Belt Testing Schedule 2020-2021
See our updated belt testing schedule for all ranks and age groups for the coming season. Plan your training and class attendance starting today! These dates and timings may be subject to change so check back and follow us on social media to get any updates.
Poomse Skill Series Workshops!
Sign up now for this years Poomse/Form Skill Workshop series being offered this fall. There will be four different levels: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master Levels. We are offering five sessions to strengthen your foundation in stances and techniques, building on this to improve your precision and strength. There will be demonstrations on how these forms have many practical applications in self defense and daily life. Come see what Master Graves learned at the Masters Class in South Korea to improve your skills, confidence, and performance at the next belt testing!
UPDATED MEMBERSHIP GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19 REOPENING
Please review our updated Membership Guidelines to ensure the continued health and safety protocols mandated by the UAE Ministry of Health for all sports academies. The protection of our members and families is our top priority as we reopen our academy. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
Congratulations to Master Graves and all our members!
The Kukkiwon World Taekwondo headquarters and governing body in South Korea have presented Phoenix Black Belt Academy the 2019 Top Ranked School Award! This prestigious award states that Phoenix Academy is being recognized for promoting the high standards and family values central to martial arts, and the 130,000 members of the World Taekwondo Community. We would like to thank all our members and families for their support and dedication to our mission statement and Student Creed. Let’s keep up the hard work and make Phoenix a community to be proud of!
Master Graves attends the World Taekwondo Academy Masters Training Course along with professionals from around the world seeking to improve their skills with the finest instructors at Kukkiwon. The course included high energy fitness, forms instruction, and basic to advanced Taekwondo skills. There were also lectures on the history of the sport, from its origins in ancient Korea, to the modern day Olympic Sport practiced around the world. Master Graves attended with Ms Jumana Q. Assistant instructor at Phoenix.
Our Spring Leadership Seminar was a great success with 16 youth, adults, and Red/Black belts attending! Instructor Mr. Jaypee Lulunan gave an excellent first aid presentation educating everyone on the basics of emergency response, first aid theory and practical exercises on our new CPR equipment. These are skills that every leader needs to be familiar with to deal with unexpected situations. Stay tuned for our next Leadership Seminar!
Great job to all our students and families that came out to test for your next belt rank! You are all one step closer to that Black Belt and are becoming amazing martial artists in the process. Don’t give up and you will succeed!
They had a tough climb up Mt. Everest and really showed the true Phoenix spirit, even carrying their own Academy flag! We are so proud of your accomplishment and you are an inspiration to us all. Here is their story:
Good Morning Master Graves,
I would like to share with you the news that both Raymond and Patrick went on a 10 days hike to Mount Everest Base Camp during the spring break.
Hiking in average 7 hours every day, they made it to the top at 5,364m.
Through, rain, wind and snow, they kept at it, having to deal with the freezing cold and lack of oxygen, they never gave up. Making them 2 of the youngest in the world to have reached.
They are very proud to share with you their achievement and took a picture proudly holding the Phoenix Black Belt Academy Flag at Base Camp. Please find attached the picture.
The UAE Taekwondo Clubs have once again gathered for the 2019 UAE Poomsae Championships at Sharjah Individual Sports Club.
They proudly bagged 3 medals and was hailed as the Third Outstanding participating Taekwondo club out of twelve.
On the first day, April 5, the boys first showed off their poomsae skills having Duncan Darsan (red belt) on the 5th place and Suday Daryani (black belt) on the 5th place as well while Dalil Kadri (green belt) as a participant.
On the second day, April 6, the ladies proved their exemplary poomsae skills having Riya Krahenbuhl (red belt) and Camille Backhausen (green belt) bag 2 gold medals. While Yara Abdallah (red belt) took home a silver medal, Eshaara Sonu (green belt) as the fourth finalist and Senaara Sonu (green belt) as a participant in the said event.
Kids Night Out Because Kids Need A Break Too
Wow! What a great and fantastic night with our favorite instructors and amazing students as we all welcomed spring break with lots of fun and excitement while playing a lot of challenging games that keep everyone giggling, cheering for their friends and making new friends.
Here is your free report on making your child’s birthday party fabulous and worry-free (download PDF)
Your child spends a whole year in anticipation of this one very special day. Their birthday is their day to shine, when he or she is the star of the show and their friends join them to celebrate another year.
As parents, we do everything to make this day special because we know that it’s more than just a year that is being celebrated – we have the perspective to know that our child is experiencing a personal milestone that only happens once in a lifetime.
While some parents seem to be able to plan and execute a perfect party with minimal effort, for many of us, hosting the perfect party is a challenge, to say the least.
We consult our friends, we contact our social media networks and we read every magazine article we can get our hands on.
Before long, we discover one interesting fact. Everyone’s advice is slightly different. So we’re left with the dilemma — whose advice do you listen to?
Or, if you’re the kind of parent who is continually adding to that bulging file folder of birthday cake ideas, goody bags and game suggestions, you sometimes run into this problem — life happens. You run out of time, you lose the folder or nothing seems to be good enough to suit your child’s interests or disposition.
These are the times that many parents turn to the real experts, those of us who specialize in holding birthday parties. We are best positioned to offer some real-world guidance based on experiences and observations from literally hundreds of parties.
Our facility, a popular and well-respected martial arts academy, hosts parties for boys and girls of all ages, all the way up to teens — so the advice we are sharing with you is based upon a wealth of experience with kids of all ages.
Keep reading for the practical kind of advice every parent needs in order to stop worrying — and bring on the fun.
Party planning issues
By having a solid game plan, you have a good foundation to build upon. That’s why taking the time to determine some basics in advance is crucial to party success. Here are some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that we hear from parents.
Q: What’s the best time of day for a child’s party?
A: Generally speaking, birthday parties are held around midday. It’s up to you to determine whether this means late morning, noon, early afternoon or mid-afternoon. As you make that decision, be sure to base it upon your child’s peak hours of the day — you want him or her to enjoy every minute.
Also note that, if you’re having a party outside your home, call the facility well in advance to schedule the party around their availability. Keep in mind that different party providers set aside different times to host parties.
Q: How do I select a place to hold the party?
A: You’ll want to base it on on your child’s interests — after all, the party is for your child and he or she should enjoy the setting, particularly by feeling comfortable with the people facilitating the party. Also consider the guests; your child’s friends should also be comfortable in the chosen environment.
Q: What’s a good length for a party?
A: One and a half to two hours is standard. You’ll want to build in enough time for a fun activity, time for food, cake and the gift opening. Try to avoid micromanaging the children’s activities. If they’re having fun with a particular activity, let them be. While you want to keep things moving at a fun and active pace, a skilled party facilitator knows how to read the children to best determine the flow of the party.
Q: What is a good number of kids to invite?
A: You should have that discussion with the birthday party provider. There needs to be adequate supervision, so ask about the ratio of kids to activity leaders. Good supervision is crucial.
Q: What questions should I ask a party provider?
A: Think of all possible outcomes to the situation. It might help to think like an outside parent. If your child was invited to this type of party, what questions would you have?
One of the most important questions is: Will the party be led by someone who knows how to work with kids of your child’s age to make sure there is no downtime and everyone attending the party has a great time? Your role should be to greet the kids and then step back and take a lot of pictures. You don’t want to have to step in to entertain a group of kids that are bored or running around wild.
Birthday Party Basics
Once you’ve spoken with your birthday party provider and settled upon a date and time, much of the rest should fall into place.
Q: How soon should I send out invites?
A: Once you confirm the date and time of the party, you should send out the invitations. Make sure the other parents understand that, if they have any questions or concerns, they should contact either you or the party facility.
Q: What if I don’t hear back from parents?
A: Make it as easy as possible for parents to contact you. Provide your email, your home telephone number and cell phone number. That will allow other parents multiple options for contacting you with their RSVP.
Q: How should I advise parents to dress their children?
A: These days, birthday parties are more active than ever. The days of dressing up your 5-year-old in his or her “Sunday best” for a friend’s birthday party is gone. Today, kids attend birthday parties with the expectation that they will be active and maybe also a little bit messy.
On the big day
Q: Are there certain types of games that are popular with everyone and are there types of activities that I should know to avoid?
A: We tell parents that the more active and focused the children are, the more fun they will have. First of all, the kids at the party will be very excited to be together in a new place. Sometimes all the kids will know one another, sometimes they don’t. Regardless, emotions are high and they need a positive outlet. A good birthday party provider will be able to channel the children’s enthusiasm through games and high-energy activities.
Q: What kinds of things should a birthday party provider do to make the birthday child feel special?
A: The birthday child deserves particular recognition, but we never lose sight of the fact that at our school, our mission is to make every child who walks through our doors feel welcome and special. We provide encouragement and praise for everyone in all of the birthday activities.
Q: What about the goody bags?
A: A goody bag is a thank-you gesture that is a thoughtful parting gift. Most people keep it simple — a few small pieces of candy and a pencil or other small trinket. In some cases, the birthday party provider will also include a small token such as a coupon or pass that encourages people to revisit the facility.
Q: Once the party is over am I expected to do cleanup?
A: Absolutely not! This is your child’s special day and you should sit back, enjoy and snap plenty of photos to preserve the memories.
Why a martial arts party?
In our experience, kids of all ages love martial arts and consider it cool and fun. That’s reason one. If you hold a party with us, we guarantee your child will be bragging about it for months.
The second reason is that our birthday parties are supervised by professional martial arts instructorsfrom beginning to end. We don’t allow kids to be bored or to run around wild. Instead, we structure each party with non-stop activities, which always include learning some cool martial arts moves.
The third reason is that all the kids attending the party will leave with some new life skills, including a boost in self confidence and better self discipline. You will notice the difference.
We hope this report provided some valuable tips for putting on a great birthday party. If you would like to learn more about having a party at our martial arts school, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Here is your free report on the benefits martial arts provides to adults (download PDF)
As adults, we can easily identify the components of a healthy lifestyle and list the factors that contribute to wellness, health and peace of mind.
We know that being healthy entails getting good sleep, maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in an active lifestyle.
Yet every day, we adults struggle to do what is right for our bodies due to a variety of hurdles and obstacles.
With our stressful and time-crunched lives, it’s difficult to wind down and get enough sleep. In the case of food, we often sacrifice health for convenience. And, instead of engaging in physical activities, we spend too much of our leisure time in front of a computer or TV screen.
In short, we understand what it takes to be healthy, but we don’t always rise to the challenge of doing what’s needed in order to achieve and maintain good health.
This report will discuss the benefits of good fitness and explain why martial arts is the very best way to get fit.
Here are just some of the proven benefits fitness has to offer:
- Better sleep
- Better concentration
- Improved emotional health
- Improved heart health
- Improved self image
- Stronger immune system
- Greater strength and flexibility
- Healthier weight
Take a look at how fitness effects some of the maladies that plague adults.
Heart disease is one of the most effective killers in our society today. Not only does exercise prevent heart problems, but having a lifestyle that lacks physical activity is an added risk factor.
Regular exercise, alone, lowers blood pressure and helps to control cholesterol levels. Staying active also decreases the fat in our abdomen that has been proven to be another risk factor of heart disease. It has been shown time and time again that people who exercise regularly after their first heart attack live longer than those who do not.
Asthma attacks are also partially preventable with regular exercise. Activities that require long periods of exertion are often not tolerated well by asthmatics. But, daily exercise can keep an asthmatic individual stay more in the swing of things so there’s a lower frequency of attacks.
Osteoporosis: The impact of exercise on the bones helps to guard against osteoporosis. If an individual is sedentary their whole life, they have a far greater chance of developing bone density issues. But, with the resistance and weight bearing that occurs during exercise, bones maintain their strength.
Healthy weight: Exercise is one of the primary keys to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. It burns lots of calories and helps ensure that your body’s natural regulatory eating signals are working as they should.
Bottom line — physical activity is great for you. In fact, Time magazine (A to Z Health Guide, 2004) called exercise: “one of the closest things to a magic bullet that modern health care has to offer.”
Any type of physical activity will improve your health and well being, but some types of exercise are better than others.
Let’s look at why a lot of physiologists and psychologists view martial arts as the best type of exercise you can get.
First, we need to dispel the myth that martial arts classes are just for kids. In fact, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, more than one third of martial arts students are adults. The reality is that martial arts is great for both children and adults — 20-somethings to the elderly.
And, no matter what discipline of martial arts you choose, whether taekwondo, karate, jujitsu, aikido or some other form, the benefits remain the same.
Here are the five reasons why martial arts is the best fitness program for adults:
- Total body workout: Martial arts is a high-aerobic workout that uses every muscle group in the body. Your stamina, muscle tone, flexibility, balance and strength will all improve through martial arts.
- Stress relief: In martial arts you get to kick, punch and scream, which is a great stress release no matter what your age. In addition, the ancient practices of martial arts have a calming affect that melts the stress away.
- Reach and maintain your healthy weight: Due to the total-body nature of a martial arts workout, tons of calories are burned during every class. However, you’ll also find that your natural eating signals become better regulated so food cravings will disappear and you’ll eat less as a result.
- Learn self-defense skills: Unlike any other form of exercise, with martial arts you learn potentially life-saving self-defense skills at the same time you are getting in shape.
- Better self confidence: This reason tops the list. Due to the goal setting, positive encouragement and respect for values that are part of all martial arts programs, the greatest benefit usually reported by martial arts students is greater self confidence. You become more comfortable in all situations – whether you’re in danger or simply doing a task that takes you beyond your comfort zone — and you’ll discover you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Here are some other important points about martial arts
If you are concerned that martial arts places a great amount of emphasis on sparring or fighting, you don’t have to worry. Martial arts places little to no emphasis on violence, but stresses the importance of discipline and respect.
Instead of competition against others, the focus of martial arts tends to be competition with one’s self. Since respect is a huge aspect of martial arts, heckling and name calling is discouraged, rendering this a great option for anyone insecure about his or her current level of fitness who would like improve to their body image and health.
Best of all, classes are individualized, so don’t worry if you’re not in the same physical condition you were at age 18. Adults participate at their own fitness level while progressing in skill and technique.
When participating as a family, martial arts provides a unique opportunity for sharing in a non-competitive fun activity. Plus, parents have the opportunity to reinforce the life lessons taught in class at home.
Martial arts isn’t for everybody, but it might be right for you.
To learn more about martial arts and to determine if it’s the right physical activity for you, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Here is your free report on how to help your child develop their ability to concentrate (download PDF)
Distracted. Easily frustrated. Hyperactive.
If any of these words describe your child, you’re probably worried that he or she lacks the ability to stay focused.
A rare few children are born with the innate ability to concentrate, but sometimes a healthy attention span is harder to develop. These children are sometimes referred to as “dreamers,” “fidgety” or even “a problem child.” Society seems quick to label them as having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
There is no dispute that the ability to concentrate is an important life skill. Knowing how to help your child develop that ability is the real key. In this report, we’ll share some ideas on how to accomplish this.
Know What Is Normal
First, it’s important to make sure that certain factors are in the right balance.
Is your child’s daily diet a nutritious one? Does he get enough sleep? Does she get plenty of exercise? Are there other factors that are making your child sad, mad, worried or excited?
Second, it’s important to make sure your expectations, and those of other adults in your life, are reasonable. For most children the ability to stay focused takes practice. It’s a learned skill, not a natural reflex.
Waiting for that development to happen naturally can be more frustrating for first-time parents than for those who have experienced it all before.
Compare your child’s behavior to others who are about the same age. Talk with other parents. Ask educators or your pediatrician what the average attention span is for your child’s age. You may be surprised by the answers.
“A ‘normal’ attention span should be 3-5 minutes per year of a child’s age. For a 3-year-old, that would be nine to 15 minutes; for a 10-year-old, it would be 30-50 minutes,” explains Dr. Becca Harrison, resident of psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin and an assistant martial arts instructor.
“It is a little more complicated than that though. Attention is thought to develop in stages,” Dr. Harrison adds. “First, kids tend to be overly exclusive, focusing on one thing for a long time to the exclusion of everything else. We see this mainly in babies. Second, they tend to be overly inclusive. Toddlers tend to switch from activity to activity rapidly. Third, kids develop selective attention, the ability to switch focus when they want from being exclusive to inclusive, for instance. Some kids just take longer to reach that third stage, just like some kids walk later than others.”
Still, your child may be described — by you or by others — like this:
* Fidgety: Can’t sit still for the expected amount of time that is average for his or her age; constantly gets up to do other things
* Daydreamer: Routinely seems lost in his or her own world; facial expression goes blank or takes on a dreamy look as he or she stares off into space
* Easily distracted: Regularly goes from one activity to another or can’t stay on-topic in a conversation
* Hyperactive: Routinely and excessively excited; always on the go
* Impulsive: Constantly acts before thinking; uncontrolled physical and emotional responses or verbal outbursts
Find a solution
There are many ways of addressing these issues. From our experience with kids of all ages and discussions with other professionals, we’ve found the following methods to be effective solutions in helping focus-challenged children.
1. Encourage age-appropriate brain exercises. Paint and color. Play board games. Put together a jigsaw puzzle. These are especially effective in helping younger children because parents and older siblings can participate. These types of activities can be completed in a short amount of time, and there is a tangible reward at the end (a pretty picture to hang on the refrigerator or a finished puzzle that looks just like the picture on the box). More complicated games and larger puzzles can be introduced as your child gets older.
2. Provide a challenge. Word searches, crossword puzzles and chess let children exercise their minds on their own or with a partner. These also require self-directed concentration as the child works independently or, as is the case in a game like chess, must anticipate upcoming moves.
3. Sign up for lessons. Dance classes. Violin lessons. Cake decorating. Whatever your child’s interest, consider signing him or her up for classes. While it may seem like the last thing you want to do is put your child in yet another class where he or she won’t pay attention, matching the right class to your child’s interest can make a world of difference. They’ll want to pay attention, which will help them teach themselves how to stay focused.
4. Get into sports. Exercise is the best remedy for all that pent-up energy. Solitary sports like swimming, skiing and track are even better because participants are constantly in motion without the added pressure of letting down the team.
5. Praise more than you criticize. We all work better and want to try harder when the result is positive. Children want, and need, praise. That may seem easier to do when they’re adorable and tiny, but it doesn’t lose its value when those tiny tots start turning into real people. Tell them when they’ve done something right and they’ll want to do it again.
6. Turn off the TV. Both TV and video games cater to short attention spans. Limiting a child’s time with each will ease your battle.
Here’s the challenge
These all seem like good, easily-implemented ideas, but committing to them on a regular basis is difficult. Schedules are hectic and, at this point, you’re as easily frustrated as your child.
The good news is that there is one solution that incorporates all the above described methods.
This one solution is martial arts. Here’s why.
1. Martial arts strengthen minds and muscles
Among the many benefits of a martial art is the way it strengthens the mind. There is a certain discipline that develops quickly among students, a shift in their ability to pay attention.
2. Martial arts provides brain exercise
From the very first day in class, students are challenged to think as much as they act. Learning new forms and movements takes concentration. One reason why martial arts is so effective is that it reinforces working memory. Anthony Meyer, MD, medical director of Aurora Psychiatric Hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., and a specialist in attention deficit and child/adolescent issues, compares working memory to that of an executive secretary, taking in all the sensory information, sorting through it and compiling a list of priorities for the “CEO,” or frontal lobe of the brain. If the executive secretary isn’t working properly, that list of priorities isn’t correct or in some cases not delivered.
To enhance working memory, Dr. Meyer says, it’s important to use repetition and multi-sensory stimulation — meaning one sees, then hears and then attempts the task at hand. Martial arts fits that bill. Students are taught by example, explanation and repetition.
3. Martial arts provides a challenge
Martial arts teaches life skills like discipline, respect and concentration. A student can’t move up in rank without showing those characteristics at an age-appropriate level. And as students advance, their level of precision and even the intricacy of their movements become more challenging.
Together these factors help children retrain their brains so that, whether in class or in the real world, they are able to act and react in a responsible manner. “It’s exercising their ability to focus,” Dr. Harrison says. “They tune out other things around them when they’re in martial arts class, and that is transferable at school and at home because they’ve learned how not to be distracted so easily.”
4. Martial arts provides a great class environment
Martial arts keep kids engaged physically and mentally. They have fun while in class, and take pride in knowing that they are learning something most kids don’t know how to do.
Dr. Meyer explains that martial arts “enhance motivation, which is like turbo power that gives you interest to attend to something. The master is able to give one-on-one instruction or work in small groups, which helps motivate. It uses the whole body, a number of sensory modalities, and has to do with focus, centering and getting along with friends and family, as well.”
5. Martial arts provides vigorous exercise
Like swimming, skiing and track, martial arts is a solitary sport. Martial arts classes remove the pressure to do well in front of the other kids or to score a winning play. Students concentrate on their own movements rather than what everyone else is doing. They never have to worry about disappointing their teammates. Instruction is focused on the individual and his or her journey toward attaining the next belt rank. And every class is wall-to-wall movement. There’s nothing like an hour worth of running, jumping and blocking to get rid of any pent-up energy.
6. Martial arts instructors are trained to praise more than criticize
In a sport like martial arts, the emphasis is on learning the basic steps and techniques. Good martial arts instructors use a “praise, correct, praise” approach in which the student is praised for what he or she did right, instructed on how to improve what was not quite right, and then praised for making the correction. Children also get rewards like stickers, trophies and belts.
“Martial arts require a certain amount of focus to participate. The process of them learning their forms and coordinating the movement of their hands and feet is helpful, and the kids get tangible rewards like stickers, trophies and their next belt,” says Dr. Harrison.
7. Martial arts pulls kids away from the TV
When kids are in class, they’re not in front of the television. They’re moving, active and engaged.
“I have heard parents say that they have seen a change,” says Dr. Harrison. “They see a difference in their children’s behavior, and the teachers tell them that their children pay better attention in class.”
If you’d like to learn more about how martial arts can improve your child’s attention span, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.