Aqabah Karate Newsletter Your Source for Aqabah Karate News, Health, and Fitness ISSUE 06 JANUARY-MARCH 2012
Left: Professor Guilherme Arashiro, Right: Professor Idriz Redzovic
Aqabah Stays On Top With More BJJ Seminars By Wendy Diaz Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become increasingly popular among Aqabah students because it is the perfect complement to the stand-up strikes and kicks taught in Tang Soo Do and also due to its powerful and effective self-defense techniques. This art was originally developed as a way for a smaller individual to protect his/ herself on the ground from a larger opponent during a street fight, without the necessity of even throwing a punch, using simple leverage as a weapon. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as Gracie Jiu Jitsu, was developed by the Gracie family, the most popular among them being brothers, Carlos and Helio. Gracie Jiu Jitsu became popular in the US in the early 90’s after the establishment of The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in which Royce Gracie, the son of Helio Gracie, used BJJ to defeat opponents twice his size by submitting them with several choke holds, sweeping the championship title for three seasons. The mission of the Gracie family was to prove that BJJ was the most dominant martial art in the world. After their success in the UFC, many martial arts schools began to incorporate BJJ into their curriculum, supplementing their styles in order to produce well-rounded fighters, or mixed martial artists. Because of their commitment to provide students with top quality training, Aqabah Karate also provides weekly BJJ classes and hosts regular seminars with leading instructors. Just in the past three months, Aqabah Karate has hosted two big names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Third Degree Black Belt Guilherme Arashiro from Arashiro BJJ, Miami, Florida, and Black Belt Idriz Redzovic from Gracie Barra Chicago, Illinois. Both having earned their Black Belts through the lineage of Carlos Gracie, these instructors taught seminars that focused on various techniques of ground-fighting, knowledge essential to anyone who wants to guard themselves in the event of an attack. Guilherme Arashiro, who is himself Brazilian of Japanese origin and a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Judo, as well, is a visiting instructor and this past February 24-26 was his third appearance in the AK studio. Aqabah Karate is affiliated with Arashiro’s academy, in order for its students to benefit and be promoted through his system. During his three-day visit, he taught classes in both gi (with the use of the traditional BJJ uniform) and no-gi. Some of the techniques he focused on were omaplata shoulder lock and collar choke variations. The aim of these movements is to render an opponent defenseless without the need for violent strikes or blows. (Continue on page 5)
This Issue Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Madness P.1 Road to Wellbeing P.2 Fitness, Director’s Desk P.3 Nutrition/Health Recipes P. 4 Weight Loss Strategies P. 5 Upcoming Events P.6
Eat (Less), Pray (More), Love (Yourself): One Woman’s Dramatic Road to Wellbeing By Wendy Díaz
WOMEN’S CORNER Who said Black Belts are just for Men? Another historic event at Aqabah Karate is underway. At the end of this month eight students will test to earn the rank of Black Belt.
Walmarie Soler, now known as Sumaya, was born and raised in Puerto Rico to Puerto Rican parents. Although surrounded by a family of both devout Catholics and Christians and educated as a Catholic, during high school, Sumaya felt disconnected from her religion. She explored other faiths and after some time, decided to convert to Islam. During this spiritual journey, she also trained in martial arts. Practicing Tae Kwon Do in the Jhoon Rhee Institute in Puerto Rico for more than five years, Sumaya was exposed to many disciplines such as Aikido, Kung Fu, Kali, and Judo. She said, “It (martial arts) was such an important part of my life, kept me focused, gave me a lot of discipline and self-control.” While training, she felt healthy and energetic, but due to a heavy college workload, she gradually stopped attending classes even though she was only one test away from earning a Black Belt. Subsequently, Sumaya began gaining weight. Lack of exercise, a poor diet, and stress were the main contributors. She described herself as being a “heavy eater,” but since exercise had always been a part of her routine, she had never become overweight. However, after abandoning Tae Kwon Do, and over a span of 15 years, she reached an alarming 425 pounds. At a height of 5’6, a normal weight range for her would be from 115 to 154 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But her body mass index at that time put her at well over the weight status considered obese. Sumaya’s weight reached the point where it began affecting her quality of life and her health. She suffered from hormonal imbalances, infertility, body aches, knee pain, and fatigue. After finally becoming pregnant with her first child, she experienced a variety of complications such as high blood pressure and uncontrolled insulin levels. Everyday tasks such as driving, finding a chair that supported her weight, choosing what clothes to wear, and being able to stand after prayer became a burden. Finally, Sumaya decided she needed to turn her life around. She said, “I felt being a woman, a Latina, a Muslim, and obese were way too many things to be. The weight was the only one that I could and wanted to change.” After diet plans and even surgery did not produce results, Sumaya began devising her own plan based on research of natural medicine and the effects of food on the body. She realized she needed to commit to the decision to lose weight and to set reasonable goals in order to obtain gradual, rather than immediate results. Her plan consisted of slowly eliminating unnecessary calories and unhealthy foods from her diet, drinking plenty of water, and adding a minimum amount of exercise to her routine, increasing her goals weekly. During this transition, Sumaya also decided to embrace vegetarianism, not only because of health reasons, but also due to religious, ethical, and political views. The transformation not only entailed abandoning meat and learning to prepare vegetarian meals, it was a spiritual breakthrough for her, as well.
(Continues on page 3)
Of those eight, three are from the Young Warrior Girls’ class! This is the very first time that Aqabah Karate will be promoting females to this prestigious level. These three warriors, Tasneem Mansour, Ayisha Korme, and Nur Siddique, will be the pioneers leading the way to expand the women’s program. Once they advance to Black Belt level, they will be expected to be role models, assist in the instruction of other AK students, and take on more leadership responsibilities. They will also be moving up to the women’s class, under the tutelage of female Black Belt Instructor, Amanda Pereira. This momentous occasion will be witnessed by the Dar-Us-Salaam community and supporters of one of the best Muslim martial arts school in the nation. Are you ready for the first Dan Classing of 2012? The AK Newsletter Staff wish these 3 ladies the best during their test.
Eat (Less), Pray (More), Love (Yourself): One Woman’s Dramatic Road to Wellbeing
FROM THE DIRECTOR DESK
(Continued from page 2)
“I found the wisdom of the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in natural medicine. I understood better the wisdom of fasting, the concept of wasl (balance) and the implications of being khalifa (a caretaker/leader) on the Earth. The Prophet advised us to eat the fruits and vegetables of the season, to take care of animals, to be moderate in eating, and to share what we have with others. Islam teaches us to be in control of our nafs (desires) and not be enslaved by the desires and pleasures of the dunya (worldly life). I believe a healthy lifestyle is an act of worship and it can reflect our level of faith,” she stated. Sumaya advises those who are interested in losing weight to pledge to become better Muslims. Through acts of worship, such as fasting and giving charity to the needy, she believes people can learn to control their appetite and their desires. Sumaya Soler now lives in Egypt with her husband and two children. She is a Computer Engineer, is completing a Master’s Degree in English as a Second Language and works as an Instructor of English and Public Speaking.
(See Sumaya’s weight loss plan on page 5)
AAAAAAAND ACTION! Aqabah Karate featured on UMTV After having the honor of being featured in a Japanese documentary hosted by world-famous fighter, actor, and singer, Genki Sudo, AK was on the screen again, but this time, the ladies of Aqabah took the spotlight. Female Black Belt Instructor, Amanda Pereira, along with her students from the adult women’s class, were featured in University of Maryland, College Park’s Terrapin Timeout. The Terrapin Timeout is a studentproduced sports magazine show overseen by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s adjunct broadcast professor, Andy Siegel, who is also the executive producer of Comcast SportsNet. The show is aired on University of Maryland Television (UMTV) and is also available online on Vimeo and Youtube. The AK women were recorded during a regular class session and modesty rules were respected. Instructor Amanda spoke about her continued drive to teach the karate class despite her hectic schedule. Ayesha Akhtar and Aisha Ali, long-time students, spoke about the impact the class has had on their lives. Aisha Ali said, “When I don’t come to class, I don’t feel good about myself.” Instructor Amanda also mentioned the evolution of her students and described it as the best part of her job. Special thanks to the AK women for representing the school!
A message from Muhib Rahman
As salaamu alaikum. Peace be with you, In order to provide our students with opportunities to practice at home and also to reach out to our global audience, Aqabah Karate has added new videos to our Youtube channel featuring forms, clips from our jiu jitsu seminars, one-step sparring techniques, and much more. Now there are absolutely no excuses for you not to try one of our classes. From the comfort of your own home, you can access our state-of-the-art facilities and top-notch instruction. See for yourself why Aqabah Karate is the best Muslim martial arts school in the East Coast. Visit our channel under the name Aqabah Karate and be prepared to be blown away. Don’t forget to also visit and “like” us on Facebook. JazakumAllahu khaiyran. Muhib Rahman, Program Director Aqabah Karate, 240-565-8709 www.aqabahkarate.com
March is National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NMM). This year's theme is "Get your Plate in Shape!" While, switching to a slimmer, or smaller plate is the way to go to for portion control, another way of using your plate to your advantage is by stacking it with more fruits and vegetables. Here at AK, we are crazy about coconuts, so we decided to give you another reason to go (coco)nuts.
A HEALTHY CHOICE Delicious recipes with healthy benefits
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps Servings: 4 Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Eat Coconut Oil to Lose Weight Taken from: www.healthymuslim.com
2 tablespoons coconut oil Coconut oil produces energy, not fat. Most forms of fat are not only high in calories, but also contribute the most to body fat. When we eat fat, generally it is broken down into fatty acids and deposited directly into our fat cells.
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, diced 3 garlic cloves finely diced
However, medium-chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil, are digested and utilized differently. Instead of entering the bloodstream, they are sent directly to the liver, where they are converted into energy - just like carbohydrates. But unlike carbohydrates, the fatty acids in coconut oil do not raise blood sugar, so coconut oil is safe for diabetics.
3 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
In other words, when you eat coconut oil, the body uses it immediately to make energy rather than store it as body fat. It has been documented in numerous studies that replacing traditional sources of dietary fat, which are composed mainly of longchain fatty acids, with medium-chain fatty acids results in a decrease in body weight gain and a reduction in fat deposition. The simplest way to do this is to use coconut oil in the preparation of your food.
1/2 pack button mushrooms (or to taste), diced
Coconut oil Speeds Up Metabolism The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil have been found to speed up the body's metabolic rate, so that you burn more calories. This makes coconut oil a dietary fat that can actually promote weight loss, as long as calories in excess of the body's needs are not consumed. The medium-chain fatty acids are easily absorbed and rapidly burned and used as energy for metabolism. Besides increasing your energy level, there are other very important benefits of boosting your metabolic rate: it helps to protect you from illness and speeds healing. When metabolism is increased, cells function more efficiently, injuries are healed quicker, and even the immune system functions better. Increased metabolic rate therefore provides increased protection from degenerative and infectious illnesses. Researchers found that by replacing all the oils in your diet that are made of long-chain triglycerides, such as soybean oil, canola oil and the like, with an oil that contains medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil, you can lose up to 36 pounds of excess fat a year. This is without changing your diet or reducing the number of calories you eat. All you have to do is simply switch to coconut oil. Adding coconut oil to your diet is a great way to help you lose excess body fat. But if you overeat you will still gain weight. The best way to lose weight with coconut oil is to add it to a healthy diet.
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 organic green pepper, diced
4 organic scallions (green onions) sliced, greens and whites 2 tablespoons gluten free tamari salt and pepper to taste 1 head of bibb lettuce, leaves detached, rinsed, and dried Heat up the coconut oil in a skillet and add the ginger and garlic. SautĂŠ for a few minutes. Add chicken and crushed red pepper and cook 5-7 minutes or until cooked through. Add green bell pepper and mushrooms and sautĂŠ a few more minutes. Add the scallion in last with the tamari. If you like your vegetables cooked more, add them in before the chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over 3 or 4 lettuce leaves.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Madness at Aqabah Karate! (Continued from page 1)
Picture: Professor Idriz Redzovic (middle) taking a picture with Aqabah Karate students after his BJJ seminar.
If the name Redzovic sounds familiar, it’s because the Redzovic family has made a name for themselves both in the martial arts world and in the Islamic communities all over the country. One of the founders of Gracie Barra Chicago and Second Degree Black Belt in BJJ, Eddie Redzovic, is the host of the popular program, The Deen Show, a “Tonight Show” styled talk show that features popular Muslim figures from around the globe. It is aired on various Islamic channels, as well as online and on CAN TV, a local channel in Illinois. But Eddie’s cousin Idriz put on a show of his own at Aqabah Studio when he held an intense three hour BJJ seminar that left students wanting more! The class was held on January 6 th and was the first highly anticipated AK event of 2012. Professor Idriz taught students how to break and pass the guard, the defensive position of a person on their back, as well as escapes and submissions from side control and back chokes. It was an exhilarating class which was followed Arashiro’s seminar, leaving students with plenty of techniques to drill during their regular BJJ sessions. Up next is Eddie Redzovic’s brother, Professor Adem Redzovic’s seminar in April, insha’Allah.
Sumaya’s Weight Loss Strategies (continued from page
Firstly, and most importantly, make a commitment to yourself of becoming a better Muslim, to gain control over your desires. Keep yourself busy with something away from food. Look into the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and learn from its wisdom. Fast at least one time in the week. Also at least once a week after you serve a big meal in your plate take half of it and place it in a bowl and give it to somebody in the street, and tell yourself if you go back home and make more food for yourself to make up for what you gave away you will lose your reward. Make a lot of dua (supplication) and Allah will make things easy, insha’Allah. Second, in practical terms and from someone who lost over 200 pounds: DONT DIET! When you put yourself in diet mode you become so self-conscious of it, it makes you crazy and obsessed about what you cannot eat. Also you will become sad and depressed because we have an undeniable link between food and emotions. What you need to do is to start making changes slowly and the key is WHAT you are eating: one slice of American cheese has the same amount of fat of 8 baked potatoes!! Don’t starve, but know what you eat! You can start by putting together a weekly goal. 1. Start with the water, just that! Don’t overwhelm yourself with diet stuff. First week goal is 8+ glasses of DISTILLED water every day and: 2. 3 times a week you will walk (not run, not aerobics, no gym) 10 minutes (not an hour, not even half) 10 minutes because we are not used to walking and if we walk more than that, the next day we can’t get out of bed! So we have to establish a pattern we can actually follow. Keep eating as usual, the only change is the water and the walking, that’s it! -Remember to give charity. When you walk bring another bottle of water. You may find someone to give it to. 3. Second week goal: I will not eat fried food. That’s it! No more! Eat normal; the only change is that you won’t eat fried food + 8 glasses of water + 3 days 10 minute walks. Don’t go beyond this, this is enough! And don’t weight yourself after 1 month is completed!!! -Remember to make dua to Allah asking for help and ease in your life. 4. Third week goal: I will drink HALF of the soda I drink every day and half of that will be diet soda. NO MORE THAN THAT. If you are addicted to sugar and caffeine (= soda) it's a suicide to try to quit it at once. It makes you anxious and sabotages any effort for any kind of diet. Just drink half; and that, split it between regular and diet (mix them if you want). 1/2 soda + no fried food + water + 10min-walk. -Don’t forget you should fast at least one day of the week or at least one day every other week. 5. Fourth week: "I will eat meat once a day only" That will take care of preventing you from cravings and help you decide when meat is more convenient for you...because you rather have some BBQ chicken with some coleslaw and a baked potato with some light butter and a corn on the cob (I consider that a "diet" meal) than just a cold slice of turkey ham on a sandwich. Now, just by having been drinking water for a whole month in that quantity you must have lost weight without a doubt. Walking also got you started on moving your body, getting more oxygen and preparing your body little by little for more exercise in the future. Fried food single-handedly can damage any kind of sacrifice you make to lose weight, so that is out of your way. Soda intake is decreasing; also your addiction is getting treated for what it is: AN ADDICTION = by slowly reducing it. Meat, which is also the 2nd thing that sabotages weight loss, is also under control. You have fasted at least 2 days, made charity and extra dua. This is good food for the soul. Little by little you accomplish changes in your eating habits BUT the key is LITTLE BY LITTLE. Food has to be scrumptious and delicious, you have to enjoy eating. And buy a smaller plate you can fill to the top with whatever you are eating! Looking at a mountain of food will take away any grief dieting may give you. Remember you have to eat in order to lose weight and a good Muslim is a healthy Muslim!
Upcoming 2012 Events March 31—2nd Black Belt Classing, Females Session April 1st—2nd Black Belt Classing, Males Session April 14th—World Dang Soo Do Tournament, Columbus, OH April 19th—Prof. Adem Redzovic BJJ Seminar (Tentative) April 21st—IBJJF NY Open May 2012—Islamic Games, NJ June 29-30—USGTSD National Championships, Virginia Beach, VA
*Check our website, fan page, or blog for updates on upcoming events.
Words of Wisdom
Aqabah Karate Newsletter ISSUE 06 Jan-March 2012
“It is unfitting for a believer that his belly becomes his greatest concern, or that his desires dominate him.” -Malik ibn Dinar
AQABAH KARATE 5301 Edgewood Road College Park, MD 20740 240.565.8709 ph email@example.com www.aqabahkarate.com