Keep Calm | McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
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& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

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By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Stacey Gregory reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

My family has been with McDonough ATA for several years now and we love it! The staff here is very friendly and Ms. Johnson especially is very helpful and goes out of her way to answer questions and give help wherever and whenever needed.

Carey Klement Daughtry reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

If you want your child to defend themselves against all the challenges that life will bring them as they grow and develop, you need to enroll in this school. I am especially impressed with their "Leadership Program". This school doesn't just teach students to "pass" which is what it seems our youth only cares about... this school raises the bar and tells it's students to go beyond "passing" and EXCEL.

Becca Nell reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

The staff is highly qualified and makes a point to get to know every student individually. They are genuinely concerned that each student is achieving their maximum potential. They are very organized and the studio is kept clean. They also offer numerous other activities that are fun and even offer parent's night out.

Ashley Westphall-Carr reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

My kids have gained so much from going there. They are more respectful and have gained so much self-confidence. I would recommend ATA of McDonough to anyone wanting to take martial arts. My daughter just had her birthday party there in the staff was wonderful. They made her feel so special. Thanks ATA!!!

Stacey Coada reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

This place is a great place for kids of all ages and adults. Very family oriented even if you are just a parent not taking classes you are invited to watch and kept informed of all things going on. Very patient staff and teachers are phenomenal with the fact that all kids/people learn differently and they teach individually while still keeping the group learning as a whole. Walked into the building on a whim and ended up letting my daughter take classes for 4 years and becoming a 2nd degree black belt. She was strong willed stubborn and kinda hard to teach however all the teachers and staff were patient and kept calm helping her to learn respect and to follow rules and also respect to others who may not learn as quick as her so in the end she became a leader willing to help other struggling students. Highly recommend anyone thinking about taking classes to check this place out.

Nims Harris reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

We've been with McDonough ATA for a year now and the growth and positive changes we've seen are incredible. Our family have noticed the changes and have copied what we are doing in one way or another. Staff is great, friendly, and their families are a part of the Black Belt journey as well. Talk about putting your mouth where your money is. Gold Star

Callie Hamric reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

We absolutely adore this studio. My daughter is 4 and she loves her karate instructors and everything she learns! Today they learned about what to do if someone tries to kidnap them and I think it is absolutely wonderful that they teach this! The people are wonderful! I also am so happy that they are so accepting of all cultures. My daughter has two moms and they are more than welcoming of it!

Allison Knight Fedorowicz reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

My kids love ATA! My 7 year old is in the after-school program and begs to attend every camp and parents night out. A four-year-old has already told me he wants to join the after-school program next year when he starts kindergarten. They have both learned so much: martial arts, anti-bullying, self-defense, respect, discipline, and more. I love seeing the look of accomplishment on their faces every time they advance to the next belt. They love their instructors and the friends they have met along the way. What a great experience!

Krista Panick Crews reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

My son and I have been attending this school for about three years now. Great people, great curriculum, ATA rocks

Shelia Evans Gatlin reviewed McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy
5
via Facebook

My son is 7 years old and last month marked one year he has been enrolled in classes. McDonough ATA is about so much more than learning cool karate moves. For example, the oath they begin and end class with..."I promise to be a good person, to have knowledge in my mind, honesty in my heart, strength in my body, and make good friends." McDonough ATA and the wonderful instructors reinforce everything (and more) that we are teaching our son at home. Core values...honesty, loyalty, manners, tolerance, commitment, perseverance, discipline, self-confidence, encouragement, empathy, citizenship...I could go on! Not to mention the friendships and bonds he has formed with his classmates...priceless. ATA McDonough excels in molding and creating good people to be our country's future leaders.

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Keep Calm

KEEP CALM


Smile in the Face of Tournament Jitters

 

Everywhere you look, there are posters, T-shirts, mugs and magnets all proclaiming pop culture’s mantra to “Keep Calm.”  With the last weekend of regional tournaments, Districts and Worlds right upon us, though, that is easier said than done.

Stress, anxiety and nervousness are a part of everyday life, especially for a martial artist.  Most can tell stories of intense unease at ATA competitions, and that’s aside from everything that happens at work, school and beyond.

Sr. Master Jack Hornbuckle, owner of Murphy ATA in Murphy, Texas, has learned a thing or two about nerves over the years.

“I tell my students all the time that being nervous isn’t bad,” he says.  “Being nervous means that the activity you are about to take part in is important to you.”

But he also knows how valuable it is to have the ability to keep anxiousness in check.

“The important thing to remember about dealing with nervousness is that you can’t let your nerves affect your performance,” Hornbuckle says.  “It is important to keep your nerves under control because failing to do so will result in mistakes that you wouldn’t normally make.  Those mistakes can then snowball and create much larger mistakes that can derail your performance.”

 

 

Here are a few ways to combat feelings of nervousness head on and stop them in their tracks!

 

Breathe

First things first, take a deep breath.  Concentrate on inhaling deep into your belly—in through the nose and out through the mouth—for a few slow breaths, a routine Hornbuckle practices before competition.  Regulating the breath helps slow your heart rate and provide mental clarity, making it the perfect first line of defense against nerves.


Be Mindful

If the breathing tactics work well, but you want to take it further, try practicing mindfulness.  Similar to meditation, this method seeks to help you fully take in your surroundings using all of your senses.  Take a minute to concentrate individually on what you see, then what you hear, what you smell and so on.  By focusing the mind and body on each singular sensation, mindfulness better enables you to clean the mental slate and to choose how you respond to stress.


Stretch

Ask anyone who regularly practices yoga and they’ll tell you it positively affects their stress levels.  We know it’s important to stretch before competition or testing, but incorporating yoga sessions into your routine is also a great way to strengthen and broaden your Taekwondo training while calming your nerves.  There are many poses that are helpful—from child’s pose to cats and cow—but even a simple, forward bend to touch your toes can reduce anxiety.


Vitamin D

Work on that sunny disposition by catching a few rays.  Studies say that 15 minutes of sunshine can help increase levels of serotonin, which is known for regulating anxiety and mood.  To get double the calming effect, combine this step with any of the other tactics.  Just make sure you bring sunscreen with an effective SPF!


Positive Affirmation

Words have power, so use them to your advantage.  Sometimes all it takes is visualizing or saying what it is you want to happen to help you calm your nerves.  It always helps to have cheerleaders in your corner, encouraging you and reminding you that “you’ve got this.”  But this is also a practice you can do yourself.

“Before my ring actually starts, I make sure I get a chance to walk through all of my material.  This helps me get focused on the competition and not on my nervousness,” Hornbuckle says.  “I go through my form and picture myself doing it exactly like I’ve practiced leading up to my performance.”


Massage

Sure, there’s little doubt that a professional massage can help you relax, but we all know that’s not a reasonable request ringside!  There are, however, ways of getting the same benefits on the road.  Massaging pressure points in your hands, feed and head can provide quick relief in a pinch.  Apply pressure with your thumb where your wrist meets your hand, or simply rub your ear between your thumb and forefinger for a couple of minutes and you’ll notice a difference in stress levels.


Diet

Immediate fixes are invaluable, but studies have also shown that adjusting your diet to include foods that are high in Omega-3s—like walnuts, salmon and edamame—can help curb anxiety and nervousness in the long term.  If you’re feeling extra brave, cut out the caffeine as well, which can produce anxiousness.  Healthy dietary habits won’t totally eliminate butterflies, but it can help manage the emotions a little better.


Solid Groundwork

“I think the best way to head off nerves in tournaments is through practice and preparation,” Hornbuckle says.  “If I have spent time practicing and preparing for a tournament, then it is easy for me to get into the routine of doing my forms.  Once I get going with the routine, I don’t have issues with nerves.  I have confidence in my training and know that they my training will take over.”

For martial arts programs specializing in martial arts for children, please visit: https://www.ata-bba.net/program/transported-after-school/ OR visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mcdonoughata.

Visit our website for more information on kids martial arts programs.

For martial arts programs specializing in martial arts for adults, please visit: https://www.ata-bba.net/program/adult-martial-arts/ OR visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mcdonoughata.

Visit our website for more information on adult martial arts programs.