Teaching Kids Focus with Martial Arts

Are you looking for ways you can teach your child to focus?

Focus and Martial Arts and Kung fu If so, consider martial arts. Activities like kung fu and other martial arts styles offer a fun, exciting way for kids to achieve focus and improved fitness.

Martial arts offer an excellent way to teach any child focus, but it’s particularly helpful for kids who deal with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These kids often have difficulty with concentration, focus and self-control, and martial arts programs teach these important skills.

Typical martial arts classes include practicing blocks, punches and kicks, and these physical exercises require attention, concentration and focus. Through waiting, bowing and listening to the individual in command, kids learn respect and focus, which often improves school performance as well.

Regular martial arts training can help children learn the importance of discipline in focus, not only in martial arts, but also in every part of life. Not only do kids learn the importance of focus, but they also learn how to be focused.

Of course, while teaching kids focus with martial arts is an excellent idea, parents also need to continue teaching focus and discipline at home. If you’re working to teach your children how to be more focused, the following are some helpful resources:

– How kids learn to concentrate


How Parents Can Teach Focus


Are You Teaching Children How to Focus and Calm Down

Five Simple Brain Exercise Activities for your ADHD Child

– How-Do-I-Teach-My-Child-to-Focus

If you are looking to help teach your child focus there is no better way than martial arts and kung fu is one of the best ways to help your child learn this important skill.  If you live in the Bellevue, WA or Federal Way area, please be my guest for a free 2 weeks of class and a private evaluation and see first hand how we change people’s lives every day in every class.

Mention this blog post and we will give you 2 FREE weeks to prove it.

Academy of Kempo Martial Arts

Bellevue  425-881-1550 Federal Way  253-942-8822

Fitness Fast with Kung Fu Workouts

photo of kung fu weight loss training

Can you really get into great shape and lose weight training in a martial Art?

Yes, and absolutely!

Here’s how.

Kung Fu offers many benefits both mental and physical.

  • Focus
  • Strength
  • Fitness

One of the great things about the modern age is the ability to use technology to quantify, or measure, what we do during a training session. Science has told us that we gain some of the greatest physical benefit from interval training.

Interval training is short periods of intense work followed by short periods of rest.

This graphic, measuring the 10-12 minute combat training workout the starts a typical kung fu training class, demonstrates the effectiveness of our interval training.

In a short time we move though all major muscle groups, low to high intensity, cycling through different exercises with the heart rate never leaving the fat burning zone.

Weight Loss kung fu interval training

The fat burn is intense; with a properly designed diet, like a low carb diet high in fresh proteins and low fat proteins one can melt fat and trim INCHES in a surprisingly fast pace.

The cardio burn, strengthening of the heart, and muscle building all contribute to a longer more comfortable life.

Athletes have used this type of training for decades to maximize their workout, to make their time count. No two training sessions are ever the same at the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts, even the combat fitness training is different each day.

Hard to argue with the benefits and even harder to deny the science!

So, if you want to burn fat fast, get a great workout, and learn something fun and useful you just might want to try a kung fu class.

How to Change your Attitude with Metaphors

Change your Mindset Change Your Attitude – Day 10

MetaphorsWe are now on day 10 of your positive attitude challenge 2.0.

We are working on making the world a better place by making us a better person.

Your attitude is one of the most important traits that determine your happiness and your success.  Have a good attitude and life is, well good.  Have a bad attitude and life is bad.

We have been talking about how to change your attitude fast.

The first part of all this attitude changing challenge was to get us to be aware of our attitudes.  How we think of ourselves and others.  What goes on in our heads as we go through the day.  Becoming self-aware.

Knowing where you are helps you plot a course to where we want to go.

Hopefully you are very aware of your thoughts and how they make your attitude.  And in the last couple of, posts we have talked about how to change your attitude fast.  It does not take years to build a better attitude.  At least it doesn’t have to.  You just have to work at it.

Today we will talk about another way to change your attitude fast.

Metaphors can motivate us to get things done.  They can also influence our attitude and our actions.

Metaphors are the pictures we make in our heads and can ignite our emotions and influence our actions.

For this reason we want to be aware of the metaphors that we use and how they may be shaping our attitudes.

You want to use the ones that empower you to action.

The type of metaphor you use can change your attitude very quickly.  So, if you want to make change pick better metaphors.  What might be a negative metaphor for you could motivate someone else.  You have to be the one that decides which ones work for you.

Think about these metaphors and how, if they were yours, you would act.

Business is war.

Life is a battle.

Only the strong survive.

It’s a dog eat dog world.

Up a stream without a paddle.

It’s your are them.

Time is our enemy

I think a person that uses those types of metaphors on a regular basis might not be as happy or as productive as they can be.  I can see using a few of them in certain situations to get a point across but if they are the way you think about life, well then I think there might be some need of some adjustment in your outlook.

Contrast the ones above with these.

Grab the bull by the horns.

Laughter is the music of the soul.

One step at a time.

What you give, you get.

The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it’s open.

The point is that the way you phrase things and how you make metaphors about situations can influence your attitude and your actions.  Why not take a little time and see if you can alter a few of the ones that are not working for you and see if you can find a better one.

Maybe business is war, but it also could be a chess match or a game.

Take a few minutes and write out your metaphors.  Take a good hard look at them.  Then, if you think it is appropriate change the more negative ones to more positive ones.  And see if your attitude changes along with them.

Because if you believe it really is a dog eat dog world, then everyone is a dog and that is not a world I choose to see.






Focus – How To Change Your Attitude

Where you put your focus will have a profound effect on your attitude.

kung fu focus and attitude If you focus on what can’t be done, then you are going to be thinking and acting in a certain way.

If you put your focus on what can be done and what you can learn from what has been done, then you are going to see more solutions and actions you can take.

So, another way to change and train your attitude would be to learn to focus on the right things at the right time. Spending 5 minutes focusing on negative thoughts will breed more of those thoughts.  Five minutes on what can be done about what’s bothering you will result in thoughts that you can take action on.

If you want to change your attitude and you want to change it fast.  Start by asking the right questions.  Questions that empower.  Then put your focus on what needs to get done to change the situation.  It can happen very fast.  When you see very productive people working you will see this principle put in practice.

Henry Ford and the V8.  His focus never moved from having it done.  They told him it was impossible, he said do it.

Thomas Edison and the incandescent light.  He never took his focus off his goal.  Even after 1000’s of unsuccessful attempts.

If at any time they turned their focus on what wasn’t working or why it could not be done, the world would be a different place.

Put your focus on things that you can take action on like:

  • Results
  • Tasks to get the results
  • Resources to help get the results
  • The motivation of why it is important to you to do
  • The end results
  • The goal

Just focus your thoughts on what you need to do to move forward and start doing it.  You will be amazed at how fast this can turn your attitude and mindset around.

Need a practical exercise to understand this?

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center.

On the left side of it write down what’s bothering you or stressing you.  Or you can write down the negative comments and questions you ask yourself.

On the right side, at the top, put the heading ACTIONS.

Then list all the things you could do, no matter how impossible, that would change the situation or move you closer to your goal.

Then pick a few that seem right to you and break them down into simple steps and do one or two of them.  In a matter of minutes you will have gone from a reactive mindset to a proactive mindset.

Change your mindset and you change your attitude and the world around you changes.  Start with yourself.  Make yourself a better person and the world improves by one person.

That is something we all have the power to do.

Morning Mindset – How to Change Your Attitude

Morining QuestionsThis month at our kung-Fu school, we are working on our 30 day attitude challenge 2.0.

We got such great results we decided to do it again.  This time with a little more detail and more resources.

We are now on day 8.

I think the fastest way to change a bad attitude to a better one is to change your mindset.  And one of the fastest way to change your mindset is to ask yourself empowering questions.  See the previous article for more detail her at: Mindset it’s What Makes the Difference.

One good way to get into the habit of this and start your day off right is your morning ritual.  Do you have one?  If you do the same thing every morning, then you do.  The time you spend from getting out of bed to getting your morning started can be a great place to build in a ritual that will serve you and help you change your attitude for the better.

I use to, for many years, have one that I thought was pretty good.  Basically, I would get up, go the bathroom, go to the kitchen and make myself a big cup of coffee and then go to my computer and start answering and sending emails.  I would have about 3 cups of coffee (my wife says it was more like 5) then hit the shower and get to the school to start my classes.

It served me pretty well.  But one day I got up and thought to myself, “Can I do better than this?”.  Having never been a morning person this routine seemed to work for me, but I thought it worth a try.

So, I changed it.  I rebuilt it.  I knew giving up coffee, after taking it up more than 30 years ago and living in Seattle was not going to be easy.  I would need to replace it with something.  I decide on herbal tea.  But I knew that would not be enough and I since I used the coffee to wake up while doing my email I needed something else.  So I added a morning walk to it.  1.2 miles to be exact.

The first day I gave up coffee, I had a headache from @#$#.  It was a Wednesday.  And I think I took it out on my kung Fu students that came to that day’s class.  But that was it.

Now it has been a daily habit of mine for the last four months to get up, fix me a hot glass of herbal tea, put it in a travel mug and take a morning walk.  Then I come back home energized and in a great mood.  Then I sit down and do my morning stuff.

What I have found is that my mindset changes during the walk and I don’t need the caffeine.  In fact, I don’t have the drop in energy during the day.  At all.  It changed my mood and my outlook.  I also lost those last five pounds.

Anyway, back to how to change your attitude by changing your mindset.

After I changed my morning ritual my instructor got this idea about doing a 30 day attitude challenge.  Basically, it was trying to keep a good attitude and do good for 30 days and see what would happen.

I thought it was a good idea so we did it.  It worked.  Now we are in stage two.

What we had to do was say, do or think of one positive thing about ourselves or others each day.  Post it somewhere if we wanted to.

What I started doing was thinking about this every morning before I got up.  Then I thought about it on my walk.  And slowly my attitude started to change.  I just became more positive.  I guess you are what you think about.

The days got better and I got happier.  So did my instructor.  The proof was in the fact that our school also improved.  In the month that we both did this little experiment all of our stats went up.  Every one of them.  And we had a blast.  We both showed up an hour early because we wanted to get things done.

This brings me to the power of thought and how it shapes your life.  Questions are the answer.  Ask empowering questions, questions that give you answers that you can take action on.  And stop the why questions and the negative ones that disempower you.

Once you ask a question your mind will start the search for an answer.  It can’t help it.  Take this question a father might ask his son.

“Son, why don’t you focus and do your homework?”

Well the son’s mind is going to start answering that question and most of the answers will not be ones he can take action on.

Some of the answers might be:

I don’t like it.

It’s boring.

I am stupid.

It’s too hard.

I can’t remember to do it.

But if the dad would ask the right question in the right way, they both could learn something and figure out how to move ahead.

A Question like:

“Son, how can we learn to focus a bit more and create a system to start to help you get your homework done and take some of this stress off you?”

Each answer you will get will be something you can take positive action on.

Well, this is what I started doing in the morning before I got out of bed.  I started asking myself what positive thing I was going to do today that would help me or someone else out.  Then I went about my business.  It took about 17 days before I noticed I had a permanent change in my attitude.  No, I am no saint and I still have bad moments.  But far less of them.

Benjamin Franklin had his morning and evening questions.  You can start with those.  But I would come up with a few more that really motivates you.  Write them out and read them every morning and evening.  Then pay attention to the types of questions you are asked, and that you ask.  Also the self-talk.  Are they questions that you can take action on and move forward or do they just get your mind to come up with negative statements that make you feel like a failure?

Once you get this you can change your mindset fast.  Which will change your attitude and your outlook.

We have challenges not problems.

We have opportunities not issues.

We get feedback not failure.

Mindset – It’s What Makes the Difference

Meditation ManYour mindset is your mental attitude and it is not fixed.

Many people go through life with either a fixed mindset or a Growth mindset.  A fixed mindset is where things are just the way they are and that’s life.  If you have a fixed mindset then things are mostly out of your control and unchangeable.  You can tell by what you say to yourself and others.

Things like:

That is just the way things are.

I was born like that.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

That’s not me.

In other words, the world just seems to control you and you can’t change because that is just the way it is.

This of course is nothing more than a learned behavior and totally untrue and very harmful for your growth.

Having a fixed mindset means that you are pretty much stuck with the way you are right now and that’s how it’s going to be.

On the other hand, there is the growth mindset.

A growth mindset means that you can change and grow and that you are not stuck.  You are not the person you were yesterday and you can do what you put your mind too.

The first step is to figure out which mindset you have.  If you have a fixed mindset then we need to change that to a growth.

An excellent book on the subject is – Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success.  You can get it at any bookstore and it has some very good advice in it.

Since we are talking about attitude and how to change it, we can change our attitude by changing our mindset.  And changing our mindset does not have to take years or tons of study.  You just have to decide that you need a new and improved attitude and that you are going to do something about it.

Is the glass half empty or half full?  By changing your mindset you can quickly change the way you think and feel about a situation which can change the way you do things.

One very quick way to change your mindset is to change the types of questions you ask yourself or your team.  You first need to be aware of them.  So, pay attention every time you state a question.

Asking what’s wrong or asking what’s right with something changes your outlook and most likely you results.  Your motivation gets sapped when you ask the wrong types of questions.  But on the other hand, the right questions can motivate you to do something about the situation and can make success a little easier to achieve.

Start asking yourself empowering questions.

Asking how can we make the best of this, is much different than asking yourself, “Why does this always happen to me?”

Quality questions can change a negative into a positive, or at least come close, in seconds.

Remember, when you ask a question the mind starts looking for answers.  And you are going to get answers.  Which will lead you to action.  So, why not make the question into a positive one and take positive action?

For the next little while pay very close attention to the types of questions you ask yourself and notice if they empower and challenge you, or do they do the opposite?

Here is one example from my own life.


Why am I so disorganized?


It is the way I was brought up.

Because I work with people who can’t put things back where they got them.

I don’t know how to organize.

I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.

I ask a question, I get the answer.  But where in those answers do you see solutions and motivation?  You don’t.  It just gets you more depressed and I can guarantee you that it will not get you (me) organized.

How about this.


How can I get myself more organized in a way that will help me save time and effort so that I can spend more time doing things that I like and not looking for things all the time?

I am not going to answer that here because I think you get the point.  One gives me nothing the other gives me solutions, actions and motivates me to take the action.

One of the fastest ways I know how to get things done and change my attitude is to focus on the types of questions I am asking and change them to more action oriented and positive ones.

Try it and see for yourself how fast this works.





Kung Fu Training – Moving Meditation

I enjoy any form of training.

But the training that seems to do the most for my mind and body are the breathing forms.

Here is a 1.20 min. clip of last Saturday. After the noon class I cleaned the school and then trained for about two hours. All breathing forms.

I really did not plan the two hours it really only felt like a half hour. That is what I like about training the breath. Moving meditation puts you in a high state of focus on movement and you just forget about everything but training.

18 Temple Motions

Here are the first 18 temple motions.  I love this form.  It is slow and flows form one defensive move to another.  There are literally hundreds of variations and defensive moves with this form.

It is easy to learn but takes years to figure out.  My instructor had me practice 10 different applications form each one.  That is 180 self-defense movements from this form.  Since then I have found so many more that I have lost count.  I was once in a class when I was a student and watched my instructor do 70 different applications from the first motion, Calming the Ocean.  The one I remember the most was how he used it to defend against a flying side heel thrust.

I often tell my students if I could only teach them one thing then this would be it.

Why?  Because it holds most of the defense moves within the form.  True there are very little offensive moves in this form, but anybody can throw a punch or a kick.  Even without training most people know how to strike out.

I ran this through a editing program to make it a little less boring, but all 18 are still there.

I practice this form at least once a day.  It takes very little time, 60 seconds if I go through it with flow and about 180 seconds or so if I add breathing.  Either way it is well worth the time.  If I were to practice the 180 self-defense moves form this form, well that would take a full workout.  I like to think of the forms as a way to practice all the self-defense and stepping you need in the shortest time possible.