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Rochelle Park, NJ / Bergen County, United States
Serving Men, Women, Children and Families in the Communities of the Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Maywood, Paramus, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Lodi, Hackensack, Hasbrouck Heights, Wallington, Garfield, River Edge, and surrounding towns with the benefits of Taekwondo, Self Defense, Thai Kickboxing, Submission Grappling, Cage Fitness and Personal Protection.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Avoid Becoming the Next Victim

“Subtle nonverbal cues can sometimes make the difference in whether you’re targeted or not,” says Georgia State University psychologist Volkan Topall.
Here are some tips on how to keep yourself from becoming a target to street predators.

Look like you Know…
Even if you are in unfamiliar surroundings you can still “look” like you know where you are going. If you must stop and ask for directions ask a store clerk or police officer.

Use your Awareness…
Look at your surroundings. Take in the people and environment. Many criminals like to sneak up on their victims. Make brief eye-contact with those around you. Key word is brief, don’t stare. Talk on your cell phone when appropriate. Criminals love people who are on their cell phones.

When visiting…
Entertainment districts are sometimes near areas of higher crime. Dress down if you can. Flashy jewelry and other “signs of money” attract attention from criminals who feel your success is there lousy lot in life.

No need to stop for anyone…
If someone tries to stop you, don’t let them. Stay in motion.

As you walk toward your car…
Carry your keys in your hand. Be prepared. Give a glance into the back seat. Better safe than sorry.

Don’t carry more cash than you need…
Criminals sometime hang around stores to see who is paying with cash and carrying more than “average.” Better yet use your debit card instead of cash.

Let someone you trust know…
It’s always a good idea to let someone you trust know what you’ll be up to on a particular day. Let them know your route and when you expect to be home. This way if something does happen, authorities will know where to look.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Theater In Your Child’s Mind and Positive Visualization

In a previous post we talked about the importance of monitoring our thoughts. We learned that we become what we think about most of the time. The challenge is to control thoughts of past failures, present and future problems. The goal… To replace those thoughts with thoughts of success and victory.

The best way to help teach your child to control his thoughts is with a fun concept called visualization. Positive visualization or mental rehearsal, as it’s sometimes referred to, is practiced by top performing men and women in all kinds of situations. Athletes, entertainers, public speakers are just a few of the professions where the champions rely heavily on this discipline. We have a theater in our mind and it’s open 24 hours a day! Positive visualization is how we make sure that good movies are playing. So how can this help you and your child?

Let’s pretend your child has an important project which will require him so speak in front of his class or maybe the entire school. Now keep in mind this is just an example, but the idea is to use visualization on just about everything, especially the tasks which he may feel challenged and fearful of. Say to him something like this..”Son it’s your turn. You feel calm, your muscles are relaxed, you’re breathing easily, you’re on your way up to the stage and you’re taking your time. You stand confident and speak clearly; everyone can’t wait to hear your presentation. During your presentation everyone is focused on you because your doing such a great job. You finish and everyone claps! You did fantastic!”

Using the theater of the mind to rehearse success will be very powerful for you and your child. I encourage you to try it! Just remember when you visualize and self-talk (Incidentally, it’s ok to talk to yourself. It’s even ok to answer, just as long as you don’t say “huh?” to the answers.) You have to imagine vividly that it’s actually happening. You must also talk and visualize in positive terms, “I am relaxed” I gave a great presentation” Not “I will not screw up".

What are we thinking?

We all think in pictures. Many times what we see in our mind translates to what we end up with in reality. The great challenge lies in being ale to control what kind of pictures play in the theater of our mind! Here's some important and practical information for both parents and children.

What kind of thoughts do you habitually think? What kind of thoughts does your child habitually think? Although we would like to believe our thoughts are of success, accomplishment, and a bright future, they may not always be. If we took an inventory of our thoughts we might discover from this audit that we dwell on past failures, present problems, and future anxiety too much. No matter how good you or your child’s current situation we can all benefit from tighter control of our own thoughts,

Why is this so important? Because many of the psychological breakthroughs of the last century had to do with the fact that “we become what we think about most of the time.” Just that one sentence should awake you to how important this topic is to you and your child’s future success. This is mainly due to the power of the subconscious mind which processes every thought and experience we have. The subconscious actually doesn’t know the difference between a real event and one that is vividly imagined. I encourage you to do your own research on the subconscious.

Try to catch yourself thinking thoughts of fear and failure and then quickly change them to positive successful thoughts. Just being aware of your thoughts and this fact will have a huge impact on your success.

Social Anxiety

Maybe it has happened to you before…. 

Your daughter is scheduled for her first dance lesson, karate class, or soccer game and you get her to the class or the field and she freezes! She just doesn’t want to get into the class or step on to the field! 

Your son’s first baseball game is Saturday and he’s been talking about it all week..”I can’t wait to hit the ball, I can’t wait to run the bases, I can’t wait.” Then when the time comes to get his baseball uniform on he refuses!

Or how about when you feel as though a particular activity will be beneficial for your son or daughter and you say “hey would you like to give ___ a try?” and they say “No!” you then ask why and possibly un-intentionally argue about how it’s no big deal to try things!

In my years as a martial-arts school owner and instructor I’ve witnessed my fair share of children who seem to become un-interested at the moment of truth. If this has happened to you don’t worry about and don’t be mad at your child. All that happened was a slight case of social anxiety brought on by the thought of stepping out of their comfort zone. If you were able to get them there because they were excited and then they suddenly changed their minds all that happened was simple.. Their mental picture did not match what they now see in reality. If you asked them about trying something and they said, “No!” Then they simply already made a mental picture of themselves being uncomfortable.

We all have social anxiety. It’s not easy to step out of our comfort zones. Just imagine attending a party where you don’t know anyone? Or, if you’re ok with that, how about speaking in public? The key fact to remember is our kids are no different. But the sooner you help them step out of their comfort zone the easier it will get each time. If you give up the first time the harder it may get!

There’s a psychological principle called systematic de-sensitization. Which simply means; the more you make yourself do what you are sensitive or fearful of the less sensitive and fearful you will be. So if your child experiences some social anxiety don’t let it bother you too much, just keep trying and don’t give up, social skills and the ability to control fear are essential in our world and the sooner your child begins develops these skills the better.

Self-Discipline For Children

What is self-discipline? 

Self-discipline has been defined as the ability to make yourself do what you know you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like or not! A disciplined person knows what has to be done and does it. They don’t put it off until latter or allow themselves to be easily taken off track. And, most importantly they prioritize and focus on being self-disciplined with activities that move them toward their goals. There’s a big difference between having self-discipline with tasks that don’t move you toward your goals and doing very well what need not be done at all. It’s usually the more challenging activities and tasks that will help you reach your goals than those of less importance. This concept is easily confused so be careful which activities you exercise your self-discipline with.

When teaching children self-discipline it is important to have fun and keep in mind that the idea is to establish routines that are followed for the entire week without deviation or distraction. We want our children to pick up after themselves, to clean their rooms without being told, to study and do their homework on their own, and to be responsible for their extra curricular programs as well. We demand a whole lot from them!

Explain to them that there are two kinds of discipline; Parent discipline- We constantly tell them what they need to do! And Self-discipline- They take care of certain things without reminders from us! Sometime just understanding this simple concept can point them in the right direction!

List all of their responsibilities that have to do with, school, home, extra curricular, and leisure time. Have a discussion about all their responsibilities in those areas. Then, with there input, teach them how to prioritize. In other words make sure they know that homework and studying are more important than chores. Remember the self-disciplined person does the more important goal-oriented activity first.

When your child understands what’s important by the goals you’ve have set it will be easy to establish a comfortable routine for everyone to follow. Your routine should include all the activities on your list. The more regimented you child becomes and the more you and him plan time for every responsibility in order of importance the more discipline he will have. Just remember to stick to a fun routine so it becomes habit and therefore causes your child to want to be self-disciplined.

Setting Goals for Weight Loss

There are lots of reasons for people who are overweight or obese to lose weight. To be healthier. To look better. To feel better. To have more energy.
 No matter what the reason, successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations. If you set sensible goals for yourself, chances are you'll be more likely to meet them and have a better chance of keeping the weight off. In fact, losing even five to 10 percent of your weight is the kind of goal that can help improve your health.

Most overweight people should lose weight gradually. For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly. If so, a physician's supervision is required.
 What you weigh is the result of several factors:
  • how much and what kinds of food you eat
  • whether your lifestyle includes regular physical activity
  • whether you use food to respond to stress and other situations in your life
  • your physiologic and genetic make-up
  • your age and health status.

Successful weight loss and weight management should address all of these factors. And that's the reason to ignore products and programs that promise quick and easy results, or that promise permanent results without permanent changes in your lifestyle. Any ad that says you can lose weight without lowering the calories you take in and/or increasing your physical activity is selling fantasy and false hope. In fact, some people would call it fraud. Furthermore, the use of some products may not be safe.

A Realistic Approach

Many people who are overweight or obese have decided not to diet per se, but to concentrate on engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining healthy eating habits in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, emphasizing lowered fat consumption, and an increase in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Others — who try to diet — report needing help to achieve their weight management goals.
 Fad diets that ignore the principles of the Dietary Guidelines may result in short term weight loss, but may do so at the risk of your health. How you go about managing your weight has a lot to do with your long-term success. Unless your health is seriously at risk due to complications from being overweight or obese, gradual weight loss should be your rule — and your goal.

Here's how to do it:

  • Check with your doctor. Make sure that your health status allows lowering your caloric intake and increasing your physical activity.

  • Follow a calorie-reduced, but balanced diet that provides for as little as one or two pounds of weight loss a week. Be sure to include at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, lean meat and low fat dairy products. It may not produce headlines, but it can reduce waistlines. It's not "miracle" science — just common sense. Most important, it's prudent and healthy.

  • Make time in your day for some form of physical activity. Start by taking the stairs at work, walking up or down an escalator, parking at the far end of a lot instead of cruising around for the closest spot. Then, assuming your physician gives the okay, gradually add some form of regular physical activity that you enjoy. Walking is an excellent form of physical activity that almost everyone can do.

  • Consider the benefits of moderate weight loss. There's scientific evidence that losing five to 10 percent of your weight and keeping it off can benefit your health — lower your blood pressure, for example. If you are 5 feet 6 inches tall and weigh 180 pounds, and your goal weight is 150, losing five to 10 percent (nine to 18 pounds) is beneficial. When it comes to successful weight loss and weight management, steady and slow can be the way to go.

For many people who are overweight or obese, long-term — and healthy — weight management generally requires sensible goals and a commitment to make realistic changes in their lifestyle and improve their health. A lifestyle based on healthy eating and regular physical activity can be a real lifesaver.

Determining Your Weight/Health Profile

Overweight and obesity have been associated with increased risk of developing such conditions as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

 For most people, determining the circumference of your waist and your body mass index (BMI) are reliable ways to estimate your body fat and the health risks associated with being overweight, over fat or obese. BMI is reliable for most people between 19 and 70 years of age except women who are pregnant or breast feeding, competitive athletes, body builders, and chronically ill patients. Generally, the higher your BMI, the higher your health risk, and the risk increases even further if your waist size is greater than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women. There are other ways, besides BMI, to determine your body fat composition, and your doctor can tell you about them, but the method recommended here will help you decide if you are at risk. Use the chart to determine your BMI. Then, measure your waist size. Now, with your BMI and waist size determined, use the table below to determine your health risk relative to normal weight.

Risk of Associated Disease According to BMI and Waist Size

Waist less than or equal to
40 in. (men) or
35 in. (women)
Waist greater than
40 in. (men) or
35 in. (women)
18.5 or less

18.5 - 24.9

25.0 - 29.9
30.0 - 34.9
Very High
35.0 - 39.9
Very High
Very High
40 or greater
Extremely Obese
Extremely High
Extremely High

Several other factors, including your medical history, can increase your health risk.
See your doctor for advice about your overall health risk and the weight loss options that are best for you. Together, decide whether you should go on a moderate diet (1200 calories daily for women, 1400 calories daily for men), or whether other options might be appropriate.
Once you and your doctor have determined the type of diet that makes the most sense for you, you may want to choose a product or a plan to help you reach your goal. Consider: b If your doctor prescribes a medication, ask about complications or side effects, and tell the doctor what other medications, including over-the-counter drug products, and dietary supplements you take and other conditions you're being treated for. After you start taking the medication, tell the doctor about changes you experience, if any.

  • If your treatment includes periodic monitoring, counseling or other activities that require your attendance, make sure the location is easy to get to and the appointment times are convenient.
  • Some methods for losing weight have more risks and complications than others. Ask for details about the side effects, complications or risks of any product or service that promotes weight loss and how to deal with problems should they occur. Where appropriate to the program, ask about the credentials and training of the program staff.
  •  Ask for an itemized price list for all the costs of the plan you're considering, including membership fees, fees for weekly visits, the costs of any diagnostic tests, costs for meal replacements, foods, nutritional supplements, or other products that are part of the weight loss program or plan.

How to Raise Your Child’s Self-Esteem

The development of high levels of self-esteem is critically important to your child’s future success! Here at MVP Taekwondo Center we take the job of helping you and your child very seriously. Please enjoy the following tips on what you can do to help ensure your child’s self-esteem is kicking at a high level.
1) Teach positive self-statements. It is important for parents to redirect their child’s inaccurate or negative beliefs about themselves. This will help you teach your child how to think in positive ways. Take quick action when you hear your child saying or expressing feelings of “being no good” and help the re-phrase and re-think their assessment of themselves.
2) Be generous with praise. Parents must develop the habit of looking for situations in which children are giving their best effort, displaying talents, or demonstrating positive character traits. Remember to praise children for jobs well done and for the effort they put out. It is easy to fall into the trap of being overly critical. But constantly being the critic is not for a positive parent.
3) Avoid criticism that takes the form of ridicule or shame. Blame and negative judgments are at the core of poor self-esteem and can lead to emotional disorders. If you must criticize (and sometimes you will) be sure you are criticizing the performance not the performer! Also use this time to impart valuable wisdom onto your child which they can use in the future!
4) Show your child that you can laugh at yourself. Show them that life doesn't need to be serious all the time. Especially when it comes to teasing let them know that some teasing is all in fun. Your sense of humor is important for their well-being. If you can laugh at yourself- they’ll have no problems laughing at themselves.
5) Teach children about decision making and to recognize when they have made good decisions Let them "own" their problems. If they solve them, they gain confidence in themselves. If you solve them, they'll remain dependent on you. Take the time to answer questions and help your child think through the situation. Explain to them what the consequences of their decision will be.

Healthy Eating on the Fly for Busy Families

Many on-the-go families may feel like marathon runners as they move through their busy schedules. With work and school demands, family commitments, evening activities-and only 24 hours in a day-it seems that parents and children remain in near-perpetual motion.

In an ideal world, everyone would slow down and come together for meals. It's a great time for families to check in with each other and it helps parents monitor what their children eat. But, sometimes, busy families have to eat on the run. So, how can you help your family eat healthfully on the fly?

Rise of a "Fast Food Nation"

Since the invention of the first drive-through window in the 1940s, Americans have been eating on the go. Fast food restaurants are among our country's most popular places to eat because of their convenience, low prices, and quick service. On any given day in the United States about one-quarter of the adult population visits a fast food restaurant.1

The typical American consumes approximately three hamburgers and four orders of French fries every week!2

Many fast food places now offer healthy items like salads, fresh fruit, and baked potatoes. Despite this growing trend, most fast food meals still tend to be high in calories, sodium, and fat, and they often lack important vitamins and minerals. Too much fast food can lead to weight gain, putting you at risk for health problems-especially heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.3

Food and Family Time

Eating on the go also can mean that families lose important, focused time with each other. Family mealtimes give everyone a chance to share ideas and "what's happening." What a great way for a parent to be involved, discuss rules, and monitor activities and friends while being a good role model. If everyone eats in the car on the way to a soccer game or martial arts class, it's harder to have a meaningful conversation!

Finding Balance in Your Family's Diet and Schedule

As moms and dads know, parenting takes creativity and compromise. Healthy eating on the fly is all about finding balance for your family-in their diet and in the way you eat meals.

How can I help my family eat healthfully when we eat out?

Keep portion sizes small. For example, order a regular hamburger and small fries, instead of a double or triple cheeseburger and extra large fries.

Share portions. Many meals are large, so don't hesitate to order one dinner and split it. It's not about the cost. It's about the portion size!

Ask that high-fat sauces and condiments, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise, be "on the side" and use them sparingly.

Say "no" to high-calorie juices and sodas. Look for healthier options like fat-free or low-fat milk, water, or low-calorie juices and sodas.
How can I make time for family mealtime?

Routinely eat together at home. Mark the days and meals on your family's calendar and stick to them!

Look for local picnic options. Many indoor and outdoor parks and recreation facilities have picnic areas where your family could sit down for a quick dinner before or after your kids' activities. Packing your own dinner saves money, too!

When you eat out, try to avoid the drive-through window. Go in and sit down at a table together.

Instead of eating out, pack your own meals and snacks. You'll save money and help your kids eat healthy foods. Try these smart snack ideas:

Unsalted pretzels and unbuttered and unsalted popcorn (It might take time to adjust to the taste, but the health benefits make it worthwhile!)
Low-fat yogurt with fruit
Broccoli, carrots, or cherry tomatoes with low-fat dip or yogurt
Melon slices
Apple slices with peanut butter
Graham crackers
Gingersnap cookies
Low- or reduced-fat string cheese
Baked whole-grain tortilla chips with salsa
Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Healthier Eating.

Moderation Is Key

Eating out can be fun for parents and kids. Moms and dads enjoy getting a break from cooking and it is fun for the whole family to go out together. The key is to dine at fast food places in moderation. Plan ahead and limit the number of times your family grabs a burger and fries each week. If you have to eat out, look for healthy food options!

Families can eat out without sacrificing good nutrition and without sacrificing important time together. Mealtime is a chance for parents and kids to talk with one another. Even if you're on the go, make sure that you set aside time to check in with your child about what's going on in his life. Get creative with your family schedule and look for ways that all of you can be together and eat healthfully, even on the fly.

Conversation Starter

If you had all the money that Americans spend on fast food, what would you do with it?