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Tying a belt – especially when you are just beginning – can seem like doing a puzzle of a thousand pieces!

Master Kevin demonstrates how to tie our belt on our YouTube channel.  Check out the video on this link:

Otherwise follow these easy steps!  Don’t worry, it will come effortlessly soon enough!

  1. Place one end of your belt in the small of your back and wrap the entire belt around your waist. 
  2. Let go of the top end of your belt so there will be a short belt hanging.  Keep holding onto centre of all belt at your navel.
  3. Pull the very bottom belt out so there are now 2 pieces of the belt hanging.  Be sure to hold onto the centre of all of the belt so it does not unravel.
  4. Check both sides of the belt are the same length and twist around to waist to correct if they are not.
  5. Loop the top belt under all of the belt at the center of the belt.  Bring it up and out of the top and tighten.
  6. Loop a knot using the top belt again to cross the other belt only.   Tighten!
  7. You should have created an “X” with the knot of the belt!
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Our class training sessions vary between an hour to an hour and half in duration.  Each class we have a different focus, from flexibility to rolls and falling to sparring to self defence for grading.  However, each class does have set exercises that we cover.

A general class consists of a dynamic warm up, including stretching and basic moves.  This warms our body up and gets the blood flowing to the muscles that require it.  The warm up component also prepares the ligaments for the various kicks and moves we will do during class.

After our warm up and basic moves/kicks, we move into practicing our execution of kicks on the bags.  This helps us build strength in our kicks and also the ensuring the correct execution of the move.  We move through on the spot kicks to running jump kicks and may even here incorporate some falls and rolling to learn how NOT to hurt ourselves should we get knocked to the ground in real life situations.

After the bag and mat section of the class, we move into our partner work with non-contact sparring and self defence.  Generally, each student is matched with the same belt (or similar experience level), and also similar height and size.  This is where the instructor/s give individual attention to each student revising past techniques learned and teaching 1-2 new techniques.

Finally, in our cool down, we may even add a short fitness component to work our anaerobic cardiovascular fitness!

Each instructor has different skills to offer – and therefore each class is slightly different!  We do, however, aim to provide the WOW factor in each and every class!

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Training in martial arts is about learning techniques, perfecting techniques and practicing the techniques for them to become second nature!  Our instructors assess our students leading up to grading to determine whether they are ready to grade, however there are a number of aspects you can control to ensure you are ready to grade! 

What you can do to prepare adequately and confidently for grading:

Training frequency is definitely an assisting factor for preparing for grading.  The more you train, the more you receive assistance from your instructor and peers, the more confident you will be in performing your self defence techniques!  Attending 20% of your scheduled classes, for example, isn’t good attendance and can leave you feeling unsure and definitely not confident.  Things happen in life that can affect your scheduled weekly class, but remember to organize your make-up lesson, which is available to you up to 4 weeks after the missed lesson!

Practicing at home is a sure fire way to adequately prepare for grading!  There are 168 hours in a week and some students only attend TSDA for one hour a week!  In comparison to the whole week – that’s not very long!  TSDA has at home DVD’s for you to practice your specific kicks to your belt as well as your self defence techniques!  Ensuring you practice at home also prepares you for your next class here your instructor will teach you 1-2 more techniques!  Obviously if you haven’t practiced through the week you need to remember and go over your previous weeks techniques before adding more!  So how many times – in your 168 hours this week – have you practiced?!

Ultimately we give all of our members feedback as to how they are travelling with their preparation for grading.  However, you can ensure you are ready by simply attending your classes and practicing at home!  Good luck for everyone who is preparing for their upcoming grading!

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The need to be flexible is one key that marries all martial arts together.  However, then benefits of stretching extend past simply being flexible.  Stretching can also speed up recovery after an intense session in training in martial arts. 

Any technique performed in martial arts can be executed easier, faster and with better coordination with a student that is more flexible than one that is not. 

Let’s take a Turning Kick as an example.  When performing a turning kick we are asking our hips to open up, our back to bend and our leg to raise above our head.  To perform this kick better and with more precision, you would need to be flexible in your hamstrings (back of the legs), your hip flexors (front of the hips so to “open” your hips) as well as all the muscles in your back.  If you are not flexible in these areas, you simply will not be able to bend at the hips, so you won’t be able to get your leg up (let alone high up), and you also would not be able to correctly execute the kick with power or ease.  It would be hard, your body will be stiff and the risk to injury goes through the roof as you “try” so hard to do it correctly, but your body just won’t be able to do it.

In other words, as you try to execute a movement or technique, if you don’t have adequate flexibility, you body will compensate and use other muscles, which in turn puts unnecessary pressure and stress on areas not needed.  Being flexible is fundamental to the correct execution of techniques in martial arts and the longevity of the student in our sport!

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Our belief at TSDA is every person deserves to live a happy, confident life – free of fear and bullying.  Unfortunately bullying is prevalent in all stages of life, whether it be in the school, office and even in your own home with cyber bullying.  It seems to be everywhere with no escape.  

Training in martial arts has many misconceptions – such as - it is violent, encourages physical confrontation and is negative.  However, these couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, martial arts develops many life skills that filter through to all parts of your life, and extend far beyond classes at TSDA.

Martial arts students benefit through developing life skills of increased confidence, self-respect, setting and achieving goals, improving focus and discipline, and enhancing socialization skills – essential life skills to living the happy life you want and want for your children.  Having these life skills minimizes the chance of being intimidated and a victim of bullying.  These skills are on top of the physical skills taught such as specific self defence techniques and an increase in fitness and strength.

The best gift you can possibly give you and/or your child, is the gift of training in martial arts – TSDA way!

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