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Have you talked to your child about safety this Halloween?

We all know that Halloween can be such a magical time for children. However, we do know there are some risk at hand that children may not encounter daily.

So here are some tips to review with your children to ensure this Halloween is nothing less than magical!

Walk Safely
1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
2. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
3. Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
4. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
5. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
6. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat with an Adult
1. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
4. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
5. Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Also, if you have not had an opportunity to take us up on this year’s SPOOKY SPECIAL be sure to check it out!
Friday Oct. 28th – Parents night out, Halloween PARTY @ the 3287 South 14th location from 7:00-11pm. Fun for everyone! Enjoy your time knowing your kid(s) are in the safest place in Abilene. SIGN UP NOW!! $25 for each child. CALL NOW - 325-676-2696

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How To Prevent Your Child From Becoming A Victim Of Bullying

Many of us remember what it was like to be bullied when we were younger. All those nights spent crying because someone would always steal your lunch, or those mornings when you dreaded going to school, just so you wouldn’t have to face being called names again. Being bullied is a traumatizing experience and has the capacity to have a lasting influence on a child.

Here are the cold, hard facts:

Across the world, DoSomething.Org reports that:

  •     Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
  •     Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school.
  •     1 out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.

According to the Coalition Against Bullying for Children And Youth and Bully-Free Campaign Singapore:

    1 out of 8 children are bullied on a weekly basis in Singapore.
    4 out of 35 children are repeatedly being bullied by their peers.             

What is bullying?

Bullying is defined as unwelcome behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. A powerful bully intentionally harms someone who is weaker through repeated hurtful behaviors that could result in damaging consequences.

Studies show that bullying has a serious negative impact on a child’s life and development. They may find it more difficult than others to adjust, have a low psychological well-being, face psychological distress and are almost always physically unwell.

How do I bully-proof my child?

1) Teach them self-confidence.
Children who grow up with low self-esteem are often more prone to bullying. Giving them the confidence to deal with and avoid physical aggression will most certainly increase their self-esteem. This confidence can be developed by learning martial arts. Not only will a child learn the skills necessary to neutralize an attack, but alsohow to avoid conflict.

2) Build trust.
The easiest way to build trust is by showing your child that you want to be an active part of his or her life. Stay connected and keep lines of communication open all the time. Ensure them that you are always there for them, no matter how trivial their problems may seem. If you have an open relationship with your child, the less likely he or she will be bullied.

3) Ensure that they grow up in a compassionate, loving home.
This is probably one of the most effective ways to prevent your child from being bullied and becoming a bully himself. Remember, children are very impressionable and often act out what they see at home. If your discipline methods include shaming or hitting, there may be a chance that they will do the same to others. Make sure that your child grows up in a loving home that disciplines with compassion.

4) Teach them basic bully-avoidance.
Since bullying often occurs when adults aren’t present, teach your child to avoid potential situations where they know bullying could occur. Sitting at the front of the bus or hurrying to the classroom when the bell rings could substantially minimize contact with bullies.

5) Encourage them to learn basic self-defense.
Self-defense means exactly what it does — defending yourself against an attacker. For children, learning how to deal with confrontation without the use of physical aggression is paramount. This not only prevents the child from becoming a bully himself, but also gives them an enhanced sense of responsibility by giving them the ability to take control of the situation until help arrives.

Unfortunately, most children continue to tolerate bullying despite the havoc it wreaks on their lives. Thus, with some very basic training in self-defense, many children’s lives can be vastly improved.
Through martial arts, violence and bullying can be dealt with by using non-violent techniques. Children will be taught to stand up for themselves and gain the confidence they need to take control of their lives and control bullies in a safe and proven manner.

Martial arts is possibly the best investment you can make in your children’s future, so act now and enroll them in the Premier Martial Arts Children’s Program right away!

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Tips for Preventing Your Child From Being Abducted

It's a parent's worst nightmare!  About 2,100 missing-children reports are filed each day in the U.S. Sadly, many cases might be solved more easily if parents can provide a few key pieces of information about their child.  Information such as height, weight, eye color, and a clear recent photo need to be kept on hand at all times. Then, make sure your children have the safety information that could help prevent an abduction.

The Following Safety Information Will Help:

-If relavant, make sure custody documents are in order.

-Many local police departments sponsor fingerprinting programs.  Have ID-like photos taken of your kids every 6 months (or at least have a clear photo taken) and have them fingerprinted.

-Make sure your childrens' medical and dental records are up to date.

-Make Internet Safety a Priority. The Internet is a great tool, but it's also a place for predators to stalk kids. Be aware of your kids' Internet activities and chat room "friends".  Caution and remind them never to give out personal information. Avoid posting identifying information or photos of your kids online.

-Set boundaries about the places your kids go. Supervise them in places like malls, movie theaters, parks, public bathrooms, or while fundraising door to door.

-Never leave kids alone in a car or stroller, even for a minute.

-Choose caregivers — babysitters, childcare providers, and nannies — carefully and check their references. If you've arranged for someone to pick up your kids from school or day care, discuss the arrangements beforehand with your kids and with the school or childcare center.

-Avoid dressing your kids in clothing with their names on it — children tend to trust adults who know their names.

If Your Child Is Abducted

Because the first few hours are the most critical in missing-child cases, it's important to provide officials with information about your child immediately.

If your child has been abducted, contact local law enforcement right away. They'll ask you for a recent picture of your child and will probably ask you many questions about the time and location you last saw your child and what your child was wearing.

You may also request that your child be entered into National Crime and Information Center (NCIC). Other clearinghouses such as the Child Protection Education of America ([866] USA-CHILD) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children ([800] 843-5678) can offer information and support during your search.

After notifying the authorities, try to stay calm. You'll be able to remember details about your child's disappearance more easily if you remain rational and logical.

As parents ourselves and working with so many children we hope that none of us ever have to experience such a horrific event. Education is key for not only our children but us as parents as well.

Our martial arts classes teach life lessons such as abduction awareness daily. If you think your child could benefit from an environment like ours feel free to contact us to learn more about our trial program, schedule and pricing.

Making our community safer one person at a time,

Premier Martial Arts Abilene
325-676-2696
AbileneKarate.com

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Can Roughhousing Be Good For You?

We have an odd relationship with fighting and physical contact. We seal ourselves off from it, leaving it to the men and women in the cage. Rarely do we take time to engage in playful conflict.

But this isn’t just kid stuff. Call it what you will - risky play, rough-and-tumble, spontaneous free play - roughhousing has major benefits. Let’s learn the what, why, and how of roughhousing and physical play.

What Is Roughhousing?

It seems like a silly question, but many of us have forgotten how to roughhouse. We don’t even know what qualifies as play and what qualifies as assault. This is a good distinction to make.

According to animal behavioral scientist Gordon Burghardt, play is any behavior that doesn’t serve a direct survival purpose, that is intrinsically rewarding, and occurs when an animal is well fed and stress free. So, we can rule out Mad Max-style fight scenes and muggings.

Humans can learn a thing or two about physical play from our four-legged friends.

To get a better sense of good roughhousing, we can look to the original experts: animals. Think back to the last time you saw two dogs playfully fighting. Even if they’re different sizes, you don’t see one sandbagging the other. There’s an element of self-handicapping at work. When one participant has a distinct advantage, the game can only continue through self-imposed limitation.

We see this in many martial arts schools as well. When I was rolling with my teacher after BJJ class, he could easily submit me time and again. Despite his obvious advantage, he displayed some restraint, creating a space that was simultaneously challenging and rewarding. It is the perfect learning opportunity.

There’s also an element of role reversal. Think of kids chasing each other on the playground. One is cop, one is robber. Then they switch. The game is no fun if there is no variation. Switching roles allows both participants to direct the course of action. Aggressor becomes defender, defender becomes aggressor, and the dynamic shifts.
 
Why Rough-and-Tumble?

As you can probably guess, most of the research on roughhousing comes from studying children. Adults seem to forget how somewhere along the way. Bearing in mind that the lion’s share of research focuses on youth, it isn’t hard to imagine that these benefits extend well past childhood.

Roughhousing Improves Coping: Roughhousing is a perfect way to introduce the unfamiliar – and potentially scary – stimulus of conflict. We know progressive overload applies to training stimulus, and the same thing happens in a neuro-social context as well. You wouldn’t start deadlifting at 500lb. Similarly, you wouldn’t start roughhousing by seeing how hard you can take a punch.

In both cases, we gradually adapt to new stimuli. A study in Evolutionary Psychology demonstrated that with repeat exposure to “risky play,” children learned how to cope with and master age-appropriate challenges.1 The more risky play, the less anxiety we have over these situations of conflict.

Roughhousing Increases Socialization: We’re inherently social creatures. Evolution took a gamble, and social structure seems to have paid off for us. Not only do we organize huge amounts of individuals, we do it in increasingly complex ways. Much of our ability to socialize develops in childhood,2 but neuroplastic changes can occur at any stage in life when we provide the appropriate conditions.

By engaging in rough-and-tumble play, we explore a petri dish of sorts. We discover how we instinctively respond to threats within a safe space. The boundaries established by play help us challenge ourselves and our partners, and as we’ve seen, partnered movement has benefits even beyond roughhousing.

Roughhousing Fosters Creativity and Resiliency: By building on that framework of socialization, roughhousing gives us opportunity to develop new adaptive behaviors.3 It’s like an incubator for behavioral options. We learn how to literally roll with the punches and grow from novel stimuli. Again, once we establish a safe environment, we’re free to explore new possibilities. There are infinite ways to evade a punch, to close space, and grapple. Roughhousing gives us a uniquely challenging environment with definite boundaries to explore.

How Do We Start?

If you’ve never dipped into the world of roughhousing, it can be oddly confusing to start. I mean, do you just hit someone? Do you suplex them? I recommend getting the basics under your belt with a good teacher.

What are those basics? The natural movement method breaks combatives down into two main categories: striking and grappling. Developing efficiency in these fundamentals will allow you more room to explore with a partner.

If you want to keep things really simple, Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal outlines a common sequence found across species:

    1. The Play Contract. Think of the puppy bow, slapping hands with a sparring partner, and the like. This step establishes “play mode,” so both parties know this isn’t a fight to the death.
    2. Rapport Building. You don’t come out swinging at full steam. Test the waters, and start light. Get in a couple of easy jabs to see how your partner reacts. The two of you can scale accordingly.
   3.  Increase Intensity. Once you and your partner are comfortable, it’s time to push the boundaries a bit. Gradually increase the intensity, keeping in mind the ideas of self-handicapping and role reversal.
    4. Find Closure. Bring it in, hug it out, do what you need to do. Roughhousing is a fantastic way to build rapport and resiliency. You and your partner challenge each other and both grow from the experience.

Let Loose

We hold ourselves back when we don’t push our own boundaries. Too often we get caught in the rut of conventional fitness. We forget just what our bodies are capable of. Bringing in some roughhousing is a great way to wake yourself back up, and as we’ve seen, its benefits go way beyond the physical. The emotional, social, and cognitive perks are unmatched.

Go ahead, let loose and learn the right way to rough house - contact us here - http://www.abilenekarate.com/contact-us

Reprinted from: http://breakingmuscle.com/natural-movement/roughhousing-is-good-for-you

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Try A Summer Workout... that Works!

It is really not a secret. The key to losing weight is as simple as an Elementary math problem.

Energy In - Energy Out = Weight Gain/Weight Loss

And, you probably know Martial Arts is known for its high energy output - especially if you are working out with us often!

Most martial arts offer intense workouts which can result in high caloric burn.

A 130 lb. person boxing for an hour can burn 531 calories. Fencing will burn 354 calories, while karate, judo, kickboxing and tae kwon do all burn around 590 calories. Compare these numbers with 413 calories for an hour of moderate work on such equipment as a rowing machine or on a stationary bike, or 236 calories for a session of even intense yoga.

In addition to burning calories, most martial arts training helps develop functional strength and endurance, getting you used to moving your own body.

You deserve to look your best this summer - so why waste your time?  Choose an exercise program that will maximize you energy output.  Then, determine to eat in a way that will maximize your workouts.

As a bonus - participating in martial arts means you are versed in self-defense!  Not that we condone violence - actually quite the opposite!  But if push comes to shove, you will be able to bring a culprit to their knees.  Can your over-priced local personal trainer provide you that comfort?

All joking aside. Contact us about our Summer Training Specials before you wake up and another summer has passed and you are disappointed once again in the way you look and feel.

Dedicated to your goals,

Premier Martial Arts Abilene
325-676-2696
AbileneKarate.com