Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mindfulness training in karate

Hello everyone!

We really enjoyed the workshop with everyone last week and hope you all traveled safely home.

With our week of spring break on us, Rob called a special karate training to help the students develop more connection between their mind and their bodies. A big component of the training is the students disciplining their bodies to hold particular moves with good posture in the shoulders and body, as well as work on their breathing. A lot of students (and every other person on the planet) bodies respond to stimulus in a fight or flight mode to protect themselves. This rings especially true of people who have had traumatic events in their life. This fight or flight mode takes over which blocks the brain from really processing what the best choice is for the situation they are a part of. Breathing and controlling the body to relax--even when it wants to "fight" or run away, is the first step in recovering and regaining control over your mind and your body, and ultimately your life.

Most of our students have turned to drugs and alcohol, or other avoiding behaviors to momentarily feel in control of their bodies and ultimately to try and feel more in control of their lives. This special training, and the day-to-day trainings, are large components of the effectual change at CRA.

You will see from the pictures that these students are working hard! This special workshop will last 4-6 hours today. There are breaks for meals, snacks, and of course water, but they will be tired and some will be sore for sure.

One side gets ready to attack and one side gets ready to defend.

Being able to be "attacked" physically and keep your body relaxed enough for your mind to be able to process a defense are critical steps in this process. The repetition of the training helps desensitize the out of control feelings from the attack as well as give each student a chance to practice the defense or try a new defense that may work better.

That is great focus.

With challenge and growth comes a need for explanation and processing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


That's right! It's spring and we are ready to go. A few students missed practice today, but I actually have over half of the students on campus participating! Our practices have consisted of gaining experience on the field and enjoying the game. We usually run, stretch and set up for the first half hour and spend the rest of the time playing games/scrimaging. If anyone is familiar with the game of soccer; our play is characterized by what you know as 'herd ball'. If you are new to soccer, 'herd ball' involves the whole team chasing the ball around the field rather than playing in actual 'positions'.
As they learn to play and aquire the proper gear, I am confident that we will have an all star team. I actually think I saw some pro-scouts admiring our game play from the sidelines... Of course that doesn't really matter, as long as we have fun and everyone plays!
Also, we decided that our team name will be: "Alpha Wolf Squadron". :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Fun Picture


A happy family.

Two students speaking at the graduation.
Travis (staff member in blue) was chosen by the student to speak at his graduation.

A very happy day!
The graduate was a member of our P-90X Group and will be missed! A student pointed out that none of us stand in his 'spot' and its like he is still here!
Graduated at level 900 after 11 months in the program. Congrats Buddy! We are all VERY, VERY proud!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fun With Tape!

Fun with tape.... Need I say more?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Warm Thursday!!!

Wes and these students look sad. Why? you may ask... over an hour spent fixing a toilet that someone had flushed a brush down. The great part is that Wes can create an esprit de corps even in the face of great obstructions.
Happy days. Notice the lack of scarves... Even the coats are unzipped!
I wanted to contrast the boys and girls.
A family portrait.

The weather is warming up and so are we! We had an exciting day of 'Big Group', games, studying and eating. It was nice to have a few hours in the home working and playing with the students.
We had a great discussion about defences. Basically, I discussed with the students that we frequently become angry if we 'see' ourselves in a certain way and someone contradicts this image we have of ourselves. And boy do we have a lot of images to work with!
Have a great day, we are!