Olson's Martial Arts - February 2020





A couple years ago, I was fighting in a world championship, and the year was turning out to be a good one for me. I had just tested into my sixth degree at the time, and the year before, I had placed in the top 10 of martial artists who competed in this same world championship. That current year, I found myself facing a gentleman who I had never beaten before, but this time, I did beat him by one point. I went up against my next opponent and beat them as well. To say the least, I was quite confident I would win the gold medal. In the final match, I faced my opponent. Now, I’m not a giant of a man at about 5 feet, 9 inches, but the gentleman I had to spar was only about 5 feet, 7 inches and 130 pounds soaking wet. As our match unfolded, I kept thinking I had him. We were down to the last second. The score was 3-2, and I went in for a punch. But he did a spin-hook kick, turning my headgear around, and won. I had worked so hard that year. It came all the way down to the last match in the last second, but because I grew impatient, it paid off for the gentleman I was against. I received the silver medal that year and learned two major things in the process. No. 1: It’s crucial to give something all you’ve got, but I had failed to adapt and didn’t realize my opponent’s strength until it was too late. No. 2: As it turns out, I can be very competitive for a title like that. It was frustrating, but the most important part was that I learned from my mistake and bounced back from it. I didn’t let my failure prevent me from moving forward; I used it to better myself for the next year and those after that. Failures will always be a part of our lives, but the way we approach them makes all the difference. At our academy, my students are asked to perform in every class they attend, which is a vital part of their training. This gives teachers and me a chance to look at their form and help them with their technique. First, we make sure to highlight what they’re doing well, then we work with them to find a solution in the areas they can improve upon. GETTING BACK UP AFTER EVERY FALL

Whenever I ask for a volunteer in a class where I may have 30–40 students, about 10 will shoot their hands up. This isn’t just a chance for the students to show everything they learned, but also an act of bravery because they could mess up their form. In one class, a student raised his hand, and I let him come up to the front. As he was going through his form, he messed up at one part, but he didn’t stop and say he couldn’t do it. There was a brief second where he paused as he figured out how to get back on track, then kept going to the end of the form. This was an incredible teaching moment because this is the type of thing that happens throughout life.

In every aspect of life, whether at work, school, or in our dojo, there’s a chance of failure. Our students are given the support, encouragement, and knowledge they need to adopt a mindset of always having the power to get back up when they fall. The key aspect of martial arts is that when you fail, you learn from your mistakes and approach the problem again at a different angle to accomplish it.

Everyone is going to come up against challenges in life. Sometimes you’ll succeed, and other times, you’ll fail. It’s important to realize that by staying positive, you become a stronger person through your failures.

– Glenn Olson




boundaries. “One of the big lessons we want to be sending to kids at any age is that there are two people to consider,” he writes, explaining that adolescents tend to only focus on their own feelings and need to learn to consider how their crush may feel about them. This awareness might prevent them from overstepping someone else’s comfort zone. RESPECTING THEMSELVES At the same time, kids and teens should know the importance of respecting their own feelings. Setting boundaries can be especially important when your child is confronted with an unwanted Valentine’s Day card or request for a date and feels pressured to reciprocate. “Boundary setting is imperative to learn during adolescence because it is a time of identity formation,” writes Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell in Psychology Today. “Healthy boundaries allow teens to feel respected, valued, and empowered to build positive relationships in their lives.” It also helps them handle uncomfortable social situations with grace and maturity.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, stores are filled with chocolates, stuffed animals, and cards for significant others. Love is in the air! Even though you may not realize it, your kids may also be feeling the pressure. Crushes, dates, and broken hearts are part of their lives, too, but they may struggle to talk with you about it. Thankfully, developmental experts have weighed in on how to approach these important and delicate conversations. NO LAUGHING MATTER Judith Myers-Walls, professor emeritus of child development at Purdue, urges parents not to treat their kids’ crushes as silly. We may know these early expressions of love aren’t that serious in the long run, but to an adolescent, the emotions are very powerful. “They are very easily embarrassed about those feelings,” Myers-Walls observes, “so parents and other adults should be respectful and not tease about those issues.” Rather than make kids feel ashamed of these early romantic feelings, let them know you’re there to talk to them about it. RESPECTING OTHERS Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, believes it’s especially important to talk to adolescents about respecting


Breathing is something we do subconsciously, and that’s a good thing. If we had to concentrate on inhaling and exhaling throughout the day, it’d be hard to focus on anything else. But there are moments in our lives where focusing on and learning to control our breathing is helpful. REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY When you experience stress and anxiety, it increases your heart rate, raises blood pressure, and makes it increasingly difficult to focus on everyday tasks. This is why it’s a good practice to take a few minutes after work to sit somewhere quiet and focus on your breath. Instead of focusing on what caused you to stress that day, focus on the present moment, on each breath you draw in, and on the exhale. Hopefully, this repeated action is all that’s needed to melt your troubles away. BREATHING TECHNIQUES There are many techniques people can practice to improve their breathing. No matter which one you use, it’s important to start with attention breathing — when you notice the way your body naturally breathes. Every person has a different way of breathing, and when you observe the way you breathe, it gives you what you need to shape it consciously. First, sit somewhere quiet where you can focus on your breath. Pay attention to the way air enters your body, fills your lungs, and

is then expelled. Become aware of the rhythm of your breath, and you’ll not only relax but also pinpoint any breathing habits you have, which you can then alter. DEEP BREATHING One of the best methods of breathing is known as deep breathing. Like it sounds, this is when you take several deep, cleansing breaths. The key to this type of breathing is to draw breath deep into the stomach rather than the chest. Your breath should come in through the nose and into your stomach, which should expand, while your chest moves very little. Exhale through the mouth, expelling as much air as you possibly can. Deep breathing is used not only as one of the most impactful means to relax but also to help focus people training in martial arts. The students at Olson’s Martial Arts Academy learn how to breathe through the many forms we teach at our school. To benefit from our classes in physical and mental health, call our office at 423-926-9161 and enroll today.



KEEP YOUR BODY STRONG AND VERSATILE Stretching is much more than warming up your body before exercise in the same way that flexibility is more than the ability to touch your toes. Combined, flexibility and stretching are key to your overall health and your performance in physical activities. In martial arts, they are especially important. WHY DOES STRETCHING MATTER? Take a moment and think about the stretching activities you performed in gym class, before a football or soccer game, or even before you went for a run. What was the purpose of those stretches? When you stretch, it keeps your muscles strong, flexible, and healthy; otherwise, they would remain tight and condensed, keeping your movements limited. Additionally, unstretched muscles have a higher chance of being strained or damaged with quick or repeated movement that your body is not used to. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STAYING FLEXIBLE? Similarly, the more flexibility your muscles have, the less likely they are to be injured while you participate in your physical activity. When you stretch, it adds versatility to your muscles, allowing your body to take on more physical stress without harming yourself. As you stretch and increase your body’s flexibility, you will increase your range of motion, allowing you to bend and reach more easily. Increasing your flexibility also improves your balance, reducing the risk of falls. HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING? No matter if you’re practicing jiujitsu, tai chi, or taekwondo, stretching is crucial. Without stretching, you increase the chance of suffering from injuries, such as pulled, strained, or torn muscles. The more you stretch, the stronger and more flexible your body will become. In martial arts, your flexibility allows you to put more power in a kick and punch. Flexibility enables you to kick higher for taller opponents and perform advanced martial arts moves, such as spinning hook kicks. It also helps you move through each of your forms more gracefully. If your focus is in jiujitsu, increased flexibility will give your body what it needs to move into grappling and submissive positions more effectively. To start strengthening your body, call Olson’s Martial Arts Academy today at 423-926-9161. Our teachers can tell you about each of our courses and help you find the perfect fit for the lifestyle you’re looking for.

THINK OF YOURSELF AS THE CEO OR CFO OF YOUR FAMILY. Think of yourself as the CEO or CFO of your family. You can be flexible and kind, loving and helpful, but the final say still rests with you. Work together on issues but stay in charge. You are the boss, not the best friend. If you teach your children well when they are young, then when they are older, you will have a true friendship bond that will be stronger than anything you ever imagined.

Remember, if you have any questions, please reach out to AMANDA@ASKMASTERMOM.COM.


1/2 tsp oregano

4 tbsp butter

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tbsp minced garlic

8 oz cooked linguine

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup parsley


1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Inspired by The Blond Cook


















THE BEST GEAR FOR COLD WEATHER ADVENTURES Regardless of what the groundhogs have to say, winter’s on the way out. But if you simply can’t wait any longer to get back out into nature, there’s no need to sit around hoping for the thaw. With the right preparation, any weather can be hiking weather. Here’s a beginner’s guide for how to suit up and hit the trail on frosty days. STAY DRY You won’t need a third layer on dry, calm winter days. But if there’s rain, wind, or snow in the They should be made of water-resistant materials such as fleece or synthetic alternatives to down.

forecast, be sure to don a waterproof outer shell. While ski jackets and snow pants fit this description, they are far too heavy for hiking. Unlike skiers and snowboarders, you don’t have gravity doing all the hard work for you. Lightweight shells or rain jackets large enough to fit over your other layers should do the trick! HIT THE TRAIL Last but not least, proper footwear is a must! Ice and snow can cause disastrous injuries on trails or even in parking lots. Look for hiking boots that are water-resistant, have treaded soles, and are still relatively lightweight. Heavier boots can make hiking a slog and can actually throw off your balance.

NO SWEAT No matter how cold it is, any hiker is going to work up a sweat. While perspiration is a perfectly natural part of our body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature, it can backfire in winter. Damp sweat plus icy conditions is a recipe for serious chills or even hypothermia. Thus, wearing a base layer of synthetic fabric or merino wool is a must. These next-to-skin tops and pants wick away sweat, keeping you dry. KEEP WARM Obviously, dressing warmly is a key part of any outdoor activities this time of year. Your second layer should be all about insulation to keep your body heat close while locking out the cold. These layers include winter hats, gloves, and jackets.

So, when hiking this winter, stay light, stay dry, and enjoy the journey!


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