Interview with Cynthia Ballesteros, Kyokushin Karate-ka and Survivor!

The Martial Way

As most know, I am bit of a kyokushin fanatic as well as always searching for inspiring stories. I was doing just that one evening when I came across a post that combined both, by Kyokushin Karate-ka Cynthia Ballesteros. The post said: First Karate class tonight at my dojo CKP – Centre de Karate Perez after an 8 month ‘pause’ to battle Cancer. It’s good to be back! I felt normal again. Now it’s time to get my ass in gear and train my heart, body & soul the way Sosai Mas Oyama intended his students to do! OSU! #Kyokushin #Karate #ConquerCancer It was just so inspiring and I had to contact her. Cynthia was kind enough to allow me to interview her. Please enjoy and be as inspired as I am. Osu! Cynthia Ballesteros

  •     Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Cynthia Ballesteros and I am…

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Can Martial Arts Prevent Bullying ? Repost from Moosain

Kid is bullied

How bad of a thing is it, and can martial arts prevent bullying? Well, According to the National Education Association , it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. It also states that 1 in 7 Students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying. Bullying is one of the most difficult and prevailing issues these days. Issues that students, parents and educators are dealing with on a daily basis both in and out of school. Martial Arts is one avenue that has been proven time and time again to be effective in curbing bullying activity. Both for the one being bullied and the one doing the bullying.

Bullying victims and low self-esteem?

Absolutely! Bullies almost always pick victims that they think will be easy targets. What makes someone an easy target? It is a child who seems fragile, unsure of his or herself, or one who scares easily. Being bullied can often shatter a child’s self-esteem and lead to a low self-image, low self-confidence and loss of self-worth. In fact, that’s one of the warning signs of bullying.

Kid Confidence

Martial arts prevent bullying by building up children’s confidence

This way kids are able to project an air of strength and ensure that they are not perceived as easy targets. Training in Martial Arts prevent bullying by showing these children their worth and building their self-esteem and confidence. It teaches them that if they want others to respect them, they first must learn to respect themselves. It can give them the tools and the confidence they need to stop them from feeling like victims and realizing that they are indeed victors. With that discipline and confidence they will begin to not only respect others but to demand respect for his or herself as well.

If my child isn’t the victim but the bully, can martial arts prevent bullying?

Bullies often enjoy status and prestige because others fear them. They command a lot of attention for their behavior. Bullies have a need to be in control and exercise their authority and dominance over others. Children who bully others can be impulsive, quick to anger, and dominant. Studies have shown that bullies lack empathy. No empathy means people ignore the rights and feelings of those around them. Bullies more often than not lack the ability to regulate emotions. Often, they simply don’t have a way to control their anger and frustrations, which may result in severe overreactions to small aggravations.

Martial Arts prevent bullying by building up these children’s confidence in other arenas. This way they won’t need to resort to bullying for attention or approval. It offers clear-cut and consistent discipline that helps them learn which types of behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. Martial Arts teach these children that everyone deserves respect, and that no one deserves to be mistreated. It allows them to be aware of their own thoughts and emotions. It trains them to control their impulses that could lead to bullying behavior.

Martial arts can literally benefit all children regardless of their strengths, weaknesses, flaws or successes

Its benefits include confidence, discipline, respect, self-control, leadership, stress relief, defense, and more. Whether your child is bullying, being bullied, or not it will increase their confidence through verbal and physical skills designed to combat bullying.

It goes far deeper than just karate chops and fierce yelling. Powerful mental skills are instilled in the kids. The training teaching them how to react to different bullying situations and how to avoid possible confrontations before they get physical. Martial arts is always taught as a defense and not an offense.

Every child deserves a chance in this life. A chance to walk with his head held high. A chance to feel good about the person he/she is. A chance to know what it feels like to give and get respect. A chance to go to school without being in fear or instilling fear in others.

The bullied and the bullies are all still children. They all deserve a chance. We have the opportunity to change the course of their future through prevention, training, discipline, and hope. Martial Arts is about far more than just self-defense. It is about setting our children up for a successful future.

Slow Down

The Martial Way

Last night’s class at Contact Kicks Dojo was a dizzying experience, in the good way. Most of the evening was concentrating on spinning kicks, like Ushiro Mawashi Geri, Ushiro Ura Mawashi Geri, etc. As I have mentioned before, Fogarasi Sensei‘s attention to detail is impeccable and he was working with us on each movement, from the smallest to the largest. I really enjoyed it, though I am most definitely more comfortable in my dominate right leg. I might not ever get as ushiro mawashi gericomfortable in my left leg, but I like to try, as I believe it will help my over all coordination.

We begin individually but soon move to partner drills. There is some hesitation from me, as I am not confident of my abilities yet, and I have concern that I will kick my partner outside of the padded area he is holding. After a while I gain some confidence…

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How to Fold Your Karate Gi Like a Japanese repost from Karate by Jesse

There are numerous ways to fold the Karate uniform.

Some better than others.karate_uniform_folded

Although I’ve heard horror stories of people who stuff their gi in a bag without ever folding it at all, I suggest you learn at least ONE way to fold your precious Karate uniform.

Why?

Because it helps maintain a nice fit, keeps it wrinkle-free and makes it easy to transport!

Today, I will teach you TWO ways to fold your gi:

  • The first method is called “Shikaku no Gi” (squarely folded gi) and works best if you’re packing your gi neatly along with other stuff.
  • The second way is called “Maki no Gi” (rolled gi) and works best if you’re carrying the gi without a training bag but still want to look cool.

I actually learned these while I lived in Okinawa – the birthplace of Karate.

So…

Are you ready to fold your Karate uniform like a Japanese?

Grab your gi & follow along!

Here we go:

#1. Shikaku no Gi (Square Fold)

SHIKAKU-GI

Step by Step:

SHIKAKU-GI-STEPS

Instructions:

  1. Put your folded pants over your open jacket.
  2. Fold the jacket sides over the pants, then fold back the sleeves.
  3. Fold up the jacket/pants from the bottom twice.
  4. Tie your belt around the whole package.
  5. Put it in your training bag like a boss!

 

#2. Maki no Gi (Round Fold)

MAKI-GI

Step by Step:

MAKI-GI-STEPS

Instructions:

  1. Put your folded pants over your open jacket.
  2. Fold the jacket sides over the pants, then fold back the sleeves.
  3. Roll up the jacket/pants from the bottom.
  4. Tie your belt around the gi sausage.
  5. Swing over your shoulder and travel the world!

Fight Night

The Martial Way

Contact Kicks DojoFriday night was fight night and it was awesome! Interestingly, I was contemplating not going to the Dojo, because Prostatitis was acting up and I wanted my concentration for class, as things happen fast I didn’t want to be injured because I was distracted by pain. I decided to go anyway and it turned out to be my best fighting experience yet!

Before Kumite we went through conditioning and drills. One of the drills was super interesting. Sensei Fogarasi had us pair up with a partner and take turns pursuing and retreating. After a couple of rounds, one partner would pursue and the other counter with a punch/tsuki, and then switch after a round. It then moved to two strikes with the other pursuing, and so on and so on. Each time a strike would be added, including kicks, and blocks, until it became free form with…

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