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How Safe Do You Feel?

How safe do you feel?

How safe do you feel? No one should be paranoid about being attacked but understanding this is a possibility is very important. So many people believe it will never happen to them, just something they read online, or see on the news.

But this is no time to be complacent. Many criminals prey on people who are off guard. Criminals look for people who are not paying attention to their surroundings, and then use the element of surprise to their advantage.

Habitual Security

Preventing crime from happening requires an active mind and body. It is more than just a few martial arts moves. It means paying attention to your instincts, to other people, and to your surroundings. It means constantly training your brain and limbs to act defensively. It is a way of life.

Security has to be habitual. If you allow yourself to get into a lax way of thinking when it pertains to your security, it is very difficult to change that pattern when you find yourself in not-so-safe situations.

To clarify this point, security alarms that people have in their homes but do not turn on. The hardware does nothing to thwart burglars if it is not used.

People have an internal alarm as well. It usually tells them they are walking into a bad situation. Yet many ignore it because they have a false sense of security or are in denial that crime can happen to them.

How to Defend Yourself

Some of the plans will depend upon a person’s age, sex and personal fitness

Taking steps to prevent crime can help lower chances of an attack, but there are no guarantees of complete safety. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have several plans on how to defend yourself and your property.

Think through what you will do. Will you willingly give up your wallet or your purse, and if you’re willing to do that, isn’t it a good idea to make a photocopy of all ID and credit cards? then keep them in a safe place.

Not too many people will think to do that because they think attacks are something the read about that happens to other people in other places. Wrong! An attack can happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime.

Fight or Flee?

There is some debate over whether fleeing or fighting back will provide the least risk. it’s best to err on the conservative side, which is to run away if possible.

If escape is not an option, firm resistance, particularly in cases of rape or sexual assault. With people you know, be clear about saying “No” to sex, and to avoid flirting or mixed messages. With both intimates and strangers, physically resisting and then escaping is the best option.

Submitting to an attack because of fear does not prevent it, surveys and anecdotal evidence show the difference between rapists who have completed rape and those who have attempted it is their victims’ reaction.

In the completed rape, the victim usually froze and submitted. In the attempted rape, the victim fought, resisted, and escaped.

Keep a Safe Distance

Everyone has a comfort zone or personal space. When an aggressor enters that zone, you’re uncomfortable because you know you’d need that space if you had to fight back. When you’re in an adrenalized state, you need a quarter of a second to react to an assault.

This “reactionary gap” should be anticipated when you think about your comfort zone. You should try to maintain approximately one to one-and-a-half arm lengths between yourself and the aggressor. If he starts closing in, you need to use verbal boundaries. If he still doesn’t back off, it’s time to get physical, and don’t hold back!

Use the Element of surprise

Most predators assume you cannot defend yourself. Therefore, you should take advantage of the element of surprise. If you’re engaged in a conversation, you have the opportunity to use verbal skills and a non-confrontational stance to entice the aggressor into dropping his guard. If you’re grabbed from behind, you must respond immediately. In either case, putting up a fight can surprise him and increase your chance of landing the first blow.

Keep your Techniques Simple

One of the main effects of an adrenaline release is the loss of fine motor skills. That means simple gestures such as unlacing your fingers or pulling your hands out of your pockets can become much more challenging. And the odds of your executing a beautiful joint lock or high kick rapidly dwindle. No matter which martial art you practice, learn techniques that are basic and stick with them in a self-defense scenario. I wouldn’t recommend high kicks, most likely you’ll miss and end up on the floor at your attacker’s mercy, leave those to the movies. But do try the following:

Heel-palm strike. Hitting with an open hand reduces the chance that you’ll injure your hand and enables you to more easily attack from a non-confrontational stance in which you’re holding your hands up and open while you set verbal boundaries. Then, if your attacker steps into your comfort zone — bang! — he gets it right in the face.

Eye strike. The eye strike can be used in a standing or prone position. Often, simply driving your fingers toward your assailant’s eyes will cause him to recoil. Even if you don’t make contact, it creates space to set up a more devastating blow.

Knee strike. This technique is recommended over any type of standing kick because it is easy to use and can be delivered while you stay centered and close to the ground — which is crucial when you’re adrenalized. A knee to the groin can end a fight immediately.

Don’t Panic if You’re Knocked Down

More often than not, women end up on the ground when they’re assaulted. The good news is that most assailants are not skilled ground fighters; they’re bullies who are used to knocking women down and forcing them to comply. Remember that the heel-palm strike and eye strike work well on the ground.

It’s a good idea to have a few kicks that work there, as well. In particular, the side thrust kick functions in a variety of scenarios. If you’re on the ground and your assailant is standing, it gives you an advantage because your legs are longer than his arms. That means he’ll have to expose his body to your kick if he wants to reach you.

Knee strikes also function effectively on the ground. While you struggle with your attacker, he probably won’t protect his groin. Once you see an opening, get close enough to strike upward into his groin. No matter how strong he may be, he`ll feel this for sure.

Summary

If you do find yourself having to defend yourself, the fight isn’t over until the threat no longer exists. Therefore, you must be 100-percent committed to the battle. If you fight back and then pause, you give up the initial advantage you gained from using the element of surprise. Once your opponent knows you can fight, it becomes more difficult for them to get the better of you.

To survive, you must continue your barrage until it’s safe to stop striking and escape. Bottom line is this, you may only get one chance, don’t strike once then see what happened! Keep it going till you can get away without them chasing after you. Remember, you must accept the fact an attack could happen! The question is, what are you going to do if it does? How safe do you feel?

Not Everyone Will Get Involved and Help!

Not everyone will get involved and help!

Not everyone will get involved and help! If you play your cards right, with a little thought and preparation you’ll avoid getting attacked in the first place. But if you do, you’ll need to know how to handle it.

Seriously though, you need to deal with the situation yourself as it`s possible no one will be around if and when you get attacked, plus, even if people are around not everyone will want to jump in and help, many will choose to turn a blind eye on the situation. Sad fact, but very true.

Don’t rely on others to come to your rescue, they might, but then again, they might not! Not everyone will get involved and help! You need to be able to deal with the situation of being attacked by yourself!

Here’s some helpful advice on keeping yourself safe

Stay in populated areas. While pickpockets like crowded areas, muggers prefer to attack individuals when they’re by themselves. It reduces the chances of witnesses.

So, rule number one of avoiding being mugged: stay in populated areas, and don’t go out alone.

Stay in well-lit areas. Again, muggers like to do their work where they can’t be seen, so if you’re out and about at night, stay in well-lit areas. When you park your car at a store, park it underneath a light. Avoid dark alleys and the like. If you are out at night, keep a tactical flashlight on you. It allows you to identify potential threats and the bright light can momentarily disorient attackers.

Stay discreet. “Gray man” is a phrase you hear a lot in the tactical world. It means dressing and acting in a way that doesn’t bring much attention to yourself. To avoid being mugged, be the gray man. Don’t wear anything that would make you an attractive target to would-be muggers. If you’re going to be in an unsafe part of town, keep the expensive jewelry and watches at home. Dress discretely and in a way that doesn’t suggest you’ve got a lot of money.

Maintain situational awareness. Stay in condition yellow. Know what’s going on in your surroundings. Look for anomalies. This requires you to take off your headphones, keep your head out of your phone, and regularly study up on and test your situational awareness.

If you see a potential threat, move to safety. If you recognize a possible threat, move to safety immediately. And safety usually means well-lit and populated areas.

Also maintain distance between you and your potential attacker. Many muggers will approach you to ask the time. If a shady-looking character approaches you with that kind of question, keep walking while you answer, and be prepared for the attack that might well be coming.

What to Do If You Get Mugged

Don’t rely on others to come to your rescue! You’ve taken all the precautionary steps, but you’re still getting mugged. What do you do then?

Give the mugger what he wants. If you can’t run, just give the mugger what he wants. Your life is worth much more than your wallet or watch. Don’t fight back. Every self-defense expert I’ve talked to recommends this, and these are some tough guys who could take on, and take down, most anyone they wanted — and yet they still say it’s not worth escalating the altercation into violence unless absolutely necessary.

Most muggers just want money from you. If you give them what they want, hopefully, they’ll leave you alone. The majority of armed robberies end without injury.

When you give the wallet to your attacker, do so in a way that maintains distance between you and him. This may mean throwing it to him.

In some instances, muggers will stand near ATMs, point a weapon at you, and demand that you withdraw money for them. Co-cooperate knowing the confrontation will be over soon. This is not the time to act out the moves you saw in the action movie last night, that will get you injured or killed.

Consider a dummy wallet. If you live and work in an area with a high number of muggings, you might consider carrying a “dummy wallet.” It’s a cheap wallet that you fill with a few dollar bills and those promotional cards that credit card companies send you. Keep it in your other back pocket and give it to him when he asks for your wallet.

Maintain situational awareness. You’re going to be spooked during your mugging but do your best to maintain situational awareness. Remember important details about your mugger’s appearance for the police report: height, clothing, hair color, race, tattoos, etc. easier said than done though with the adrenaline racing.

Make noise. Again, muggers want to do their work with as little attention as possible drawn to them. Being extra loud while you interact can scare them off.

Fight back only as a last resort. The basic guideline is to cooperate with your attacker and give him what he wants. There are situations when you should consider fighting back though.

If your attacker is getting extremely close to you and throwing punches or jabbing a knife towards you, you need to defend yourself. Control whatever weapon your attacker is using and unleash violence on them. Use improvised weapons. Gouge eyes, stomp feet, knee groin. Your life may be in danger, do whatever you have to do at this stage.

If your attacker is demanding that you get into a car, do whatever you have to do to not get in the car. Your attacker is likely taking you to a “second crime scene.” You don’t want to go to a second crime scene. These are places that are completely hidden from public view where violent criminals kill/rape/beat their victims.

Crime studies show that a victim’s chances of survival go down once they get to a second crime scene. So, if you’re told to get into a vehicle, fight like your life depends on it — because it probably does. (Even if you end up in the trunk, you can still escape.)

Bag Snatches. Some muggers will not even talk to you, but rather just simply grab a visible item, such as a cell phone, or purse as you are walking. It is fairly obvious that you shouldn’t display possessions of wealth such as expensive watches and jewelry, but people often forget that talking on an expensive cell phone is also a display of possible wealth. Attackers are looking out for such signs in choosing their victim, so while you’re not thinking this way, they certainly are.

A robber may believe that his/her simplest way to get the phone off you is to grab/snatch it as you are using it – they may also believe that if your phone is expensive, you will also have other expensive items on you, and decide to mug you for these as well.

If somebody tries to simply grab a mobile phone, purse or bag etc. let them have it. The chances are they have a “backup plan” such as weapon they can use to make sure that your initial resistance can be overcome easily.

If you can carry your money and any valuables you have about your person, rather than in an external bag or purse; this will mean that you are able to hand over or let an assailant have them without giving them anything of “real” value.

Summary

It`s possible no one will be around if and when you get attacked, plus, even if people are around not everyone will want to jump in and help, many will choose to turn a blind eye on the situation. Sad fact, but very true. Don’t rely on others to come to your rescue!

Self-defense is very popular these days, check what is on offer in your area, the good thing about martial arts is this simple fact; they’re all good, no such thing as a bad martial art, so just find one that suits you best. Remember, Not everyone will get involved and help! So, don’t rely on others to come to your rescue! They might not!

Being Attacked is Nothing Like a Training Session!

Being Attacked is Nothing Like a Training Session!

Being attacked is nothing like a training session! If you are attacked out in the streets, this is the real deal and no matter how much training you might have done cannot prepare you for the level of violence your attacker may be capable of inflicting on you.

The shock of being attacked for real can stun even the most competent of martial artists, while their brain is trying to accept what’s happening the adrenaline is in overdrive! So always accept the fact you might be next, no one is immune from attack, it’s how you handle the situation that matters.

There are many people that have never done martial arts in their entire life, but instead have fought and won numerous real street fights.

All the martial arts classes and even sparring will not prepare you if you are suddenly confronted with someone who is hell bent on causing you serious injury.

The type that just attack without warning, where you have to act instantly to have a chance, this is where you quickly realize all the training you have done hasn’t prepared you for the level of violence that’s now coming your way. This is the real deal and you better have a plan of action to deal with it quickly, as you may only get one chance to survive.

They may be high on drugs or alcohol which can add to the problems you now about to face. Not everyone is a happy drunk, and when high on drugs, some turn extremely violent.

Nothing will prepare you for a real fight, the level of violence can be shocking, where there are no rules, and if you go down, the attack may well continue. There is no referee to jump in and save you and no bell will sound to tell your attacker he has to wait until the next round to continue his attack!

The explosion of adrenaline can paralyze the most well studied fighter if he has only experienced training sessions, who suddenly finds himself in a real-life fight situation. It can and does happen.

I personally know many black belts who look great in training sessions but would have to question their chances in a real street fight. Many get caught up in the game of flying through the different colored belts as fast as possible and getting that fancy certificate, seeing that as the main challenge, rather than truly being able to defend themselves.

No amount of training will prepare you for a real-life attack situation! Knowing Self-defense does not make you invincible even among those who have achieved a high level in the martial arts. This way of thinking is the misguided belief that somehow fights can be clean and controlled, and that knowing advanced techniques can guarantee victory. This is simply not true, and again, Being attacked is nothing like a training session!

Can you really put your self-defense skills to use?

Being attacked is nothing like a training session! When attacked many people’s knowledge of self-defense is immediately thrown out of the window as they are engulfed in fear, panic and adrenaline! You will never know how you will react to a real-life attack until it happens.

An attacker doesn’t come at you in the same convenient way you experience during your training sessions, where you know what to expect and know what move you are about to do in defense. But of course, there’s no other way you can learn without knowing what’s going to happen before it does in training. In real life attack however, it`s a very different matter.

Could you seriously put someone in an arm lock that is really trying to hurt you? Again, this is not like a training session where all the moves are pre-planned, where your training partner is throwing soft punches that if you don`t block in time won`t cause you any kind of harm.

In a real life attack the punch coming towards your face is like a missile compared to what you experienced in your training classes. You`ll get one chance and one chance only to block this, then counterattack it, if you fail you may well be knocked down or even knocked out! At that stage your only hope is they run off and don’t continue the attack.

Could you seriously throw someone that is really trying to hurt you? Again, this is not like a training session where all the moves are pre-planned, where your training partner is standing still patiently waiting for you to throw them!

In a real life attack your attacker will be struggling violently and certainly won`t be stood in a comfortable position that makes them easy to throw. Trying to get yourself in the same position you use in training where you can perform the throw could leave you in a situation where they drag you backwards onto the ground. And then what? You are now in unfamiliar territory where you are at your attacker’s mercy!

Could you seriously perform the same quality of kicks and punches wearing regular clothes in a real-life attack? Again, this is not like a training session in most martial arts where all the moves are not only pre-planned, but also, where you are wearing your Gi that allows you to move freely, and where you are bare-footed.

In a real life attack you might be out on the town or coming home from work or the store wearing work clothes or tight jeans, shirts and fashionable but uncomfortable boots and shoes etc. which can seriously restrict your movement holding you back from performing kicks and other techniques in the fashion you are used to in training.

Summary

Now understand I am in no way knocking self-defense classes, I think they are fantastic! it is a valuable and very interesting thing to be involved in. My point is to make people realize self-defense training and a real-life attack are two of the most opposite things you will ever encounter, and no amount of training will prepare you for the real thing. Remember, being attacked is nothing like a training session, We can only hope you never have to find this out.

Please stay safe out there!

Pant/dress size dropping, but not weight?

Pant/dress size dropping, but not weight? Today`s blog answers a very common issue. In all my years of personal training, one question arose more than any other, actually, much more than any other. Why am I not losing weight? But my pant/dress size is getting smaller.

Many clients get mad at this issue and become frustrated and many even quit thinking they’re wasting their money, and of course they’re also thinking their trainers doesn’t know what they’re doing. Which is usually not the case at all.

Ditch the scales!

First of all, do not get caught up with the obsession of jumping on the scales every time you walk into the bathroom!

Many people see the scales as an instrument of motivation, but they can be exactly the opposite. Your weight can fluctuate considerably during the day, when you consider the water you drank and the food you ate. Weigh yourself soon as you get up in a morning, this will give you a true reading, but you don’t need to do it every day or multiple times daily.

For a start the number on the scale includes everything like muscle, organs, bones, food and water and fat. So, for that reason the number on the scale might not show what you’re hoping to see. It doesn’t reflect the changes happening in your body; for example, If you’re doing cardio and strength training, you may build lean muscle at the same time you’re losing body fat. In that case, the scale may not change even though you’re getting leaner. Basically, the scale cannot tell the difference between fat and muscle and combines all into one number.

Remember, if you step on the scale and you’re unhappy with what you see, how does that make you feel? It may make you start questioning everything you’re doing, wondering why you even bother at all. Focusing on weight may overshadow the positive results you’re getting such as fat loss, more endurance, higher energy levels, and now wearing smaller clothes.

Give the scales a break, go by what clothes you are now wearing, if you’re dropping clothes size you must be doing something correct, right? The training program and diet are working, the smaller sized clothes aren’t an illusion, it’s a fact, and its working!

Don’t allow the scales to distract you from the good you are doing. Make sure you get a scale that also measures body fat, don’t just go by what it says you weigh.

Basically, the scales can be the ultimate in frustration, losing motivation and quitting on your exercise plan and weight-loss goals.

Which is heavier, 5lb of feathers or 5lb of iron?

I used to ask my clients what’s heavier? 5lb of feathers or 5lb of iron? So many would say iron not really thinking about what the question actually asked. Any two things that weigh the same obviously do weigh the same, the size however, is totally different like 5lb of fat is much larger than 5lb of muscle in volume.

During the road to weight loss your body goes through a transition and it takes time, focus on all the positive aspects you are seeing and experiencing along that road. Do not be a victim of the scales, think of them like this; they can be like a bad friend who never seems to compliment you.

Problem solved!

So, now you know how replacing body fat with muscle can make you lose pant/dress size but not necessarily actual body weight.

Ladies Self-defense staying safe tips

Ladies Self-defense staying safe tips

Ladies Self-defense staying safe tips. Awareness is your first line of Self-defense. Defensive Awareness. Threat Awareness. Situational Awareness. Whatever you call it, I repeat, Ladies, please learn Self-defense. So important to know this.

Awareness is your first line of Self Defense!

The truth is, thugs prefer to target inattentive, distracted and preoccupied people, such as someone oblivious to the entire world on their cell phone. I’m sure you’ve seen this many times yourself.

Why? Because thugs want an easy victim. They want to get what they want and then get away. They don’t want to get hurt or caught in a fight, so they won’t be looking to attack someone walking with confidence who could be a challenge to them.

If you can see danger coming toward you, you have a much better chance at avoiding it… of getting yourself to safety before anything bad happens. It’s better to avoid a dangerous situation than to have to defend yourself after you are attacked. Ladies, please learn Self-defense.

Making Eye Contact

Thugs sometimes “test” potential victims through eye contact. If someone responds by quickly looking down or to the side, that person may become their next victim. Predators prefer people who appear intimidated and who won’t look them in the eye. They consider them an easy victim.

Making eye contact with a potential thug makes you a less desirable victim. When you make eye contact, you show them that you are aware of them. Thugs like the element of surprise. So, they prefer their victims to be unaware.

But remember, don’t stare them down. Otherwise, they might mistake your stare as a challenge. Simply let them know that you see them, that you are paying attention. Staring could change the situation entirely. Ladies, please learn Self-defense.

Awareness While Walking in Public

Walk with someone else whenever possible. And avoid walking at night if you can. Be aware of your body language when you’re walking in public. Keep your head up, your shoulders back and your hands out of your pockets. You’ll look confident. Most predators aren’t looking for a confrontation. So, they tend to avoid confident looking people.

Be alert. Look around. And actually, notice what’s going on around you. This way, you’ll see any signs of potential danger. And you’ll have time to react. Ladies, please learn Self-defense.

Personal Space-keep your distance!

If someone you don’t know is getting too close to you, physically, the first thing to do is to move away from them. If that doesn’t work, make eye contact and tell them to stay away. And be firm about it.

Seek help from Police, Security or someone else that you trust. If it turns out you misunderstood the situation; you could end up being embarrassed. But so what? That’s so much easier to recover from than an assault! Ladies, please learn Self-defense.

Awareness and Your Cell Phone

When you are on your cell phone in public, you are easy prey.

Think about it… when you are talking on your phone, you are devoting your attention to the conversation instead of your environment. You can’t possibly have 100% awareness of your surroundings if you’re carrying on a conversation. Remember, predators like having the element of surprise. It makes their job easier.

Avoid posting, texting or talking on your phone when you’re in public. Unless it’s an emergency, of course, but being on your cell phone for no good reason isn’t helping you at all. Ladies, please learn Self-defense.

Always know where are the Exits?

When you enter a shopping center, a classroom, a parking garage, a theater, or any other place, look around.

Where are the exits? Where are your potential paths of escape? Are there barriers you can hide behind if escape is impossible?

Violence can break out wherever you are, and you need to be able to respond quickly. Plan ahead and know where the exits and escape paths are. It could save your life. This isn’t about you being paranoid. This is about you being smart. Ladies, please learn Self-defense.

Awareness in the Parking Lot

When you are putting groceries in your trunk or the back of your car after shopping, you are vulnerable to thugs. Since your back is turned to any potential threat, and because you’re concentrating on getting the bags packed in the car, it’s difficult to see what’s going on around you.

So, before you begin, take a good look around. Make sure no suspicious person is lurking nearby. And continue to look around as you load your bags. Constantly be aware of what’s going on around you so you can react if necessary.

Some stores like to make their cart corrals look attractive by planting bushes on either side of the corral. Nice, full, attractive bushes where it’s easy for thugs to hide. Especially after dark.  So, what do you do? Use the cart corral anyway? Return the cart to the store? Leave the cart by your car? (If you must, then so be it. Better a disgruntled employee than you are becoming a polite victim!)

Whatever you choose to do, be ever vigilant and aware. Don’t allow thugs to take you by surprise.

Aware Today… Alive Tomorrow

Surprise, intimidation, and fear are the key elements of a robbery. Awareness, preparedness, and avoidance are your best defenses. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to leave an area in which you are not comfortable. Keep your valuables hidden and purse closed, especially when you are in an unfamiliar area. Keep a sharp eye out for anything that doesn’t seem right to you. Be ready to run.

You can choose to be inattentive and oblivious. And you might get away with it… until your path crosses a thug’s path.

You can decrease your chances of becoming a victim by removing your blinders and choosing to be aware of your surroundings.

The first thing to do when you get in your car

LOCK the doors! Don’t wait until you buckle up or start the car. Don’t arrange your purchases in the seat next to you. Don’t check your makeup. Just lock your doors and leave.

Unlocked doors put you in a very vulnerable position. Bad guys can pull you out and take your car or, worse, jump in and force you to drive them somewhere.

Keep all doors locked at all times

Your car doors should always be locked whether you are in or out of your vehicle.

When you’re in your car, it will keep thugs from jumping in when you are stopped at an intersection or any other place where your car is stationary.

When you are out of your vehicle, it keeps thieves from stealing your stuff and/or your car. It also keeps predators from hiding in the back seat where they can take you by surprise.

When stopped in traffic

Leave space between you and the vehicle in front whenever you stop in traffic. It gives you room to pull around the vehicle or do a U-turn to get away if necessary.

Be aware of what’s going on outside your vehicle. Look for someone getting out of the cars in front, beside and behind you. Also look for anyone approaching your vehicle or anything else that appears suspicious.

Use your rear-view and side-view mirrors as well as keeping your head on a swivel.

What if a “helpful” person is indicating to you that your tire is flat? Don’t pull over. Don’t hang around. Go to the nearest police station, service station or other safe area. Then check your tire.

The “helpful” person could be trying to get you out of your car so they can steal it, rob you and/or kidnap you.

Being Followed

If you think you’re being followed, don’t drive home. They could grab you before you get to your front door. Or they can wait until another time because now they know where you live.

Instead, make four right (or left) turns in a row (basically, going around the block). If you’re on the freeway, exit and then re-enter the freeway.

If the car stays with you, you know for sure they’re following you, head to the nearest police station or other safe place and report them.

If you are in a deserted, area, call the police and ask them to meet you somewhere.

If you see a police car, honk and flash your lights to get their attention.

The “Bump and Jack”

A “bump and jack” is when a car rear-ends or “bumps” the car in front of them. When the driver gets out to check the damage, a carjacker jumps in the car and takes off with it.

If you get “bumped,” don’t immediately get out of the car. First assess the situation.

Is the area isolated? Are you alone in the car? Do the people in the other car seem suspicious or make you feel uneasy?

If so, drive to a police or fire station or any other safe area. Call 911 and let them know what’s happening.

If you do decide that it’s safe to get out of your car, take your keys with you and lock your doors. And remain aware.

Car Seats

It’s easy to become totally focused on your child when dealing with a car seat. Those buckles can be a pain to open and close. And if the child won’t cooperate, it’s that much harder.

It’s no wonder that people end up so focused on the car seat that they forget to pay attention to their surroundings!

Before putting a child in a car seat, take a good look around to see if anyone is lurking nearby. Remember to look around from time to time as you are struggling with the buckles.

Paying attention to your surroundings will make you a less desirable target for thugs. And it gives you time to react if you spot danger.

Alternately, you could get in the back seat with your child, lock the doors, and then deal with those irritating buckles.

Avoid Road Rage

You’re driving to work, and some careless driver cuts you off. Instead of letting it go, you get mad. This guy needs to be taught a lesson is now your attitude!

First chance you get, you pass him while flipping him off. You cut in front of him. It makes YOU feel better. But now he’s mad. (He may not have even realized that he cut you off. As far as he’s concerned, you’re the rude one.)

Like you, the other driver wants to get even. Unlike you, the other driver is crazy.

He follows you. You get to work and get out of your car. He gets out of his car. He approaches you.

You think it’s just going to be some shouting and profanity.

Nope. He doesn’t say a word. He just stabs you. Now you’re in the hospital in critical condition. It can and does happen!

But hey. At least you taught him a lesson. Was it worth the risk, seriously? No, of course it wasn’t.

College girl attacked on way home

When college student Angela Collins 19 of El Paso Texas was making her short nightly walk home from college, she never imagined the horror that was about to happen that night.

“I had made this same short 15-minute walk home from college every night for 3 months with never a problem, and to be honest it never entered my head there ever would be a problem. I’m the type of person who reads about such attacks online or see on the news and thinks how terrible, but that happens elsewhere and to other people.”

“On this particular night I was walking home in my own little world listening to music and texting friends as usual when suddenly someone jumped out from behind a wall grabbing me. I was so shocked I couldn’t respond! I was totally frozen in fear. Then he punched me in the back of my head.”

“I seemed to be out a few seconds but the next thing I know he had dragged me behind a bush and started to pull off my clothes. I must have a guardian angel or something as right then a couple are out walking their dogs and see what’s happening and chase the guy away! They called the cops who asked for a description of the guy, I felt kind of dumb as I hadn’t a clue what he looked like! All happened so fast.”

“Luckily, I had no more than a few minor cuts and bruises, but this has left its mark on me mentally big time!”

“I’m terrified now to walk home after college and have a friend drop me off instead, and if they can’t make it, I wait until someone else can pick me up. I learned the hard way. No more walking home alone for this girl!”

“I also bought a few protective items like a small hand-held stun gun, mace spray and whistle. Even though I no longer walk home alone I just feel safer with these items and I always carry them with me. Sadly, it took me to get attacked before I got wiser and did something about protecting myself, better late than never though I guess.”

Angela had a terrible experience but no doubt she knows she got off lightly as this could have been way worse!

A little self-defense knowledge here could have stopped the attacker in his tracks the moment he appeared by stunning him and escaping unharmed.

This is an all too familiar story of people not understanding that attacks can happen to anyone and anywhere and when they do the shock leaves them frozen in fear without a clue what to do.

Many situations like this can be prevented by not walking alone at night and letting your cell phone and music become a major distraction.

Sadly, as in Angela`s case it quite often takes an attack to make people seriously aware of the dangers out there, many people don’t get as lucky as Angela did in this story. She learned the hard way but thankfully is still alive to learn by her mistakes.

Summary

After reading this blog, you will have learned the importance of staying safe in everyday situations, common sense and a little thought behind where you are, where you’re going, what you’re doing and who is around you can go a long way to you staying safe, and hopefully prevent you from attack. I know I have said this a few times, but… Ladies, please learn Self-defense, I cannot stress this enough, it could save your life.

Unprovoked Attack is a Real Possibility!

Unprovoked Attack is a Real Possibility!

Unprovoked attack is a real possibility! Since senseless attacks are becoming more common, any attack must be dealt with immediately! Showing other people how to use self-defense skills to survive a dangerous or potentially lethal encounter is easier said than done, considering how different training and a real-life attack situation really are.

No matter how much experience you may have in the dojo, it cannot compare to those occasions when you’re facing an adversary bent on doing you some serious damage. That being said, self-defense training can give you that chance you need to survive, and sometimes that’s the only chance you need.

Martial Arts Plays an Important Part in Self-Defense

The following show how martial arts plays an important part in self-defense, and keeping you safe, ultimately, keeping you alive!

A major difficulty faced by normal people in violent encounters is that, with few exceptions, the behavior of the attacker just doesn’t make sense. If you’re walking down a dark street and someone sticks a gun in your side and demands your cash, you may be surprised. However, you won’t be confused because you understand the motive of the robber. (In fact, that very knowledge will probably keep you from walking down that dark street in the first place.) But what about the guy who’s standing at the corner beside you, the guy who suddenly whirls and plants a fist in your face?

Senseless Attacks Are Becoming More Common

It’s unfortunate that unpremeditated – Senseless Attacks Are Becoming More Common – senseless attacks like this are becoming more common. Extreme examples include shootings in schools and workplaces. “The guy just went crazy!” is the usual description after the carnage.

Walking down the dark street, you’re prepared for the potential violence that might logically happen. Standing on the street corner when a nut cuts loose is something you’re not prepared for, however. Nor can you be. You don’t want to live in a state of combat readiness 24 hours a day. It’s not practical, and it isn’t healthy. What you can do is train to eliminate your internal rules that say all aggressive acts must “make sense.”

Don’t be Taken by Surprise Attacks!

The guy on the corner suddenly attacks. Chances are, you see it coming — at least you’re aware of the oncoming blow. What slows your physical reaction is your mental reaction: “What’s he doing this for? Why’s he swinging at me? He must’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

Thoughts like those immediately form, and they keep on forming even if you’re still standing after the strike has connected. They’re perfectly logical. They occur because you’re a reasonable, rational human being. After it’s all over, they’re appropriate thought processes. In the midst of a violent encounter, though, they’re useless. You must learn to short-circuit them, and deal with the situation. Remember, Unprovoked attack is a real possibility!

You Must Deal With The Attack Now!

You should adopt the attitude that you must deal with the attack now and worry about its motivations later on. Insisting that an attack “make sense” before you respond can get you seriously injured or killed. There’s nothing much here to argue with, you’re probably saying, but what’s the answer? How do you learn to bypass logic and reasoning and let your body take over? You do it the same way martial artists have always successfully trained to deal with unexpected aggression — through kata.

Of course, the proven method hasn’t always been called kata. The military calls it basic training. The police use similar names. But on some important levels, it’s all the same. The routine goes something like this: Repeat basic movements over and over. Instill them on a level where they’re nearly instinctive and work without conscious thought. Practice them in different sequences. Practice them against opponents who attack in expected ways and then, increasingly, in unexpected ways. Learn them so thoroughly they’re spontaneous and dependable in any situation.

One of the primary goals of kata training is to integrate physical movements independent of conscious volition. It’s not easy, nor is it quickly accomplished. Despite ignorant criticisms of it by those who’ve never seriously undertaken the process, it’s the most reliable method for learning how to deal with the kinds of illogical attacks encountered on the street.

There’s no reason to be ashamed of being reasonable or of expecting the world to work in a logical way. The problem crops up when you insist that reality must consist only of reasonable, logical actions. Sometimes you will run into people who don’t share your view. At that point, you must use your kata training to deal with them. Their aggression may not make sense, but your response should.

Prevention is the best defense

As a kid that played sport, I’m sure you heard a lot was “the best defense is a good offense”. That’s a true statement. The other team can’t score if they don’t have the ball.

So how does that relate to guarding against violence?

Your first line of defense in protecting yourself starts with your demeanor. If you have a strong, confident presence about yourself, someone will think twice about approaching you.

So, if you’re in a store or the mall and you feel like you’re being followed, what will you do? If you do something as simple as look them right in the eye and ask them for the time, for example – you’ll shift the balance of power. You’ve now asked something of them, and they’ve given it to you. It’s simple, and it portrays you as a confident person.

Be prepared to Defend Yourself

What would you do if someone were to attack you right now? Physical violence isn’t something that most of us think about on a regular basis. However, it is a reality. Remember, Unprovoked attack is a real possibility! It can and does happen.

At a Martial Arts class, you’ll learn how to throw punches and elbows. I personally learned that if you are attacked, the best thing to do is to bring the attacker as close to you as possible. This limits their mobility and greatly restricts what they are able to do. Also, to target vulnerable areas: eyes, nose, fingers and knees.

By learning and regularly practicing self-defense techniques, you’ll be strong enough both mentally and physically to do what you need to do to get away and survive an attack.

Bring attention to the situation

If you are attacked, get the attention of others by being as loud as you can immediately. Scream “Call 9-1-1” as opposed to “fire” or “help”. What’s the difference? When you tell someone to dial 9-1-1, it alerts others that you’re in immediate danger and it’s an emergency. It also gives a stranger direction in what to do.

Yelling “fire” or “help” wastes valuable time. You’ll have people looking around to see if they can see a fire or figuring out how to help instead of taking immediate action.

The more attention you can bring to yourself during an attack, the more likely you will survive it. Remember, your attacker wants an easy win, not a confrontation. By getting people’s attention, you’ll get help more quickly, and possibly encourage stop to the violence.

Summary

The main thing to remember in protecting yourself is that you should always be aware of your surroundings. Know where other people are when getting in or out of your car. Don’t be distracted by your phone when you’re out in public – it makes you more vulnerable to a potential attack. Remember, Unprovoked attack is a real possibility! Since senseless attacks are becoming more common, any attack must be dealt with immediately!

Awareness is your first line of Self-defense.

Awareness is your first line of Self-defense. Defensive Awareness. Threat Awareness. Situational Awareness. Whatever you call it, I repeat, awareness is your first line of Self Defense. So important to remember this.

Your first line of Self Defense, awareness!

The truth is, thugs prefer to target inattentive, distracted and preoccupied people, such as someone oblivious to the entire world on their cell phone. I’m sure you’ve seen this many times yourself.

Why? Because thugs want an easy victim. They want to get what they want and then get away. They don’t want to get hurt or caught in a fight, so they won’t be looking to attack someone walking with confidence who could be a challenge to them.

If you can see danger coming toward you, you have a much better chance at avoiding it… of getting yourself to safety before anything bad happens. It’s better to avoid a dangerous situation than to have to defend yourself after you are attacked.

Making Eye Contact

Thugs sometimes “test” potential victims through eye contact. If someone responds by quickly looking down or to the side, that person may become their next victim. Predators prefer people who appear intimidated and who won’t look them in the eye. They consider them an easy victim.

Making eye contact with a potential thug makes you a less desirable victim. When you make eye contact, you show them that you are aware of them. Thugs like the element of surprise. So, they prefer their victims to be unaware.

But remember, don’t stare them down. Otherwise, they might mistake your stare as a challenge. Simply let them know that you see them, that you are paying attention. Staring could change the situation entirely.

Awareness While Walking in Public

Walk with someone else whenever possible. And avoid walking at night if you can. Be aware of your body language when you’re walking in public. Keep your head up, your shoulders back and your hands out of your pockets. You’ll look confident. Most predators aren’t looking for a confrontation. So, they tend to avoid confident looking people.

Be alert. Look around. And actually, notice what’s going on around you. This way, you’ll see any signs of potential danger. And you’ll have time to react.

Personal Space

If someone you don’t know is getting too close to you, physically, the first thing to do is to move away from them. If that doesn’t work, make eye contact and tell them to stay away. And be firm about it.

Seek help from Police, Security or someone else that you trust. If it turns out you misunderstood the situation; you could end up being embarrassed. But so what? That’s so much easier to recover from than an assault!

Awareness and Your Cell Phone

When you are on your cell phone in public, you are easy prey.

Think about it… when you are talking on your phone, you are devoting your attention to the conversation instead of your environment. You can’t possibly have 100% awareness of your surroundings if you’re carrying on a conversation. Remember, predators like having the element of surprise. It makes their job easier.

Avoid posting, texting or talking on your phone when you’re in public. Unless it’s an emergency, of course, but being on your cell phone for no good reason isn’t helping you at all.

Where are the Exits?

When you enter a shopping center, a classroom, a parking garage, a theater, or any other place, look around.

Where are the exits? Where are your potential paths of escape? Are there barriers you can hide behind if escape is impossible?

Violence can break out wherever you are, and you need to be able to respond quickly. Plan ahead and know where the exits and escape paths are. It could save your life. This isn’t about you being paranoid. This is about you being smart.

Awareness in the Parking Lot

When you are putting groceries in your trunk or the back of your car after shopping, you are vulnerable to thugs. Since your back is turned to any potential threat, and because you’re concentrating on getting the bags packed in the car, it’s difficult to see what’s going on around you.

So, before you begin, take a good look around. Make sure no suspicious person is lurking nearby. And continue to look around as you load your bags. Constantly be aware of what’s going on around you so you can react if necessary.

Some stores like to make their cart corrals look attractive by planting bushes on either side of the corral. Nice, full, attractive bushes where it’s easy for thugs to hide. Especially after dark.  So, what do you do? Use the cart corral anyway? Return the cart to the store? Leave the cart by your car? (If you must, then so be it. Better a disgruntled employee than you are becoming a polite victim!)

Whatever you choose to do, be ever vigilant and aware. Don’t allow thugs to take you by surprise.

Aware Today… Alive Tomorrow

Surprise, intimidation, and fear are the key elements of a robbery. Awareness, preparedness, and avoidance are your best defenses. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to leave an area in which you are not comfortable. Keep your valuables hidden and purse closed, especially when you are in an unfamiliar area. Keep a sharp eye out for anything that doesn’t seem right to you. Be ready to run.

You can choose to be inattentive and oblivious. And you might get away with it… until your path crosses a thug’s path.

You can decrease your chances of becoming a victim by removing your blinders and choosing to be aware of your surroundings.

The first thing to do when you get in your car

LOCK the doors! Don’t wait until you buckle up or start the car. Don’t arrange your purchases in the seat next to you. Don’t check your makeup. Just lock your doors and leave.

Unlocked doors put you in a very vulnerable position. Bad guys can pull you out and take your car or, worse, jump in and force you to drive them somewhere.

Keep all doors locked at all times

Your car doors should always be locked whether you are in or out of your vehicle.

When you’re in your car, it will keep thugs from jumping in when you are stopped at an intersection or any other place where your car is stationary.

When you are out of your vehicle, it keeps thieves from stealing your stuff and/or your car. It also keeps predators from hiding in the back seat where they can take you by surprise.

When stopped in traffic

Leave space between you and the vehicle in front whenever you stop in traffic. It gives you room to pull around the vehicle or do a U-turn to get away if necessary.

Be aware of what’s going on outside your vehicle. Look for someone getting out of the cars in front, beside and behind you. Also look for anyone approaching your vehicle or anything else that appears suspicious.

Use your rear-view and side-view mirrors as well as keeping your head on a swivel.

What if a “helpful” person is indicating to you that your tire is flat? Don’t pull over. Don’t hang around. Go to the nearest police station, service station or other safe area. Then check your tire.

The “helpful” person could be trying to get you out of your car so they can steal it, rob you and/or kidnap you.

Being Followed

If you think you’re being followed, don’t drive home. They could grab you before you get to your front door. Or they can wait until another time because now they know where you live.

Instead, make four right (or left) turns in a row (basically, going around the block). If you’re on the freeway, exit and then re-enter the freeway.

If the car stays with you, you know for sure they’re following you, head to the nearest police station or other safe place and report them.

If you are in a deserted, area, call the police and ask them to meet you somewhere.

If you see a police car, honk and flash your lights to get their attention.

The “Bump and Jack”

A “bump and jack” is when a car rear-ends or “bumps” the car in front of them. When the driver gets out to check the damage, a carjacker jumps in the car and takes off with it.

If you get “bumped,” don’t immediately get out of the car. First assess the situation.

Is the area isolated? Are you alone in the car? Do the people in the other car seem suspicious or make you feel uneasy?

If so, drive to a police or fire station or any other safe area. Call 911 and let them know what’s happening.

If you do decide that it’s safe to get out of your car, take your keys with you and lock your doors. And remain aware.

Car Seats

It’s easy to become totally focused on your child when dealing with a car seat. Those buckles can be a pain to open and close. And if the child won’t cooperate, it’s that much harder.

It’s no wonder that people end up so focused on the car seat that they forget to pay attention to their surroundings!

Before putting a child in a car seat, take a good look around to see if anyone is lurking nearby. Remember to look around from time to time as you are struggling with the buckles.

Paying attention to your surroundings will make you a less desirable target for thugs. And it gives you time to react if you spot danger.

Alternately, you could get in the back seat with your child, lock the doors, and then deal with those irritating buckles.

Avoid Road Rage

You’re driving to work, and some careless driver cuts you off. Instead of letting it go, you get mad. This guy needs to be taught a lesson is now your attitude!

First chance you get, you pass him while flipping him off. You cut in front of him. It makes YOU feel better. But now he’s mad. (He may not have even realized that he cut you off. As far as he’s concerned, you’re the rude one.)

Like you, the other driver wants to get even. Unlike you, the other driver is crazy.

He follows you. You get to work and get out of your car. He gets out of his car. He approaches you.

You think it’s just going to be some shouting and profanity.

Nope. He doesn’t say a word. He just stabs you. Now you’re in the hospital in critical condition. It can and does happen!

But hey. At least you taught him a lesson. Was it worth the risk, seriously? No, of course it wasn’t.

Summary

After reading this blog, you will have learned the importance of staying safe in everyday situations, common sense and a little thought behind where you are, where you’re going, what you’re doing and who is around you can go a long way to you staying safe, and hopefully prevent you from attack.

Turmeric, one of the most powerful herbs!

Turmeric, one of the most powerful herbs!, is the main spice in the Indian dish curry, is argued by many to be the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. The health benefits of turmeric are incredibly vast and very thoroughly researched.

Currently, there are over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric responsible for so many of its benefits. In fact, turmeric is even good for dogs thanks to this ingredient.

This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science. It has a long history of use, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine and other traditional forms of medicine. Here’s what you need to know about turmeric and curcumin benefits and more.

What other names is Turmeric known by?

Curcuma, Curcuma Aromatica, Curcuma Domestica, Curcumae Longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin.

Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, bypass surgery, hemorrhage, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallbladder disorders, high cholesterol, a skin condition called lichen planus, skin inflammation from radiation treatment, and fatigue.

It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery, and cancers. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, swelling in the middle layer of the eye (anterior uveitis), diabetes, water retention, worms, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis, urinary bladder inflammation, and kidney problems.

Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, sprains and swellings, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, acne, inflammatory skin conditions and skin sores, soreness inside of the mouth, infected wounds, and gum disease.

Also used as an enema for people with inflammatory bowel disease.

In food and manufacturing, the essential oil of turmeric is used in perfumes, and its resin is used as a flavor and color component in foods.

Gradually Increases Antioxidants in Your Body

The antioxidant effect of turmeric is one of its greatest claims to fame. Oxidative damage is one of the mechanisms responsible for aging and many diseases. Free radicals react with organic substances in the body, which can cause harm. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that can protect from free radicals by neutralizing them, thanks to its chemical structure. Curcumin also stimulates antioxidant mechanisms in the body.

Can Help Control Diabetes

Boosts glucose control and augments the effects of medications that treat diabetes. This powerful herb can supplement mainstream diabetes treatments by helping moderate insulin levels. It also lowers resistance to insulin, which can help to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. However, it is still best to consult a physician before supplementing diabetes treatments with natural options.

Might Prevent (and Treat) Cancer

There are many types of cancer, but they share common features that curcumin and turmeric could help address. The herb may be able to influence the growth, development, and spread of breast, colon, stomach, and skin cancer cells at a molecular level. Research also suggests curcumin can lower the growth of new blood vessels in existing tumors, prevent metastasis (spread), and possibly contribute to the elimination of cancerous cells.

Turmeric Helps Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol has many poor health consequences. Studies show using turmeric to season your food can significantly lower blood cholesterol levels and suppress plaque build-up in the arteries, which are essential to preventing cardiovascular issues and other serious health diseases.

Can Help Prevent and Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

One of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world and the leading cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s is dreaded by many but still has no known cure. Turmeric reduces inflammation and oxidative damage; which researchers believe play a role in the development of the disease. Therefore, consuming turmeric could help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Curcumin also aids in clearing up amyloid plaques, a key factor in the disease’s development.

Turmeric Can Treat Skin Conditions

Turmeric offers many benefits for the outsides of our bodies, too, including speeding up wound healing and calming the pores to help reduce acne. It can also prevent scarring and helps control psoriasis flareups. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties offer many perks, but the bright color can stain the skin, and some people may have allergic reactions to the topical application, so it is ideal to consult a dermatologist first.

Can Benefit People with Depression

Many studies offer promising results regarding turmeric and the treatment of depression. Research has linked depression to lowered levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neuron loss in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Curcumin can potentially reverse these effects thanks to its ability to enhance BDNF levels. There is also some evidence that curcumin can increase the brain neurotransmitters that produce dopamine and serotonin.

Turmeric Can Treat Gastrointestinal Conditions

Often, people with stomach and digestive conditions develop an intolerance to medical interventions. Because the GI tract is already compromised, the introduction of drugs can further damage the mucosal lining. Based on research and analysis, curcumin can help control inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and even Crohn’s disease so well that some people have been able to wean themselves off other medication. As an added benefit, curcumin doesn’t cause the side effects many people complain of with gastrointestinal medicines.

Can Help Relieve Arthritis

People suffering from both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis can benefit from using turmeric. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help eliminate free radicals responsible for damaging cells. Anecdotal evidence from people with arthritis who regularly consume turmeric notes relief from mild to moderate joint pains, as well as reduction of joint inflammation.

Turmeric Can Help Control Weight

Powdered turmeric can help with weight control. The components in turmeric help calm the low-grade inflammation associated with obesity and promote fat loss. People who would like to lose a couple of pounds may benefit from eating a teaspoon of turmeric powder with every meal in addition to following a healthy diet and exercise routine. Turmeric should be used with caution in people with gallbladder disease because it stimulates bile production, which can lead to complications.

Fights Inflammation

Arguably, the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation. The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.

Several animal trials have been completed investigating the relationship of curcumin and Alzheimer’s disease. In mice, it seems that curcumin “reverses existing amyloid pathology and associated neurotoxicity,” a key feature of the progression of this neurological disease related to chronic inflammation. This study shows turmeric curcumin may help with Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Viral Infections

The next time you’re under the weather, you may want to sip some turmeric tea. Curcumin might help you to fight off a variety of viruses, including herpes and the flu. (But most of the research on this was done in a lab, not on people.) Keep in mind that turmeric is only about 3% curcumin, and your body doesn’t absorb curcumin well, so the occasional cup of tea won’t be a cure-all.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Early research, including a pilot study of 207 adults and another one using rats, has found that turmeric could help improve IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain. Like many things we’ve already covered here, more research is needed. Turmeric is also being studied as a treatment for diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

Headaches

Since its relative ginger is a well-known natural headache remedy, it’s no surprise that turmeric gets recommended as a headache treatment, too — especially for migraines. Although people sing its praises online, there’s little scientific evidence showing that turmeric can treat or prevent headaches, although one study suggests it could be part of a new approach.

Acne

Some people claim that putting a turmeric mask on their skin or eating turmeric will help fight stubborn pimples — perhaps because of the spice’s reported antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, there’s no hard science to back this up.

The many benefits of Moringa!

The miracle plant

The many benefits of Moringa! the powerhouse of plants! it’s high in fiber, protein, magnesium and potassium. It contains more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges. While the leaves contain most of the nutrition, the pods themselves are an excellent source of vitamin C, boasting 157% of the recommended dietary allowance. Its high antioxidant content has made it of particular interest in the wellness community, and it has been used globally to treat infections, malnutrition, anemia, and allergies.

10 of the many benefits of Moringa

1) Moringa Balances Hormones – Studies have shown that Moringa’s antioxidant levels had on postmenopausal women and found it significantly decreased markers of oxidative stress. It had a therapeutic effect on the hormonal issues that result from decreased estrogen production (and consequently, decreased antioxidant effect) during menopause. The study also found that the women supplementing with Moringa had better fasting blood glucose, and an increase in hemoglobin, both of which point to more balanced hormones and anti-aging effects.

Another study looked at the effect that Moringa leaf extract had on the thyroid, and found it may help with the regulation of hyperthyroidism. The study, which analyzed thyroid hormone in rats, saw positive results for female rats, with no significant changes for male rats, indicating Moringa may particularly benefit female hormone health.

2) Moringa Improves Digestion – If bloating, gas, and bathrooms issues seem to always have you down, Moringa might offer a natural solution. Thanks to its high antioxidant content, Moringa might also be a good tool to improve your digestion, and better manage digestive disorders, according to some studies. A 2014 study found that Moringa’s anti-inflammatory properties had a beneficial effect on colitis.  Compared to controls, Moringa was able to reduce the severity of ulcers and overall inflammation. This promising research shows that Moringa might be a great natural option for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome conditions looking to prevent recurrences.

3) Moringa Balances Blood Sugar – High blood sugar is on the rise—and it comes with a raised risk of diabetes and heart disease. Enter Moringa. Several studies have demonstrated that Moringa may help lower blood sugar, and as a result, reduce the risk of diabetes. The same study that looked at postmenopausal women also found a 13.5% reduction in fasting blood glucose. Another study on animals found that an oral dose of Moringa reduced fasting blood glucose by 26.7%. Moringa, combined with a healthy diet low in processed sugars, could be very beneficial in helping to treat and prevent diabetes. As an added bonus, balanced blood sugar means more balanced energy throughout the day, less irritability and mood swings, and reduced sugar cravings.

4) Moringa Protects the Brain  – A 2011 study tested Moringa as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, and found that its high vitamin C and E content help it to combat oxidative stress. This in turn enhances memory from nootropic activity—it modifies norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. While the study looked specifically at neurodegenerative diseases, this may have benefits for mental health in general as Moringa has also been shown to boost feel-good hormone serotonin . Furthermore, various mood disorders, like anxiety and depression,  have been linked to inflammation of the brain which is precisely what Moringa has been shown to reduce.

5) Moringa Reduces Inflammation – Speaking of inflammation in the brain, Moringa actually reduces inflammation in the whole body. Inflammation is linked to almost every chronic disease: dementia, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, the list goes on.  Moringa suppresses inflammatory enzymes, and one study found that the bioactive compounds in Moringa, specifically from consuming a pod extract, may help with the prevention of chronic illness. Another study showed that Moringa was able to decrease gene expression and the production of inflammatory markers, which helped to alleviate low-grade inflammation in the body.

6) Moringa Protects the Liver  – Our liver is responsible for fat metabolism, fructose metabolism, bile production, and for filtering out all the toxins and waste in the body—a job that can be extremely taxing. Due to Moringas high level of polyphenols, it’s able to help protect the liver from oxidative stress and toxicity. To best be able to perform all of these functions, the liver requires liver enzymes, and Moringa helps to restore these to normal levels. Moringa has also been shown to reduce liver fibrosis, and reverse oxidative stress—which could have profound implications for human health.

7) Moringa Improves and Rejuvenates Skin – Not surprisingly, Moringa has natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. This combined with its high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory abilities make it great for improving and protecting the skin. One study found that Moringa was able to enhance skin revitalization, giving it anti-aging properties, and it can also help with everything from wounds, burns, acne, and dandruff.

8) Moringa boosts Breast Milk Production – In emerging economies, it’s challenging for mothers to find milk formula for their babies. As a result, infants depend upon their mother for their nutrition in the first year of life. However, these communities are economically disadvantaged, and they often lack a diverse diet. This fact means that newborns often experience nutritional deficiencies. Their mothers breast milk production wanes due to few food choices and a staple diet of carbohydrates with little protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Moringa leaf is a popular addition to the diet of new mothers. Mothers crush moringa leaves and toast them with butter. This supplemental addition to their food is an essential part of postpartum care. Moringa leaf increases lactation in new mother due to high quantities of nutrients and micronutrients. Moringa is also an excellent source of calcium. This nutrient is critical for bone density and a healthy skeletal system. Calcium also increases lactation, cell communication, and new cell generation, giving babies the nutrition needed to grow.

9) Moringa Improve Sleep Quality and Eliminate Insomnia – The body breaks down the proteins we eat into essential amino acids that fuel metabolic function. We need to source nine of these amino acids from the food we eat. The body breaks down L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid, into the biochemicals serotonin and melatonin. These chemicals regulate our mood and assist the body in maintaining circadian rhythms responsible for our sleep patterns. The circadian rhythm determines when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Individuals deficient in serotonin and melatonin may experience mood swings and an inability to fall asleep.

Supplementation with melatonin can help relieve the symptoms of insomnia and restlessness that prevent us from getting a good night’s rest. However, consuming crushed moringa leaf powder also assists the body in overcoming these conditions. Moringa contains a substantial quantity of L-tryptophan, increasing the body’s production of serotonin and melatonin. Ditch the sleeping tablets and add moringa leaf powder to your diet for a good night’s sleep.

10) Moringa offers a Rich Source of Healthy Fats – Research in nutritional science shows that monounsaturated fats and saturated fats have tremendous benefit for health. Pressing moringa seeds into oil produces a product known as “ben oil.” This refined oil is rich in beneficial fats. Due to its high smoke-point, ben oil is an excellent alternative to other vegetable and seed oils for frying and sautéing.

Another issue with healthy oils like extra-virgin olive and coconut oil is the fact they turn rancid under exposure to light or heat. That’s the reason why these oils come in dark glass containers. Ben oil sustains its molecular structure during environmental exposure to sources of heat and light. MUFA’s, or monounsaturated fats feature a single double-carbon bond, thereby increasing their stability. Ben oil contains low concentrations of oleic acid and high levels of palmitoleic and vaccenic acid. Healthy fats provide a steady release of energy when digested. This nutritional fact makes ben oil an excellent addition to your diet.

Summary

Now you’ve read about the many benefits of Moringa, the bottom line is with so many health benefits Moringa is too good not to be taking! It’s easy to add Moringa to your daily diet and reap the seemingly endless benefits of this amazing plant, by simply including Moringa powder to your smoothie or drink it as a tea. The leaf powder was deemed safe in human studies, even in larger doses than normal. The powder has a mild flavor, so it makes for a light moringa tea with a slightly earthy taste. If you’re not already taking this start today!

The Kata, an important part of martial arts

The Kata, love or hate them, they are undoubtably a major part of many styles of martial arts. Lets take a detailed look into the world of the Kata.

The importance of the Kata

The practice of kata is the culmination of a practitioner’s individual training.  A significant advantage of kata is that techniques can be practiced full force without the risk of injuring partners.  Kata practice also develops fighting spirit and fighting rhythms.  It simulates an actual fighting situation because it allows the practitioner to feel and experience the coordinated movements at full speed and full power without having to “pull” the technique to avoid injuring one’s training partner.  There are many techniques in kata that are simply too dangerous to practice with another person. Another advantage is that one can practice kata alone when partners are not available.

A key idea when performing kata is to imagine that one is actually fighting one or more opponents as the kata is executed.  This visualization transforms the kata from a series of strictly mechanical movements into a meaningful and realistic training aid.  One of the highest compliments one can receive after performing a kata is that it looked like an actual fight.  This is the goal to strive for in kata practice.

When done correctly, kata practice also teaches the development of a clear mind.  At the highest levels of practice, practitioners often feel that their bodies are performing the kata without the direction or interference of the conscious mind.  The kata is simply expressed through them.  This mental state is referred to as mushin or “no mind”.

In an actual encounter, mushin is the mental state the practitioner strives to maintain because it enables the practitioner to respond instinctively without the delay or interference of conscious thought.  Not only is this type of response quicker, it is also more effective because it draws on the intuitive knowledge of the entire being.  This response without conscious thought is the realization of body knowledge.  Kata practice teaches the practitioner how to enter into this mental state at will, thereby enhancing the practitioner’s ability to enter this mental state in an actual encounter.  This is one of the reasons why traditional Okinawan Karate-do teachers have always emphasized kata practice.

In order to get the maximum benefit from kata, one should work separately on “The Seven Ways to Practice Kata”.  The Seven Ways are:  Form, Power, Speed, Eye Contact, Breathing, Fighting Rhythms, and Kiai.  Each of these will improve one’s ability to execute the techniques in the kata in the most effective manner.  By focusing on only one Way at a time, one will improve more quickly than if one is trying to concentrate on a number of Ways at the same time.  As each of the different Ways is isolated and improved, a natural integration occurs creating a synergistic effect which makes the techniques substantially more effective.

The Seven Ways to Practice Kata

1.  Form

a.  Form is the first Way that one learns and is the most important.  If one executes techniques with correct form, one is doing them in the strongest and most efficient (and therefore quickest) manner.  Form is something that one is continually refining and perfecting.  One never masters a particular technique.  Rather, one continually improves and moves closer to perfection.

b.  Poor form causes a “corruption” of the principles.  When one corrupts a principle, one loses power and effectiveness proportionately.  For example, if one’s elbow is not behind the fist when punching (and the elbow is allowed to flare out), one will lose power and strength.  For every incremental degree that the elbow moves out to the side when punching, one loses more and more power.  This is true for all the principles and is why one must continually strive to execute techniques with the correct form.

c.  To improve form, practice the kata very slowly and concentrate on doing each technique with the proper checkpoints and correct application of principles.  At the same time, visualize yourself doing the technique perfectly.

2.  Power

a.  One key to increasing power is to utilize more of the body.  The legs, hips, shoulders, and arms (for punches) must work together to produce the maximum amount of force.  The correct timing and sequence of the motions comprising the techniques are critical.

b.  To improve power, concentrate on doing each technique as forcefully as possible with the correct sequence of body parts.  It helps to pause slightly between each technique because this allows time to concentrate on generating the greatest amount of power.

3.  Speed

a.  Relaxation equals speed.  One of the biggest barriers to increasing speed is excessive (and unnecessary) tension in the muscles.  Unfortunately, tension often increases when one tries to do a motion faster.  This is because the “trying” gets in the way of the “doing”.  Less effort is better than more effort when it comes to increasing speed.

b.  To improve speed, concentrate on staying “loose” and relaxed while avoiding trying too hard.  Do not worry about the amount of force generated by the techniques.  The techniques should be light and quick when practiced for speed.

4.  Eye Contact

a.  Eye contact emphasizes the visualization of opponents as the kata is executed.  Without this visualization, kata practice cannot simulate the feeling of an actual fight and practice will not be as beneficial as it could be.

b.  To improve and practice eye contact, look sharply on each turn and actually “see” an opponent in the mind’s eye.  Try to feel each block deflecting an attack and each strike making contact with an opponent.

5.  Breathing

a.  The idea is to coordinate breathing from the diaphragm with the execution of techniques.  This helps to control one’s respiration rate and may be used to augment power.  To breathe from the diaphragm when inhaling, the lower belly (and not the chest) should expand first as air is brought into the lungs.  To breathe from the diaphragm when exhaling, the lower belly should pull inwards to force the air out of the lungs.

b.  To practice coordinating breathing with the execution of techniques, inhale on the blocking techniques and exhale on striking techniques.  The exhales should be short, focused, bursts of air done with the teeth together.  This is sometimes described as “spitting” out the air.

6. Fighting Rhythms

a.  The timing and rhythm of attacks and counters in an actual fight is erratic.  It is therefore important to train oneself to adjust to varying speeds.  All blocking techniques are ineffective if they are done too fast or too slow.  The timing needs to match exactly the speed of the attack.

b.  To practice kata for the development of fighting rhythms, break the kata down into series that seem logically connected.  Each series should represent an encounter with one or more opponents.  Try to simulate the rhythm of an actual fight by varying the speed and pausing between each series.  If kata is not practiced for Fighting Rhythms, the kata may become blurred and a purely mechanical repetition of choreographed movements.

7. Kiai

a.  Kiai means to unite the spirit or internal energies.  The idea is to coordinate all of the entire being’s energy into the execution of the techniques.  A kiai is frequently done by forcing the air out of the diaphragm while executing a punch or kick.  The forced exhale is what produces the loud shout one normally associates with a kiai.

b.  When done properly, a kiai unites one’s internal energies with the physical energy produced by the contraction of the muscle.  This makes the techniques incredibly powerful.

c.  To practice with kiai, imagine all of the energy of the entire being is being unified and projected outward as the technique is executed.  There should be a feeling of intense focus.  It helps to add the loud shout to some of the punches, kicks, or strikes in the kata.