May 2016 Newsletter

Wise Words from Sifu Rick!

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or the life of another!


  • Leadership Class Saturday, May 14th at 12:00pm, for all Black Belt Club Members, please RSVP for the class.
  • Next Belt Test for those Little & Junior Dragons eligible Friday, June 10th 6:30 pm.
  • Next Belt Test for Adults eligible Saturday, June 9th at 10:00 am.

Black Belt Pride

thousand oaks karateMay 2016 Student of the Month:

Marsden Gonzalez

Marsden and his Brother (Ethan) joined our Black Belt School in November of 2016. From the beginning, it was apparent that Marsden was focused on becoming a Black belt, always giving 100% and then some. Marsden can be counted on to always have answers for questions during class.

Besides enjoying all aspects of Martial Arts, Marsden excels in sparring! Sifu Rick and staff would also like to Salute Marsden’s parents, David and Theresa for all their support of not only Marsden, but of our Black Belt School as well. Job well done all!


When it comes to fitness and improving one’s health, it can be daunting and almost feel impossible at times. Like climbing a mountain! I need to exercise, learn how to exercise, find a place to exercise, count my calories, eat better, shop for healthier food, cook healthier food, set goals, track my progress, resist eating unhealthy foods, resist falling back into old habits… The list can go on and on. How can we take this mountain of tasks down to a more manageable mole hill of items? When it gets overwhelming, take a step back and focus on one or two things instead of everything all at the same time.

Here’s an example. Instead of going cold turkey on all of the unhealthy things you eat, cut out a couple items that you eat on a regular basis and replace them with healthier options. Once you do that for a bit, then work on a eliminating a couple more. Start off working out days a week. Do this consistently for a couple of weeks then add in another day. Ease into things, and that mountain you are trying to climb will seem more manageable. Small steps in the right direction are still steps in the right direction, remember that! Not everyone can make the huge, dramatic transition and handle it all at once. For most, when they attempt to do so, they eventually are overwhelmed and give up altogether or resort back to yo-yo diets and the search for mystical, magic pills for a quick fix. But as we all know, those magical pills don’t exist, and those fad diets work until we are not doing them any longer. Let those old habits die out along with your weakness for twinkies!

When we focus on a couple of things from that large, seemingly never ending list, we are more likely to actually start and make progress. And that’s the whole point isn’t it? So make your list, set your realistic goals, plan them out and then pick the two or three things you are going to start with. As you get more comfortable with those two or three things, start to add in one or two more items from your list. Continue that trend, and soon you will find yourself closer to the summit and accomplishing things you never thought you could.

Let’s recap. Create your mountain. Set your goals, plan them out and then take action. If you can handle the entire load, great! Keep going. If you cannot, you are not alone. Take on a couple of things at a time and keep moving forward to a healthier and happier you!


For many parents, chores represent the most stressful and consistent battle between their children and themselves. While the individual tasks vary by age and by family, by the time children are leaving their toddler years, they are typically given a set of “chores” to do. Teaching children to help out around the home has many benefits, including:

  • Building self-esteem as children see they are capable, competent and able to contribute to the family
  • Instilling good work habits
  • Teaching skills and abilities

As you build a chore list for your child, set up a system that works for everyone by:

  • Starting with age-appropriate chores your child can easily accomplish
  • Keeping the amount of time needed to complete chores small (in the beginning, match your child’s age – chores for a two-year-old should take about two minutes)
  • Keeping the list small
  • Giving your child enough time to complete
    chores without feeling rushed
    or stressed
  • Being patient as children learn new skills and work habits

One of the best ways to help your child adjust to new chores and feel good about the work he or she is accomplishing is to make the work cooperative. Work with your child by:

  • Soliciting his or her input
  • Allowing your child to choose one or two chores for him
    or herself
  • Demonstrating the correct way to do the chore before asking your child to complete it alone
  • Making sure your expectations
    are clear

Finally, you can set a positive tone for chore time by:

  • Confidently implementing a chore plan and sticking to it
  • Modeling a positive attitude when doing your own “chores”
  • Celebrating your child’s accomplishments
  • Keeping the mood light with humor, music, or games.


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