Master Chang's Martial Arts

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      Getting Your Kid to Participate in Class

      Ideas To Encourage Schoolroom Participation

      We all remember the different types of kids in our childhood schoolrooms. Some kids were super loud and funny. Others were smart and brainy. Some were athletic and popular, and others were painfully shy. We all probably remember, for better or for worse, where we fell in that schoolroom continuum.

      Now you’re a parent, and perhaps you have one of those painfully shy children as your very own. What’s the best way to help your child bloom and participate in class? Here are some things to remember.

      Give It Time

      If you have young kids who are just beginning school, be sure you give them some time to get adjusted before worrying to much about class participation. Spending all day or even half a day in class can be a strange experience for the first several weeks. They may be overwhelmed with all the activity or be uncertain about how to interact with other kids.

      Let your kids get to know their teacher and classmates at their own pace. Give them time to figure out rules of behavior and schoolroom expectations. Chances are they will warm up to the whole experience as time moves on.

      Open Lines of Communication With the Teacher

      Remember that you and your kid’s teachers need to work together to make the entire experience a positive one. Introduce yourself early on during the year and share any concerns you might have about your kids. Encourage your children’s teachers to contact you by phone or e-mail if they need any support or come up with helpful ideas you can implement at home.

      Be sure to participate in parent/teacher conferences during the year. Talk with your kid’s teacher about the types of activities they are doing in class. Suggest ways that your kids might be able to participate more fully in a particular unit study by sharing something of their own. Compare notes regarding your kid’s behavior in class vs. at home and talk about why there might be differences.

      Volunteer or Visit

      There’s nothing like spending time in your kid’s schoolroom to get a more accurate picture of a typical day. Most classes welcome parent visits or volunteers. See if you can stop in once a week to read to the class or help a slower or more advanced group of students. Or, if your schedule doesn’t permit regular volunteering, take time to at least make a short visit so you can observe your kids with their teachers and classmates every once in awhile.

      While you’re visiting, watch your child and observe what’s going on. Is your child avoiding activities that may be new or difficult? Are others teasing your child? Are the activities too easy and therefore boring for your child?

      If you notice something like this, talk with the teacher about how to resolve the issue. Perhaps you can offer to teach your child how to play a classroom game at home to increase confidence. If something seems too difficult, perhaps a related easier task can be attempted. If the classroom seems boring, perhaps a more challenging activity can be introduced a few times a week.

      Build Confidence Outside School

      Use your time in the evenings and weekends wisely with your kids. If confidence is an issue, encourage learning new skills that can be applied later in the schoolroom. Sometimes kids prefer to struggle with tasks at their own pace at home before attempting them in a public place like in a class.

      Consider signing up for outside activities. Sports, martial arts and music lessons can all help kids feel like they are mastering something. They also provide a way to allow them to share their skills with friends and teachers at a later time.

      Although praising every single thing a child does is insincere and tends to backfire long term, offer real praise when it’s earned and deserved. If your kids really struggles with something until it is mastered, congratulate the accomplishment.

      Foster Real Communication at Home

      It’s easy to fall into simply living with your family members in the same house and not really working on relationships. You may be tired and stressed after a day at work. Your kids may be burned out after a day in class. Everyone may grab a bite to eat and crash in front of the computer or television for a few hours before bed.

      Remember that even though it may take a little more effort, fostering real conversations with your kids can have long-term positive effects in their lives, your life and your entire relationship. Practice asking what was the best and worst thing in your child’s day, and then encourage your kids to ask you about your day. Although this may seem awkward at first, it is good practice in how to hold a caring conversation. Be sure to truly listen to answers; not just nod mindlessly while simultaneously checking your e-mail.

      Encourage Positive Relationships

      The more positive, supportive relationships kids have, the better. Help encourage good friendships that involve doing positive things together. Perhaps your kids can study with others in their class so they can ask questions and discuss things they didn’t understand with peers.

      You might want to organize a small group of kids who can volunteer to help at a nursing home, package food at a local shelter, or clean up a local park. Doing something helpful and positive together can build confidence and create an environment where talking can happen more naturally while you work toward a common goal.

      Kids may enjoy learning new skills. Consider signing up for an art class, a community drama class or a martial arts class. Fostering relationships between your kids and other non-academic teachers can help them feel more confident. That confidence can they translate to participating more in class.

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      Confidence: The Best Way to Combat Bullying

      Recently at the VMAs, the pop-singer Pink used her acceptance speech as a platform to address the insecurities that she’d heard from her six-year-old daughter. Her daughter felt she was ugly because she thought she looked like a boy with long hair. Because she’s so young, it’s easy to see how these insecurities could be attributed to bullying. Pink explained to her child that she’d faced criticism herself for being too masculine and did not let it deter her from becoming successful. She proceeded to show her daughter iconic celebrities that were considered odd and had endured the same criticism and managed to become legendary people. This allowed the little girl to see how amazing it is to be different when you have confidence and embrace who you are.

      Bullying has always been a difficult topic to discuss. Some people avoid the topic in an effort to keep the peace but rarely does ignoring a problem ever solve it. Bullying causes children to feel inferior to others and doubt themselves when they should be using this time to discover who they are, what makes them unique, and be confident in that person. At a young age, embracing who you are is difficult to do when others try to keep you down.

      Why do kids bully?

      Lack of self-confidence is the main reason that bullies do what they do. You’d assume that bullies have the most confidence, but they prey on those that they perceive to be weak because of their own insecurities. Most of the time, bullies have been already bullied by someone else and are simply taking out their aggression on whoever is accessible. They do this in an effort to make themselves feel superior. Their lack of confidence leads them to do cruel things to gain a sense of empowerment and control. Making their victims feel small is always the goal, so they’ll target whoever they believe they can break.

      How to combat bullying?

      Making sure that your child’s school has an anti-bullying awareness campaign is a great first step. Aside from that, if bullies don’t perceive your child as a victim, they’ll have nothing to target. Mind you, this has nothing to do with how intimidating your child looks, but with how they carry themselves. Instilling a sense confidence in our children will allow them to deter bullies. If your child is strong-minded, they cannot be broken by an insecure person. They’ll have a self-confidence and positive self-image that cannot be shaken because they truly believe in themselves and feel empowered.

      What makes a person confident?

      Confidence is essentially certainty or the belief that you can trust someone or something. Self-confidence is believing and trusting in yourself. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it is a decision be better and do better. Children must be exposed to confidence in order to learn confidence. They look to their role models to empower them before they learn to look inward for validation. It’s important as parents to tell our children how smart, or beautiful, or talented they are and to teach them that they can obtain anything that they work hard for. We must encourage them to try new things and develop a sense of importance.

      Back in 2012, a psychologist by the name of Amy Cuddy presented a very popular Ted Talk that focused on the effectiveness of body language and power posing. She explains that our nonverbals actually speak volumes to others and ourselves. When we are proud, we naturally tend to stretch out and open up our bodies. When we are less confident, we do the opposite and make ourselves small. When you’re alone, all you have to do is assume high-power poses for about two minutes, even when you don’t feel very confident, and your body will respond with real confidence. This talk was directed towards adults when facing interviews or other stressful situations that might require a little extra confidence, but who says this can’t apply to children?

      What’s the best way to instill confidence in a child?

      Although there are many options as far as how a child can gain confidence, physical activities and training like martial arts would be one of the best choices. The discipline that a child learns during martial arts training allows them to gain a sense of control. It requires kids to focus on their goal and using their abilities to achieve that goal. Teaching a child to master his or her body allows them to find that independence that they need.

      Many powerful poses and stances are taught during martial arts training, so imagine the incredible effect that these classes could have on your child. Every single class provides them with techniques that focus on posture and poised behavior. Every sparring match allows your child to perform under pressure, which is a huge benefit and skill that must be used throughout life. Your child will take the confidence learned from martial arts and carry it with them in everyday life.

      How will children be affected by martial arts overall?

      Your children will be walking tall with their heads held high, owning the confidence that they’ve developed. Although confidence can easily become arrogance, the martial arts also teach humbleness and sportsmanship. This is an extremely important characteristic to have because, without humbleness, your child could easily become the bully. Be sure to keep your child down to earth as their confidence soars.

      In addition to the confidence that they will have gained, they’ll obviously acquire some useful techniques in combat. While violence is never the goal in martial arts, in the worse case scenario, your child will be able to defend themselves if they are ever threatened. Let’s face it, you’ll always have those alphas in life that just want to dominate everyone. But, if your child is strong-minded, those bullies won’t be successful in making them feel small. The bully will have wasted their time trying to break the powerful human being that you’ve raised.

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      Prevent Bullying this School Year with Martial Arts

      School is just starting up and it’s an extremely busy time of the year. With the new school year comes new stress (and relief). Coordinating drop offs, pick ups, and generally just developing your family’s new routine always takes some time to get used to. Kids are also probably adjusting to new schedules and slowly, but surely, falling back into the rhythm of the school year.
      Every parent wishes for smooth interactions between their kids and their classmates, anticipates new, budding friendships and prompt solutions from teachers and caregivers when things go wrong on occasion. Sadly, reality often doesn’t match these high hopes, leaving parents frustrated, confused, and angry, while children remain vulnerable to being bullied in the place where they spend most of their awake hours during the school year.

      Bullying: the Reality

      Bullying is a staggering problem in the U.S., where nearly 50% of children report experiencing it at least once throughout their student years. Despite of this sobering number, there are no federally mandated anti-bullying classes, nor mandatory school staff training to combat this serious epidemic. The long-lasting effects of bullying on children are not fully understood either.

      The good news is: more and more schools recognize the need for radical changes, to implement educational anti bullying classes, and initiate a deeper, more appropriate conversation between the institutions and the parents to find new, working methods to make school a more welcoming, positive experience for all children.

      Yet the problem persists, and it is likely to cause a few difficult moments to many parents across the nation, leaving them wondering whether or not they could do something more, preparing their children better, or help them to develop various coping mechanisms that could not only aid them against bullying, but give them important life skills for decades to come.

      Martial Arts: Your Best Bet Against Bullying

      You may be surprised, yet it is true: children who participate in martial arts fare much better in school and life in general. It is important to stress, however, that these classes do not teach, nor encourage the use of violence under any circumstances, and this also means that bullied children are trained to use self-defense only as an absolute last resort to stop bullying, in case of physical attack. While it is a crucial life skill to have, physical force can never be the proper solution to schoolyard conflicts.

      Luckily there are other, greater benefits: instead of teaching how to stop bullying, they focus on training your child to learn valuable personal skills. The following list includes the most outstanding advantages your child could experience as a result of taking these extracurricular classes this school year.

      Socialization

      These classes teach excellent socialization skills: from the first moment to the last, they promote interacting in an equally polite and respectful way with teachers and other students. Being able to implement these newly acquired interpersonal skills in a school setting, your child may not only be able to completely avoid being hurt, but may become a positive example to others about using positive communication skills to stop bullying.

      Conflict Resolution

      It is extremely important for your child to learn that while conflicts are usually an inevitable part of life, violence and harming others are not. Under no circumstances it is acceptable to hurt others, physically or otherwise. These classes teach children to be more resilient, to be able to take the hardships of life without reacting in negative and improper ways, to not to worry so much about the effects of bullying, rather, conduct themselves in ways that help to avoid or solve conflicts, instead of allowing them to escalate any further.

      Self-Confidence

      It is generally true: children that display a healthy dose of self-confidence are less likely to be targeted by bullies. These classes are known to help kids to feel more positive about their abilities: by teaching them to bravely face their fears, by allowing them to master their skills in challenging situations, and by letting them feel accomplished every time they overcome self-doubt, they become more ready each day to handle difficult tasks in school, with peers, and virtually in all areas of life.

      Discipline

      Developing self-discipline further enhances one’s ability to masterfully guide all thoughts and actions towards accomplishing the desired goals. By meticulously building new routines and skills, these classes can help your child to aim high, remain persistent, and never give up on their dreams, regardless of what difficulties may come their way. This is an incredibly important skill to have when dealing with negative classmates who may make fun of your child, not see the benefit in hard work and delayed satisfaction.

      Focus

      A slightly different skill from discipline, focus helps a child to remain in the moment, pay attention to their breathing, slow down, and treat the next course of action as their primary responsibility. By helping them to not to be scattered, these classes are known to help children to improve their academic skills and grades as well, creating well-rounded individuals who are capable to respond to the various, ongoing challenges and requirements of school and life in a healthy and balanced way.

      Patience

      An important skill these classes usually focus on building is the art of learning to be patient. In our modern world even children are conditioned to expect immediate results and instant gratification, yet the most successful ones in school and life are indeed the ones who learn to relax, not push too hard, and be able to just wait for the good things to show up that they have worked so hard for. Assuming this attitude may become your child’s best bet during difficult times with peers.

      This list is by no means comprehensive, but it provides some insight into the vast benefits martial arts classes can offer your child to avoid being bullied.

      If you would like to learn more about the US Government’s Anti Bullying Campaign online, please visit www.StopBullying.gov

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      Free Family Fun Day!

       

      Today is the day! No classes at our Raleigh, North Ridge, or Cary locations but please join us at the Raleigh school for a fun filled day featuring free food, games, board breaking, and much more!
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      9 Reasons Martial Arts is the Perfect Family Activity

      When you are looking for a great family activity, it is important to make sure you are choosing an activity that will entertain everyone of all ages. Great family activities are those that add to family fitness. Finding a sport that everyone can enjoy can be a difficult task at times. However, Martial arts are a great activity that can add to your family fitness. Here are nine reasons why this is the perfect family activity.

      Setting goals with your family is healthy

      Advancing in martial arts, like karate and judo, is one of the best parts of going to lesson after lesson.

      Getting all the way to black belt can take a very long time and getting new belts is a fun way to set goals with everyone in your family. This is what keeps families coming back class after class.

      Working towards physical goals leads to working on other important goals. Working on goals towards college, financial planning, and family readiness is much easier after you have already practiced setting goals before as a family.

      Exercise helps everyone stay happy

      When families exercise together, they feel happier.

      It is proven in studies that exercise will release endorphins that make you much more upbeat and less depressed in your life. Attending classes regularly will allow your family to release these endorphins on a regular basis and raise the overall level of happiness in the home. Once you start exercising, it is easy to get addicted to other physical activities like swimming, hiking, baseball, and golf.

      This is a great way for a family to bond

      When everyone in the home is working on a common goal, it is easy to find common ground.

      Having something each week to look forward to with your family is a great way to get everyone excited to spend time together. The car rides, long lessons, and practice sessions will help all of the members of your family spend more time together and bond. When everyone is trying to learn something together, the breakthroughs will create some amazing bonding time.

      Learning together as a family is one of the best ways to grow closer to one another.

      Compete friendly with each other

      The world is a very competitive place. It is important to teach your children the importance of competition before they leave your home.

      Classes and belt advancement is a fun way for siblings and parents to compete without the stakes being too high. Friendly competition can help bond your children closer together as well. They will learn to work with each other to achieve common goals that will help them to grow as individuals.

      Create memories that will last a lifetime

      While it is fun to hang out at home and watch movies every once in a while, engaging in family activities outside of the home are where you are going to create the most long lasting memories of all. When families engage in activities together, it is easier to create memories that will last a lifetime. Your children will look back fondly at their time spent at the school and remember it well into their adult years.

      Filming and taking photos of lessons and competitions can be a great way of remembering all of the fun family times that were had during these activities.

      Start a habit of sharing your interests

      When all of the members of your family start sharing their interests for the first time, it can be easy for individuals to propose the idea of trying out their hobby. It may turn out that your whole family would love skiing or going to the skatepark together.

      It is always a great idea to try out the hobbies and interests of your family members as an entire unit. This is a great way to bond and find new activities that everyone can enjoy together. Your family might discover that they are into creative endeavors as well like music or filmmaking.

      Keep your family safe with the art of self-defense

      The world we live in is becoming more dangerous every day. It is important to teach your children the skills that they will need in order to protect themselves in this violent world. While the skills learned in these classes are never supposed to be used for bullying or intimidating others, they can be very important when any type of self-defense is needed.

      The better skilled your family becomes in these forms of self-defense, the more confident they will feel in the world. This level of safety is especially important when your family is traveling abroad.

      Again, while these skills should never be used for harming others, it is very important to be able to protect yourself in the event that someone is trying to harm you or your family.

      Everyone at any age can enjoy martial arts

      There are some sports that parents can’t have as much fun with as their children. Skateboarding, downhill biking, and wakeboarding are just a few examples of sports that might not be as fun for parents. However, anyone at any age can really start to enjoy learning the art of self-defense.

      Close the generational gap

      It can be difficult for parents and children to understand each other. However, when regular activities are on the schedule, it gives family members the ability to get to know one another. Parent’s and children’s music can be shared and talked about in the car and deep conversations about important issues can happen as well.

      Getting on the same page as your children doesn’t have to be as difficult as it might seem. Taking a little bit of time to understand what your kids are into can go a long way. This time spent together will be a way to really get to understand the culture of your children.

       

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      Why Martial Arts is Great for a Child’s Development

      Children martial arts classes are an excellent complement to traditional team children sports offered by schools. For a variety of reasons, your child can achieve greater physical fitness and development when the usual sports like basketball, football, or baseball are pursued in conjunction with martial arts. Parents may wonder “What is the right age to expose the young one to this ancient and timeless method of achieving fitness and discipline?” Most experts say that by the age of six a child should be ready to understand and participate competently in martial arts. If you’re not convinced of the fitness benefits inherent in this idea, keep reading.

      Discipline and Repetition Equals Fitness

      It’s fascinating to watch a children martial arts class in progress, especially if you are able to witness your own child improve his or her strength, power, balance, and coordination over weeks and months of practice. With this activity, fitness is achieved through discipline. Most people understand that the more times you repeat something, the better you get at it. Practicing martial arts moves and routines is no different, and there aren’t many things in a child’s life that he or she will practice more times than the requirements of training for the next belt.

      This physical expression of “practice makes perfect” burns each single move or routine into the muscle memory, allowing subsequent repetitions to be performed with more power and fluidity as the weeks roll by. This is how discipline contributes to children’s fitness in a tangible way. Increase in the former leads to a higher level of the latter.

      When sparring is added to the mix, the potential level of children’s development goes up even more. It takes balance and coordination to throw oneself into the fray of a controlled battle against a peer. Even though it is a competition, there are still rules and protocols to follow and doing so requires more fitness than to simply lose one’s mind and dive into a sparring match with no self control.

      Nobody Sits Down

      It’s a reality of team sports that not everyone gets to play all the time. The bigger, faster, stronger kids tend to get more playing time while others sit on the bench waiting for their chance to contribute. It’s no knock against team sports; there are valuable lessons learned completely unrelated to actual time in the game. The point is that it’s different in martial arts. Everyone participates to the fullest extent and reaps the maximum possible benefit from taking part.

      In team sports, the majority of the action goes to those who physically develop faster, and late bloomers are left on the bench to wait their turn. A late bloomer who gets into martial arts, though, may be able to close the gap with more skilled peers and improve his or her fitness and coordination to the point that they earn more playing time in their favorite school team sport.

      While a child might not have enough opportunity to hone their skills and coordination in team sports, a martial arts class is an entirely different beast. Participants will practice their skills daily and from the beginning of practice to the end. Though different colored belts are used to designate those who have demonstrated a higher level of skill, any child with the drive to practice can reach the next level.

      Battling Childhood Obesity

      Childhood obesity is considered an epidemic in much of the developed world and in the United States in particular. Regardless of which martial arts style chosen, no child in the class goes without being put through his or her paces daily. Warm up calisthenics and stretching, active games, sparring, and practicing moves fill the time between the start and end of a practice session. Defeating obesity through fitness is all about movement.

      Children’s fitness is developed on a couple of different fronts. First, their muscles naturally develop through regular physical strain, while, at the same time, a stronger cardiovascular system can’t help but do the same. A martial arts class is an almost continuous block of activity that lasts up to an hour or longer. Even the most active of team sports (like basketball) can’t match that level of action, broken up as it is by breaks for quarters and timeouts and the shuffling in and out of substitutes. Even the best players aren’t on the floor the entire game.

      Defending Yourself Takes Effort

      Every organized martial art spends a substantial amount of time teaching various forms of self defense. For many of the same reasons we’ve mentioned, time spent in the focused moves of learning effective tactics to take care of one’s self in a dangerous situation relies on a premium level of fitness. At the same time, there may be nothing more critical to children’s development than to learn how to stay safe and alive in the event someone tries to do them harm.

      In a conflict, assuming the skillets are roughly equal, who is more likely to come out on top? We’re going to crawl out on a limb here and suggest it will probably be the one with more strength and faster reflexes – in other words, a higher level of physical fitness.

      The Bottom Line

      While this article focuses primarily on the physical fitness benefits to be gained by participating in martial arts, it’s difficult to separate out a single aspect of this sport for the sake of examination. The philosophy behind any martial art is rooted in a few thousand or more years of dedication to achieving as close to perfect control over body and mind as humanly possible. As your child moves into the vicinity of five years of age, a thoughtful parent should consider exposing him or her to martial arts in addition to traditional team children sports to see if there is any natural interest.

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      3 Times Martial Arts Helped Shape History

      3 Times Martial Arts Helped Shape History

      Asia is widely considered to be the birthplace of the martial arts. Historically used for combat and self-defense, varied techniques sprang up independently in India, China, Japan and other parts of Asia. The birthplace of many disciplines can be traced to India and China, and there’s evidence as far back as the 3rd Century B.C.E. that martial arts techniques were in use. At certain points in history, the martial arts have had a noticeable impact in shaping events. Generally, there was a historical figure who led this cultural shift, and three of the most influential were Bodhidharma of India, Gichin Funakoshi of Okinawa and Bruce Lee of Hong Kong.

      BODHIDHARMA & KUNG FU – 527 C.E.

      China had developed its own martial arts, but it was a military form used for combat. It wasn’t until the influence of an Indian, Bodhidharma, that Chinese martial arts evolved into the Kung Fu we see today, a more holistic practice that trains the body and mind.

      India had a form of martial arts called Kalaripayattu that involved agility, fitness and wise use of the body’s energy. A Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma introduced this style of fighting to China when he traveled there to spread the philosophy of Buddhism. When he eventually went to live with the Shaolin monks, he found them lacking in physical health and stamina, so he began teaching them Kalaripayattu. This discipline evolved over time and became Shaolin Kung Fu.

      The spread of the martial arts in monasteries has given rise to the popular myth that these techniques were primarily created by “Buddhist monks, Taoist hermits or Confucian scholars.” In fact, Bodhidharma was trained in the military arts as the son of a minor ruler. It was only after he traveled to China and began living and training with the Shaolin monks that he became one himself.

      In China, however, the martial arts had mostly practiced by lower classes like the military and bodyguards. Bodhidharma helped strengthen the concept of the martial arts as a spiritual practice as well as a fighting and self-defense discipline. He emphasized breathing techniques and the cultivation of bio-energy (ki in Karate). Bhodidharma combined meditation with physical training and, eventually, he also became the founder of Zen Buddhism.

      Bodhidharma’s life story is an example of the will, perseverance and endurance that made up the foundation of his teachings. The moves and techniques he taught are now collectively referred to as Kung Fu. His contribution to history is seen in the elevation of the martial arts to a physical and spiritual practice that is accepted in all classes of society in China.

      GICHIN FUNAKOSHI & KARATE – 1917

      The martial arts of China influenced the people of Japan, and they also developed their own fighting and self-defense techniques. Karate began in Okinawa, a chain of islands between China and Japan that were then a separate kingdom. For over a century, starting in 1477, weapons were outlawed on the three islands of Okinawa. This caused early Karate to go underground and, if anything, strengthened the desire for the art to be maintained and preserved. In 1875, the Japanese took over Okinawa and made it part of Japan. After that, these original forms of Karate were allowed to flourish.

      Cooperation and peace between Okinawa and Japan were facilitated by the sharing of Karate. In 1917, Okinawa native Gichin Funakoshi demonstrated Karate techniques in a match with a Japanese martial arts expert, and he won the match. Funakoshi stayed on in Japan to teach Karate to the Japanese people. The open and peaceful relationship between Okinawa and Japan flourished to a great extent because of this sharing of Karate with the mainland.

      As in Kung Fu, Karate has an underlying spiritual component. Funakoshi created his own form of Karate, called Karate-Do, and he considered it to be “education for life itself.” The form of Karate he demonstrated in Japan and practiced during his life was called Shotokan. It was a synthesis of Funakoshi’s own style and the different types of Karate that originated in Okinawa.

      BRUCE LEE & JEET KUN DO – 1960’s

      Although born in San Francisco, Bruce Lee was raised in Hong Kong from the age of three months. A great artist will influence others, and Bruce Lee is well known across the world as a martial arts master whose influence caused a shift in the way people look at the practice.

      Lee began his training in the art of Kung Fu (Gung Fu), eventually developing Jeet Kun Do (JKD), which translates to “the way of the intercepting fist.” Lee didn’t regard this form of martial arts as a method or style, but as a set of principles for developing the mind and body. He borrowed from several Kung Fu styles, including Taekwondo, and also incorporated elements of wrestling and boxing into Jeet Kun Do.

      Bruce Lee’s television and movie projects popularized martial arts around the world. He developed the popular U.S. television show Kung Fu for himself, but David Carradine was given the leading role. The show had a great influence on the understanding of the martial arts in the U.S. This was the first time many people realized that the practice had a spiritual, meditative component, and didn’t exist merely for fighting and self-defense.

      Continuing mental and physical development, along with improving coordination and power, are the lynchpins of Jeet Kun Do. In the formation of JKD, Lee contributed to breaking with martial arts traditions. He believed in throwing out techniques that didn’t work and embracing those that did. Bruce Lee can be credited with opening up the world of martial arts to experimentation and growth. Through his martial arts movies, he also helped usher in an era of increased understanding of the martial arts throughout the world, not just in the U.S. and Asia. He saw himself as a “bridge between the East and the West.”

      Bodhidharma, Gichin Funakoshi and Bruce Lee all highlighted the importance of the martial arts and influenced world culture. Bodhidharma was the founder of Kung Fu and strengthened the spiritual component of Chinese martial arts. Gichin Funakoshi refined and popularized Karate, and contributed to the good relations between Japan and its newly acquired territory of Okinawa. Bruce Lee introduced the philosophy and techniques of the martial arts to a global audience and increased our understanding of the philosophy that goes along with it.

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