Tips, Tricks, and Everything Martial Arts!


What it Means to Be a Ninja

Ninjas: You’ve seen them in movies and if you have children, chances are you’ve seen them try to mimic the moves of these black-clothed warriors. But do you and your kids know the history of ninjas and what it means to be one? If your child wants to be a ninja (or just act like one), it’s important to educate them about what ninjas are and get them into martial arts classes that can teach them proper techniques and safety. At Orion Martial Arts in San Diego’s north county, we offer affordable ninja classes for kids, teens, and adults. If you’re interested in these classes for you or someone you know, keep reading to get some historical background and to learn more about our classes.


A Brief History
Ninjas were covert agents in feudal Japan that were tasked with open combat, infiltration, espionage, assassination, and more. During times of unrest and war, ninjas were hired for these tasks. However, once Japan became more unified, the ninja became a thing of the past. They became more of a legend, story, or folktale than anything real. With this romanticized view of the ninja came the ideas that ninjas were almost supernatural; people believed that their training included learning to walk on water or exert control over the elements. This is why the common world view of them involved a lot of mystery and the idea that they were even more sneaky and stealthy than they actually were.  


Regardless of what people believe that ninjas are capable of, we know that they had to undergo extensive training and learn to have control over their body, mind, and weapons. Ninjas were born to be ninjas, and the profession was passed down through families. Being a ninja was not just a profession, but a way of life and was treated as such.

Our ninja classes are fun, but safe. We teach people of all ages how to use ninjas weapons such as swords and stars. To master a ninja’s stealth and agility, we employ obstacle courses and balancing drills. We also educate our students on concealment and camouflage and provide all kinds of training in a safe environment. We even have our students dress in traditional ninja clothing! If you’re interested in learning more or attending a class, contact us today!

Getting Exercise During the Summer Heat

Once spring comes around in San Diego, the weather warms up significantly and continues to warm up into the summer months. While this means more fun­ in ­the ­sun activities and recreations, it also means there are added dangers when it comes to working out. Dehydration, sunburn, and heat exhaustion are just a few of the alarming things that can happen when you work out in hot weather. However, there are precautions you can take to avoid these dangers. Read on to prepare yourself for hotter workouts!

Making Changes to Your Outdoor Workout

If you’re a runner, jogger, beach volleyball player, or just an outdoor recreation enthusiast, it’s important to take note of hot weather. If you find that you’re sweating more than normal or having a hard time completing your workout, it might be time to make adjustments to your routine. If you must workout outside, consider doing so earlier or later in the day when the sun has not fully risen or is starting to go down. This can help you avoid overhead, direct sunlight. As well, you should make sure to wear a high SPF sunscreen, regardless of what time of day you are working out.

Try an Indoor Workout

If you can give up your outdoor workout on a hot day, you definitely should. You can exercise at home, in a gym, or in an indoor class setting. At Orion Martial Arts, we offer several martial arts and self­-defense classes in an indoor studio. Our classes help you burn calories while strengthening your body. If you’re in north county San Diego and looking for a martial arts or indoor exercise class, we invite you to come check us out!

Indoor or Out, Stay Hydrated!

No matter where your workout takes you, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is important to any workout, anywhere, at any time of year, but it’s even more important during hotter weather. Bring a water bottle with you to your workout, and consider keeping an extra one in your car or bag just in case. If it’s really a scorcher, stay away from sports drinks or water with flavor additives, because they can sometimes make you more thirsty. When it doubt, drink good old water!

The San Diego sunshine is already warm, and it’s just going to get warmer! Keep our tips in mind to ensure that you stay on top of your workouts without harming yourself.

Image Source: Pixabay

Working Out With Your Children

2/2/2015

A lot of parents these days are concerned about the health and well-being of their family as a whole. With the rise of childhood obesity in recent years (not to mention overall obesity in the US), parents are trying to find more ways to help their kids stay in shape. But the concern doesn’t stop there. Often times parents find themselves struggling to stay fit when they have to juggle a full-time job, running a household, and taking care of their children. One way to make sure that your whole family works out is to workout together. Below are some ideas to get your whole family moving together.

Stretch Together
A lot of parents have their children enrolled in a sport, such as soccer, dance or martial arts classes. Regardless of the sport, stretching is really important. A parent and child can stretch together before the child is dropped off at a class or practice. Even if your child will be stretching again, you can never stretch too much. Proper stretching increases flexibility (a key component in fitness) and decreases your chances of getting injured. Try partner exercising techniques with your child to make the most out of it for both of you.

Play at the Park
It’s so simple to get your heart pumping by playing with your child at the park. Catch and Frisbee are always great options, plus you can give your child an incentive to try harder by establishing penalties (nothing too intense) for dropping the ball or Frisbee. An example of this could be jump roping for 15 seconds or doing ten jumping jacks.

Play (and Practice) the Same Sport
There are a lot of sports out there that offer options for both kids and adults. If your child is playing in a little league team, consider joining an adult softball league. It’s even easier to play the same sport if the classes or practices happen at the same place. A great example of this is the children and adult classes at Orion Martial Arts in San Diego county. We offer a lot of class options for the whole family! And if you and your child take classes from us, you can hold each other accountable for your success. If your child sees you staying dedicated to going to classes, they will be more likely to want to go to classes as well. Plus, you can practice at home together since you’ll be learning similar techniques!

No matter how you decide to workout with your child or children, just make sure you are having fun! You’re both more likely to stick to a workout routine if you enjoy it.


Martial Arts Class Options to Fit Every Schedule and Budget
1/5/2014

At Orion Martial Arts in San Marcos, California, we understand the need for options when you are committing to a new workout for yourself or a sport for your children. Martial arts classes need to fit into your busy schedule, and they need to fit within your budget. For these reasons, we offer several options for payment as well as a varied class schedule. Below are the options you can choose from:

  • $55 per month for unlimited classes: This allows you to come to our classes as often as you want! This option is perfect for the workout or martial arts junkies who just can’t get enough!

  • $40 per month for eight classes: If you know you can only come to our classes once or twice a week, this option is just right. This is also a great choice for kids who are just getting into martial arts and still need to get their feet wet.

  • $660 per year pre-pay: You can really save big here! This option gives you unlimited attendance for a whole year AND you’ll receive another year free. You can keep this free year for yourself for the following year or give your free year to a friend!

  • $220 for four months pre-pay: This is another great saving option. You’ll get unlimited attendance and a free uniform and T-shirt. (Uniform is a $34.99 + tax value)

  • $160 for four months pre-pay: This option gives you eight classes per month and a free uniform. Paying in advance gives you peace of mind knowing you won’t have to pay again for a while and this option gives you the added benefit of a free uniform.

For more information about pricing and classes, please contact us today! To view our current class schedule, check out our class times here. We’d love to have you visit our martial arts studio in San Diego county so you and your whole family can get fit and have fun!

Let Your Child Be a Ninja
12/1/2014

Orion Martial Arts in San Marcos, California, is proud to offer a fun and exciting martial arts class that your child will love! We offer Ninja classes for kids and teens, that serve as an enjoyable and safe after school activity. Your child can master the art of Ninjutsu by visiting us in North County San Diego just a few times a week!

Our Ninja classes are conducted in a fun and safe manner. We know that kids have seen Ninjas in some of their favorite movies and video games, so we give them the chance to imitate these fighters in a monitored setting. This is a great form of exercise as the classes include agility and obstacle courses, as well as weapons training. While doing all of these fun activities, your child will also work on their balancing skills, as well as learn to become more focused and disciplined, which is characteristic of all martial arts classes. Your child or teen will also be excited to learn about camouflage and concealment, important lessons for any Ninja!

If your child has an inner Ninja inside, we invite you to bring them to one of our classes. They’re sure to learn a lot, work up a sweat, and have a great time! View our class list here, or contact us if you have any questions.

How to Get on a Workout Schedule
11/17/14

For many people, working out on a regular basis can seem nearly impossible. With the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, it’s hard to find the time to devote to working out. While it’s up to the individual to make their workout happen, there are some tactics that can help your dream of working out consistently a reality.

  1. Find a workout you love like Martial Arts. It’s a lot easier to get into the habit of working out if you are actually looking forward to it (or at least not dreading it). If there’s a certain exercise you really like, try to find a way to focus your workouts around it. For some people this can be weightlifting, dance classes, running, and so on. One activity that offers a lot of great exercise is martial arts. Classes in this sport offer cardio and strength building. Plus, you get to learn self-defense moves.

  2. Pick a time and stick to it. Whether you work out morning, night, or on your lunch, just stick to that time. It’s easier to be consistent with something when you are always doing it at the same time. You can even add your workout time to your calendar, planner, or scheduler so you can hold yourself accountable for sticking to that time.

  3. Build a routine around your workout. Make a list of things you need or need to do before your workout, and do them! If you prep accordingly for your workout, you’ll be less likely to flake out on it. For example, if you take martial arts classes in the morning, you can make a habit and routine of laying out your workout clothes before you go to bed, putting them on first thing in the morning, and making a light breakfast to eat before you head out to your class. You’ll be less likely to back out of your workout if you already have your workout clothes on!

  4. Reward yourself for sticking to your schedule. You can set goals for working out consistently and then give yourself a treat. Treat yourself to a massage or a shirt you’ve had your eye on after you’ve gone to your martial arts class five times in one week. Give yourself bigger goals to reach with bigger rewards too!

As you can see, there are little tricks for making yourself get into a workout routine. Ready to give martial arts classes a try? Make it your go-to workout by contacting us today!

How Toddlers Benefit from Martial Arts
11/10/14

If you’ve wanted to get your toddler started early in a sport but aren’t sure where to start, you might want to consider martial arts classes. Two- and three-year-olds can learn a lot in martial arts. It’s great to get them started in a sport when they are young so they can get a head start and have ample time to develop the skills. At this age, children are just old enough to be aware of their bodies and surroundings, so it’s a great time to get started. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Martial arts classes can help kids develop hand-eye coordination as well as motor skills in general. Punches, kicks, and stances can all help a child fine tune their coordination.

  • Following instructions from a martial arts instructor teaches young kids how to listen and give authority figures respect. This is great for three-year-old to learn before he or she starts school.

  • Depending on the class/teacher, your child might learn about “stranger danger” and how to defend themselves against other scary things.

  • Martial arts is a sport the whole family can get into, so if you’d like to take part in an activity with your child, martial arts is a great option. Also, your child might be more inspired to learn if they see you doing the same things they are doing.

If you’d like to get your child into martial arts classes in San Diego, please contact us. We welcome students of all ages and abilities!

5 Benefits of Martial Arts for Children
10/30/14

Having kids participate in sports from a young age is very beneficial. Depending on the sport, the child will learn various skills and character traits. Plus, kids have fun at the same time so they don’t even realize that they’re learning more than just how to throw a ball or a punch. Martial arts is a great sport for children to participate in because it teaches them a lot of unique things that other sports teach, while also teaching them how to defend themselves properly. Here are five (of many) benefits that kids will take away from their martial arts classes:

  1. Conflict resolution: Martial arts teaches kids that you should always look for a solution to a conflict that doesn’t involve fighting. Hurtful words aren’t worth physically fighting over, as martial arts skills should only be used during class or for self-defense. In martial arts, children learn to stop a fight before it ever starts.

  2. Exercise: As with any other sport, martial arts is a form of exercise. It’s important for kids to be active in an era where childhood obesity is at an all-time high. While martial arts can demand a high level of activity, even kids who aren’t as good at other sports can excel. No need to throw a ball through a hoop or hit a home run; kids will get fit simply through learning skills in the class.

  3. Focus: Learning kicks and punches, and being able to hit a target takes an incredible amount of focus. Children might not experience having to reach this level of focus on a daily basis, but when they experience it in a martial arts class, it helps them learn the value of working hard and then they often take that mentality with them into other aspects of life.

  4. Inner peace: Part of learning martial arts is learning to be aware of yourself inside and out. Your mind has to be clear to learn and absorb new skills, and often times there will be a reflection period at the end of martial arts classes to think about what was learned in class or to more generally think about that day as a whole. This can even involve calming and controlled breathing exercises. It’s not likely that a child will meditate or reflect, even if asked to by their parents, but it can and does happen in martial arts.

  5. Balance and posture: There are several stances that are learned in martial arts, and these stances are the basis for proper kicking and punching technique. When you combine all of these things together, you are learning to have proper posture and how to balance your body. This is great for young children especially, as they are still getting used to how their body works.

If this list of benefits has made you ready to enroll your child in martial arts classes in San Marcos, contact us today!

How to Stay Fit During College
10/29/14

If you’re worried about gaining the “Freshman 15” in college (and perhaps even a few more 15’s in the following years), you should think about getting on a consistent exercise schedule and eating healthy foods. Taking these two steps can really help prevent you from packing on the pounds and can even make you feel better about yourself!

Exercise
College class schedules can be crazy and hectic, but if you evaluate your class schedule each semester, you can find time for regular exercise. For example, if you have back-to-back classes three days a week but then only one class the other two days, consider setting time aside on those less busy days for working out. This can be anything from jogging to jump roping or even using a workout DVD.

However, if you find that you aren’t motivated to work out even when you have the time, it can be helpful to go to a class at a local gym or sporting/workout facility. A great option for Cal State San Marcos students is a martial arts or Boxfit class at Orion Martial Arts in north county San Diego. Orion’s classes provide a cardio and strengthening workout, and can even help you learn self-defense moves. With all the benefits that one class offers, you’re sure to get the most out of your scheduled workout time.

Eating Right
It’s also important to eat right if you want to avoid the Freshman 15. It can be tempting to buy a bag of chips from a vending machine and load up on sugary coffee drinks, but instead you should try consuming healthier versions of these items. If you crave salty or crunchy snacks, try pretzels, rice cakes, or snacks made from vegetables.

For a caffeine fix, you can make your own coffee at home and add a small amount of flavored drink syrup for a touch of sweetness. You can also drink tea and add your favorite fruits to it. Regardless of what you eat, just ask yourself if there’s something better you can be eating. And for long days on campus, arm your bag with snacks and foods that are high in fiber and protein so you don’t get hungry as often as you would if you ate junk food.

While each college student’s life, body, schedule, and habits are different, you can avoid putting on extra weight while in school. Finding a proper balance of exercise, diet, and time can help immensely.

Special Needs Martial Arts Classes in San Diego

At Orion, we know it can be challenging to find a sport or extracurricular activity for child with special needs. Will the sport work with your child so he or she understands what’s going on? Will the instructor or coach take some extra time working one on one with them? If these are concerns you’ve had, we invite you to consider martial arts classes at Orion in San Diego!

We offer karate and wrestling classes for children with special needs in north county San Diego. We take extra time and effort to help kids with hearing or seeing impairments. We even teach classes to children with autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Beyond martial arts, we educate kids about strangers and bullies via drills in our classes. And, we offer these classes to students of all ages!

All ages and abilities are welcome at Orion Martial Arts. You’ll find that we provide a safe environment that other sports leagues or clubs can’t always offer. We keep these classes small, capping them at 10 students max. If you or someone you know is interested in martial arts classes for people with special needs, come meet us a try a class! Our class info and schedule can be found here.

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The Importance of Martial Arts Training

Regardless of your age, gender, or background, it’s important to have the skills you learn in martial arts training. If you’ve ever wanted to take part in something that truly helps you become a better, stronger individual, you should consider trying martial arts. The skills and knowledge you can learn by participating in just one sport are amazing. In the time it takes to attend weekly martial arts classes, a person (any person) can learn self-defense, get a good workout, improve their balance and agility, and become more disciplined and dedicated.

Martial Arts teaches self-defense
One of the most common reasons people take up martial arts is to learn self-defense. No matter what stage, age, or position you are in life, it never hurts to know how to defend yourself. While other sports can offer some of the same benefits as martial arts, none of them can offer the added benefit of learning how to get out of a dangerous situation.

Martial Arts is a workout
This one just makes sense. Any sort of physical activity is good for you, and sports are a great form of exercise because often you don’t feel like you’re working out. You don’t have to think about making it to the next mile on the treadmill  or getting time on the coveted leg machine everybody seems to want to use at the gym. This is all true for martial arts. In one class you can get a cardio and muscle workout. People who train in martial arts often feel their legs and arms get stronger from practicing various kicks, punches, and stances.

Martial Arts improves balance and agility
With the nature of learning different ways of standing (stances) in order to complete various moves and techniques, you’re bound to improve your balance by taking martial arts classes. You often have to stand in ways that are unfamiliar and throw kicks, thus forcing you to balance. Along with this balance comes agility. Moving in the most efficient ways in order to defend yourself requires you to be agile. In martial arts, you learn moves, practice them, build upon them, and sometimes even test them out on bags or in sparring. This repetition along with learning to be efficient enhances your agility.

Martial arts fosters good discipline and dedication
Learning from a martial arts instructor requires you to be disciplined. If you aren’t listening, you aren’t going to do moves correctly. Self-discipline also emerges because you sometimes need to practice techniques on your own to really hone and fine tune them. This, in turn, leads to learning how to be dedicated to something that is important to you.

As you can see, the importance of martial arts can be appreciated by anyone. Parents are often glad and excited to see their children learning the skills and reaping the benefits listed above, just as adults are happy to be learning the same things themselves. If the list above sounds enticing to you and is everything you’ve ever wanted out of a sport, workout, or extracurricular activity, contact us today to learn how to get started with taking martial arts classes in San Diego.

Why You Should Try Boxfit

Are you a fan of boxing? Do you like the idea of learning some of the moves of your favorite boxers but aren’t too crazy about actually stepping into the ring? OR maybe you’re just envious of the toned, fit bodies that boxers always have. If any of these are true for you, it’s time to give Boxfit a try!

Boxfit is a non-contact workout. You get all the benefits of a boxing and kickboxing workout without having to spar or box with anyone. The conditioning drills are between you and the bag--no one else! This high energy workout is full of cardio and results in burning a lot of fat! When you combine boxing, kickboxing, and plyometrics, you’re bound to have an amazing workout.

You still get to channel your inner boxer though; gloves are mandatory! While it’s considered mainly a cardio workout, Boxfit also helps you tone up your muscles, particularly in your arms and core. Regardless of your motivations for trying Boxfit, you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat.


If you’re interested in learning how you can get a week of complimentary Boxfit classes in North County San Diego, call us at (760) 445-9731 today!

Why Martial Arts is a Great Sport for Young Girls

Do you have a young daughter who’s interested in joining a sport? If you’ve gone through the list of typical “girly” sports such as dance, cheer, softball, and so on and still can’t find the right one, it might be time to consider martial arts.

Martial arts is often thought of as a sport for boys or men since it tends to be associated with “fighting”. This is a misconception about the sport though; it’s not simply about fighting and it’s not limited to one gender. While there are several reasons why martial arts is a good sport for male or female children to join, there are some specific reasons why it’s a great sport for girls. Read on to learn why!

  • Martial arts caters to girls who’d enjoy a more physical sport. Whether they’re tomboys or girly girls, some young ladies like being able to play a sport with some contact. many parents (of boys and girls alike) aren’t keen on heavy contact sports like football, so martial arts is a good compromise.
  • Martial arts doesn’t focus on physical appearance. Some sports, such as cheerleading and dancing, have a very heavy aesthetic component. Not all girls care about curling their hair or can become self-conscious if they don’t look as “good” as their teammates in a dress, skirt, or tutu. With a uniform that is not form-fitting in the slightest, girls with body or confidence issues have less to worry about. Confidence comes from learning and mastering skills, as opposed to looking “cute”.
  • Martial arts builds confidence. Going hand-in-hand with the point above, girls with low confidence or self-esteem can benefit greatly from being enrolled in martial arts classes. By focusing on building skills mastering those skills, girls can feel confident in their ability to learn new things. Sometimes girls can even start to feel more secure in their surroundings because martial arts classes are often used to learn self-defense techniques.

If you’re interested in enrolling your daughter in martial arts classes in San Diego, contact us today or view our class list!

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tcarrington/9415330073/sizes/l

What Martial Arts Teaches Children

Many parents put their kids into sports in order to start teaching them valuable life skills at a young age. Common sports include baseball, softball, and soccer...but often the less popular sport of martial arts gets looked over. While some parents worry that their children will start kicking and punching anything they can if they take up karate or tae kwon do, the truth is that martial arts teaches kids much more than how to fight (and most kids don’t decide to randomly start beating up their younger siblings just because they’ve taken a martial arts class). Here are just some of the many wonderful things that martial arts teaches children:

Discipline: Martial arts classes tend to be strict. It’s very rare to walk into a class and see people running around or chatting with their friends. The nature of the sport is one of respect; students learn by listening to the teacher or instructor. If kids learn this behavior outside of the home, it can often help them behave better at home or at school. Goal-setting: Since most forms of martial arts are founded on a belt system that rewards people with higher belts for learning and mastering new skills, it’s important to set and be aware of goals. Children often look forward to earning the next belt (especially when it’s their favorite color) and then know the steps they need in order to get to that next belt (such as learning a new kick, etc).

IImproved hand-eye coordination: Many martial arts moves are designed to be used for self-defense, which means hitting a specific target or moving in a certain way to defend a part of your body. When kids have to practice hitting a bag in the same place over and over, it can help improve their hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

Responsibility:
Martial arts teaches kids to be responsible for learning the skills they need in order to move forward. This sometimes means that children have to take it upon themselves to practice outside of classes in order to perfect their form. Also, students are held responsible for acting properly when sparring in class so they don’t hurt fellow students.

Lastly, a lot of martial arts studios require that students wear all or part of their uniforms to class. While we know parents help out with washing uniforms and making sure they’re presentable, kids do start remembering to and taking responsibility for wearing the appropriate attire to class. This is just a small list of the many beneficial things kids learn from taking martial arts classes. If you’re interested in north county San Diego martial arts classes for your children, contact us today!


Exercising As A Family

8/3/14
 

With obesity numbers growing, it is more important than ever to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle. Working out for 30-minutes to an hour a day is vital for maintaining a your health and overall happiness. That's why here at Orion Martial Arts, we focus on teaching safety and self defense techniques through having fun and working out. 

Here are some helpful tips for starting an active lifestyle as a family:

  • Start by taking a walk together following dinner or taking your dog out for a walk together. Not only will this help breakdown the food you just ate, but it will also allow for family bonding and relaxation.
  • Get the whole family involved in household chores by making a fun and interactive game out of it. Cleaning the house burns more calories than you think, so why not have fun doing it by making a family event out of it.
  • Use commercials as quick workout times. Practice your forms, punches and kicks in between your favorite show.
  • Use special occasions and family gatherings to meet at a park and play outdoor games.
  • Park farther away from your destinations and count steps with your children. Track your steps and see if you can beat the distance next time.
  • Train and exercise as a family. Your younger ones can imitate you with lighter toys (“weights”) or simulate your movements, as well attending our Ninja Class.
  • Chart your daily events as a family and post it on your fridge so that you can all see your progress and goals reached.

Living an active lifestyle as a family will motivate and encourage you to achieve more benefits together. Call Orion Martial Arts (760) 445-9731 today to visit our facilities and programs, and get your active lifestyle going!

Summer Heat Safety

8/5/14

Summer heat waves can be dangerous and as we begin the hottest month of summer it’s important to be aware of proper heat protection. Whether you are working or having fun in the sun with family and friends, one should take extra care in aiding the body’s cooling methods this month to prevent heat-related illnesses. In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods.

Here are some tips to protect your wellbeing as the temperatures heat up higher then usual.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Regardless of your physical activity level, you want to maintain proper hydration to help cool down your body.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Bring hats and shade items when you know you will be outdoors for long periods of time.
  • Allowing yourself to stay indoors in an air conditioned setting for up to 2 hours a day significantly reduces risks of heat-related illnesses.
  • Use common sense. Slow down and pace yourself when playing outdoors during hot summer months.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion: cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and exhaustion.

If you see someone experiencing signs of heat exhaustion then be prepared to help by moving the person to a cooler place, remove or loosen any tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person and give them small amounts of cool water to drink, but make sure that they drink the water slowly.

Here at Orion Martial Arts we care about your overall wellbeing. Please be sure to take the proper precautions pre-and-post workouts, especially when the weather is hotter than usual.