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Collaboration with Dancesequences

Just a few more hours before 2020! Can you believe it? 

Back in August I hinted on a Facebook post at a collaborative project between TKD Wellness and Dancesequences Inc. I’m pleased to share that we’ll have Kareene and Sabrina from Dancesequences joining us for a special 8-session program starting on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 (more details below).

The program will be a part of the Saturday kids TKD classes. Dancesequences will take the reins at 9:40am and go to about 10:15am. I’ll be joining the fun too. There will be no fee for this program and everyone (including parents) is invited to participate and move.

I’m hopeful that this program will help students get more comfortable with moving and in turn find their own expression of the “art” of Taekwondo.

Program Description

Dancesequences’ IN MOTION classes encourage individual and group movement expressions and take inspiration from the free approach to body movement pioneered by Barbara Mettler. In IN MOTION, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to move. Utilizing improvisational creative problem-solving modalities, we explore what it means to follow our own movement feelings while simultaneously cultivating awareness of the larger group. Each person learns to value individual choices; in turn, the group provides support for individual creativity. Among the themes that we will explore are Sound and Movement (with a wide variety of self-accompanied percussive instruments, vocals and spoken word), Moving with Objects (both man-made and natural items), Movement and Art (exploring the intersection between 2-dimensional art and body movement), Moving Cultures (exploring cultural themes through movement), and many, many more. We will creatively move together, discover new ways to communicate and connect with each other, and find inspiration from each other. 

Class Details

Dates: 8 Saturdays, beginning 2020

  • Jan. 11, 18, 25
  • Feb. 1, 8, 15, 29
  • Mar. 7

Times: 9:40 am – 10: 15 am

Cost: Free

Notes: Open to TKD Wellness students, families and friends

This project is supported in part with funding from Ong Family Foundation.

Written by Yoendry Torres, Psy.D.

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December 21, 2019 Q4 Promotion Test

On December 21, 2019 Taekwondo Wellness held its Q4 promotion test and it was a great success. A big congratulates to the following students on their rank promotion and display of effort, dedication and perseverance.  

  • Gabriel who promoted from red belt to deputy black belt (1st Kub)
  • Allen who promoted from brown to red belt (2nd Kub)
  • Kirk who promoted from brown to red belt (2nd Kub)
  • Mylo who promoted from blue to purple belt (4th Kub)
  • Chris who promoted from green to blue belt (5th Kub)
  • Lena who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Rodney who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Kawsa who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Alaina who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
  • Braydon who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
  • Roger who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Odin who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
  • Bridgett who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
  • Liam who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)

Want to see highlight photos & videos from the promotion test? Visit our facebook page. Hope you enjoy the photos/videos… if so, please like and share to help us recruit more students!   Much gratitude, Master Torres

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Halloween Safety Tips For Kids

Trick-or-Treating Kids

Halloween is upon us and it can be super fun and exciting for some but… parents beware that ghouls and goblins aren’t the only dangers to watch out for during your trick-or-treating adventures with kids. There are spooky things to watch out for like cars while crossing the road, trips and falls, and candy quality. So, here is a cheat-sheet of safety tips for kids and parents.

WALK SAFELY
  • Whenever possible cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Remember to look left, right, and left again when crossing… and keep looking.
  • Keep electronics away so you can listen to and look at your surroundings.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths or if there is not sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Carry a flashlight or headlight to light the path once it gets dark to avoid trips and falls.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Don’t go into the homes of people you don’t know.
EAT SAFELY
  • Adults should examine candy before eating them.
  • Never eat open or unwrapped halloween foods.
  • Ask your parent or guardian if unsure about eating a treat.
  • Call the National Poison Center toll-free number if your child becomes ill or believe the treat was tampered with: 1-800-222-1222
COSTUME SAFETY
  • Use reflective tape on costumes and bags to help drivers see children at night.
  • Make sure costumes are the right size to avoid trips and falls.
  • Avoid wearing masks that limit obstruct field of vision. Wear face paint and makeup instead whenever possible.
  • Carry a glow stick, glow necklace, or glow bracelet to help spot your child at night easier.
DRIVE SAFELY
  • Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections.
  • Enter and exit driveways carefully.
  • Eliminate distractions in car to improve alertness and concentration on driving.
  • Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic.
  • Turn on your headlights earlier to help be seen.
  • Be extra alert during popular trick-or-treating times – 5:30pm – 9:30pm.
KIDS TRICK-OR-TREAT WITH AN ADULT
  • Children under 12 should trick-or-treat with adult supervision.
  • Parents with young children might want to bring a stroller to carry tired children or extra candy.
  • Bring a backpack to carry extra candy.
  • Remind children who are mature enough to trick or treat without adult supervision to stay with their group in light and familiar areas.
  • In case of an emergency dial 911.
SPOOK-TACULAR OFFER

Question: What additional Halloween safety tips to you have?… besides not eating all the candy at once!  ;P 

Written by: Yoendry Torres, Psy.D.

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October 2019 Promotion Test

On October 5, 2019 Taekwondo Wellness held its Q3 promotion test and I want to congratulate the following students on their rank promotion and display of effort, dedication and perseverance.
  • Allen who promoted from purple to brown belt (3rd Kub)
  • Kirk who promoted from purple to brown belt (3rd Kub)
  • Mylo who promoted from green to blue belt (5th Kub)
  • Chris who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Ben who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Elena who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Gray who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
  • Lauren who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
  • Kawsa who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
  • Brandon who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
  • Alaina who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
  • Braydon who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
  • Odin who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
Want to see highlight photos & videos from the promotion test? Visit our facebook page. Hope you enjoy the photos/videos… if so, please like and share to help us recruit more students!
Much gratitude,
Master Torres
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3 Hacks Every New Taekwondo Student Should Know

Tucson Taekwondo Wellness White Belt Board Breaking

Are you (or your child) new to Taekwondo in Tucson or elsewhere and want to be the best? Then Keep reading because I’m going to share 3 hacks that will help new students 1) kick higher and stronger, 2) block & punch with power and 3) learn your poomsae faster.

So here are the 3 Taekwondo hacks:

  1. One of the biggest mistakes that new students make is not pivoting their feet. It’s important to pivot the foot that is on the floor so that the heel is facing the direction one is kicking. This opens up the hips and allows for greater range of motion… meaning higher kicks! So try this routine and practice 3 sets of 10-25 round kicks and 10-25 side kicks against the wall making sure your heel is facing the direction your kicking. Your kicks will be higher and stronger in no time!
  2. The second hack will help new students block and punch with more power. However, first new students have to slow down, way down! New students tend to be excited about learning martial arts and want to jump right in and do every movement fast and strong, which is wonderful… however, this may lead to poor technique in the long run, which will reduce both your blocking and punching power. Try this instead: Practice all blocks and punches in slow motion 5-10 times making sure that your rotate wrist at end of every block or punch and the blocks and punches are ending in the correct endpoint (e.g., soloplex, shoulder level, etc). Once you’ve done these drills enough, muscle memory will take over when executing techniques at full speed/strength and your blocks and punches will be much stronger.
  3. The third hack will help the new students to learn their poomsae. It’s no surprise that new students struggle to learn poomsae, as most poomsae are 20 or more steps with defensive and offensive hand and foot techniques. The cool thing is that we can use brain science to help us better memorize our poomsae. Research on cognition and memory has shown that chunking material into smaller bits of information greatly increases our ability to memorize large amounts of data. So try this poomsae training tip: If your poomsae is 20 steps long, then break it into 4-step chunks and practice each 4-step chunk starting with the first 4 steps of the poomsae until you have memorized and mastered the technique. Try doing 5-10 repetitions of each chunk. Chunking can also help advanced students perfect their poomsae by drilling the chunk they want to improve. This type of practice is called deliberate practice.

What tips do you have for new Taekwondo students?

Let us know in the comment section below.

TKD Wellness teaches olympic sport Taekwondo in NW Tucson, AZ and is a member club of USATaekwondo. Our goal is to have fun while getting fit and empowering our students through Taekwondo.

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Written by Dr. Yoendry Torres, Psychologist & 4th Dan Taekwondo

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July 2019 Promotion Test

On July 13, 2019 Taekwondo Wellness held a promotion test and I want to congratulate the following students for their hardworking, dedication and perseverance.
  • Kirk who promoted from blue to purple belt
  • Mylo who promoted from orange to green belt
  • Gray who promoted from yellow to orange belt
  • Elena who promoted from yellow to orange belt
  • Chris who promoted from yellow to orange belt
  • Lauren who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Lena who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Rodney who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Kawsa who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Roger who promoted from white to yellow belt
Want to see highlight videos from the promotion test? Visit our facebook page. Hope you enjoy the videos… if so, please like and share our video!
Much gratitude,
Master Torres
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December 2018 Promotion Test

On December 22, 2018 Taekwondo Wellness held a promotion test and I want to congratulate the following students for working hard and their perseverance.
  • Gabriel who promoted from purple to brown belt
  • Austin who promoted from orange to green belt
  • Kirk who promoted from orange to green belt
  • Lotus who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Mylo who promoted from white to yellow belt
Want to see highlight videos from the promotion test? Visit our facebook page. Hope you enjoy the videos… if so, please like and share our video!
Much gratitude,
Master Torres
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June 2018 Promotion Test

On June 30, 2018 Taekwondo Wellness held a promotion test and I want to congratulate the following students on working hard to improve their skills and not giving up on themselves.
  • Blue who promoted from green to blue belt
  • Gabriel who promoted from green to blue belt
  • Gamal who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Austin who promoted from white to yellow belt
  • Kirk who promoted from white to yellow belt
I also want to share a fun “action movie style trailer” video that I created to show some highlights from the promotion test that can promote TKD Wellness. Hope you enjoy the video… if so, please like and share our video!
Much gratitude,
Master Torres

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FREE Women’s Self Defense Workshop

You’re invited to attend a FREE women’s self defense workshop on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 6:10pm-7:10pm at TKD Wellness located on 5675 N Oracle Rd Suite 3101 Tucson AZ 85704. Enroll Now!

The workshop will cover the following strategies and techniques:

Safety & Mindset Strategies

  • Statistics Summary
  • Avoiding being a target
  • Handling confrontation: verbally, physically & psychologically
  • Using body language and non-verbal cues

Physical Techniques

  • Striking basics
  • Power Theory: Centerline & Rotation
  • Striking weaknesses from head to toe
  • Escaping grabs
  • Using your voice

Please share the women’s self defense workshop flyer with your friends.

Did I mention that it is free… register now!

Thanks, Master Torres

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Deliberate Practice: 2018 TKD Training Goals

I know that I may be a bit late to the 2018 goal setting… but better late than never, right!

In all seriousness, after competing in the 2018 Arizona State Taekwondo Championships at the end of March and re-experiencing the thrill of competition, I decided that tweak my training routine in an effort to model deliberate practice for my students… and well to simply get better at poomsae. If you’re wondering what deliberate practice is, let me offer a brief review.

Deliberate practice is basically a type of purposeful and systematic practice/training. It is not mindless repetitions or practice but focused training with the goal to improve a particular skill. Another related psychology term is “Growth Mindset,” which is the theory developed by Carol Dweck that defines two types of mindsets:

  1. Fixed Mindset: Is a belief that you are either born with talent or your not. Born with intelligence or not. People with fixed mindsets often see failure as a blow to their ego and as a result avoid trying new things in order to maintain the belief that they are “good.”
  2. Growth Mindset: On the other hand, growth mindset is a belief that one can work, train hard to achieve mastery or even get smarter! Mistakes, failures, etc are often experienced as opportunities to grow and improve. Thus, new experiences are sought after because that is the path to excellence.

Ok, so enough about psychology… and back to TKD training. My 2018 TKD goals are simple and straight forward. Let me start out by saying that my overarching goal is to compete at Nationals in 2019 in men’s 31-40 Poomsae Division. To be clear, my goal is to simply qualify for nationals, not to win gold at national. Baby steps right?!

So here are my 2018 TKD training goals that I settled on after reviewing my video from my 2018 AZ State Championships:

  1. Improve Flexibility: Although I consider myself already pretty flexible, I think my poomsae performance can be more spectacular with higher kicks, specifically side kicks, which tend to be more difficult for me. I am focusing strength training on my legs, specifically the adductor muscles (adductor flies) and isometric exercises (front and side isometric splits) to help achieve this goal.
  2. Improve Balance: I tend to lose my balance during my higher side kicks as seen on my video, so it makes sense to focus on improving my balance so that the overall poomsae performance is stronger.
  3. Improve Timing: This is probably the most important factor that will require deliberate practice. The timing and rhythm of poomsae is one of the most important factors judges are looking for and it is something I can improve with deliberate practice. See this youtube interview by Master Ashly R Davis of Iron Wood Productions of Grandmaster Raymond Hsu for insider tips for beginner poomsae athletes where he speaks to this topic.

So now that we have reviewed growth mindset, deliberate practice and my 2018 goals, here is the training plan I created. Feel free to download and use for yourself. I plan to post regular photos of my training progress on the new  #Taekwondo_Wellness Instagram account. Lastly, if you want to learn more about growth mindset, take a look at this 2-part blog written by my colleagues at Intuition Wellness Center.

  • TKD Periodization Plan 2018: This is the overall plan for the entire year. More about periodization in a future blog post.
  • TKD Strength Training Log: This is the strength training log. I decided to do strength training twice per week and rest on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
  • TKD Technical Training Log: This is the technical training log where the focus is on improving specific skills in poomsae by drilling my weak areas.

Question: What are your TKD training goals for 2018… and more importantly, what is your plan to achieve them?

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Written by Dr. Yoendry Torres, Psychologist & 4th Dan Taekwondo

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