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Health and Fitness Through Martial Arts By Phillip Johnson my coordination, balance, stamina, strength, and flexibility. Martial arts help strengthen your core, legs, arms, back, and shoulders with all the practice and training regimens.

I have studied and practiced martial arts for about 50 years now. I have mastered 3 styles in martial arts. I studied Tang Soo Do Karate 5th Dan for 50 years. I have studied Shorin Ryu Kung Fu 6th Dan for 47 years, and studied Police Shudokan Ryu Taiho Jutsu 3rd Dan (http:// www. po licet aiho jut su. com/belt-reg.html) for 21 years. I have also practiced boxing for 50 years as well. I am currently practicing and studying Wing Chun and Muy Thai. All these disciplines have helped me stay in shape and healthy all my life. It taught me discipline, loyalty, courage, honor, and taking care of my body physically and mentally as well as spiritually. Of course the spiritual part is from the Holy Bible that I believe and practice. Some martial artists practice other religions associated with their martial arts practice. I separate that part of martial arts from my life. I have been inducted into the “Masters Hall of Fame” in 2006 for my achievements in martial arts. See: mastershalloffame.org/content/mhofinductee-list-2006. I am being inducted in 2012 to the largest martial arts hall of fame, “USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame”. I will also receive a PHD (Doctorate in the study of Asian martial arts) shortly thereafter. I attribute all that to my many years of practice and study and the grace of God!

The greatest martial artist of all time, Bruce Lee was a paragon of cool and an icon of the ultimate kick butt martial artist! Not only were his martial arts skills incredible, but he had such an impressive build and physique that even hardcore bodybuilders were impressed and admired him. Bruce Lee actually did not train with weights much at all yet he performed feats of strength as a result of his martial arts training. Bruce Lee was able to perform one-handed pushups using only the thumb and index finger. Bruce could throw grains of rice up into the air and then catch them in mid-flight using chop sticks. Bruce Lee performed 50 reps of one-arm chin-ups. He could break wooden boards 6 inches thick. Bruce could elevate v-sit position for 30 minutes or longer. Martial arts coupled with weight training will help an individual get in shape and stay in shape. I incorporate some martial arts and boxing when I train my clients. Training them is this manner has helped them get stronger, lose weight and inches, lose body fat, gain flexibility and coordination, and gain lean muscle. I also have a variety of boxing and martial arts drills that challenge them. In addition to keeping you in shape, martial arts, when going to a school, or dojo helps a person to have more discipline and integrity, especially young kids. It teaches one self control and restraint.

Martial arts training produces great educational school students at all levels. It has helped me tremendously in my school studies in middle school, high school, and college levels. It has helped my mind and body to be more alert and healthy. I had more respect for my teachers and anyone with authority. More rewards from martial arts training are: it helps you to deal better with common injuries; it builds a stronger core, stronger legs, stronger back, arms, shoulders, neck, and hips. With all the kicks, stances, punches, and quick movements it also gives you aerobics and plyometric type of exercises, thus helping you to lose weight and gain lean muscle. It burns calories, gives you agility, stamina, proper posture and gives you good mental health. There are group aerobic type classes in gyms that incorporate martial arts. For instance, the gym I train at “Empire Fitness” offers classes called body combat and body attack, that emulate martial arts kicks, hand and arm movements, and body movement used in martial arts drills. Martial arts can help you defend and protect yourself and others, but as you have read there are a number of health and fitness benefits associated with them as well. Many martial artists who have been practicing for many years attribute their good health and fit bodies to martial arts training. There are a variety of very popular martial arts including Karate, which is the most common and well-known form of martial arts. Karate is a great way to tone and strengthen the up-

hands, feet, and elbows for defense. Another art is Tae Kwon Do which is related to Karate. It emphasizes more on the legs and kicking and less on the hands and upper body. Tae Kwon Do is great for strengthening and toning the lower body. In Judo you leverage the size and strength of the person you are fighting to defend yourself. Judo focuses more on rolling and controlling opponents by holding them off, rather than by striking them. Kung Fu which is a style I prefer is a high-intensity martial art which provides a strong aerobic and cardiovascular workout. Kung Fu involves primary kicking and punching mo ves, so mer sa u lt s, jumps, and evading an opponent. Kung Fu helps to improve cardiovascular health. When looking for a school for you and or your kids, make sure you find one to fit yours or your kid’s

schedule and are also good fits. Look for martial arts schools and classes in your local area. You can search online or ask friends for recommendations. You can even contact me and I will guide you in the right direction. Watch a session at a school before you join. In conclusion, get into martial arts, workout regularly, watch your diet, do your cardio, and stay fit for life! Phillip and his son, Michael are part of ‘Fit for Life’ which is a lifestyle of fitness, good diet, exercising, and cardio for the rest of your life. . They inspire people to live a lifestyle of fitness for life. They train their clients to be more motivated, dedicated, and consistent with their fitness. Phillip trains clients at Empire Fitness, and Workout Anytime 24/7 on University, in the Newks restaurant shopping center. He also teaches boxing, martial arts.


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