NFL Uses Taekwondo!

Great Lakes NKMartial Arts, Taekwondo in particular, is in more places than people think. One area Martial Arts techniques are becoming a bigger part of is the NFL. The Washington Redskins have brought in Taekwondo grandmaster Joe Kim to teach their players Taekwondo based moves to help their pass rush. This includes teaching players how strategic foot, hips and hand placement can carry over to their moves on the field, making their pass rush more effective.

Martial Arts isn’t just for a specific group of people, anyone is able to take a part in it, including children. It is a fun way to help children become more physically fit and develop a healthier lifestyle. Professional players in the NFL are some of the most athletic people out there and they are even incorporating Taekwondo into their routines.

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Winter Apparel

Don't forget to order your National Karate winter apparel! There is a limited supply so be sure to place your orders today!

We offer a Youth t-shirt and Adult Sweatshirt which support the Wisconsin National Karate School. Orders can be placed at the Wisconsin NK School now. Prices are $17 for a Youth t-shirt and $67 for a sweatshirt.

Youth T-shirtSweatshirt

Great Job at the Tournament

All of the instructors at Great Lakes National Karate would like to say "great job!" to all of the participants in the recent tournament. There are plenty of photos available on our Facebook page that you can check out at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinNK.

Don't forget, if you aren't already a member of Great Lakes NK you can sign up for two free weeks and a free uniform! Check out our special online at http://www.greatlakesnk.com/internet-special.html

Great Lakes NK Martial Arts

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started as a comic series in 1984. The series had then been turned into a television show and various movies. These green turtles are back with a new television series that aired on Nickelodeon in 2012 and was released as a movie in 2014 by Paramount. The series follows four teenage turtles named after Renaissance artists who are trained by their rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu. The clan is made up of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo and they live in the sewers underneath New York City attempting to hide from society. Not only do they discover pizza while roaming the streets at night, but they also battle criminals, mutated animals, aliens and other bad guys.

The Ninja Turtles story and fighting techniques stem from the art of ninjutsu which is a martial art strategy practiced by the shinobi (or ninja). This fighting strategy uses tactics of guerrilla warfare which ties closely to the martial arts of judo or karate which we practice here at Great Lakes NK. Not only does the clan practice ninjutsu but these crime fighting fictional turtles actually wield realistic martial arts weapons.

Each character fights criminals with a different weapon. Leonardo wears blue and uses two long swords. Michelangelo dresses in orange and fights with a pair of nunchucks. Raphael wields a pair of sai and wears red. Finally, Donatello wears purple and fights with a bo staff. All of these weapons are considered to be traditional martial arts weapons.

Sai Weapon

These weapons originate from Japan and can be used when practicing martial arts or karate. The sai is a pointed, three-pronged baton which is used for trapping and blocking enemy attacks. Police in ancient Japan used the sai to disarm and control criminals. It is very effective in trapping swords and other weapons between its prongs. The tip of the sai is blunt since sai are considered non-lethal weapons.

The sai is made of many different parts:

  • Tsuka - The handle of the sai which is usually wrapped in leather or a similar material.
  • Monouchi - The shaft of the sai which can be round, hexagonal or octagonal. Different shapes help with different techniques.
  • Moto - This round node connects the Tsuka and Monouchi.
  • Saki - The tip of the sai which is usually blunt instead of pointed.
  • Yoku - These are the shorter prongs that extend from the handle. Known as the guard.
Nunchuk Weapon

Nunchaku or nunchuks are used by Michelangelo and often consist of two sticks connected by a short chain or rope. Nunchuks can be made of different materials such as wood, fiberglass and others. The history behind them is unclear but a popular belief is that they were used to thresh rice or soybeans on farms in Southeast Asia. Some martial arts associations use nunchuks as training weapons because they allow the development of quick hand movements and they can improve posture in students. Possession of nunchuks can be illegal in some countries.

Bo Staff Weapon

There are many types of bo staffs made from different wood and of different sizes. The average size of a bo staff is about six feet but can reach as long as nine feet. The staff is usually made of hard wood like red or white oak but bamboo and pine wood has been used too. This weapon is used in the Japanese martial arts for Bojutsu. Bo staffs can be used for striking, blocking, sweeping and entrapping.

For more information on these martial arts weapons and techniques on how to use them, go to the Black Belt Wiki.

Get Your Kids Out of the House This Summer!

Martial Arts is a great physical activity that can get your kids out of the house this this spring and summer. If they've been cooped up indoors all winter with nothing to motivate them toward exercise then this might be the perfect solution! We have martial arts programs for children 4-7 years of age as well as youths 8-12 years of age and older. If you have a son or daughter that could benefit from interacting with other kids their own age in a motivating, energetic environment that promotes self-discipline and inner growth consider stopping by for TWO FREE WEEKS of training!!!

Martial Arts for Kids & Young Adults

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

The holidays are here and it is almost time for that "New Year's Resolution". Here are a few tips to ensure you are staying healthy during this holiday break.

  1. Stay active. Although family gatherings are a must and you may have a busy schedule, keeping on your workout plan is a must. Don't put your fitness on the back burner with all of the shopping and planning going on. Stay active during the holidays and this will jump start your fitness plan for the new year.
  2. Snacks are your friend. New Years is right around the corner, so this year have a snack before the partying. Having a healthy snack before going out will help curb your appetite. Plus, you might not feel as bad having a few drinks after you've eaten a healthy snack.
  3. Keep track of what you eat. Keeping a food diary can be helpful to know what you are putting into your body. With all of the commotion of the holidays, people tend to lose track of their eating habits and snack more often.
  4. Stock healthy snacks at work. Everyone knows that leftover candy is usually brought to work afterwards. Keeping healthy snacks within reach at work will curve the temptation of eating all of that office treats.
  5. Manage portions. With all of the parties and gatherings, over stuffing your plate is not going to help. If you manage your portions at the dinner table, chances are you'll leave out extra calories.
  6. Have a "cheat" day. With all of the food, parties and goodies, it's okay to have a cheat day every once in a while. Use this day to indulge a little and go for the pies or cookies. Tell yourself that it is okay to have a that extra slice of pie!

By following a few of these simple tips, you will stay healthier this holiday season. If you are looking to get back into the groove of exercising and need a fun outlet, be sure to check us out or give us a call at 262-786-6000. We offer Martial Arts classes for children, kids and adults as well as kickboxing for children and adults.

Parents' 4 Week Special

Attention parents of martial arts students; it's your turn to try our classes! This is a parents' special only and last for 30 days. Each parent can choose to partake in our Adult Self-Defense Class, Fitness Kickboxing Class, or both for FREE for a month without any obligations. Great Lakes National Karate is giving back for all of the times you have watched and cheered for your children.

Whether you want to try it out, get in shape, learn self-defense, relieve stress or just want to share an activity with your child, these FREE classes are for you! We welcome all ages in our adult classes as well as all skill levels. In just thirty days you are going to:

  • Boost your metabolism
  • Gain strength & gain muscle
  • Watch your blood pressure drop
  • Burn fat & slim down
  • Sculpt trouble areas of your body
  • Dodge diabetes & keep your heart healthy
  • Reduce stress & keep things balanced
  • Burn calories & get back into shape

Sign up today, let us know what class you would like to take and we will get your fitted and enrolled into our program! Remember, the choices are Self-Defense, Fitness Kickboxing, or both classes. If you have questions or would like more information on this special, contact us today!

Halloween

It's that time of the year again - Halloween! Health and fitness are important to us here at Great Lakes National Karate, which is why we want to share some holiday tips to monitor your kids' treats this Halloween. The average American consumes 24 pounds of candy each year, most of which is consumed around the time around Halloween. With more than 600 million pounds of candy purchased each year for Halloween alone, it's no wonder we stock up and eat large amounts of candy around this spooky holiday. There are a few things you can do to monitor your family's intake of candy around this time!

For starters, everyone knows candy is not great for your health. It contains sugars, fats, and other less than nutritious ingredients that can help lead to weight problems, diabetes and other health-related issues. There are alternatives to these types of candy such as sugar-free or even gluten-free candy. It might be worth giving these a try as a replacement to some of your candy this Halloween season! To see the 2014 Gluten-Free Halloween Treats List, go to Celiac.org

There are also many ways to monitor your child's candy intake around Halloween. A great way to keep candy consumption down is to limit the amount of candy your child consumes on Halloween. Then, set a limit on the amount of candy your child can eat each day afterward. For example, you could let your child eat a pre-defined number of pieces of candy based on the amount of exercise he/she performs in the day. In the event you don't want your child/children to finish all of the candy they have collected, bring some to work for your co-workers!

Halloween is a fun holiday not just for the kids, but for adults too! To keep your body healthy, try to limit the amount of candy intake around and remember to always exercise. A great way to get in some good cardio while learning self-defense is by signing up for and attending classes at Great Lakes National Karate!

Remember, have a fun and safe Halloween!

Halloween Candy

Dates to Mark on Your Calendar

Great Lakes National Karate has a few important dates in the upcoming months. Here are some dates you should remember or mark down if you would like to be tested for belts or participate in the Black Belt Screening. Other events include the monthly leadership class and meeting as well as days that the school is closed. For questions or more information on these upcoming events, please call us at (262) 786-6000.

Saturday, March 21st

BLACK BELT SCREENING #1 1pm

Saturday, March 28th

Monthly Youth & Adult Belt Testing 1pm-2:30pm
Leadership Class & Meeting 2:30pm-3pm



Friday, April 3rd & Saturday, April 4th

Closed for Easter Weekend

Saturday, April 18th

Monthly Youth & Adult Belt Testing 1pm-2:30pm
Leadership Class & Meeting 2:30pm-3pm

Saturday, April 25th

BLACK BELT SCREENING #2 1pm



Saturday, May 16th

BLACK BELT SCREENING #3 1pm

Saturday, May 23rd

Monthly Youth & Adult Belt Testing 1pm-2:30pm
Leadership Class & Meeting 2:30pm-3pm

Monday, May 25th

Closed for Memorial Day

Taekwondo Stretching

Stretching is one of the most important things to do while practicing or participating in any physical activity. Stretching not only warms up the muscles in your body, but it helps prevent pain and pulling of the muscles, and helps with flexibility and motion. In order to perform taekwondo moves, one needs to practice and stretch. The focus on stretching is on the muscle itself and where the tendons and muscles meet or connect. This helps in increasing flexibility. For example, in order to perform the turning kick, or dollyo chagi, one must rotate dynamically and be able to kick at the height of someone's head. To do this, the goal is to increase the range of motion in the body through flexibility, which can be achieved by stretching.

What happens when we stretch? First off, the basic make-up of our muscles is two parts: the muscle belly and the tendon. The muscle itself can stretch up to one-and-a-half times its own length, while tendons could be permanently damaged if stretched only four percent beyond their length. When we stretch, it goes from the middle of the muscle belly to where the muscle and tendon meet. The best stretch is held for sixty seconds, allowing the stretch to reach the whole length of the muscle and work into the muscle-tendon connections. Gentle stretching allows the muscles to relax, let them release and eventually grow longer. Too much of anything can be bad - stretching is no different!

If you stretch too long or too intensely you can experience pain in your muscles. Pain is usually a bad signal and usually means your body is trying to repair damage. While stretching there shouldn't be any form of pain or severe discomfort, especially if you are trying to become more mobile and increase your flexibility.

Relax your mind and body.

Stretching should be gentle and relaxing, not straining and painful. Stretching not only relaxes your body, but also your mind. If done correctly, flexibility work and stretching should have a calming effect. Stretching is good to practice before physical activity and also before bed. There are many different stretching activities and exercises that can be practiced. There are upper body stretches, lower body stretches, and stretches that focus on certain parts of your body. Hip, neck, ankle, back, calf, chest, and many other parts of the body can be stretched individually and help when practicing your taekwondo skills. For more information on certain stretches and videos, check out taekwondoanimals.com

Taekwondo Stretching

Karate Stretching