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Consistency is Key

I recently attended a seminar given by a very famous martial artist. During the seminar, the participants partnered up and worked on drills that he demonstrated. One of his most impressive skills was his ability to land every kick in the EXACT same spot, consistently. My partner and I, both black belts with multiple years of experience in martial arts, struggled to merely execute the techniques properly, let alone to be concerned with consistency. And yet, isn’t consistency the key to success or failure?
defines “consistent” as:
1. Agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory
2. Constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc: a consistent opponent.
3. Holding firmly together; cohering.
4. Archaic. fixed; firm.
I really like the first definition, “not self-contradictory.” Consistency then means that if I am to be successful in martial arts, I must make a commitment to practice. If I fail to practice but still continue attending classes and seminars, then I become a phony. My teachers and I will know that I have failed to practice because my skills will wane. I will fail to be consistent and success will elude me. I will feel stress from the clash of my mental desire to be successful and my failure to practice.
However, if I spend time in practice, my skills will improve and my mental goals will be realized by my physical practice. My mind and body will become partners in seeking my goals and the stress from being contradictory will vanish. Once my mind and body merge, success will surely follow.
For example, when I reached a higher belt level in Tae Kwon Do, the practice time required to attain the next belt increased significantly. The bar was raised much higher from “intermediate” to “advanced” and I struggled during one of my tests. Although I passed, my teacher was disappointed and reiterated that I must understand the difficulty that was before me. I balked for a while and felt like quitting altogether, but I didn’t.
As in definition number four, I held firm. I became resolute in my decision to attain the goal of black belt and I eventually made it. It took three-and-one-half years to earn the belt, and earning it was the hardest task I have ever undertaken. Had I failed to practice consistently, I would have never made the rank of black belt.
However, will I ever achieve the level of success that will propel me to fame and fortune? I doubt it. As with anything, achieving a very high level of proficiency requires many, many years spent in practice and training. I will not achieve that level of technical success because I do not practice daily. I have chosen to move in a different direction and now consider my ultimate goal more of a “dream” that I may or may not realize. My mind and body agree and I am at peace with my decision.
Perhaps, though, you have a goal that is languishing that you have a deep desire to achieve. Do you want to lose weight, stop smoking, complete your degree, find a new job or spend more time with your kids? Consistency will help you realize that goal.…

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Why Self Defense Tactics Don’t Just Involve Fighting

You could go to self defense classes every week and feel pretty confident about being able to take care of yourself but unless you have a set of effective self defense tactics, you could be in for a nasty surprise one day. Just because you know a few maneuvers doesn’t mean that you are any less likely to get attacked. A thug will not suddenly look at you and say to themselves ‘oh, that person knows self defense, I better run along’. No attacker knows the strengths of their victim, all they see is weakness. And no amount of martial arts techniques you have learned recently will save you from their clutches unless you have some plan of action. This is necessary to ensure that you don’t freeze when it comes to the crunch.
The first rule of self defense is to avoid placing yourself in a situation where you could be a potential victim. Being a regular member of a Tae-Bo class or practicing self defense four days a week at home doesn’t give you the right to walk down a dangerous looking street at night and expect not to get attacked. Martial arts techniques are nothing without some self-awareness to back them up. Avoiding scary looking shortcuts and being on constant watch when walking is essential because it could help you see trouble out of the corner of your eye. Most thugs are fairly open about their intentions when they are about to attack someone so a watchful person will spot them a mile away.
Staying confident is another effective feature of self defense tactics. People who attack others randomly in the street are generally cowards who will run away at the first sign of genuine resistance. Self-preservation is the name of the game for these creeps who will also flee if it is taking them too long to achieve their objective in case they get apprehended by the police. If you see two people walking, one who has their head up and shoulders back and the other with their head hunched down accompanied by small, scurrying steps, which person do you think is more likely to be attacked? The former target is confident and therefore troublesome while the latter is scared and easy meat for an attacker.
This confidence can be maintained even if confronted. Although some thugs like to stalk their prey, it is more common for the attack to be sudden. This usually occurs if the target is hunched down and petrified as in example B above. If they actually stop you and start with their threats, this means that they have not fully made up their mind. While they don’t know if you are proficient in martial arts techniques just by looking at you, they will be put off attacking you if you keep your ground and show no fear. If they decide on an attack, then it is time to unleash your bag of self defense tricks.
Self defense tactics don’t just involve methods of injuring your assailant, they should also act as a guide with regards to your behavior when you walk the streets. With just a few subtle changes in your demeanor and body language, you could change from being a ‘victim’ to being safe.…

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Why Language is Important

Imagine for just a moment that we developed a system of auditory symbols that also had visual conterparts, and let’s say for example, that there was an auditory symbol that sounded like this: “ahh.” This same symbol had a visual representation associated with it that we could reproduce for our eyes, and it looked like: “A.” Furthermore, we all agreed that we would use this set of symbols according to a set of basic rules, whereby we could use them independently or in various combinations to express concepts and ideas. Finally, we agreed that the sole purpose of these symbols was so that we could share our thoughts with others, and conversely, that they could share their thoughts with us. Well, that is language.
Language is the currency with we exchange ideas; thus, language is the single, greatest skill an individual can, and should, master.
Language is complex and constantly evolving. There are over a quarter of a million words in the English language alone! Even this number excludes the roots and derivatives of words. Mastering a quality set of vocabulary to the point that we can always articulate what we want to communicate is a journey that will take most of us a lifetime. It is estimated that most people average between 12,000 to 20,000 words in their vocabularies, with college graduates learning about 20 percent more. But, language is much more than just words.
Words are not just representations of “things” that are concrete. Words are much more powerful that that when in the hands of we humans. Indeed, we have the propensity to want to talk about “things” that are abstract, intangible, unthought of and not even in existence. We humans like to talk about everything, and as you know, we’re a gregarious lot!
That means words have to be able to convey anything and everything that the human mind can conceive. I am sure that your mind, like mine, is always talking, thinking, mulling, worrying, viewing the past-present-future, and fiddling with a multitude of ideas all at once. So, we are always finding ways to use our basic building blocks for language, words, to convey to others what is going on inside our “always turned on” minds.
Language is the fabric that allows cultures, with their shared sets of values, customs and history, to exist. It’s the “glue” that holds societies together and allows for mankind to evolve, grow and prosper.
Language is also, at the end of the day, a mirror that allows us to understand what we are thinking and shed some light on who we are as individuals.
Language is the key that unlocks our mind.…

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5 Reasons to Add Seminars to Your MMA Training

As a Martial Artist I am a big advocate of Seminar training. There are many reasons that attending seminars and workshops will help you quickly develop your training as a Martial Artist. You would be amazed how many instructors discourage you from attending seminars, while others will only encourage you to attend ones at your school or from your discipline. Seminar training can be beneficial to strengthen your training within your discipline as well as add new elements to your game. Here are the reasons I feel that Seminars are essential for an aspiring Mixed Martial Artist.
Community College of MMA Training
Whether or not you have ever been to community college, you will most likely understand the concept of it. Community College is a way for you to test the waters and try different classes to figure out what you like the most. It’s a smorgesh board of different curriculum options if you will. Martial Arts Seminars are the same way. In particularly, if you train in one style, you may not have the opportunity to train in different arts and see if there is something about that style that you like or could add to your development. For example, if you train at a Karate school, you may not do much boxing, or if you train at a Muay Thai school, you may do much grappling. Training in seminars will give you the opportunity to test the waters with different styles without having to make a major commitment.
Learn New Skills Many times the instructors who are hosting the seminar are certified under the person giving the seminar. For example, if your instructor runs a Combat Submission Wrestling school, then he or she is certified under Erik Paulson. Assuming the seminar is given by Erik Paulson, he will usually use that as an opportunity to pass along more new techniques or curriculum to your instructor and his/her student body, as well as refine current techniques and skills being practiced. If you are taking the seminar at the school that train at, you will be learning the same tricks, tips and techniques as everyone else. However, if you are going outside of your school, most likely you will be bringing new techniques back to your current school or training location. You can use this as an opportunity to pass along your newfound knowledge, or surprise your friends with the techniques during sparring sessions, which is what I like to do.
Barometer
Judging how you are advancing in your training is sometimes difficult. Many times when you join up at a school, you can never really judge how good you are getting. The reason is that everyone at your school is usually continuing to advance at the same time you are. As new people come in, you recognize you are better at certain skills than they are, but you usually dismiss it at “well, they are a noobie”. Going to seminars is a good way to evaluate your skill. You can evaluate how quickly you are able to pick up new techniques and skills. Also, many times not everyone attending the seminar is from the place where you train. Because of that you see how you compare to other from different places. Seminars are one of the best ways to evaluate your skills aside from competition.
Social Networking
No I am not talking about Twitter or Facebook or Myspace or whatever other Social Networking craze takes place in the future. I am talking about real life social networking. Going to seminars is a great way to contact and meet like minded people from all over the world. I have met and made friends in places like Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Delaware, Austrailia, England and more. It’s great because as I travel, I find that I usually have a place to train at. This is even more of a reason why I suggest you don’t just look for seminars in your area, but that you expand yourself and travel to different areas for your seminar training. I have taken seminars in Connetticut, Georgia, Las Vegas and of course Thailand. Get out of your bubble and meet some new people. You will tank me later.
Rejuvenation
Many times with my training I start to hit a rut. It’s usually around that time where I decide to head out for a seminar. After a seminar or some other training excursion I usually feel completely rejuvenated and refocused on my training. Sometimes it’s as simple as having someone point out the basics and fundementals again. Other times, it’s the feeling of learning something new which inspires you to be refocused. Either way, without fail whenever I come back from a seminar or camp training I always feel reinspired about my training. If you are …

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Read This Article To Learn Everything About Learning Guitar

Would you like to learn the guitar? Or, maybe someone in your life wants to learn. There are a few things that can make your learning experience a better one. These ideas will get you started playing as well as a rock star.

It is not a good idea to try to learn all there is to know about playing guitar all at the same time. Starting slow will improve your chances at being successful. Make sure you practice every single day, and soon you’ll be playing the guitar like you never imagined you could.

Learn all you can about guitar tabs, and musical notation as well. To learn about scales and chords, you need to learn music theory. This can help you to create music without stress. This is very helpful when you learn new melodies.

Always remember to have fun when playing the guitar. Remember that you have chosen to learn to play the guitar. It should not be a source of stress or anxiety. If you do, you can find yourself becoming tired and resenting practice time, which can cause you to give up playing. Play the songs that you find to be the most fun.

Purchase a quality guitar to get started. If purchasing a good guitar is out of reach, think about borrowing or renting your instrument. A good guitar will help you get a good sound while you are learning.

Calluses on your fingers are actually a good thing when it comes to playing the guitar. These calluses will make it less painful to play. While it does take time to build those callouses, practicing often will help you develop them. There are even products you can purchase to help build calluses.

Know all instrument parts when playing the guitar. Being certain to know the proper terms helps you decipher written instructional guides. That way, you will transform yourself into a truly knowledgeable musician.

Before you start playing your guitar, take the time to learn all about it. This helps when first learning to play since they are necessary for learning scales, string names, and chords.

Prior to the development of any callouses, you may have pain in your fingertips. To help ease the pain, try out a guitar with nylon strings or one that is electric. It’s painful for beginners to play a steel-string acoustic guitar. Although you may get some relief if you soak your fingers in rubbing alcohol, you shouldn’t use things like turpentine.

Don’t rush. When you want learn a song, take your time and learn it completely before trying to play it at tempo. So, start off slowly and master all of the notes and then work on your speed. If you just focus on speed, you will become frustrated at how quickly you make mistakes. Starting slow can help you master that song and eventually boost your speed as you get the song down.

Anyone of any age can play the guitar. Stay consistent with your practice, and always keep your eyes open for anything to improve your playing technique. As you learn more, your playing is sure to gain ground. Use the ideas presented within this article to learn how to play a guitar. You’re friends will be amazed in no time.…

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What You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Arts And Crafts

Just what is the hobby of arts and crafts about anyway? Do you understand what this hobby offers? If you don’t know, but would like to, you have come to the right place. You will have no problem enjoying this hobby from now on.

Do you want to get new materials for your arts and crafts projects? Many online sites offer great prices on a huge selection of craft supplies. Check on Google to find great deals. You could even be lucky enough to receive free shipping of your purchases.

You can use lots of things when you do arts and crafts. Paper products that would otherwise be thrown away make great supplies. From paper towel rolls to toilet paper rolls, there is a variety of items to make. Even old newspapers or pictures from magazines are easy to get creative with. Use some creativity in terms of materials or items you typically dispose of, and put them to arts and crafts use instead.

Typically, crafting with kids gets messy. If that sounds like a lot of work, just cover the surface with freezer paper or newspaper, to catch stray drips, drops, glitter, and glue. You can use washable markers and glue too.

Look for a bead specialty place, like Beadaholic, to find all sorts of supplies for your custom jewelry. They carry jewelry making supplies including beads, chains and tools. A lot of the fashions you see today started as costume jewelry. Making your own can not only save you money, but can also help you match the clothing you own.

Focus on just one thing. When doing arts and crafts, it is tempting to do all kinds of projects and to start all kinds of crafts. This is why projects don’t get completed. Finish a project before you even think about starting another. This way, you will be more likely to finish.

When making projects with children, remember to keep things flexible. You should avoid examples so kids can create things themselves. Don’t try to control how their projects look. This is a time to let them be creative without interference.

Etsy can be a wonderful location for finding your craft and art supplies. Individuals use the site to offer items. You can purchase finished items there, buy supplies or even sell your own supplies or finished projects there. You can find vintage media and other great supplies here.

Keep your supplies for arts and crafts organized. There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to organization, and it is up to you to come up with a creative way to figure it all out. This will ensure that you can find the supplies you need, and it also helps you work faster. It’s also simpler to keep track of your inventory too.

You should start applying the ideas you just read, for instance by creating a simple item. Enjoy your hobby while learning everything you can. Your free time will be more rewarding when you apply the tips you got right here.…

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How Badly Taught Military Self Defense Can Cause You Problems

When you hear the term ‘military self defense’ you automatically think of Green Berets dismantling an attacker with precision moves that an ordinary person could never learn. To be honest, no regular citizen will be able to fight like a marine or soldier because they have years and in some cases decades of training behind them. Yet you have instructors trying teach some of these martial arts techniques in the same way as it would be taught to a military person which is completely wrong. As already stated, these men and women are physically elite so what is taught to them is not applicable to 99% of the population. While this doesn’t mean that the techniques they learn are redundant, it is clear that there are problems with the way they are taught.
The first issue with military self defense as it is often taught is the fact that it focuses on speed and strength above all else. Once again, military personnel are exceptional in both departments, trying to teach an average Joe these maneuvers that are based on you being as strong as your opponent is foolish. Generally speaking, if you are being attacked randomly there is a very good chance that your assailant will be physically stronger than you. Thugs generally don’t go around picking on strong guys because they are cowards at heart and want a confidence boosting exercise which involves beating up weaker people.
Some teachers decide to teach you how to use weapons which is definitely a good idea. However, they overemphasize their importance. Rather than focusing on the person who is the real problem, they keep their eyes firmly on the weapon, seeing it as the be all and end all of the confrontation. If someone attacks you with a knife, obviously your first goal should be to avoid their initial attack and find a way to get that weapon out of their hands. There are several martial arts techniques that can help you with this. Yet once you succeed in disarming them, they are still there, ready and willing to hurt you in some other way. The focus should always on defeating the attacker, not their weapon.
There are many military self defense techniques that can have lethal consequences. Sometimes situations occur when fatalities happen. If a thug attacks you with a gun or knife or a group of people come after you, the ferocity of your defense could accidentally kill someone. While that is more the fault of the legal system, the fierceness of this training presents trainees with another problem. Knowledge of the effectiveness of military techniques could actually cause you to hold back which results in you getting badly hurt. It is necessary to find an instructor who can teach you how to defend effectively without getting in legal trouble.
If you are learning martial arts techniques fused with the expertise of military training, be careful if you ever get involved in a confrontation. Being too fierce or holding back could spell danger whilst focusing on things like strength and the opponent’s weapon should be discarded in favor of learning solid technique.…

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10 Things to Do If You Want to Be a Graphic Designer

Go to School
If at all possible, get some formal education through college. Many community colleges offer graphic design classes at a reasonable price. Taking classes will give you practice designing and teach you designing principals and theories. It will also give you the opportunity to meet and work with other students with goals similar to yours. Also, after you graduate, simply having the degree will help you get chosen for a job in your field.
Do Online Tutorials
There are thousands of tutorials available for free online. Completing these will help you learn how to use common designing software.
Read Books
Books are also a valuable resource in learning how to design. It is best to check out most of your books from the library so you don’t have to buy them. You should read books about the software your are going to be using, graphic design history, art history, color theory, business, and human relations.
Practice Your Skills
You might not have a job yet, but you can still act like you do. In your free time, give yourself mock projects to complete. This will give you practice doing these things, and when you do get a job, you will already have some experience.
Start Your Own Blog
Keep track of what you learn, and share it with others at the same time. If you forget something and would like to review it again, just return to your blog and it will be right there for you. It also gives you something to show off to your friends and potential clients.
Do Freelance Work
If possible, try to get some freelance jobs online. Even if they don’t pay much, they will give you practice and experience. If it is okay with your clients that your freelancing for, you might also be able to use some of this work in your portfolio.
Keep Your Work
Keep all of the work you do. You never know what you will want to use later. You can put your best work in a portfolio. You can also email samples of some of your best work to clients for review. Even if something isn’t your best work, you may want to refer to it later for ideas or to make improvements on it. If you keep even the work you don’t like, such as your very first attempts at a web page, you can refer back to it and see how much you’ve improved.
Look at Other People’s Work
Pay attention to web pages, package designs, and promotional materials created by someone else. Follow design trends. Think about what works and what doesn’t.
Learn Business Skills
Learning some business skills is necessary if you want to have your own business or do freelance work.
Think Positive
Positive thought can improve your design. If you don’t think that you are any good, or that you can’t improve, you won’t be able to do a good job.…

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Learning Guitar: No Other Article Online Provides You These Tips

Learning how to play the guitar is an activity that quite a few people want to try. However, many of those same people are the ones that never actually do it. That’s why this article was written. Here are a few tips anyone can use if they are ready to start learning how to play the guitar today.

Make sure to learn music notation as well as guitar tabs. This will help you to understand what you are playing. Memorize the note name for each string, and also which note belongs to each fret. This knowledge is especially helpful when you are playing melodies and riffs.

Don’t forget to have fun! This is something you desire to do, not something you need to do. Don’t let it become a stressful chore that you dread. Once you do that, boredom or dread may set in, and practice will cease. Keep practicing and remain patient.

When you decide to learn how to play a guitar, do whatever you can to get a good quality instrument to learn on. You may be able to borrow or rent a guitar if you are unable to purchase one for an affordable price. Your first guitar shouldn’t cost more than $200. Just make sure it sounds great when properly tuned.

If you are learning to play the guitar, build calluses on the fingertips. Calluses are going to help ease the pain that you get when you practice regularly. It takes time to build callouses, but practicing often can help you get them faster. You can also look into a variety of products that will do the job for you.

Before you get calluses on your fingers, you are sure to feel some soreness. Using a guitar with nylon strings or an electric guitar may be less painful for you. Steel-string acoustic guitars are the most painful instruments for beginners. You might feel better when you soak fingers in alcohol, but stay away from toxic substances such as turpentine.

Teach yourself to use different keys when playing songs. The same song sounds different in varying keys, and you will learn chords more easily. It will also assist you in better understanding music. You will understand and appreciate the music more.

If you’re committed to learning how to play the guitar, you have to practice. Nothing that is worth having comes easily. You should aim to get in at least half an hour of practice most, if not all, days of the week.

Get yourself a metronome. A metronome will help you get into a rhythm and learn timing. You won’t have a problem keeping the tempo with a metronome. Use it when learning new chords or songs to improve your skills.

After reading these useful tips, now you are able to begin learning to play the guitar. This article won’t make you a musical prodigy, but it can help you get started. Use these tips to help you stay on track and play the guitar as much as you want to.…

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Arts And Craft Tips For Anyone Interested In The Hobby

Have you been looking for something that you and your children can do together? Arts and crafts is the perfect way for you and your kids to start working on something that will result in a beautiful project. Here are just a few arts and crafts tips that can help get you started.

Check out the class schedule at your local craft store. A lot of craft stores offer weekly classes on different arts and crafts projects in an effort to drum up business and to be a part of the community. They should have a monthly print schedule for you to look at, or you can simply ask each week.

Do not make the mistake of believing that you have to pay a lot of money for arts and craft supplies. Try using old scrap materials you have at home for your next project. Things like old cloth, bottle caps and paper bags have all been used to create masterpieces.

Keep a dedicated craft space. If you don’t have a space dedicated to crafts, try planning the craft to be done in a specific amount of time. You can craft on your kitchen table, but if it’s not finished and you need to use your table for dinner, it is very frustrating to clean up and start again.

Don’t throw away any wire hangers! That wire can come in mighty handy with lots of different arts and crafts projects. Keep those hangers to the side. You can stretch them in all sorts of angles to create all sorts of fun shapes. Or you can use it as a way to bind pieces of a project together.

You do not have to keep a craft forever. Crafts are generally 3-D and may quickly take over a ton of space. Everything a kid makes is not a masterpiece. You can say goodbye to really old projects when you make new projects with them. The value of a craft is in the making of it.

Dress appropriately for arts and crafts. It’s a dirty process. Wear only shoes and clothes that you can either afford to possibly part with or can be laundered hard. An old pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt you don’t care about are always good choices, especially if there’s painting involved.

If you are beginning to learn painting with oils and don’t like what you’ve painted on a piece of canvas, you can always paint over it. Oil is adaptable and the extra pain coats won’t harm the surface. Indeed, you may find that you achieve even greater depth of color.

Before you start using something new in your crafting, make sure you understand what cleanup will entail. This is especially true for paints, glues, and other liquid substances. Some need special cleaners to remove them if they get spilled. Others need immediate action if you want to keep something from staining. Know what action you need to take if the worst happens.

Hopefully, the arts and crafts ideas in this article have given you the spark you needed to start doing projects with your children. Arts and crafts have always been a way to bring people together, and if you use the tips above, you’re going to discover you have a never-ending source of ideas. Good luck!…