Fighting Stress

stressOver the years I’ve heard everything about stress. That it’s a killer, that it happens to everyone, that it’s all relative to your life experiences. Stress is a part of our lives and we cope with it one way or another. We each have ways of managing our common ailment of stress, some methods being more successful than others. Perhaps you enjoy a quiet walk, or ease out of your hectic day with a glass of wine and a crossword puzzle. A friend of mine told me that she finds peace and relaxation each morning when she reflects and prays. While I certainly won’t knock anyone’s de-stressing practices, I do want to throw a less peaceful one into the hat, and it involves a little bit of physical exertion and, dare I say it, aggression.

I find peace when I kick something as hard as I possibly can. I’m one with the world and myself when the eyes of the person holding paddles, focus mitts, or a shield, widen and boggle. What can I say, I enjoy my moderated violence.

Hey, we’re all different, right? One method of relieving stress may work well for one group of people, and another method for a second group. Sure, sitting down with the crossword sounds nice, but I’m not sure it’ll ever be for me. Working a problem out by exhausting myself through physical action is far more effective, with the added bonus that I’m sculpting my body in the process. Win win.

What I notice most about kickboxing classes is the expressions of people pre and post workout. Everyone smiles after a session. Oh sure, I won’t discount how satisfied we all are to still be alive after a grueling session, but we also feel better. It is far easier to deal with a difficult situation after a work out than it is before one.

So, how do you deal with your stress? If you’re looking for a way to fight stress, think about joining us for kickboxing. Classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 am, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 pm.

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What does your body mean to you?

A question: what type of sheets do you use on your mattress? Did you buy the cheap 20 thread count, or did you save your pennies and buy the 300 plus thread count? Why do I ask? If you’re getting an average of 8 hours of sleep per night, that means you’ll spend one third of your entire life in bed. Why not make it the best experience you can?

I’ve seen a few internet memes that say something to the effect of: “Being fat is hard, being fit is hard. Chose your hard.” It’s a good point, but not quite right. Getting fit is challenging, no matter where you started from. But being fit, staying fit is a blast. The difference between a fit person and one who is not is perspective.

As far as I’m aware, we only get one body per lifetime–chalk it up to the limitations of humanity. Every second of every day for your entire life, you must live within your body. Even if you spend one cumulative hour every day eating or snacking, you spend an even better part of your life NOT eating. And if you spend one hour every day working out, you’re still spending even less time NOT working out. But those two hours of eating and working out shape the rest of your life experience in your body.

So, which would you rather? Spend an hour working your body into the body of your dreams, the one you want to live in for the rest of your life? Or would you rather neglect that hour and live in a body you’re less than satisfied with? It’s all in your perspective. 20 thread count or 300.

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Our Approach to Taekwondo

Taekwondo poulsbo

Master Norcross

There are different ways of teaching the martial arts. Our approach to teaching Taekwondo is to combine traditional martial arts, such as Tang Soo Do, Moo Duk Kwan, and Jung Do Kwan, with more modern styles like Olympic Taekwondo, Jeet Kune Do, and Western Boxing. The value gained from this approach is second to none in the hard style arts.

We forge our bodies into powerful weapons from head to toe so we can maximize the force to both hard and soft targets. Our approach also helps with shortcomings in many of the modern styles of Taekwondo, by enhancing middle and close range combat, by allowing us to incorporate knees, head-butts, and a plethora of elbow techniques. We also make use of the devastating speed and power that Olympic Style Taekwondo is known for. We teach a style that mixes the old techniques and new with the use of Ki energy and mental strength.

This is our approach: to help students become life champions everywhere from the battlefields to in a board room.

~Master Todd Norcross

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A Kicking Workout

I’ve never been fat, but I’ve never been one of those annoying people who can gorge themselves and never gain weight, either. My body is work, and since I’ve known about “body image” it’s been a challenge to keep it in some kind of shape that isn’t a pear or beach ball. As age does its thing, I’ve found that maintaining a figure has been even more of a process than when I was a svelte athlete in high school. Add rising age to a job spent mostly at the computer, and you get an expanding and softer waistline, cellulite (hate that stuff) and a loss of energy.

Enter kickboxing.

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Old Mill Days

This past weekend, some of our students gave a demonstration of their martial arts skills at Old Mill Days in Port Gamble. Below is a video of brick and wood breaking! Congratulations to all of our students!

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Benefits of Martial Arts Training

  1. The principals of Courtesy, Integrity, Self-Control, Perseverance, and Indominatable Spirit are at the core of all martial arts.  At Cross Martial Arts Academy we routinely discuss what these principals mean and how we implement them in martial arts and our lives.
  2. Physical exercise that combines flexibility, strength, balance and endurance.
  3. Mental exercise that includes repetition, memorization of steps in a process (forms), concentration, practice and patience. Continue reading
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