December 2015 Newsletter

Wise Words from Sifu Rick!

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day out!


  • Next Belt Test for those eligible Friday December 11th, at 6:30pm.
  • Annual Potluck Holiday party with raffle drawings Saturday December 5th at 6:00pm. RSVP as soon as possible!

Black Belt Pride

thousand oaks karateDecember 2015 Student of the Month

Abby Edwards

Abby started with AASD in September of 2015. Currently a Yellow Belt, Abby has set an example for other students to emulate with attendance and effort. Abby is always giving 100% and then some, as she works toward her Orange Belt and beyond.

Sifu Rick and staff are very pleased with Abby’s work, effort and concentration during class, and are confident she will be a great Black Belt one day. We would like to also salute Abby’s parents, Neil and Chantel, for all their support of Abby, as well as our Black Belt School.

Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs!

Carbohydrates are the most important source of fuel for your body; your body cannot run properly without them. Our bodies turn carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) which we then use for energy. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex carbs.

Simple carbohydrates, or “bad carbs” as they are sometimes referred to, are quickly digested and absorbed into our body. The energy is stored as glycogen in our cells, and if we don’t use that energy immediately, it gets converted into fat. Have you heard the term “sugar crash”? This is a rise and fall in blood sugar level which can leave you feeling tired. Bad carbohydrates are also high in calories and refined sugars, low in nutrients, low in fiber and often high in sodium and saturated and/or trans fats.

Bad carbs are usually found in processed foods that have been stripped of their natural nutrients. Here is a list of some bad carbs:

  • Sugared cereals
  • White rice
  • Soda and sugary drinks
  • White bread and pastas
  • Refined sugars
  • Candy
  • Desserts

Good carbs are also referred to as complex carbohydrates. Their chemical structure and fibers require our bodies to work harder to digest, so energy is released over a longer time. Good carbs are digested and absorbed into the body slower, and produce a steady rise in blood sugar. This also helps control your appetite and makes you feel full for longer. Good carbs are low to moderate in calories, high in nutrients, high in fiber, low in sodium and saturated/trans fats, and they help lower LDL-bad cholesterol.

Typically, good carbs are found in food in their natural state, or close to it. Good carbs include:

  • Whole grain breads and pastas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Bran cereals
  • Legumes
  • Green vegetables
  • Most fruit
  • Beans
  • Brown rice

Be sensible about the carbs you choose.
Consider the levels of sugar and fiber in carbs, and focus on healthy whole grains, fruits, and veggies to get the energy your body needs every day.

Calming Your Child

When children are upset, one of the best ways to diminish the intensity of their feelings is to use a communication tool called Active Listening, which involves appreciating their words, acknowledging their feelings, and letting them know they have been heard. Often this kind of listening is enough to deflate the rage or the upset feelings. However, there are times when the intensity of the child’s frustration is beyond their ability to cope in a mature way, and other techniques besides listening, such as enforcement of the rules, have to be used.

An example would be if you told your child that he needed to get off the computer and do his homework. Even though you have acknowledged his feelings of anger and disappointment, he continues to be frustrated and furious and does not accept the fact that he cannot have what he wants.

You can take a few deep breaths to give yourself time to decide what to do.

You can use repetition of the rule, “The rule is that you need to have your homework complete before you play computer games.”

You can get down at the child’s level so you can establish eye contact and make physical contact by putting a hand on the child’s shoulder.

You can continue to show understanding of the frustration through Active Listening: “I understand that you want … “

You can state your expectations clearly and calmly: “I expect you to turn off the computer and complete your homework.” These kinds of brief explanations, while respectful, also send a message that the parent is not going to plead, debate or become upset, and that although the child may not like the rule, the expectation is that it will be followed.

Of course, it is not always possible to remain calm. In fact, it can be helpful for children to learn that anger is a natural and normal part of life and is not necessarily bad. The manner in which the anger is expressed and the ability of the parent to remain in control of his choices, decisions, and emotions are determining factors that define whether the anger is helpful, ineffective or even destructive. Anger managed in non-hurtful ways can actually strengthen your connection with your children. When you express your true feelings, even the angry ones, in a clear, direct and respectful manner, you are sharing a part of yourself, and this builds honesty and trust in the relationship. Your resentment does not build as you guide your children to treat you with respect even when they are angry.

If you find that you have “lost it” and said or done some things that you regret, it is important to reassure your children that you love them and that your love for them is stronger than the anger you may have felt. It is also important to apologize if you were unable to stay calm. This helps to model for your children that people do not have to be perfect and that even adults make mistakes.

Without a partner to escalate the intensity, children often are able to move past the tantrums and anger more quickly and begin to focus on next steps and solutions. When parents model assertiveness and calmness, children can learn how to manage their own angry feelings in a constructive and helpful way.

With an attitude of acceptance toward the inevitability of anger, with some techniques in mind, and with conscious effort on your part to stay cool, you can help your children learn to manage, in a healthy way, the anger that is an expected and normal part of the human experience.

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