoy the journey and have as much fun as possible”.  Jennie Sauer-Klein

Funny how sometimes the universe just conspires to drive a point home.

Love,

Sifu

Teaching Kids

When I first considered opening a school I wasn’t going to offer a kids program.  I love kids.  I have six of my own but I didn’t feel confident I could communicate a martial art to young minds.  My teacher strongly encouraged me to expand my comfort zone.  I started by assisting after school programs at the elementary schools and helping my teacher a little with his kids program.  It wasn’t long before I gained some confidence in communicating the art with youngsters.  I am equally fond of sharing with kids and adults now.  I’m very grateful to Sifu Wally and Sifu Kyle for helping me expand my horizons.

Kick trumps punch this timeI don’t train or teach just so we can learn to defend ourselves.  Self defense is only a VERY small part of why I do what I do and hopefully what I communicate to all my students.  Kids want guidelines.  They want to know where they stand and what our expectations are as parents and teachers.  As long as we can be clear and consistent with our expectations and instructions they thrive.  Boundaries, patience, movement, freedom (with healthy limits), encouragement, direction, recognition are just a few tools to remember when sharing ideas with kids.  Remember to treat them with love, kindness and respect.

For the past 31 years I have been surrounded by kids.  I love them!  They bring so much wonderful energy and such a healthy curiosity about life it’s hard not to appreciate what they share.  Slow down a bit.  Take time to really look at and listen to your kids.  Be patient and understanding.  I believe all of them want to be acknowledged for the good things they do.  If we don’t recognize the good things be sure  they will find other ways to grab our attention.

Kung Fu teaches kids mental focus, self discipline, healthy ways to live, to breath, to move and to interact with others, not to mention it’s a lot of fun.  It’s not just about getting stronger or learning how to punch and kick.  It’s about learning to be better people and how to contribute to our universe in a positive way.  Thanks for encouraging and supporting your kids in their art.  I think they teach us more than we teach them.

Much love,

Sifu

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day there will be no Kung Fu classes Friday May 24th – Sunday May 26th.

Regardless of your political philosophy, Memorial Day should be a time to reflect on those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Thanks to those who have sacrificed so I may share my art with you all in relative peace. I am forever grateful. Let’s all hope someday our entire planet will live in harmony and war will be a forgotten memory.

Much love,
Sifu