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Be Mentally Prepared For an Attack!

Be Mentally Prepared For an Attack!

Be mentally prepared for an attack! Mental preparation is the first step to actually accepting the possibility of a violent attack could happen to you. As the statistics about women being raped or violated keep piling up, you need to be aware that these things happen. You may say to yourself that this won’t happen to you, but this is just wishful thinking.

If you do get attacked, this is definitely not the time to start thinking what to do, you simply wont have time, you will either jump into action or you won`t! hopefully with a little training you will instinctively do something, anything! even if its running away, a much better option than freezing.

The Reality is attacks really can happen to anyone – You included!

The reality is, it really can happen to you, and it can happen anywhere at any time! Denial won’t get you far into defending yourself when the need arises. Are you mentally prepared for an attack? So, your first step is to actually understand this could really be a possibility.

The mental preparation goes hand-in-hand with coming up with a plan. An easy start is to take some self-defense class or seminar, or at least watch some. You need to train both the body and mind. Visualize your self-defense techniques, practice them with a friend or partner (if you don’t attend training classes). Roll in your mind different scenarios, and even discuss with a female friend on scenarios she can come up with. Collaborate and practice together.

A final tip – don’t ignore your intuition. All creatures – animals and humans – have it, but with animals this is called instinct. We call it intuition. As we’re too much relying on our intellect, we often neglect what our intuition as a result. So, if you have a bad feeling, or feel uncomfortable for no apparent reason, be alert. The alarm bells are ringing for a reason.

Observe Your Surroundings

You need to be observant, and anything which prevents you from being fully focused and aware of your surroundings, people, etc. should be removed. For example, don’t listen to music in public places or when you’re out jogging. If something troubles you, don’t spend too much time talking on the phone. Avoid getting distracted by your cell phones, as they are the number-one distraction these days.

If you suspect you have a follower, try to lose him by suddenly crossing the street or go into a store. Surprise the suspect. They may not expect it, and because they don’t like taking unnecessary risks, this may discourage them from pursuing you further.

Don’t Look Like a Victim

Criminals usually pick women by the way they look, what clothes they wear, their hairstyle and their overall appearance. If they look distracted and totally unaware of other people watching them, they are a much easier target. Women with long hair, ponytail and braid are also making them vulnerable – the criminal can easily pull the braid or ponytail and tip you off balance.

Also, skirts, dresses and straps can be removed quickly or cut easily. Don’t become an easy target. If the criminal decides that you may be a tough nut to crack, they will be discouraged from assaulting you.

Self-Defense Strategies

The best self-defense strategies and techniques work equally well for men and women, but let’s face it: Women really need them because they’re assaulted more often than men. Statistics indicate that one in three women will be the victim of some type of violent attack in her lifetime. Women also endure more incidents of verbal and sexual harassment.

Although most women’s self-defense courses focus on skills for quickly and efficiently destroying an attacker, self-defense training also should include methods for preventing a confrontation from turning physical in the first place. Learning how to steer away from a threat may not sound as exciting as ripping out an attacker’s heart, but as they say in every beginner’s class, evading an attack is almost always superior to blocking an attack.

Once the adrenaline kicks in, you may experience tunnel vision, auditory exclusion and loss of fine motor skills. Consequently, it will be hard to see and hear, and complex martial arts techniques may be impossible to perform. If you stick with proven strategies and simple gross-motor-movement techniques, your chance of surviving will increase drastically. Here’s a few to remember.

Trust your Instincts

Too many women enroll in a self-defense class after they’ve been assaulted. When they recount the incident, they often say the same thing: “I had this bad feeling, but I told myself not to be paranoid,” or “I knew I shouldn’t have gone, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t safe — that’s the bottom line. Many women have been conditioned to ignore the little voice that tells them trouble is coming. Are you mentally prepared for an attack? Your instinct is the best detector of danger. The next time you hear that little voice, listen to what it’s saying. It could save your life!

Practice Target Denial

Don’t make yourself an accessible target. The outcome of a battle is often determined before the first blow is struck. When you have the opportunity to escape from a situation before it turns bad, take it. If an approaching person gives you the creeps, walk to the other side of the street. If an elevator door opens and the guy standing inside makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, wait for the next elevator. Those actions aren’t cowardly; rather, they’re a smart way to eliminate danger.

Appear Confident Always

Be aware of the message your body sends to those around you. Like animals, human predators target those they consider the weakest or most vulnerable. Attackers search for women who appear frightened, confused or distracted. They look for women who walk with their head down and their hands stuffed in their pockets, or perhaps one who’s overburdened with packages or distracted by children.

Remember that attackers do not want to bait a fight; they want an easy mark. By walking with confidence and awareness — looking around and keeping your head up and shoulders back — you’ll dramatically reduce the likelihood of becoming a target in the first place. Are you mentally prepared for an attack?

Set Strong Verbal Boundaries

Good verbal skills are an effective self-defense tool, one you’re likely to use more frequently and successfully than any physical technique. When a predator engages you in conversation, he’s actually “interviewing” you to see if you’ll make a good victim. An experienced attacker is practiced at using his words to freeze you with fear, thus reducing the chance that you’ll try to defend yourself. Always be on your guard for this.

Although an aggressive verbal confrontation can be terrifying, you have to be strong enough to show the attacker he’s picked the wrong victim. If you stand tall, remain calm and respond confidently and assertively, you’ll probably “fail” his interview. The power of your voice alone can cause him to seek an easier target.

Maintain a non-Confrontational Stance

In a self-defense situation, one of your secret weapons is the element of surprise. Most predators feel confident that you won’t defend yourself, and you should capitalize on that misconception. If you assume a martial arts stance, it immediately tells the attacker that you know how to fight. In response, he’s likely to be more aggressive.

Instead, use a confident, relaxed stance in which your hips and shoulders are forward, your arms are bent, and your hands are up and open. This conciliatory posture may mislead the attacker into thinking you’re willing to comply. If it becomes necessary for you to strike, he probably won’t be prepared for it. If you do, most likely his attention will be drawn to your raised hands, leaving him wide open for a kick to the groin.

Keep a Safe Distance

Everyone has a comfort zone or personal space. When an aggressor enters that zone, you’re uncomfortable because you know you’d need that space if you had to fight back. When you’re in an adrenalized state, you need a quarter of a second to react to an assault.

This “reactionary gap” should be anticipated when you think about your comfort zone. You should try to maintain approximately one to one-and-a-half arm lengths between yourself and the aggressor. If he starts closing in, you need to use verbal boundaries. If he still doesn’t back off, it’s time to get physical, and don’t hold back!

Use the Element of surprise

Most predators assume you cannot defend yourself. Therefore, you should take advantage of the element of surprise. If you’re engaged in a conversation, you have the opportunity to use verbal skills and a non-confrontational stance to entice the aggressor into dropping his guard. If you’re grabbed from behind, you must respond immediately. In either case, putting up a fight can surprise him and increase your chance of landing the first blow.

Keep your Techniques Simple

One of the main effects of an adrenaline release is the loss of fine motor skills. That means simple gestures such as unlacing your fingers or pulling your hands out of your pockets can become much more challenging. And the odds of your executing a beautiful joint lock or high kick rapidly dwindle.

Are you mentally prepared for an attack? No matter which martial art you practice, learn techniques that are basic and stick with them in a self-defense scenario. I wouldn’t recommend high kicks, most likely you’ll miss and end up on the floor at your attacker’s mercy, leave those to the movies. But do try the following:

Heel-palm strike. Hitting with an open hand reduces the chance that you’ll injure your hand and enables you to more easily attack from a non-confrontational stance in which you’re holding your hands up and open while you set verbal boundaries. Then, if your attacker steps into your comfort zone — bang! — he gets it right in the face.

Eye strike. The eye strike can be used in a standing or prone position. Often, simply driving your fingers toward your assailant’s eyes will cause him to recoil. Even if you don’t make contact, it creates space to set up a more devastating blow.

Knee strike. This technique is recommended over any type of standing kick because it is easy to use and can be delivered while you stay centered and close to the ground — which is crucial when you’re adrenalized. A knee to the groin can end a fight immediately.

Don’t Panic if You’re Knocked Down

More often than not, women end up on the ground when they’re assaulted. The good news is that most assailants are not skilled ground fighters; they’re bullies who are used to knocking women down and forcing them to comply. Remember that the heel-palm strike and eye strike work well on the ground.

It’s a good idea to have a few kicks that work there, as well. In particular, the side thrust kick functions in a variety of scenarios. If you’re on the ground and your assailant is standing, it gives you an advantage because your legs are longer than his arms. That means he’ll have to expose his body to your kick if he wants to reach you.

Knee strikes also function effectively on the ground. While you struggle with your attacker, he probably won’t protect his groin. Once you see an opening, get close enough to strike upward into his groin. No matter how strong he may be, he`ll feel this for sure.

Summary

If you do find yourself having to defend yourself, the fight isn’t over until the threat no longer exists. Therefore, you must be 100-percent committed to the battle. If you fight back and then pause, you give up the initial advantage you gained from using the element of surprise. Once your opponent knows you can fight, it becomes more difficult for them to get the better of you.

To survive, you must continue your barrage until it’s safe to stop striking and escape. Bottom line is this, you may only get one chance, don’t strike once then see what happened! Keep it going till you can getaway without them chasing after you.

So, after reading this blog are you mentally prepared for an attack?

Ever Find Yourself Making Excuses Not to Exercise?

Ever Find Yourself Making Excuses Not to Exercise?

Ever Find Yourself Making Excuses Not to Exercise? Working out in the gym might mot be for everyone, but there’s so many forms of exercising that there’s something for everyone! Unless serious illness prevents you which is an entirely different matter, there’s really no excuse, just do it!

Making exercise a daily priority. Having trouble fitting exercise into your busy life? Try these ideas to make fitness a daily priority and stay on track with your goals and health.

Whether it’s the holidays, overtime at work or you’re busy with kids, there’s always a rationale for putting exercise last, many times just excuses! However, the simple trick to getting in better shape and feeling confident about your fitness level is to make exercise a priority even when you’ve got a dozen other things to do. It can be done.

Yes, you can schedule daily workouts into your day planner or phone’s calendar, and you should if it’s a matter of reserving those times for exercise, but if you’re prone to skipping exercise already, you might need a stronger push in the right direction. To set a precedent for exercise, try these steps for making fitness a priority in your busy life.

Start your day off right

Your best bet is to exercise whenever your busy day allows it, but if you can plan on working out first thing in the morning. Getting exercise done early means you don’t have to worry about casting it aside later in the day if something throws you off course.

The later in the day it gets there’s likely to be many more reasons or excuses not to exercise. The more successful you feel about sticking to your workouts, the more you’ll want to keep up with that rewarding behavior.

Buddy up with a friend

When you’ve got one or more friends cheering you on and expecting you to show up and exercise with them, you’re less likely to blow off the workout. You wouldn’t want to stand up a friend or miss out on the social time of exercising together. While any supportive friend can make a good workout buddy, one who’s already motivated to exercise can help you jump-start the same habits and a similar mindset.

Priority by payment up front

Exercise is easier to skip when you’ve got nothing riding on it. That’s why laying down cash makes a lot of sense, financially and physically. Once you prepay for a personal trainer or an ongoing class or boot camp, you’ll want to get your money’s worth by showing up. Because if you don’t you forfeit the session and your hard-earned money. The trainer is already at the gym, so you need to be too.

It’s easy to get distracted and even easier to give up if we’re not seeing results as fast as we would like. The thrill of starting something new and challenging can dissipate over time if you don’t stick with your plan.

If your mind is strong, then your body will follow. Don’t let excuses and the afternoon munchies stand in your way of that body you’ve always dreamed of.

Look for windows of opportunity

There might be windows of opportunity for working out during times that you thought were out of bounds. For example, could you squeeze in a 10-minute DVD workout right before your morning shower? Is there a gym at the community center where your kids take dance, painting or martial arts classes?

Maybe you could drop in there for a quick workout while your little ones enjoy their own activities. You’ll get your exercise in and set yourself up as a role model of fitness for your kids. You don’t need to be in a gym for hours to get a worthwhile workout in.

Start Slow

We’re all guilty of throwing ourselves into some new fad workout; but then finding ourselves bored and itching for something new, again and again. It’s important to start off slowly with something that you know you like to do, such as running or even walking. The choice is yours.

If you have free time in the afternoon, head out for a nice jog or a brisk walk with a friend. Make your physical activity a time to have good conversation. This can help entice you to continue with your routine because you won’t view it as something you have to do, but rather something you want to do. Working out with a friend will be something that you look forward to.

Set Yourself Reasonable Goals

Going from zero to 60 is never a solid way to start a new routine, mainly because you’ll burn yourself out quite fast. It’s important to set realistic and reasonable goals that you know you can accomplish. For example, “I will wake up every morning at 4 a.m. and run 5-miles” is most likely not a practical task for anyone; and you don’t want to feel guilty for not meeting your goal. A reasonable goal in sight is the way to go and you’re sure to not be disappointed. Don’t run before you can walk, take it steady.

Designate Certain Days and Times

Plan to exercise at a certain time each day so it becomes a part of your schedule. If you know at two pm you have your favorite Pilates class, or made plans to meet a friend for an afternoon jog, stick with it. Planning your workouts ahead of time allows you to have something to look forward to and, like stated above; having a reasonable goal is essential in accomplishing them.

If you don’t set up some sort of plan, it’s easy to back down and procrastinate. But who wants to back down on their health? Schedule your activity by putting it in your phone, writing it on your fridge or even having a friend bombard you with annoying text messages until you get yourself going.

You’ll feel refreshed, invigorated and happy that you chose to dedicate an hour to yourself and health. The thought of exercising can be way worse than actually doing it.

Change It Up

Doing a steady 45 minutes on the elliptical can get boring, so it’s OK to change up your routine every few weeks to keep your workouts interesting. You don’t want to hit a fitness plateau and then give up all together. It can and does happen.

Enroll in a kickboxing class, lift heavier weights and alternate between a light jog and sprints for your treadmill routine. Also, don’t be afraid to take your workout outside of the gym. Mother nature offers more than enough resources for you to use in order to get a butt-kicking workout. Why not hike your local mountains, ride your bike around the park, run on the beach and take a tennis lesson at the local courts? If you keep your workouts exciting, you’ll probably never want to stop. The choice is endless.

Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself is a great incentive to work out even harder, especially since it’s very easy to lose sight of your ultimate goal, and let’s face it, we all lack motivation at some point. Reward yourself for reaching a certain goal by getting a massage or purchase those new tennis shoes you’ve been dying to have. Little gifts for yourself can move you to do better and ultimately achieve more.

Try not to fall into the trap of rewarding yourself with cheat meals, junk food in other words. You`ll quickly get the taste again and find yourself wanting more. Do not be tempted as your body and mind will suffer.

Summary – Never Give Up

No matter the circumstance, never stop running towards what you want to achieve. A healthy lifestyle is forever, not something that happens for a year and then dissipates. If you’re taking control of your own body and health, stick with it.

It’s alright to have an off day, everyone does, it`s normal, but it’s important to fight through the stress, the long days and busy schedules. Push through your workouts and your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Fight for your right to be fit and fabulous by making exercise a daily priority.

Is Our Gym Haunted? Probably Not!

Is Our Gym Haunted? Probably Not!

Is Our Gym Haunted? Probably Not! During my many years of personal training I have met my fair share of clients that could be described as `characters` for sure, not just clients though, trainers too. Here’s one of many strange experiences that I’ll share with you in today`s blog.

Now whether you believe in ghosts or not, from time to time strange things happen that leave you a little unsure about this, it might be true, or it might not be, I honestly really don’t know. Personally, I’ve never seen one, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

One of the very first gyms I worked at years ago was rumored to have been actually built on an old grave yard, I don’t know if this is true or not but can remember the whole area years before being a little spooky before they started to develop it when it was nothing more than waste land and a large dumping ground. Firstly, they built a nightclub that failed after a couple of years, then came the gym which was a great success.

Is our gym haunted?

Anyway, several people reported sightings of an old man dressed in old fashioned clothes walking through the gym late at night. I never thought anything much about this until one night I was heading back to the gym for my last client of the night, where upon arrival I found another trainer totally freaking out, he was completely white and shaking!

I said “What’s up? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost!” which of course freaked him out even more as apparently that’s exactly what he had just seen! Not the greatest thing I could have said considering the circumstance at hand. Well, how was I to know?

Anyway, after several minutes he calmed down enough to tell me he saw this old man and thinking it was a potential client who wandered into the gym (this did happen occasionally) went to see if he could assist this man, he said he followed him around the corner where the man vanished before his very own eyes!

I know this sounds crazy, and actually my first reaction was to laugh, but as this was a very level-headed type of guy who was obviously very distressed, I didn’t.

He was so freaked out that he actually ran out of the gym, and quit the job claiming he could never go back in that gym ever again! He was convinced he really had seen a ghost! He was a good trainer, and despite many people’s attempts at trying to talk him into reconsidering his decision, he never did come back.

It was kind of a spooky feeling in there at night afterwards for a while knowing whatever he had seen had made him quit and never want to come back ever again.

What really happened I don’t know, but I found myself now listening to every little noise in that gym. However, no one ever saw the mysterious man or ghost or whatever it was ever again. So, it was all forgotten about pretty quickly. The trainer in question seemed to vanish as no one else heard from or saw him again for a long time after that.

The truth is revealed!

Around two years later I came across that same trainer once again when I was out with friends one night, we were reliving old stories and of course I brought up that particular night he claimed he saw the ghost.

He admitted as he was feeling under a lot of stress from work and home, he had been taking magic mushrooms, anyway that night he took too many and was hallucinating and actually went on to have a complete breakdown! We both had a really good laugh about this now the truth was finally revealed.

A ghost in the gym?…I think not!

The History of Bartitsu-The Gentleman’s Martial Art

The History of Bartitsu-The Gentleman's Martial Art

The History of Bartitsu-The Gentleman’s Martial Art. Long before the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was even thought of, back in the day, there was Bartitsu, a creation of Edward William Barton-Wright.

Bartitsu was probably the first instance of what we know today as mixed martial arts. Barton combined various elements of boxing, ju-jitsu, cane fighting, and French kick boxing in order to create a self-defense system that could be used by discerning gentlemen on the mean streets of Edwardian London. It grew to such popularity that even Sherlock Holmes was practicing bartitsu in his mysterious adventures.

While bartitsu largely died out in the early 20th Century, E.W. Barton left a legacy in the field of martial arts. What follows is a brief history of bartitsu as well as a guide to get you started on Bartitsu – The English martial art of gentlemen.

The History of Bartitsu

Bartitsu was created by William Barton-Wright, an English railroad engineer. Barton’s work as an engineer took him to Japan for three years where he was introduced to ju-jitsu. He studied the art at the school of Jigoro Kano. Barton must have been excited about what he learned as when he returned to England, he quit his career in engineering and opened up a martial arts school where he taught ju-jitsu.

In 1899, Barton wrote an article in the London based publication, Pearson’s Magazine, entitled “A New Art of Self Defense.” In it he set out his system of self-defense that he called “bartitsu,” an obvious melding of his name and ju-jitsu. While bartitsu was based mainly on ju-jitsu, Barton explained in his article that the system included boxing, kickboxing, and stick fighting.

Barton opened a school called the Bartitsu Club. He brought in some of the best martial arts teachers from around the world to teach at his new school. Among these were Japanese instructors K. Tani, S. Yamamoto, and Yukio Tani as well as Pierre Vigny and Armand Cherpillod.

The popularity of bartitsu in England was widespread. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even had Sherlock Holmes practicing “baritsu” (a misspelling of bartitsu) in The Adventure of the Empty House. Because Conan Doyle misspelled bartitsu, scholars of Sherlock Holmes were confused for years by the reference.

Bartitsu declined in popularity as rapidly as it had ascended. By 1903, the Bartitsu Club closed and most of its instructors established their own self-defense schools in London. Barton continued to develop and teach bartitsu until the 1920s. Because of the lack of interest in his martial art, Barton spent the rest of his career as a physical therapist. He died in 1951 at the age of 90.

The Martial Arts Used in Bartitsu

Bartitsu – The English martial art of gentlemen. Bartitsu was a mix of several marital arts. Here are several of them.

Boxing. The boxing style implemented by Barton was the style used by Golden Age fisticuffers of the time. Unlike the modern style, boxers during the 19th and early 20th century maintained a stiff and upright stance. Usually the lead hand was extended, with the rear forearm “barring the mark” or covering their chest area.

Ju-Jitsu. It’s obvious bartitsu borrowed its name from the Japanese fighting style of ju-jitsu. During the late 19th century, ju-jitsu had become a popular sport among Westerners. In fact, President Teddy Roosevelt was a practitioner of the martial art. Barton brought in famous Japanese ju-jitsu instructors or jujtsukas K. Tani, S. Yamamonto, and Yukio Tani. In a March 1899 issue of Pearson’s Magazine, Barton summarized ju-jitsu in three principles:

1 – To disturb the equilibrium of your assailant.
2 – To surprise him before he has time to regain his balance and use his strength.
3 – If necessary, to subject the joints of any parts of his body, whether neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, back, knee, ankle, etc. to strains that they are anatomically and mechanically unable to resist.

Savate. Savate (pronounced savat) is a French kickboxing system developed from street fighting sailors in the port of Marseilles during the 19th century. Sailors in Marseilles had to develop a way to fight that didn’t involve closed fists because they were considered deadly weapons and carried legal penalties if used. Thus, savate consisted of different kicks, open handed slaps, and grappling.

Stick Fighting. Also known as “la canne,” stick fighting was another French martial art. Barton brought in Pierre Vigny, a Swiss master-at-arms, to teach stick fighting. Because many upper-class Englishman carried canes and umbrellas, Vigny modified the traditional form of stick fighting to better implement these instruments. His system was simple and efficient, and it lent itself to defending oneself in an altercation in the streets. Strikes to the face, head, neck, wrists, knees, and shins were used to eliminate the threat of an attacker.

Defensive Bartitsu Moves

Using a cloak or overcoat to defend yourself. Using your cloak or overcoat is an effective defensive tool, even when an attacker is brandishing a knife. While walking in the street, wear your overcoat draped over your shoulders without passing your arms through the sleeves. In your assailant attacks, take your right hand and grab the left collar of your coat and, in one sweeping motion, shroud your opponent’s head with the coat. Your attacker will be surprised and momentarily blind, which gives you plenty of time to punch him in the gut or give him several to the head.

You can also choose to slip behind your opponent while you have the coat over his head, grab his ankle with your left hand, and simultaneously push his back so that he falls forward on his face. From here you can put your opponent in an appropriate ju-jitsu hold until the police come.

Using a hat to defend yourself. A hat can also be used to distract or temporarily blind an attacker. When an attacker gets near you, take off your hat with a sweeping motion, and burrow your opponent’s face into it. Either make a blow to his stomach or take him down to the ground to put him in a submission hold.

A hat can also be used as a shield to defend yourself from punches or attacks from knives. Holding the hat firmly by the brim in your left hand, hold the hat away from your body to the side. If an attacker makes a thrust at you with a knife, catch the blow with your hat and make a blow to the attacker’s face with your free hand.

Using a hat to defend yourself

Offensive Bartitsu Moves

Bartitsu – The English martial art of gentlemen. As mentioned, bartitsu is a mix of several martial arts. Here is a brief description and explanation on how to perform a few useful moves from these martial arts.

Basic Cane Fighting Techniques

The jab. The jab can be performed with either the point or the butt of the cane. Using the point is more effective and will cause greater amounts of pain. Perform the jab by quickly stabbing your opponent and retracting your hand quickly. The quickness of the jab makes it a difficult move to defend.

The thrust. The thrust is similar to the jab in that you use a stabbing motion. It differs from the jab because it’s delivered over a longer distance and requires full extension of the arm. Standing in an attack position, quickly lunge forward, and extend the tip of the cane towards your attacker. For added impact, put as much of your body weight behind the thrust as you can.

Cuts. Cuts can be performed either high or low, in up, down, right, or left directions. A cut is performed with a chopping motion. Downward cuts are probably the strongest motion and are also the most difficult to defend.

cane or stick fighting

Interesting Facts About Bartitsu You may Not Know

The Creator Named Bartitsu After Himself. When first introducing his new form of martial arts to the public through articles he wrote for Pearson’s Magazine, William Barton-Wright introduced the term bartitsu which was a combination of “Barton” and “ju-jitsu.” While this fighting style relied on a combination of several different fighting styles, its main focus was on techniques found in ju-jitsu.

Barton Created an Official Bartitsu Club. After his articles became widespread throughout England, Barton started the Bartitsu Academy of Arms and Physical Culture, or better known as just the Bartitsu Club. Has added to his team experienced teachers from around Europe and Japan to help him teach this new English martial art to the many people in London who came to club in hopes of learning self-defense. However, the price of admission to this club was very high, so only wealthy individuals in London were able to attend.

Sherlock Holmes Practiced Bartitsu. Bartitsu quickly gained traction as an English martial art and became very popular throughout the country. In fact, it was so popular that even Sherlock Holmes claimed to have studied the fighting style in The Adventure of the Empty House, stating “I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me.”

However, how much knowledge Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, had on bartitsu is questionable since it is misspelled as “baritsu.” While this typo puzzled literary scholars for many years, its presence in the book is often considered the main reason bartitsu is still remembered today.

Everyday Items Were Used as Weapons. With bartitsu, no blades, staffs, nunchakus, or familiar weapons of any sort are necessary. Rather, a simple umbrella or cane will do. With the help of a Swiss master-at-arms named Pierre Vigny, a modified form of stick fighting was added to the English martial arts to allow Englishman to use items they normally carried to strike attackers. In his published articles, Barton also describes how to use other items such as cloaks, overcoats, or hats to defend oneself.

Bartitsu Wasn’t Just for Gentleman. Men weren’t the only ones to take an interest in bartitsu. The style was also promoted as a good form of self-defense for women and many women were admitted into the Bartitsu Club. One of the most well-known female students of this martial arts was Edith Garrud. Bartitsu was her introduction to martial arts; she later went on to study ju-jitsu and use techniques from both arts to aid the Suffragette movement.

Bartitsu’s Heyday Only Lasted 4 Years. Unfortunately, bartitsu’s quickly gained popularity didn’t last long. The Bartitsu Club closed in 1902 and some of the teachers who worked there went on to open their own schools. Barton tried to revive bartitsu on more than one occasion but was unsuccessful in doing do. He continued developing the martial art until the 1920s when he decided to switch to a career as a physical therapist.

It’s Making a Comeback! With the public’s interest in Sherlock Holmes and steampunk, many more people throughout the world have become interested in bartitsu and learned the martial art for themselves. An international association called the Bartitsu Society spent much time researching Barton’s original articles and further developing the style. Now, there are books, movies, and documentaries on the topic.

Summary

Although a very interesting style of martial arts, Bartitsu – The English martial art of gentlemen, I’m sure after reading this you can quickly figure out why bartitsu died out. Mainly as it was devised utilizing the dress attire of Edwardian England as weapons, namely, hat, cloak, umbrella and cane.

You could say this was the original `Street self-defense` but very outdated in the modern world we live in as this dress attire is not something we see nowadays out on the streets.

That being said, bartitsu is still practiced nowadays, but a more modern and practical version of the original.

Gluten is one to Avoid!

Gluten is one to Avoid!

Gluten is one to Avoid! Just how bad is gluten? Celiac disease is caused by gluten. Gluten refers to the proteins in cereal grains, such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is found in the endosperm (a type of tissue produced in seeds that are ground to make flour) and nourishes plant embryos during germination. Later on, gluten affects the elasticity of dough, acting as a glue to hold the food together, which in turn affects the chewiness of baked products.

Gluten is a mixture of hundreds of distinct proteins within the same family, although it is primarily made up of two different classes of proteins: gliadin, which gives bread the ability to rise during baking, and glutenin, which is responsible for dough’s elasticity. 

Not all grains contain gluten

Some examples of gluten-free grains are – Sorghum, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, corn (polenta) and teff. Oats are also gluten-free, but can be contaminated during processing, said Lori Chong, a registered dietitian.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.

Celiac disease can develop at any age after people start eating foods or medicines that contain gluten. Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to additional serious health problems.

How bad is gluten bad?

Gluten is only bad for certain people. These people are gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, which means their bodies produce an abnormal immune response when breaking down gluten during digestion. About 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

The most well-known form of gluten intolerance is celiac disease, which affects one in every 141 people in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, it triggers an immune response that damages their intestines, preventing them from absorbing vital nutrients.

The chronic gastrointestinal disorder called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another condition that is affected by gluten. IBS affects 7 to 20 percent of adults in the United States, gluten grains are high in starches and sugars that can be easily fermented by intestinal bacteria. This can cause bloating, cramping and/or diarrhea.

Wheat allergy is a rare type of allergy that is marked by skin, respiratory or gastrointestinal reactions to wheat allergens, but is not necessarily caused by gluten. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 65 percent of children with a wheat allergy outgrow it by age 12.

The effects of going gluten-free

In cases of gluten intolerance, doctors typically recommend a gluten-free diet. Patients must avoid eating any foods and ingredients that contains gluten, including bread, beer, French fries, pasta, salad dressing, soy sauce and even some soups (unless otherwise marked as “gluten-free”). According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, food products must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten in order to be labeled gluten-free.

In recent years, many people without gluten intolerance have taken up gluten-free diets. Experts worry, however, that going on these diets without explicitly needing to could be detrimental to a person’s health, as gluten-free foods are often nutrient-deficient. Going gluten-free can affect the body in many ways.

First, it can affect weight loss. Food restrictions associated with a gluten-free lifestyle can help some lose weight, especially when starches are replaced by healthier options, like quinoa, which doesn’t contain gluten. But it can also backfire – consumption of too much “healthier” gluten-free food can cause weight gain. Food manufacturers often include additional fat or sugar to make gluten-free products tastier, increasing the product’s calorie count and sometimes deceiving those using the diet to control their waistline.

Second, going gluten-free can cause nutrient deficiencies. Many whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals, like vitamins B and D, iron and fiber. Whether you need to be gluten-free as prescribed by a doctor, or you are choosing to cut back for personal reasons, a gluten-free diet is doable if followed carefully.

Third, some research suggests that a gluten-free diet may also affect cognitive function. Because gluten and carbs go hand-in-hand, going gluten-free can also mean cutting carb One study, which has generated a lot of discussion, suggests that elevated blood sugar levels may negatively impact brain structure and has been linked to cognitive decline and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, studies suggest that high carbohydrate intake is linked to elevated blood glucose levels and inflammation, as well. So, cutting gluten and carbs from your personal menu can support cognition as you age. However, more research must be done to truly understand the impact of gluten on your brain. 

Fourth, going gluten-free can improve digestion, reducing bloating and diarrhea, among other symptoms, that are often associated with the sensitivity. Improved digestion associated with a gluten-free lifestyle may also relieve symptoms associated with other intestinal disorders like lactose intolerance.

Gluten intolerance

A gluten intolerance is the body’s inability to digest or break down the gluten protein found in wheat and certain other grains. Also known as a gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance can range from a mild sensitivity to gluten to full-blown celiac disease.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 1 out of every 141 Americans has celiac disease. This is a severe autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption that leads to damage in the small intestine.

Common foods that regularly contain ingredients with gluten includes – Pastas, breads, crackers, seasonings and spice mixes

Foods to avoid

Wheat is one of the main staples of a Western diet and is public enemy No. 1 for those with a gluten intolerance.

In addition to pure wheat, all of its forms are also off-limits. This includes – Wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, couscous, cracked wheat, durum, einkorn, emmer, farina, faro, fu (common in Asian foods), gliadin, graham flour, kamut, matzo, semolina, spelt.

Foods without gluten

The list of off-limit items may seem daunting at first. Thankfully, there are plenty of replacements on the menu. Lots of foods are naturally gluten-free, including – fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, legumes, nuts, potatoes, eggs, dairy products, oils and vinegars, corn, rice, fish, lean beef, chicken, seafood.

Many other grains and foods are gluten-free as well – Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, cassava, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, tapioca.

Summary

Eating at restaurants can be particularly challenging if you have a gluten intolerance, but this doesn’t mean you can’t ever dine out.

You should be able to dodge the gluten bullet if you stick with the same types of items you eat at home, such as grilled meats and steamed vegetables.

Foods to avoid in restaurants include fried foods, certain sauces, or anything that has been fried in the same pan with a gluten-containing food.

If you have celiac disease, being gluten-free is essential for your health. A gluten-free diet may seem too challenging to deal with, but with time — and a bit of effort — it can become second nature.

If you can, start off gradually, so you can get used to going gluten-free. For example, you might try one completely gluten-free meal per day and gradually add more meals until gluten is completely out of your diet.

Also, a gluten-free diet is easier if you shop at stores and eat at restaurants that cater to your dietary needs.

If you want to guarantee that your food is gluten-free, cooking from scratch is the easiest way to avoid gluten. Discuss any specific dietary considerations with a doctor or dietitian.

Love or Hate Them, Squats are The Best!

Love or Hate Them, Squats are The Best!

Love or Hate Them, Squats are The Best! The squat, called the king of all exercises for good reason, strengthens the muscles of the lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves). Being stronger can make tasks like walking, using the stairs and getting up off the floor easier. Doesn’t have to be used with heavy weights, or weights at all. However you perform them they will improve the tone of your legs and butt and much more.

Benefits of Squats for Women

Women Could Say Goodbye to Cellulite – The Squat is a simple muscle stretching exercise that can be done by anyone. By doing it regularly or daily, the squat will contribute to good blood circulation. Good blood circulation means oxygen and nutrients are distributed thoroughly to your body including muscles, so yes, you could say goodbye to your cellulite for good.

For Optimal Muscle Growth – Though the squat looks simple, and it seems just focusing on your legs, but you are wrong. The effect of doing squats is for your whole body. This simple exercise actually has big impact to the whole body by promoting the optimal muscle growth. The squat will create an anabolic environment that will cause the body to release certain hormones required for muscle growth.

Build Balance for Better Posture – By just doing squats daily, you could act and walk like a beauty queen. Why? Because doing squats will make your posture looks sexier by improving balance. You will walk with more confidence. Besides that, there are more benefits of doing squats that you might not know yet, all will be revealed in this blog.

Aids to Burn Calories and Fats – It is true that for women, appearance is everything and that’s why making sure that they always stay in shape is their goal of exercise. That’s what the squat is for. Doing it regularly it`s possible for women to burn calories and fats without the need to go to the gym and pay a bunch of money, because the squat could be done anywhere and anytime with optimal outcome.

Tone Your Legs – Believe it or not but having a killer pair of legs means everything for women. It will improve their confidence when dressing in shorts or short skirts, because a good pair of legs will make them look and feel sexier. Besides that, strong legs will make women do activities that improve flexibility and support their mobility.

Get a Rounder Butt – One of the perks of doing the squat is not only giving women killer legs, but also a rounder, perkier and sexier butt. The exercise will firm the buttock muscle and at the same time make your back section stronger.

Benefits of Squats for Men

Stronger Lower Body – The pose of the squat will put your lower body supporting the upper body. This position is effective to exercise your lower body and to become stronger even if you don’t do any other exercise or using additional tools. However, if you want to accelerate the result some tools could be added like a barbell.

Improve Men’s Endurance during Workout – In workout sessions, squats are an important part of the exercise routine that are usually done at the beginning of the session. Perhaps the function could not be pictured in short term, but in the long term you will find the difference that by doing squats it is possible to improve men’s endurance during workout session.

Give Men Great Abs – The squat will not magically give men great abs, but as long as men are working on their diet, and then supported by doing squats regularly, the possibility of having great abs is also higher. It is true that just by simply doing it regularly even without doing any other exercise some sets of abs will be formed naturally.

Practical Solution to Increase Power – Though the squat looks simple and easy, there is a lot of effort required to do it correctly. Mostly your leg muscles need to support the upper body, but the process will increase the strength of your leg muscles and at the same time increase its power, so it is possible to support more than the weight of your upper body.

Benefits of Squats for Bodybuilding and Athlete

Building Muscle Size – In bodybuilding, the squat is not only part of the exercise plan, it is one of the basic exercises that are important to do. Though it is so simple if compared to the series of exercises in body building but still the function is more than that. The squat will provide muscle an early introduction to the stretching routine.

Efficient Exercise – Why squats are considered being efficient exercise is because though the pose is so simple but there are a lot of benefits that give significant impact to the whole body like lower section, mid-section and back section. Besides that, squat is also contributing in stretching muscle that will aid in the improvement of body metabolism like digestive track and blood vessels for better blood circulation.

Reduce Injury – Doing squats regularly in the beginning of the intensive session of body building workout could reduce the risk of injury. The simple pose with low impact will provide your muscle time to relax as well as to be accustomed with the entire session of exercising.

Functional Exercise – Why it is called functional exercise, because the simple pose of the squat will affect the whole aspects of your body especially the muscles in the back, mid and upper sections. In other words, one type of exercise could cover all the needs of the entire body section.

Improve Core Strength – It is important to maintain core strength, but the squat is not only able to maintain It, but also improve the strength. Strong core section is essential to support the lower back session, stimulate the muscle growth as well as improve the overall performance toward exercises.

Enhance Sprinting Endurance and Speed – What you believe is when you are doing regular running or jogging then it will automatically improve your endurance and speed when sprinting. Well, perhaps that is true, but do you know that you could accelerate the process by making sure your legs are strong enough to do it? That’s why, doing squat regularly is also recommended in this matter.

Boosts Vertical Jump – Just like running, the squat is also able to boost your vertical jump by making sure your leg muscles are strong enough for the jumping required. The stronger the muscle means the higher you could do the jump.

Build Mental Toughness – Being an athlete with a fit body is not enough, because they need to put their mental focus into exercise as well. Doing squats could assist in building mental toughness because the simple pose will force your entire body and muscles to work together. Besides that, you have to be focus while doing the entire pose perfectly.

Mobility and Flexibility – During a bodybuilding session, your body should be prepared to face all types of pressures. However, before that making sure the mobility and flexibility of your body is in optimal level will make the whole bodybuilding session a lot easier. Surprisingly, just by doing simple squats you could improve your body mobility and flexibility significantly.

Benefits of Squats for Daily Exercise

Squats Good for Digestion – Believe it or not but squats also contribute in making the flow of your digestive tract easier. While you do the muscle stretching, the intestine muscle is also being stretching so the digestive tract will function optimally by making sure all the wastes are out from the body while all the nutrients are absorbed.

Good Exercise Solution for Those with Back Problem – When someone has issue with their back and then they will find that some types of exercises are just off limit for them but not squats. Since the squat is kind of exercise with low impact if you do it properly. As mentioned above squat has a lot of benefits and one of them could aid in improving the strength of back session.

Strengthen Your Knees – You have a problem with your knees? like you are easily getting tired when you are walking. Perhaps doing squat exercises could help you in dealing with this condition without the need to go to the gym and meet a professional trainer, because most people could do squats in one form or another.

Improve Flexibility – Being flexible with your body is important. This condition will allow you to do whatever activity you like to do, and squats could contribute in the flexibility of your body. By doing squats you will exercise your body and make it accustomed to the muscle stretching, which is required in all kinds of daily activities from waking up, to workout sessions.

Reduce the Chance of Injury during Workout – Do you know that most injuries that happened during workout are when muscles are not ready to receive the pressure? That’s why doing squats regularly is recommended, because it will make your body muscles accustomed to the stretching and improve the flexibility of muscles. The more flexible the muscle is, the risk of injury is also lower.

Summary

So, there you have it, the squat is a must! Whatever sport you are into, the squat will help you in many ways, and remember, it’s not just squatting with weights that get results.

A Real Life Attack Will Test You to the Max!

A Real Life Attack Will Test You to the Max!

A Real Life Attack Will Test You to the Max! Being attacked is nothing like a training session! If you are attacked out in the streets, this is the real deal and no matter how much training you might have done cannot prepare you for the level of violence your attacker may be capable of inflicting on you.

The shock of being attacked for real can stun even the most competent of martial artists, while their brain is trying to accept what’s happening the adrenaline is in overdrive! So always accept the fact you might be next, no one is immune from attack, it’s how you handle the situation that matters.

There are many people that have never done martial arts in their entire life, but instead have fought and won numerous real street fights.

All the martial arts classes and even sparring will not prepare you if you are suddenly confronted with someone who is hell bent on causing you serious injury.

The type that just attack without warning, where you have to act instantly to have a chance, this is where you quickly realize all the training you have done hasn’t prepared you for the level of violence that’s now coming your way. This is the real deal and you better have a plan of action to deal with it quickly, as you may only get one chance to survive.

They may be high on drugs or alcohol which can add to the problems you now about to face. Not everyone is a happy drunk, and when high on drugs, some turn extremely violent.

Nothing will prepare you for a real fight, the level of violence can be shocking, where there are no rules, and if you go down, the attack may well continue. There is no referee to jump in and save you and no bell will sound to tell your attacker he has to wait until the next round to continue his attack!

The explosion of adrenaline can paralyze the most well studied fighter if he has only experienced training sessions, who suddenly finds himself in a real-life fight situation. It can and does happen.

I personally know many black belts who look great in training sessions but would have to question their chances in a real street fight. Many get caught up in the game of flying through the different colored belts as fast as possible and getting that fancy certificate, seeing that as the main challenge, rather than truly being able to defend themselves.

No amount of training will prepare you for a real-life attack situation! Knowing Self-defense does not make you invincible even among those who have achieved a high level in the martial arts. This way of thinking is the misguided belief that somehow fights can be clean and controlled, and that knowing advanced techniques can guarantee victory. This is simply not true, and again, Being attacked is nothing like a training session!

Can you really put your self-defense skills to use?

Being attacked is nothing like a training session! When attacked many people’s knowledge of self-defense is immediately thrown out of the window as they are engulfed in fear, panic and adrenaline! You will never know how you will react to a real-life attack until it happens.

An attacker doesn’t come at you in the same convenient way you experience during your training sessions, where you know what to expect and know what move you are about to do in defense. But of course, there’s no other way you can learn without knowing what’s going to happen before it does in training. In real life attack however, it`s a very different matter.

Could you seriously put someone in an arm lock that is really trying to hurt you? Again, this is not like a training session where all the moves are pre-planned, where your training partner is throwing soft punches that if you don`t block in time won`t cause you any kind of harm.

In a real life attack the punch coming towards your face is like a missile compared to what you experienced in your training classes. You`ll get one chance and one chance only to block this, then counterattack it, if you fail you may well be knocked down or even knocked out! At that stage your only hope is they run off and don’t continue the attack.

Could you seriously throw someone that is really trying to hurt you? Again, this is not like a training session where all the moves are pre-planned, where your training partner is standing still patiently waiting for you to throw them!

In a real life attack your attacker will be struggling violently and certainly won`t be stood in a comfortable position that makes them easy to throw. Trying to get yourself in the same position you use in training where you can perform the throw could leave you in a situation where they drag you backwards onto the ground. And then what? You are now in unfamiliar territory where you are at your attacker’s mercy!

Could you seriously perform the same quality of kicks and punches wearing regular clothes in a real-life attack? Again, this is not like a training session in most martial arts where all the moves are not only pre-planned, but also, where you are wearing your Gi that allows you to move freely, and where you are bare-footed.

In a real life attack you might be out on the town or coming home from work or the store wearing work clothes or tight jeans, shirts and fashionable but uncomfortable boots and shoes etc. which can seriously restrict your movement holding you back from performing kicks and other techniques in the fashion you are used to in training.

Summary

Now understand I am in no way knocking self-defense classes, I think they are fantastic! it is a valuable and very interesting thing to be involved in. My point is to make people realize self-defense training and a real-life attack are two of the most opposite things you will ever encounter, and no amount of training will prepare you for the real thing. Remember, being attacked is nothing like a training session, We can only hope you never have to find this out.

Please stay safe out there!

Online Fitness Training is Becoming Big!

Online Fitness Training is Becoming Big!

Online Fitness Training is Becoming Big! Is online fitness training the way of the future? hard to say, but what we do know is never has there been a time when online fitness training has been more important, necessary and needed than now. Many people rely on meeting their personal trainer at the gym, but as we know at present many or most gyms are closed due to corona-virus, and with no end in sight online fitness training has really become the answer. Let`s take a look in detail why this is such a good option.

Many advantages

Online fitness training offers many advantages. Is online fitness training for you? So, you’ve made the decision to lead a fitter lifestyle but you’re not sure whether a online personal trainer is a right step for you. If this is the case, then online personal training might just be the solution.

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for a busy lifestyle or lack of funds to get in the way of becoming fitter. Online personal training can give you the expertise, support, and motivation that you’re looking for at an affordable price. We all know that life’s full of hurdles – just don’t let finding a great personal trainer be one of them.

Online fitness training

Living in the digital age as we undoubtedly are, an online trainer can be effective at making sure that people get the motivation they need via email, texts or Skype calls all of which can keep people motivated when they might otherwise struggle. That means that the level of accountability offered by a physical gym is still there, but the mobility allowed by the online trainer offers you more of a chance to remain mindful of fitness throughout the day.

Online fitness training can also offer a wider range of different activities because the users aren’t bound to a gym, for example they can go for long runs over rough terrain, engage in sports, and perform all manner of exercise that a gym normally wouldn’t allow, the possibilities are endless.

They will also guide you, create exercise programs and workout routines for you just as a regular trainer would, but only this time it will be at your own pace. The goal of online coaching is not to put you under a lot of pressure, but rather to encourage and motivate you to achieve your fitness goals. This is extremely effective for individuals who would prefer to workout privately away from prying and sometimes judgmental eyes while you perform listening to your favorite music.

A gym cannot cater to everyone`s musical taste but this is your session and no one else’s so listen to whatever makes you motivated. Plus of course a regular trainer in a gym isn’t likely to allow you to workout with head or earphones on during a session blanking them out.

Big gym intimidation?

For those who don’t really like going to meet a trainer at the gym but have hired trainers in the past many of you will probably relate to this situation, you don’t feel good or had a hard day at work and have a training session scheduled later that night and for whatever reason just don’t feel like going, now of course if you don’t go you’ll most likely get charged and forfeit the session for cancelling or not showing up.

The trainer is already there waiting for you, on the other hand if you do go you’re so tired and unmotivated you won’t get anything beneficial out of it anyway, so basically it’s a no win situation when this occurs. If this describes you then hiring an online trainer might work well for you.

​Many people such as beginners might feel a little intimidated by hiring a personal trainer at a gym, they might prefer to work out alone but not quite sure how to get the best results and would welcome a little expert advice to help them get started on the correct path, then hiring an online trainer gives you the best of both worlds as you still get to work out privately but also with the guidance to give you a solid foundation avoiding frustration and wasted time spent in the gym. 

Expense can be a big issue

Let’s face it, hiring a personal trainer at a gym certainly isn’t the cheapest service available, not everyone can afford to see a personal trainer 2-3 times weekly and many that can afford the service choose to spend their money on other things, fitness isn’t always a priority for everyone, so one of the biggest benefits of the online approach by far is the actual cost of the service, the cost for hiring an online trainer is significantly lower than going the traditional method. Everyone is about saving money these days so that’s certainly something to take into consideration when deciding if this method of training is for you or not.

It’s more flexible

In today’s health conscious world, there are lots of people who are looking for better ways to improve their fitness.

It’s no surprise then, that personal trainers can be incredibly busy, and can have multiple clients at one time. But while having a jam-packed schedule is good for personal trainers, it’s not so fun having to re-arrange dinner with your best friend in order to make your health and fitness appointment, if you’re a client.

Luckily, online personal training is different. A personal trainer in your pocket means that you’re in charge. You can work out whenever you want and still get the support and motivation provided by a coach.

But that doesn’t mean you can slack off either! Your trainer will still be there to kick your butt into gear via instant messaging, making sure you don’t miss that morning treadmill session.

Say goodbye to injuries

While a regular personal trainer can help you dodge injury during workout sessions, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be safe during the hours that you spend training alone.

Setting goals which are putting unnecessary strain on your body is unhealthy and dangerous.

Online personal training means that you can get round-the-clock support giving you advice whenever you need it. Still it is important to find a good professional trainer who can help you if you have decided you want to get fit as someone who isn’t good at training or does not follow the duty of care might cause personal injuries. While everyone’s body is different, professional guidance that goes beyond the rigidly scheduled hours of normal personal training sessions can help lessen the probability of injuries significantly.

Late night gym session? Your online coach has got you covered.

Access to expert advice anytime, anywhere

Technology has changed the world as we once knew it. The online sharing economy has seen services like booking a taxi or renting a room become more accessible, affordable and transparent. Online fitness training is no different. Services which were once complicated to order can now be obtained at the click of a button for a fraction of the price.

If you’re a busy entrepreneur who spends half your time on a flight, a stressed-out mum who’s forever picking up the kids or a competitive runner who struggles to find time to train, you can count on fitness support wherever and whenever you need it.

Better still, using online training technology, personal trainers can use insightful coaching to create nifty custom workouts which will give you audio cues during your workout. Since the coach can use real-time info to tailor advice for a client whose state can vary radically from one day to the next, it’s perfect for people who are always on-the-go.

It makes us tired thinking about it, but if you’re one of those people that has a thousand and one tasks to complete as well as trying to stay fit and healthy, well, you may have just found your godsend.

Better Results

Chances are, if you’ve looked for a personal trainer but you’ve not been able to afford one, you’ve been to the online marketplace and downloaded a few health and fitness apps.

And while some people don’t mind the idea of being trained by an app, most of us would prefer a real-life trainer. Because, at the end of the day, apps are just programs – they can’t adapt to subtle variations such as body size, workout regime, and environment.

Most fitness and running apps are designed to cater for the internally motivated. And, let’s be honest, we all know that person who pores over their personal statistics after an evening jog!

Yet those same apps do very little to help the people who need that little bit more motivation to get themselves into their gym clothes and onto the treadmill.

Amidst the demands of our hectic modern lifestyles, long-term commitments like fitness and health can often seem like chores.

Remember the bionic man? Well, now he’s your personal trainer. Online personal training allows the trainer to gather data on your workouts and optimize your regime based on what suits you best.

Summary

Online fitness training offers many advantages, and can help you achieve your desired health and fitness goals with the benefit of training wherever you wish to do it, whether it be in a gym or the comfort of your home, but most importantly it’s your decision where and when you want to work out.

That being said, you still need the discipline to actually do the training sessions without a trainer by your side, so you have to decide is this the right option for you. People are different, what suits one doesn’t suit another.

Is online fitness training the way of the future? We`ll have to wait and see, but for sure at present its the only way for most people, until the gyms open back up again, but who knows when that will be.

Self-defense or Boxing?

Self-defense or Boxing?

Self-defense or Boxing? So, which is best to defend yourself with, boxing or self-defense training? Well, the good news is they’re both good, and will work. Let’s look at both options.

Self-defense

Many different martial arts – There’s so many different types of martial arts, choose the one you feel comfortable with, more importantly, really learn and understand the techniques you are being shown may be needed to seriously defend yourself with someday, we hope not, but you never know and must be prepared for the worst these days.

Understand what you’re learning – Don’t get caught up in the `speed game` what I mean by that is simply don’t race through the colored belts and certificates like it’s some kind of challenge to see how fast you can become black-belt. Really understand why you’re learning self-defense, if your life is in danger the colored belts and certificates will be useless to you if you haven’t really understood the techniques you’ve been taught.

Forget the movies – First of all, forget all the fancy and elaborate moves you see in the movies, they look great, but are not at all realistic and will not help you in a dangerous situation. If you start jumping around and trying high spinning kicks, you`ll end up on the floor at your attacker’s mercy, the last place you want to be.

You can only hope your antics amused him so much he couldn’t attack for laughing! Seriously though, these kind of `movie theatrics` will be disastrous should you try them. Keep them in the movies where they belong!

Being attacked is nothing like training – If you are attacked out in the streets, this is the real deal and no matter how much training you might have done cannot prepare you for the level of violence your attacker may be capable of inflicting on you.

The shock of being attacked for real can stun even the most competent of martial artists, while their brain is trying to accept what’s happening the adrenaline is in overdrive! So always accept the fact you might be next, no one is immune from attack, it’s how you handle the situation that matters.

Skills and confidence – First of all, you must have the skills needed to deal with an attacker if you’re using self-defense, trying to put someone in an arm lock for the first time while being attacked simply won’t work. It takes many lessons and months, even years to truly learn how to successfully know these moves inside out.

Even if you truly have the skills, that’s still not enough as you must also have the confidence to execute the techniques correctly. Even knowing what to do, if you go half-heartedly into an arm lock not sure you can successfully pull it off you’re already defeated!

Confidence plays a crucial part of the skills needed to defending yourself successfully, which goes back to what I was saying earlier about learning martial arts correctly. You`ll wish you had if that time comes.

Learn for the correct reasons – Martial arts knowledge is not about teaching someone a lesson, or getting even with someone, or being the toughest guy in the bar. Never use your skills to threaten or bully innocent people.

Learning self-defense comes with many positive benefits, three of which are self-control, discipline and respect for others.

Self-defense myth #1 – Self-defense is one of those subjects plagued by myths. The greatest myth, mainly propagated by action movies, is that of invincibility. Here the well-trained warrior always wins through a mixture of way over-the-top techniques and unwavering courage, none of which would help you in a real-life attack situation.

The movie battles are brutally but beautifully choreographed, with astonishing and complex moves, and he ultimately defeats all challenges, again, with techniques that have no use outside movies.

A classic example of this would be the Bruce Lee movies, as much as we all love him, you have to admit the fighting sequences are way over the top, certainly where he’s surrounded by twenty or more guys and he’s blindly flailing those arms and legs and people are dropping like flies! Looks great, but totally unrealistic. But Bruce Lee is a legend and I love him as much as you do, but you get my point, right?

Another example is the Van Damme movies, where in every movie he takes a real beating then miraculously defeats almost everyone with his signature jumping spinning around ballet like kick, looks great, but would you seriously do that in front of someone? No, of course you wouldn’t as 9 out of 10 times you’d miss and end up on the floor at the mercy of your attacker! But again, they are great action movies.

For me, the most realistic martial arts movies were the early Steven Seagal ones, I say early ones simply because later he got so out of shape nothing remotely looked realistic about him or his movies!

Anyway, that’s enough of bashing the actors in these movies, you understand my point, right? They’re good to watch, but if you think you can defeat someone in that manner you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

In reality, no matter how expert a person becomes in unarmed combat, he will always remain terribly vulnerable in a street fight. Ask anyone who regularly faces true violence, such as nightclub doormen or police officers, and almost all will confess to feeling deep fear before and during any fight.

This fear comes from knowing that a person can go from victor to vanquished in a matter of seconds with a single punch. Real fights, unlike those in the movies, always have uncertain outcomes, and it`s not always good. Just because you are the good guy does not mean a thing out in the streets.

Self-defense myth #2 – The second myth is slightly more insidious, as it can be propagated even among those who have achieved a high level in the martial arts. This is the belief that somehow fights can be clean and controlled, and that knowing advanced techniques can guarantee victory.

There are many people that have never done martial arts in their entire life, but instead have fought and won numerous real fights. All the martial arts classes and even sparring will not prepare you if you are suddenly confronted with someone who is hell bent on causing you serious injury.

The type that just attack without warning, where you have to act instantly to have a chance, this is where you quickly realize all the training you have done hasn’t prepared you for the level of violence that’s now coming your way. This is the real deal and you better have a plan of action to deal with it quickly, as you may only get one chance to survive.

They may be high on drugs or alcohol which can add to the problems you now about to face. Not everyone is a happy drunk, and when high on drugs, some turn extremely violent.

Nothing will prepare you for a real fight, the level of violence can be shocking, where there are no rules, and if you go down, the attack may well continue. The explosion of adrenaline can paralyze the most well studied fighter if he has only experienced training sessions, who suddenly finds himself in a real-life fight situation. It can and does happen.

I personally know many black belts who look great in training sessions but would have to question their chances in a real street fight. Many get caught up in the game of flying through the different colored belts as fast as possible and getting that fancy certificate, seeing that as the main challenge, rather than truly being able to defend themselves.

Boxing

Boxing training offers so many benefits. Boxing, a great form of exercise and sport. Boxing as a sport requires a high level of athletic prowess: strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance, nerve, and power, just to name several required attributes. Boxing as a fitness activity enables the average person to hone those same athletic skills, all without having to take a punch.

If you’re hoping to get in great shape and improve your health, you just might want to sign up for a membership to your local boxing gym. There are a number of reasons why, and here’s just a few of the benefits of boxing.

Many people would be surprised to see boxing categized as a martial art. However, boxing is one of the purest forms of martial arts in history. It is highly effective in MMA as well, teaching fighters head movement and footwork technique.

It is also extremely effective in self-defense situations, as most fights start standing up. Boxing is a sport that has been celebrated by the masses throughout history. It’s also not that hard to become a better boxer with practice.

You don’t need fancy and elaborate moves to defend yourself, boxing is a straight forward no-nonsense defend and counter attack, perfect in a street fight really, and as that’s the most likely place you’ll get attacked, you’ll be glad to have some boxing skills under your belt.

Enhanced Cardiovascular Health – You hear it all the time: You need to do cardio to protect yourself from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain your weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean hopping on a treadmill to log your required minutes – how boring is that?

The whole point of cardio is to place a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs so that they’re challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. But how you choose to place stress on your heart and lungs is up to you. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there’s no reason you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart at your local boxing gym.

Better Hand-Eye Coordination – You may not think about the importance of hand-eye coordination and its effect on total health, but hand-eye coordination plays an important role in a person’s motor skills. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times and tend to have better physical coordination as a whole. This is particularly important during aging, as coordination and balance become compromised, increasing the risk of falls.

Boxing can help hone hand-eye coordination. When you’re tasked with punching a speed bag (a lightweight boxing bag suspended from a disc that turns and bounces quickly with each punch), or you’re paired up to spar with a partner (practice punching your partner’s padded mitts), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the target, all while the target is moving and changing position. It’s tough, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination improves substantially.

Increases Physical and Mental Toughness – Boxing is as much mental as it is physical.  When starting out, someone going at you and threatening physical harm is a scary thing.  Many new people just turn their backs and try to get away as soon as the barrage of punches come.  The fight-or-flight response kicks in and your body starts to react by retreating.

But the more you spar, the more you train your brain to stand and fight, instead of retreating (flight).  You eventually learn how to take a punch and how to stand and fight even when you are getting your butt whooped.  In essence, you are training your mind and body to persist.

The physical and mental toughness gained from boxing will translate into other parts of your life.  You will find that your pain threshold will increase, you will become less scared of physical harm, and you will become grittier. There is not much that will make you tougher than facing physical harm.

Ability to Defend Yourself – This is probably the most obvious benefit of boxing aside from the conditioning.  Boxing is a very effective form of fighting.

In order for boxing to be an effective form of self-defense though, you can’t just keep hitting focus mitts and heavy bags, you actually have to do some sparring—some real sparring.

Boxing teaches you to be controlled with your movement and strike at the right time.  So, when you are sparring with someone that knows how to box, the sparring is used to work on technique, not to kill one another.  People that don’t know how to box however, go into a sparring match with 100 percent power and speed.  It can feel like they are trying to kill you.

Improving Your Coordination – The next big benefit that you can reap from boxing and training for boxing on a regular basis is that you will develop better hand-eye coordination.

Training your hand-eye coordination works in the same way as training your cardiovascular endurance or your muscle strength, in the sense that the more you challenge it, the better it will get.

Boxing involves a lot of coordination because you need to be able to bounce around and move in certain direction with your feet, while at the same time landing punches on your opponent. Moreover, you have to be able to aim your hands perfectly to get that big punch in on your opponent’s sweet spot, something that requires a lot of coordination.

Moreover, training for boxing, such as skipping rope, or better yet using a speed bag, also helps to train hand-eye coordination and the connection between your brain, the part that tells you to do something, and your hands and feet, the parts which execute the maneuvers which your brain has instructed them to do.

Summary

Self-defense is great for many reasons, with so many health and social benefits, but if you haven’t truly learned the techniques correctly they aren’t really likely to work for you when attacked.

Now, on the other hand if you have truly learned the techniques, they can be very valuable for your safety, for example putting someone in a restraining hold, and taking the heat out of the attacker within seconds without causing harm to yourself.

Boxing is a great no-nonsense way of defending yourself, it doesn’t take very long to learn how to throw a punch correctly, and nothing will stop an attacker faster than a good old fashioned solid punch to the face!

Attackers are cowards, once they see and feel you have boxing skills they’ll be on their way very quickly feeling very sorry for themselves, knowing they picked on the wrong person.

So, to answer the question, which is better boxing or self-defense training? it’s a matter of preference. Personally I like to do both regularly. Both are extremely enjoyable and come with so many benefits, and you can easily defend yourself with both.

Never think you’re invincible, even if you can handle yourself, you may still take a punch so always be prepared and accept an attack could come your way. Deal with it quickly if it does!

It`s ok to take a break occasionally!

It`s ok to take a break occasionally! When working out becomes an obsession the thought of missing a few sessions is unthinkable, right? Are you officially a gym rat? as I’m sure you know the term `gym rat` is a term for someone who is addicted or obsessed with working out. Basically, the gym is like their second home.

Being a gym rat isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I mean you could be addicted to far worse things such as alcohol or drugs, right? Nothing positive about any of that. But regarding the gym, it`s ok to take a break occasionally, now understand I’m not talking about missing weeks at a time, but rather the occasionally session here and there, listen to your body, if you are constantly sore it might be time to rest a little more in between sessions.

My experience with this

I know this feeling myself, all too well, I was certainly a `gym rat` back in the day before personal training became really thought of. So, with no guidance I learned from my own trial and errors, one of the biggest errors was working out hard twice daily, then not understanding why I wasn’t seeing gains.

One day I got lucky and had some great advice from a gym owner who informed me I’m over training and need to cut back to three sessions a week if I really want to develop muscle and strength, and also pay attention to my diet.

I never considered I was doing too much and thought being constantly sore was part of the deal of being a `gym addict` now I’m worrying about what I will do on my four days off. But I take his word for it and do as he said, and like magic I start developing muscles without the previous pain, now I’m experiencing a nice soreness that isn’t severe.

I was getting to train with lots of experienced people now all offering great advice, and I’m in the best shape since I started and start to realize the mistakes I made in the beginning. On my four days off I’m studying about various aspects of everything associated to the gym, correct form, nutrition, cardio etc. By this time, it`s four years since I first started working out. I have a great training program, and for the first time I really know what I’m doing in a gym.

Over-training or overtaxing your body?

So, let’s take a look at what happens to your body when your love of working out becomes an addiction or obsession, basically, when you become a gym rat.

Over-training Is Rare, But Overtaxing Isn’t. You train hard, harder than everybody else in the gym, of course you do, you’re a gym rat, and that`s what gym rats do, right? So hard that you’re constantly sore, feel mentally drained for a good part of the day, and sometimes lack focus and get mood swings. Despite all this, the big gains aren’t coming.

What Over-training Isn’t

We often get confused about overtraining because even the name steers us in the wrong direction. First of all, overtraining doesn’t mean training too much. Just because you did 30 sets for biceps in one session doesn’t mean that you over-trained them. It doesn’t necessarily mean that what you did was smart, but you didn’t over-train them.

We all have our own recovery capacities, but the point is that overtraining isn’t simply about “training too much.” And getting injured doesn’t necessarily mean you were overtraining either.

What Over-training Is

A physiological state caused by an excess accumulation of physiological, psychological, emotional, environmental, and chemical stress that leads to a sustained decrease in physical and mental performance, and that requires a relatively long recovery period.

There are four important elements in that definition:

  1. Physiological state: Overtraining isn’t an action (i.e., training too much), but a state similar to burnout, medical depression, or illness.
  • An excess accumulation of physiological, psychological, emotional, environmental, and chemical stress: Stress has both a localized and a systemic effect. Every type of stress has a systemic impact on the body, but this impact isn’t limited to the structures involved directly in the stressful event. This systemic impact is caused by the release of stress hormones (glucocorticoids like cortisol, for example) and an overexertion of the adrenal glands.
  • Every single type of stressor can contribute to the onset of an overtraining state. Job troubles, tension in a relationship, death in the family, or pollutants and chemicals in the air we breathe, the food we eat, or the water we drink, etc., can all contribute to overtraining. Training too much is obviously another stress factor that can facilitate the onset of the overtraining state, but it’s far from being the sole suspect.
  • A sustained decrease in physical and mental performance: The key term here is sustained. Some people chalk up a few below-par workouts and automatically assume they’re overtraining. It’s not the case. It could simply be acute or accumulated fatigue due to poor recovery management or a deficient diet.
  • A response to constantly overloading the nervous, immune, and hormonal systems: Training improperly can indeed contribute to this excessive overload, but it isn’t the sole factor. As such, the key to avoiding a state of overtraining is to not push these three systems to their limit and also doing what you can to facilitate their recovery…

Are You a Stimulus Addict?

If you’re reading everything you can about training and spend a good part of your day thinking about your workouts and how you can improve them, you’re likely a stimulus addict. You’re not alone!

A stimulus addict is someone who fell in love with the actual act of training and using his muscles not so much for the gains but for the feeling and sensation derived from the workout itself. For these guys, the training itself is its own reward. Being a stimulus addict has its pros. You’ll rarely lose motivation to train, you’ll stick to it over the long run, and you’ll never frown upon hard work.

However, you are the perfect candidate to train excessively, pushing yourself too hard, for too long, too often. A stimulus addict often prides himself on working harder than everybody else instead of getting better results than everybody else. As such, a stimulus addict is likely to become his own worst enemy – engaging in training practices that lead to stagnation (or even regression) and feeling like crap all the time.

Over-training or addiction?

Being a gym rat, you take your workouts seriously. But have you ever found yourself placing unreasonable demands on your body to the point of over-training?

Rest assured: If you’re logging five hours of hardcore gym time every week, you probably aren’t at risk of overtraining. But if you’re going longer than that, and training is becoming a borderline addiction even to the point of possible harm—it’s probably time to reassess your goals.

Sound familiar? It’s probably not a bad idea to double-check with a knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer who can quickly help you get your training back on track. Regardless, it’s crucial that you listen to your body and know the signs of overtraining. Here’s a list of 12 common symptoms you should constantly look out for.

1. Altered resting heart rate – Have you noticed those heart rate monitors some guys wear at the gym? Believe it or not, they can help determine if you’re overtraining or you can simply monitor your morning heart rate the old-fashioned way by measuring before you stand up to get out of bed and begin your day, If your resting heart rate is unusually high or low, you should probably talk to a doctor.

2. Insatiable thirst – Often have an unquenchable thirst? Are you starting to believe no matter what you drink, you’ll still crave more? If this happens to be coinciding with a period of increased gym time, there’s an excellent chance you’re overtraining. Here’s why: Your body might be in a catabolic state, meaning it’s starting to consume its own muscle for protein.

Being in a catabolic state naturally causes dehydration, the solution is simple: Drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep.

3. Extended muscle soreness – It’s normal to have sore muscles for a day or two after a workout. But if you’re still sore past the 72-hour mark, be sure to schedule a break and rest. This type of extended soreness is a sign your muscles aren’t recovering, which negatively impacts on your muscle-building efforts.

You should be able to get in a gym session—in and out—in 45 to 75 minutes max. You really don’t need to spend hour after hour each session.

4. Insomnia – Can’t sleep even though you’re wiping yourself out at the gym? focus more on getting your sleep, because this is where physical restoration occurs. your body grows while resting, not training, and people who might be overtraining need to eat a lot of clean food and take a week off training all together.

5. Depression – Exercise is typically good for your mental health—but if you’re overtraining, it could have the opposite effect. That’s not all; you might also suffer from “body image issues” and believe “the more you train, the better you’ll look.” To avoid overtraining, it’s important to know the real motives behind training. Set realistic short and long-term goals, create a plan, and stick to it.

6. Personality changes – Has your gym partner been noticeably absent lately? While overtraining is actually a “pretty rare” occurrence for most guys who train three to five hours per week, it’s possible for there to be an intensification of personality traits for guys prone to being “aggressive, irritable, or depressed.” However, these changes aren’t always the result of overtraining, as there are other factors that can overly stress the nervous system. Listen to your body and react accordingly.

7. Frequent sickness – Feeling ill isn’t part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, sometimes it’s your body’s way of telling you your immune system is suffering from overtraining. The process of overtraining means your body is in a “continual catabolic state,” which lowers immunity and increases chances of becoming ill.

If you’re overtraining get rest, and reduce training and try adjusting diet, nutritional and supplement intake, and possibly implementing vitamins A and E, as well as glutamine.

8. Loss of concentration – Focus is critical. Unfortunately, sometimes people bring other stressors into the gym, or it becomes a social hour and your gym time expands considerably because you’re doing a set over here, then you’re talking for 10 minutes, then you’re going back and doing another set. That’s not how the body works when we’re trying to build muscle and lose fat, and it can definitely lead to overtraining or ineffective training altogether.

9. Increased injury – Getting injured more often? In particular, are you re-aggravating old injuries? If so, you may be overtraining. Why? when you over-train, your body doesn’t get enough time to recuperate between workouts meaning that at some point you begin training in a weakened state.

If you do this too often, you likely increase your chance of injuries. To prevent yourself from overtraining, try introducing forced rest periods into your routine, as well as changing training intensities or enjoying active recuperation sports—something low-intensity and completely different from weights and cardio.

10. Decreased motivation – It’s not unusual to occasionally want to skip a workout. But, if you generally live, breathe, and sleep the gym life, then suddenly become disinterested, you’re probably overexerting yourself, and possibly risking injury by going through the motions and improperly performing an exercise. Take a full week off, then reduce training volume when you do return. get quality sleep (7-9 hours per night as a generalization), proper nutrition is very important too.

11. Lowered self-esteem – For many guys, it’s natural to experience a sense of accomplishment following an intense workout. But when you get obsessed with training it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that “more is better.” That has two dangerous effects: Overtraining and lowered self-esteem.

This feeling is related to the body’s nervous system, since overtraining affects an athlete’s level of ‘happiness’ to train. Overtraining can be heightened by such things as lack of proper nutrition (hydration), proper sleep, and personal/work stressors.

12. Halted progress – Has your body stopped changing in spite of your best efforts? If so, you may be overtraining. When you’re overtraining, your body is going in the opposite direction of growth, because your muscles are torn and all you’re doing is re-tearing them again. Don’t risk possibly entering into a muscle-burning phase. Remember: Muscles need a chance to repair, and that’s only possible when your body is given the proper time to rest and recover before being forced into more exercise.

Summary

Being a gym rat can be tough. You train hard, harder than everybody else in the gym. So hard that you’re constantly sore, feel mentally drained for a good part of the day, and sometimes lack focus and get mood swings. Despite all this, the big gains aren’t coming.

Even more frustrating, a lot of people are progressing at a faster pace, and they’re not killing it like you are. What’s going on here? Simply put, don’t overdo it and get plenty of rest with good sleep and proper nutrition.

So, after reading this blog, are you doing too much and need to take a break every so often? Remember, it is ok to take a break occasionally!