Before you take a Break-Read This

April 16, 2008

The time is here.

The weather is breaking and everyone is going outside to play with their friends. Your children will now start saying “I don’t want to go to Karate!”They will complain the whole way to the school. But you know what….once they get there and see the Sensei’s, and go on the mat , 99% of the kids will be glad they came. Why? Because they have fun, they learn, and its a positive activity. So here are 10 reasons why its worth the fight, instead of just giving in and letting them take a break or just quit.

Please post this on the refrigerator and take some time to review this with the children and just tell them it’s from their Head instructor Sensei Nick…..And if they want to take a break or quit that they must come in and talk with the Sensie’s. Think about ten years from now when they don’t want to go to work, teach them that just not showing up is not the right way to do it.  Let’s help them through this challenge together. Taking a child to Black Belt is a team effort between the student, instructor, and parents. There will be a time where they don’t want to go, or they want to quit their training.

10 Reasons to Train in the Martial Arts

1. Confidence-While training in the martial arts, students confidence levels increase as they move up through the ranks. And through years of being an instructor after they quit, the confidence level goes down. We have black belts that have quit, and their parents have all told me the same thing ” It was the worst thing I did, just letting him/her quit martial arts.” Its very tough for an instructor, today people don’t want to hear that they will regret it, they don’t want to listen. The Martial Arts is a life long activity, when you quit, you slowly will lose all the benefits it took years to develop.

2. Focus-If you want to see what your child can look like, come watch a Red/Black Class. Some of the students have five years of training. That’s five years of learning how to focus with their eyes, mind, and body. These students are Champions…They a certain look and sound that other kids just don’t have. Make an appointment, come and see how your child could look.

 3. Self Discipline-Black Belts are self motivated…Wouldn’t you love for your child to be self motivated. Here at Champions students develop self discipline before achieving Black Belt. They will clean their rooms, take care of school work, and hold themselves accountable for their actions. This principle is taught primarily in the advances stages of training. Several things in the early stages of training also help teach basic self discipline, such as tying the belt, getting their attendnace card before class, and having their teacher sign the intent to promote sheet before a belt graduation.

4. Self Control-Another key principle taught at Champions. Students learn how to control their mind and body through Martial arts training. By teaching difficult martial arts techniques, and sparring applications the  students learn self control. Students are also taught how to control emotions by participating in events such as kumite and kata in Champions Martial Arts tournaments. It is also explained by the Sensei’s that self control is to be maintained everywhere.

5. Respect-This seems to be the number one reason parents enroll their children in the martial arts. Respect starts as soon as you walk in the door, by bowing. Champions students learn to respect Sensei’s, and the Sensei’s teach the students that respect is earned not given. The traditional history of the Martial arts is taught in the advanced classes when the students are ready for the more advanced teachings.

6. Life Skills that are taught only in the DOJO-Champions offers something that no one else is offering….Life Skills Learning. Here at Champions we are teaching the following life skills principles on a daily basis. Work Ethic, learning how to earn, planning, preparing, leadership training, teamwork, how to network, how to make decisions based on knowledge not emotion, learning how to grow by reading and constantly expanding the way you think, are just a few of the things that are taught at Champions.

7. Goal setting and getting-Every day we are teaching the children to set a goal, and more importantly we are teaching how to aciheve a goal. The belt system is a great way to show children how to set goals. It’s very important to start with the end in mind. The Ultimate goal of the Martial arts is the Black-Belt. Reiterate this to your children…The only way to make the  dream work is through teamwork.

8. Character Development-Thought martial arts training we teach students that character is all you have at the end of the day. We teach them that your character is developed, and all the principles on the wall are traits that we want to have in our character, and the only way it can happen is to follow the principles every day. By seeing the Sensei’s as leaders of the community, and taking place in events with the school the children develop a successful character.

9. Leadership-When the children get older they can become a member of the Instructor Training Program. In this program they can become assist with classes, help with birthday parties, become a staff member, and may even eventually open a Champions school. During this leadership training process, children learn how to motivate and inspire others. They learn about time management, how to teach focus, how to greet others, public speaking, dealing with challenges, and how to talk to parents and elders. These lessons are invaluable. Sensei Megan, Sensei Leah, Sensei Paul, Sensei Dave, Sensei AJ, Sensei Ler, and many other Sesnei’s started training at 4 and five years old and are now leaders at 14-17 years of age.

10. Black Belt Excellence or Habits-I remember before I was a Black Belt. I’m a changed person today, I never would have accomplished what I have with out the martial arts. I would never see the sky as my limit with out martial arts principles and training. the martial arts has made made a person who is never satisfied until excellence is achieved. Martial Arts has taught me to fight through challenges where most people would have just thrown in a towel. I’m a fighter with a Black belt Attitude, and I wold love along with the other Instructors at Champions give your children what we all need…..and edge in life….The Champions Way of Life…..

Hollar Back….From the heart

Sensei Nick


Giving Thanks

November 22, 2007

When you set goals, one of the first things you should do is write your goals on a piece of paper or in a journal of some sort. This something that I did when I started training in the martial arts. Today, I going to write in my blog everything that I am thankful for. And for the students I would like you to write it down on a piece of paper and bring it in for class.

I am thankful for having the best wife in the world. My wife supports everything I do, and always is there for me when I need to talk to someone. She is the best mother, I have ever seen. I am thankful for my health. I always have a lot of energy, and have been very lucky to never have been injured while training in the martial arts. I am thankful for having great parents, my mother and father tried their best to give me and my sister the best things in life. My mother and father showed me about hard work, and my father has always been a hero to me. He has the most amazing personality, that everyone that knows him talks about how he is so nice, and has a great personality. I love you Mom and Dad!

I am thankful for having the best team of instructors. Joe Hamilton, and Ryan Dannenhauer at the Turnersville school are great people that I enjoy being around every day. They are passionate about the martial arts, and for making a difference in our studetns lives. Preston Conyers, Ashley Cafferty, Leah Corbett, Jon Brascetta, Megan Schmidt, Angie Carney, and McKenzie Laman for all the effort they put into teaching great classes, answering the phones and doing whatever it takes to take Champions to the top.

I am thankful to Master Farid for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to work with someone who continue to help me grow as a person, and in business. I am thankful to have a special friend like Jon Malach who is always there for me when I need him, even though he is the busiest person in the martial arts industry. When I travel to Canada, Jon has always taken care of me, and has gone out of his way to make me feel comfortable no matter where we go.

I am thankful  to all the parents and students who give me the opportunity to train their children . It is very special to take someone form White Belt to Black Belt and see them grow as an individual, and go through a Black Belt Test. I am grateful that I can do what I LOVE every day, teaching martial arts the best job in the world.

Last but not least, I am grateful for being a great poker player, and for being so good looking! Just kidding, one thing I have learned that I am grateful for just being able to be me. It has provided me with opportunities, and given  me the confidence to take risks and to follow my heart when making decisions. I am thankful for all the mistakes in life I have made. As I have matured I have realized that mistakes are learning experiences that are hidden. Learn and grow from all your mistakes, and never look back!

Please share you thoughts and give thanks for everything you have.

Yours in the martial arts,

 Sensei Nick

The pursuit of Happyness

November 11, 2007

On Sunday, me and my wife watched “The pursuit of happiness” starring Will Smith. If you haven’t seen it, I would recomend it for the entire family. It’s based on a true story of a man who goes from rags to riches. His battle with poverty, and the other challenges he encounters, should be watched to get the real feeling of what he went through.

I am including a few videos of the movie.  This month for all the students I will be sharing stories of determination. As a martial artist you will be faced with situations and times where it’s just easier to give up, then to fight through the difficult times. I hope the more stories of triumph and determination will only make you realize that a Black Belt Martial Artist is the one that never gave up, and symbolizes a never surrendering attitude.

One of my special parents at the school, shares the same feeling as me. She believes with hard work, determination, and focus you can attain anything. This special parent lost her parents and went on to become a doctor. The most amazing thing is, that she is now considering to become a lawyer. Pretty AMAZING! Not  really, just DETERMINED! If you believe you can then you can, if you believe you can’t then you can’t. Either way your right. Decide today, what you want to be, or who you want to become and with simple skills you can do it. You don’t have to be a genius, or test through the roof, just be determined.

Please watch the video, and if you have a story to share I would love to hear it!

The last video that I included it was the best scene, True Happyness!

Oh, one more thing, I finally figured out how to use the spell check on the Blog-So Samatha let me know if you see any other mistakes! LOL.

I love Martial Arts,

Sensei Nick

Determination and Perseverance

November 8, 2007

One on my good friends asked me to write something for the kids about determination, perseverance, and facing adversity. For those of you who know what I’ve been faced with past several months, one thing I can say is that Im glad Im a Martial Artist. Martial Arts has taught me about perseverance more than anything. When I first started martial arts, my instuctructor had me working every day from 9:00-9:00. My pay was a $349 car payment at the end of the month. I was told to get more students, and then I would make more money. As a green belt I began teaching alot of classes, and going to local tournaments. I was enjoying every second of my life, however most of my family didn’t support my decision in pursuing martial arts as a career. But I persevered and followed my heart. This is what I wanted to do. The first Christmas at the school changed my life, I couldn’t believe that the studetns actually bought me gifts. I recieved cards and presents from the parents for working with their children. They thanked me for teaching their children to be confident, they told me that what I was teaching was different than the other instructors. This is when I decided that I wanted to open my own school.

Things were tough, my instructor was not around that much as he traveled to tournaments all over the world. But this was great for me, because I was basically running all the classes, and learning from the mistakes that I made. I started looking for locations, shortly after recieving my black. This was another tremendous learning experience, my lease in Echo Plaza was 52 pages long, and I knew nothing about lease negotiations. So I bought a book so I knew the terminology. It felt so good to actually know what the lawyers and landlord were talking about.

After signing the lease, I opened in Washington Twp. I was so excited, the grand opening was a success, we enrolled 52 studetns the first month. I spent the entire month of August giving out door hangers to every developement in town. Things were moving, and I was growing. After spending five years in that location, I faced another challange. I bought land and had the new location bulit, I was out of Echo plaza, and I owned my own building. I was the only person in the orgainization to ever do that, and I did it on my own, no help from my parents,  my friends, just my incredible staff. They helped me so much, they were running awesome classes while I was meeting with the planning board, contractors, laweyers, environmental, buliders, electricians, and anyone else you could imagine. The stress of the buliding process was very tough on me, every day something was going wrong, however I just focused my energy on how great it would be when it was over. It was suppose to be done in September, however I ran my first class in January. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to wait for great things, be patient and it’s more special when you accomplish it.

Then from there everything was great, right? Wrong! The classes and the school was great, but I made some decisions that I learned so much from and have made me a better person. Most people might say, I made some mistakes. But mistakes are learning experiences. Ant that’s where Im at today. The new Champions Way of Life is a new beginning, a clean slate. When I was going through rough times, it was two key people that helped me through it, they told me to follow my heart! Do what my heart is telling me, the complete opposite of former mentor. And that’s my advice to my students, follow your heart, do what you love, and success will follow. If your not happy, make your move, life is to short to settle and live a life of unhappiness. Surround yourself around people you love, you do have a choice! And no matter how bad things look, your attitude and determination will get you through anything. So for some of us, we need to change the way we think! It’s the power of positive thinking!

I would like to thank all the parents and students who have supported me along the way. Our black Belt candidates who have been loyal, and stuck by the instructors that have shown them them martial arts, shown them life skills, shown them effort and determination, and have taken them to Black Belt. We appeciate your support, and the new Champions Way of Life Black Belt will symbolize having the heart of a Champion. Please have your children read the blog, so they can see that everyone is faced with challanges and adversity, and so they can remember, the first time they are faced with a life changing decision. I hope that they have the confidence, and that they can follow their heart, when faced with a tough decision. 

In closing , I would just like to say thanks to my friend, Frank Baccare. Frank is a great father, a great husband, and a great friend. His son Frank is a direct reflection of him, he has a great attitude, great spirit, and will be a great Black Belt on the 24th!

I owe everything to the martial arts,

Sensei Nick

Bowing in the Martial Arts

November 6, 2007

Just in case you didn’t get a chance to read the article this month in the newsletter about bowing, I have inserted it in my blog. Please take a minute and read it over, and take a few minutes to explain why we bow to your children. We have recieved alot of positive feedback about our new conduct policy. Please give me your thoughts after reading the article.

 All the best,

 Sensei Nick

Bowing in the Martial Arts

In Martial Arts there is a lot of bowing going on. People bow when they enter the school, they bow to each other a lot, they bow to the instructor and they bow before sparring. They seem to bow to everything except the water fountain. We often have a hard time understanding this because bowing is not used in this country and the last time it was really used heavily was during the dark days of slavery when slaves had to bow to their masters. In the Orient bowing does not mean the same thing as it once did here. It doesn’t mean that one person is acknowledging the other as a superior or a master, even if that person is the Master of the school. Bowing, to the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans, is much the same as shaking hands in Western cultures. It’s a sign of friendship, respect and mutual admiration; not subservience.In the martial arts bowing is very important because it reminds us of the importance of what we are doing and the need to always be aware and in control. When a student bows before entering the training hall he is saying that he has respect for the training that happens there. He is also saying that he will do his best to uphold the honor of the school and to strive to be as good a student as he can be.

When students bow to the instructor at the beginning of the class, they are showing their respect for the Sensei’s years of training, his knowledge, and his skill. When the teacher bows back he is doing more than acknowledging the student’s bow; he is also showing his respect for the students. Remember that a teacher was once a student himself and knows full well how tough it is to be a beginner and to work hard up through the ranks.

When students bow to each other before training or sparring they are saying, “I will try my best to show you honor and respect, and not to injure you in an way.” This is especially important before a sparring match because it reminds us that this is not a fight, but another aspect of training also that this person is not the enemy but a friend and fellow student. It helps one to be reminded of the need for restraint and control over techniques.

It may seem like there shouldn’t be any need to continue the bows after the first time, but since the martial arts are potentially deadly, and always dangerous you can never be too concerned with safety, good manners and good sportsmanship. The next time you bow, remember that it is the key to understanding the respect and etiquette of the martial arts 

Note:Please make sure all students bow when entering the school and before leaving the school.