Saratoga Martial Arts Festival

Tomorrow is the annual Saratoga Martial Arts Festival. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones during this fantastic 2 day event.

I had set the goal of teaching there, years earlier when I first attended in 2003. For a few years, I had been an assistant to my Pentjak Silat Karate instructor…I even did a Kata demonstration one year.

Last year, I was invited to be a featured instructor on the weekend I was to be married (my instructor in Nemaru Karate performed the service). My bride was fantastic about letting me go…she just said, “Don’t let anyone hit you in the face; we have pictures to take.”

I taught two classes: 1. Push Hands Practice and Martial Applications of Yang Style Tai Chi and 2. Eight Pieces of Brocade (a complete Qi Gong set).

Not teaching this year, I get to play! I do hope to be invited back to teach in the future, but being able to attend other instructor’s classes is so much fun!

Tai Chi and Arthritis

I practice many types of martial arts, from Pentjak Silat, Hard Style Karate, and Hsing-I Chuan to various forms of Tai Chi. I love them all, but the harder styles definitely take their toll on my joints. Tai Chi (and Qi Gong) have the opposite effect — they actually help to put my body back together.

That is why I teach Tai Chi for Arthritis and Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi programs at various Senior Centers and Retirement homes…I want everyone doing Tai Chi and feeling better. If you have any joint or mobility issues, contact your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and ask about their special Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi programs, developed by Dr. Paul Lam. 

If you can’t find their particular program in your area, any Tai Chi taught by a competent instructor will help to alleviate joint or mobility pain.

Goal Setting

It is always the right time to set goals. I recently recieved my Adirondack 46′er climber number. it took many years, but I met the goal of climbing the top 46 peaks in the Adirondack Mountain Range last summer….all for the feeling of accomplishment (and a number, which gives me recognition in the books). This summer, my brother and I will finish the last of the hikes he needs to get his number.

We set these goals as personal accomplishments we wanted to complete. We didn’t do it for the recognition or (really) for the number. We did it, because we love the Adirondack Mountains and wanted a way to challenge ourselves, as we enjoyed their beauty.

Climbing not your thing? Set your own goals by following these simple steps; they work with any goal:

1. Think about what you would like to do. i.e. Become a 46′er

2. Write it down!!!! Make it obtainable (but lofty) and give yourself a time limit. i.e. “I will climb 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks by the year 20__.” 

3. Break the goal into smaller goals, which, when finished bring you to where you want to be. i.e. I will climb 10 high peaks per year.

4. Work on completing your smaller, bite-sized goals and check them off when they are finished. 

5. Tell a supportive someone about your goal. Letting other people know what you are trying to accomplish helps to keep you focused and they may give you much needed support when you feel like quitting.

Good luck and do well.

Sparring Class

Eight Star Martial Arts will be sparring with our sister school, Red Dragon Karate School in Ballston Spa. Any Eight Star Martial Arts student  (Karate or Tai Chi) is welcome to join in the fun! We always have a good time playing with our friends from Red Dragon and other schools (like The Galway Karate Club, Genri Ryu Life Protection Arts and Torres Tai Kwon Do, among others). Sparring begins at 6:45pm. Bring your own gear (including mouthpiece and groin protection).