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Fitness

Yoga

Meditation

Zumba

Aerobics

Dance

Spa

Martial Arts

Fitness
Supine Pelvic Tilts
Perform 6-12 repetitions, rest for 45-60 seconds; repeat 1-2 more times for a total of 2-3 sets.
Bird-dog
The right-arm/left leg and transition to left-arm/right leg is counted as one repetition, raise arm and leg on a 2-count/hold for 2 counts/lower on a 2-count; perform 8-12 repetitions, rest for 30-45 seconds; repeat 1-2 more times for a total of 2-3 sets.
Cat-Cow
Move slowly through the range-of-motion for 6-10 repetitions; rest 30 seconds, repeat stretch 1-2 more times.
Front Plank
Start on the floor, lift up into position, hold for 5-20 seconds (while continuing to breath), slowly lower back to floor, rest for 30-45 seconds; repeat 1-2 more times for a total of 2-3 sets.
Side Plank with Straight Leg
Start on the floor, lift up into position, hold for 5-20 seconds (while continuing to breath), slowly lower back to floor, rest for 30-45 seconds; repeat 1-2 more times for a total of 2-3 sets. Alternate sides to work both sets of oblique muscles.
History & Evolution of Fitness
From primitive to present times, how fitness has evolved and come of age. As we enter the 21st century, one of the greatest accomplishments we can celebrate is our continuous pursuit of fitness since the beginning of humankind. Throughout prehistoric time, the quest for fitness was driven by a need to survive through the arduous tasks of hunting and gathering. Today, though no longer driven by subsistence requirements, fitness remains paramount to people's health and well-being. This article will highlight the history of fitness, beginning with primitive man and leading to the foundation of the modern fitness movement. Primitive Man (pre-10,000 BC) Primitive, nomadic lifestyles required continual hunting and gathering of food for survival. It was quite common for tribes to embark on one- or two-day journeys to seek food and water. Following successful hunting and gathering excursions, tribes would often travel six to 20 miles to celebrate with neighboring tribes and then partake of dancing and cultural games that lasted several hours. This Paleolithic pattern of subsistence pursuit and celebration demanded a high level of fitness. The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (10,000-8000 BC) This period marked the end of the primitive lifestyle and signified the dawn of civilization. This time was defined by important agricultural developments, such as the invention of the plow and domestication of plants and animals. These advancements made it possible for hunting-gathering tribes to obtain vast amounts of food while remaining in the same area, thus transforming primitive, nomadic peoples into agrarian (agriculture and farming) societies. Unfortunately, this era also coincided with the beginning of a more sedentary lifestyle, as daily physical activity decreased with fewer hardships to conquer. The Near East (4000-250 BC) Recognizing the importance of physical performance in the battle field, early leaders within the civilizations of Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Palestine, Persia and Syria encouraged fitness among their peoples. Perhaps the best example of a civilization using fitness for political and military purposes was the Persian Empire, which implemented mandatory rigid training programs to expand its domain. As this empire became more affluent, physical activity became less important. At the point the Persian Empire finally collapsed, its society could largely be characterized by an overall lack of fitness. Ancient Chinese and Indian Civilizations (2500-250 BC) The Chinese culture recognized that regular exercise could prevent certain diseases. In fact, the philosophical teachings of Confucius encouraged participation in physical activity. Consequently, the Chinese developed Cong Fu gymnastics to keep the body in good working condition. Cong Fu exercise programs consisted of various stances and movements that were actually modeled after the fighting styles of different animals. The ancient Chinese also engaged in other forms of physical activity, such as archery, badminton, dancing, fencing and wrestling. In India, the pursuit of fitness was discouraged because Buddhism and Hinduism put a greater emphasis on spirituality than on physical fitness. However, Hindu priests did develop an exercise program that conformed to their religious beliefs; that program came to be known as yoga. Though its exact origin has yet to be identified, yoga has existed for at least the past 5,000 years. Translated, the word yoga means "union," a reference to the Hindu philosophy that strives to unite and develop the body, mind and spirit. By observing and mimicking the movement patterns of animals, the priests hoped to achieve the same balance with nature that animals seemed to possess. Ancient Greek Civilization (2500-200 BC) Perhaps no other civilization has held fitness in such high regard as ancient Greece. This civilization's appreciation of the body and focus on health and fitness are unparalleled in history. The Greeks believed that development of the body was equally as important as development of the mind. Facilitating the growth of fitness were Greek medical practitioners, such as Herodicus, Hippocrates and Galen. Gymnastics, along with music, were considered vital to the education of all Greeks. In fact, a common saying in ancient Greek times was "exercise for the body and music for the soul" (Wuest & Bucher 1995). In Athens, gymnastics took place in indoor facilities called palaestras (the precursors to health clubs) and were supervised by a paidotribe (similar to today's personal fitness trainer). In Sparta, the government imposed special fitness programs for its male children to ensure they would become highly fit adult soldiers. Females were required to maintain good physical condition in order to produce healthy male offspring who could serve the state. The military-dominated culture of Sparta resulted in one of the most physically fit societies in the history of mankind. Roman Civilization (500 BC-476 AD) During its reign of conquest and expansion, the Roman Empire mandated that all its citizens maintain good physical condition and be prepared for military service. Everyone between the ages of 17 and 60 was eligible for the draft and trained in activities such as running, marching, jumping and discus and javelin throwing (Grant 1964)). This emphasis on physical training resulted in a society of strong, fit people who conquered nearly all of the Western World. However, the fitness levels of the general Roman population declined as entertainment and acquisition of material wealth became higher priorities than physical condition. A lavish lifestyle and physical decay eventually took their toll, and the Roman civilization was overcome by physically superior barbarian tribes from Northern Europe. The Dark Ages (476-1000 AD) and Middle Ages (900-1400 AD) In much the same way as primitive man, the barbarian tribes from Northern Europe depended on physical fitness for survival. Their lifestyle consisted of hunting and gathering food and tending to cattle. Therefore, despite the cultural and intellectual setbacks that occurred with the fall of the Roman Empire, fitness actually experienced a revival during the Dark and Middle Ages. The Renaissance (1400-1600 AD) The Renaissance gave birth to a renewed interest in culture and a glorification of the human body. Notables such as Martin Luther and John Locke espoused the theory that high fitness levels enhanced intellectual learning. The Renaissance created an environment that readied people for the widespread development of physical education throughout Europe. National Period in Europe (1700-1850 AD) Continental Europe underwent numerous cultural changes following the Renaissance. Fitness remained important and physical education programs expanded within the emerging European nations. Gymnastics enjoyed immense popularity during this era, especially in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Great Britain. Johann Guts Muths—known as the grandfather of German gymnastics—invented numerous exercise programs and the equipment on which they were performed. Exercise facilities called Turnvereins were built throughout Germany to house apparatuses designed for running, jumping, balancing, climbing and vaulting (Matthews 1969). In Sweden, Per Henrik Ling developed exercise programs tailored for different individuals and advocated that physical educators be schooled in science and physiology in order to understand the effect of exercise on the human body. Denmark's Frank Nachtegall created a program called "Training Teachers of Gymnastics" for future fitness instructors (Matthews 1969). Meanwhile, Archibald Maclaren was developing Great Britain's National Systems of Bodily Exercise and Training in Theory and Practice. Remarkably similar to present-day exercise recommendations, Maclaren's ideas included reducing stress through physical activity and gradually progressing activity levels (Welch 1996). America's Colonial Period (1700-1776 AD) The hardships of colonial life ensured that the early settlers regularly engaged in physical activity in order to survive. Colonial America remained an undeveloped country, and its people spent a great deal of their time and energy plowing the land for crops, hunting for food and herding cattle. With this lifestyle providing plenty of physical activity, settlers had no need for organized exercise programs. America's National Period (1776-1860 AD) Immigrants who arrived in the United States during this period brought with them many aspects of their heritage, including German and Swedish gymnastics programs. But these programs failed to attain popularity, since America was less vulnerable to foreign invasion than European countries were, and therefore keeping fit seemed a less urgent requirement (Barrow & Brown 1988). This is not to say that the need for exercise and fitness was unappreciated. Leaders such as Benjamin Franklin recommended regular physical activity—including resistance training—for health purposes, while President Thomas Jefferson recommended more extreme measures: "Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise, and the weather shall be little regarded. If the body is feeble, the mind will not be strong" (Personal Fitness Professional 2001). Individuals such as J. C. Warren and Catherine Beecher also advocated regular exercise, especially for women. And in fact, Beecher's programs, which mixed calisthenics with music, bore remarkable likeness to modern-day "aerobics." In general, however, little emphasis was placed on physical education during this period. America Post-Civil War (1865-1900 AD) One of the most important events with respect to modern fitness in the United States was the Industrial Revolution, which resulted in widespread technological advancements that replaced labor-intensive jobs. Rural life gave way to city life, which generally required less movement and lower levels of physical activity. (By the 1950s, with life-threatening diseases like cancer and diabetes becoming more widespread, the cost of industrialization and urbanization would become glaringly apparent.) On a more positive note, Dioclesian Lewis introduced "The New Gymnastics" following the end of the Civil War in 1865 (Rice, Hutchinson & Lee 1958). Other noteworthy advancements during this period included the development of anthropometric measurements to assess fitness progress, the launch of the first scientific studies on fitness instruction and the creation of organized fitness teaching methodologies. America in the 20th Century The 20th century heralded the beginning of a new era in fitness. President Theodore Roosevelt, perhaps the most physically fit president ever to occupy the Oval Office, used his power and own example to encourage U.S. citizens to be physically active. While president, he engaged in multiple forms of physical activity, including hiking, horseback riding and other outdoor endeavors.
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Yoga
Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana
Exhale and fold over your legs into a forward bend. If the hamstrings feel a little tight at first, bend the knees so that you can release your spine. Let the head hang heavy. Slowly straighten the legs if you like but keep the head hanging. The feet can be touching or hip's distance apart, whichever feels better.
Lunge Pose
Straighten your legs and move your feet back under your hip before stepping your left leg to the back of your mat and bending your right knee for a deep lunge. Try to bring your bent knee directly over your ankle so your right thigh is parallel to the floor.Keep the left leg straight and strong with your heel reaching back. If this is too intense, you can drop your left knee to the mat instead. Stay five breaths before returning the left foot to the front of your mat next to the right one. Then repeat the lunge with the left foot forward and the right leg back.
Plank Pose
After your second lunge, step the left foot back so that it is next to the right foot at the back of your mat. This is the classic preparation for a push-up. Stay five breaths here while making sure that your hips do not drop too low or rise too high. If your elbows tend to hyperextend, micro bend them. Bring your knees down if necessary. After five breaths, release your knees to the mat and come back to sit on your heels, resting for a moment.
Staff Pose
After catching your breath, swing your legs around so that they are outstretched in front of you. This is the seated equivalent of mountain pose, in that it seems very simple but has a lot going on.
Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana
On an exhalation, bring your torso over your legs in a forward bend. Your hamstrings should be warmer now than when you did your standing forward bend earlier. Work with your breath, lengthening the spine on each inhale and deepening your forward fold on each exhale. Stay for five breaths, keeping the feet flexed.
History & Evolution of yoga
The Beginnings of Yoga The history of yoga goes back over 5,000 years, beginning with the Vedic period and developing through the ages until modern day. Its rich underpinnings can be traced to the Vedas, Indian culture, India's ancient religious texts written in Sanskrit, and ancient spiritual leaders or yogis. While yoga's roots are planted in Hinduism, yoga history can also be traced to Buddhism (Buddha himself stressed the importance of meditation and the practice of physical postures) and the Bhagavad- Gita (the Lord's Song), the oldest known yoga scripture. The term yoga itself comes from the Sanskrit root "yug," the translations of which include 'to join,' 'to concentrate,' and 'to put to purposeful use.' In essence, yoga today is understood as a method of discipline and a means of uniting. Yoga Historical Periods The Six Branches of Yoga While yoga today consists of many styles, there were originally six primary systems or branches of yoga outlined by Patanjali, the Father of Yoga. These six main branches are: 1. Raja Yoga, the yoga of self-control 2. Karma Yoga, the path of service 3. Jnana Yoga, the yoga of the mind 4. Bhakti Yoga, devotional yoga 5. Hatha Yoga, the yoga of physical processes 6. Tantra yoga, the yoga of rituals Yoga History Evolution The history of yoga unveils a dynamic tradition, transforming from a number of seated poses (yoga asana) to what modern-day yoga has become, a flowing dance between postures. While the evolution of yoga has seen many changes in styles and sequences, the original roots of yoga continue to form the foundation for all later styles and practices.
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Meditation
Zen Meditation (Zazen)

Origin & Meaning

Zazen means "seated Zen", or "seated meditation", in Japanese. It has its roots in the Chinese Zen Buddhism (Ch'an) tradition, tracing back to Indian monk Bodhidharma (6th century CE).

How to do it

It is generally practiced seated on the floor over a mat and cushion, with crossed legs. Traditionally it was done in lotus or half-lotus position, but this is hardly necessary. Nowadays most practitioners sit like this:

As to the mind aspect of it, it's usually practiced in two ways:

Focusing on breath — focus all your attention on the movement of the breath going in and out through the nose. This may be aided by counting the breath in your mind. Each time you inhale you count one number, starting with 10, and then moving backward to 9, 8, 7, etc. When you arrive in 1, you resume from 10 again. If you get distracted and lose your count, gently bring back the attention to 10 and resume from there.
Shikantaza ("just sitting") — in this form the practitioner does not use any specific object of meditation; rather, practitioners remain as much as possible in the present moment, aware of and observing what passes through their minds and around them, without dwelling on anything in particular. It's a type of Effortless Presence meditation
Vipassana Meditation

Origin & Meaning

"Vipassana" is a Pali word thaTypes of meditation - Vipassanat means "insight" or "clear seeing". It is a traditional Buddhist practice, dating back to 6th century BC. Vipassana-meditation, as taught in the last few decades, comes from the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

How to do it

Ideally, one is to sit on a cushion on the floor, cross-legged, with your spine erect; alternatively, a chair may be used, but the back should not be supported. The first aspect is to develop concentration, through samatha practice. This is typically done through breathing awareness. Focus all your attention, from moment to moment, on the movement of your breath. Notice the subtle sensations of the movement of the abdomen rising and falling. Alternatively, one can focus on the sensation of the air passing through the nostrils and touching the upper lips skin - though this requires a bit more practice, and is more advanced. As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing. The attention is kept in the object of concentration (the breathing), while these other thoughts or sensations are there simply as "background noise".
Mindfulness Meditation

Origin & Meaning

Mindfulness Meditation is an adaptation from traditional Buddhist meditation practices, especially Vipassana, but also having strong influence from other lineages (such as the Vietnamese Zen Buddhism from Thich Nhat Hanh). "Mindfulness" is the common western translation for the Buddhist term sati. Anapanasati, "mindfulness of breathing", is part of the Buddhist practice of Vipassana or insight meditation, and other Buddhist meditational practices, such as zazen.

How to do it

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment, accepting and non-judgmentally paying attention to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise. For the "formal practice" time, sit on a cushion on the floor, or on a chair, with straight and unsupported back. Pay close attention to the movement of your breath. When you breath in, be aware that you are breathing in, and how it feels. When you breath out, be aware you are breathing out. Do like this for the length of your meditation practice, constantly redirecting the attention to the breath. Or you can move on to be paying attention to the sensations, thoughts and feelings that arise.
Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)

Origin & Meaning

Metta is a Pali word that means kindness, benevolence, and good will. This practice comes from the Buddhist traditions, especially the Theravada and Tibetan lineages. "Compassion meditation" is a contemporary scientific field that demonstrates the efficacy of metta and related meditative practices.

How to do it

One sits down in a meditation position, with closed eyes, and generates in his mind and heart feelings of kindness and benevolence. Start by developing loving-kindness towards yourself, then progressively towards others and all beings. Usually this progression is advised:
1.oneself
2.a good friend
3.a "neutral" person
4.a difficult person
5.all four of the above equally
6.and then gradually the entire universe
The feeling to be developed is that of wishing happiness and well-being for all. This practice may be aided by reciting specific words or sentences that evoke the "boundless warm-hearted feeling", visualizing the suffering of others and sending love; or by imagining the state of another being, and wishing him happiness and peace.
Mantra Meditation (OM Meditation)

Origin & Meaning

A mantra is a syllable or word, usually without any particular meaning, that is repeated for the purpose of focusing your mind. It is not an affirmation used to convince yourself of something. Some meditation teachers insist that both the choice of word, and its correct pronunciation, is very important, due to the "vibration" associated to the sound and meaning, and that for this reason an initiation into it is essential. Others say that the mantra itself is only a tool to focus the mind, and the chosen word is completely irrelevant.

How to do it

As most type of meditations, it is usually practiced sitting with spine erect, and eyes closed. The practitioner then repeats the mantra in his mind, silently, over and over again during the whole session.
Sometimes this practice is coupled with being aware of the breathing or coordinating with it. In other exercises, the mantra is actually whispered very lightly and softly, as an aid to concentration.
Here are some of the most well-known mantras from the Hindu & Buddhist traditions:
1. om
2. so-ham
3. om namah shivaya
4. om mani padme hum
5. rama
6. yam
7. ham
You may practice for a certain period of time, or for a set number of "repetitions" - traditionally 108 or 1008. In the latter case, beads are typically used for keeping count.
History & Evolution of Meditation
Meditation is an ancient practice that is believed to originate in India several thousand years BCE. Throughout early history, the practice was adopted by neighboring countries quickly and formed a part of many religions throughout the world. The terminology used today to "meditate" was not introduced until the 12th century AD, coming from the Latin word meditatum. Ancient History The earliest documented records that mentioned meditation involved Vedantism, a Hindu tradition in India, around 1500 BCE. However, historians believe that meditation was practiced before this time, as early as 3000 BCE. Between 600-500 BCE, the development of other meditation forms was recorded in Taoist China and Buddhist India, although the exact origins of these practices, particularly Buddhist meditation, continues to be debated among historians. The formula to salvation of morality, contemplative concentration, knowledge and liberation were believed to involve meditation as a central component. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, outlining the eight limbs of yoga, was compiled between 400-100 BCE. In the same period, the Bhagavad Gita was written, which discusses the philosophy of yoga, meditation and the practice of living a spiritual life. The practice of meditation also spread to other cultures in the West, via the Silk Road, to influence religions such as Judaism. Later, in the 3rd century AD, Plotinus developed meditative techniques, which were not easily integrated into the Christian faith. Early History A Japanese monk, Dosho, discovered Zen on a visit to China in 653 and introduced the practice of meditation to Japan upon return to the country, opening the first hall for meditation. The practice grew significantly in Japan from 8th century AD onward, bringing the practice of meditation with it. The term "meditate" originates from the Latin word meditatum, which means, "to ponder." Monk Guigo II introduced this terminology for the first time in the 12th century AD. Middle Ages and Modern History Throughout the middle ages, the practice of meditation grew and developed into many religious traditions as a form of prayer, such as Jewish meditation. In the 18th century, the ancient teachings of meditation began to become more popular among the population of Western cultures. In 1927, the book "Tibetan Book of the Dead" was published, which attracted significant attention from Westerners and excited interest about the practice. This was followed by the Vipassana movement, or insight meditation, which began in Burma in the 1950s. "The Dharma Bums" was published in 1958, attracting more attention to meditation at this time. In 1979, the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program was founded in the United States, which used meditative techniques in the treatment plans for patients with chronic diseases. Since this time, meditation has become increasingly more common, such that a survey in 2007 found that almost 1 in 10 Americans has meditated. It plays a central role in many religious traditions and rituals, in addition to helping individuals to manage stress and improve overall well being. Considering meditation's ancient origins, it is surprising that its emersion as a chic, yet highly beneficial trend is just recently occurring. Time Magazine author, Ashley Ross, states that although "…the practice of meditating is rooted in a deep cultural history, [it is growing] from a religious idea to something that can now seem more stylish than spiritual." With meditation studios popping up in cities like New York and Los Angeles (shout-out to the DEN meditation!), the ancient practice is becoming noticed as something more than just a fad. Helpful in the workplace and the home, mindfulness and meditation are facets of self-compassion and understanding. Its history is long and deeply rooted in spirituality. It's "global spread began along the Silk Road around about five or six centuries BCE, as the practice moved throughout Asia." Of course, the form of meditation varied globally as it molded to the culture it settled upon. In its expansion to the West, meditation was often belittled by Western scientists who - for ages - refused to believe it could actually produce physical health benefits. However, Dr. Herbert Benson, a professor at Harvard Medical School, conducted a study in 1967 that produced the following results: "People meditating used 17% less oxygen, lowered heart rates and produced increased brain waves that could help with sleep." Research continued to find that meditation posed many benefits related the slowing or reversal of neurodegeneration, reduction of pain, and stress management. As Transcendental Meditation (TM), "which a 1975 TIME story called a 'drugless high,'" became popular amongst Hollywood's finest - including The Beatles - India's once spiritual practice was brought into the limelight. The 1960s and 70s were a time of soul-searching and experimentalism that led to the connection of "the scientific and celebrity sides of popular meditation." The practice cut ties with the formerly religious context of meditation and found its way into the worlds of celebrities and athletes like Demi Moore, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, NBA coach Phil Jackson and Stephen Curry. If meditation can work for them, it has the potential to work for you. The DEN's meditation studio is a computable place to chill out, have a cup of tea, and take a meditation or mindfulness class. From morning (AM Energizer) to night (Candle Light Relax) the DEN offers a plethora of classes to fit our members' individual wants and needs. All of our sessions are guided, or you can rent out a private room for just $5! If you're a new DENizen, get your first month for only $40 to test the waters and find the class or workshop that works for you.
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Zumba
Step 1: Your Zumba gear
Comfort is key in Zumba! You need to wear appropriating clothing for comfort. You want to be free to break it down, right?
Keep the following in mind before class:
1. Wear work-out clothes: shorts, tank tops, sweat pants, etc
2. Wear dance shoes or sneakers: You will move your feet around a lot. Make sure your feet are comfortable!
3. Bring a bottle of water or gatorade to class: You need to re-hydrate between dances. Drink plenty after class as well!
Step 2: Let's salsa
Salsa is a major step in Zumba. Ready to begin?
Basic Salsa
1. Stand with both feet together.
2. Step to the right. Bend your knees.
3. Return to the middle.
4. Step to the left. Bend your knees slightly.
5. Return to the middle.
6. Try it a little faster. Slightly rock to the side as you move. Loosen up your upper body. Let your shoulders move with your feet.
7. Faster this time! Add some hip as you rock.
Step 3: Shall we Merenge march?
Ever heard the term, "Merenge march", during class? It might look complicated, but don't panic! It's easy once you break it down. So, shall we?
1. Stand straight with both feet together.
2. Bend your right foot slightly.
3. Return to the middle.
4. Bend your left foot slightly.
5. Return to the middle.
6. Try it faster. Interchange feet like your marching rapidly.
7. Add arms. Place one arm out to the side: Right side if left foot is bent. Left side if right foot is bent. Opposite arm goes directly in front of your chest.
8. Interchange arms and feet like a rapid march. Travel forward. Travel back.
Step 4: Reggaeton time
Reggaeton is the latin form of "hip-hop." It is a high energy dance. You know that means? Attitude please! I know you have in you. Let's get started!
Basic Reggaeton
1. Start with both feet together.
2. Bend your right foot.
3. Drop your right arm to the side. Make sure it is pointing towards the floor.
4. Bend your left arm. Place it in the center. It should be covering your stomach.
5. Return to the middle.
6. Bend your left foot.
6. Repeat step 3. This time drop your left arm.
7.Repeat step 4. This time bend your right arm.
8. Return to the middle.
9.Try it faster. Interchange feet: 2 singles and 1 double. It helps to say: "Single, single, double, double" out loud or in you head. Add pop to your shoulders as you move.
10. Pick up the pace.
Step 4: Cumba Party
Let's end with a party. A Cumba party! Ready for your last basic?
1. Dig your right heel into the floor. Step to the back. Dig your right toe into the floor.
2. Travel to the left. Use you both feet to travel. Take small steps with right foot. Move further with each front dig. Keep digging to the front and back.
3. Return to the middle.
3. Repeat step 1. This time dig your left heel. Dig your right toe.
3. Repeat step 2. This time travel right.
4. Return to the middle.
5. Try it faster. Dig front and back rapidly. Loosen your shoulders. Let your arms hang. Put them on your hips if it feels weird. Allow your hips to move you.
6. Speed up the pace.
History & Evolution of Zumba
Mid 90s - Zumba Is Born Beto Perez, was working as a fitness instructor in his native Columbia, one day Beto was teaching an aerobics class but forgot his normal music, so instead improvised with his own personal tapes he had in his bags. This was the music he had grown up with of salsa and meringue. 1999 - Zumba Moves To The US Beto moved to the United States and started teaching Zumba classes in Miami Florida. The students loved it and these classes soon became extremely popular with news of the Zumba classes spreading quickly via word of mouth. Soon after via a students mother Beto met her son Alberto Perlman and his fellow entrepreneur Alberto Aghion. 2001 - Zumba Fitness Established The three Albertos agreed to work together to establish the Zumba Fitness company, registering the trademark for the word Zumba and putting in place a plan to establish it as a global brand. Zumba Fitness started recording and selling DVDs, then moved onto infomercials which brought wider public awareness and led to the demand for Zumba Instructors. At this point Zumba really started to hit the big time. 2005 - Creation Of Zumba Academy In 2005 Zumba established a Zumba Academy to teach and license Zumba Instructors who would then teach Zumba classes. The company was further expanded into the area of merchandise around the Zumba brand with the creation of Zumbawear. 2008 - Best Selling Home Fitness DVD In 2008 the Zumba Fitness® Total Body Transformation System featuring Beto and two of Zumba's great stars Tanya Beardsley and Gina Grant became one of the widest selling home fitness DVDs. 2010 - Zumba Gaming Zumba became the first fitness brand to release a program to all major gaming platforms, with the release of 1. Zumba Fitness for Wii 2. Zumba Fitness for XBox 3. Zumba Fitness for PS3
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Aerobics
Step Touch
Step touch is a basic aerobic dance step that involves gently stepping from side-to side, usually to a music rhythm or beat. Begin moving your arms more dramatically back and forth, and then bring them in front of you slightly to intensify your workout. This dance move continues to warm up your muscles and increases your heart rate. Perform this basic aerobic step for a few minutes, then begin to alternate the move with other basic steps.
Step Out
Pump up your aerobic activity with step outs. Instead of moving from side to side, stay in one spot with your legs separated a bit, and alternate your weight back and forth on one leg at time while rhythmically tapping the opposite foot lightly on the ground. Keep this movement going for a few minutes and continue to mix in step touch movements. Also continue to move your arms back-and-forth.
Heel Back
Move from step outs to heel backs. Instead of tapping alternate feet on the ground, begin lightly kicking your lower leg and foot upward behind you. It's not necessary to kick the entire leg behind you. Heel backs are similar to alternating hamstring curls. Repeat for one or two minutes, continuing to breathe and move your arms in rhythm with your leg movements.
V Step
Begin to travel more with the V step. Move forward by stepping out wide in front of you with one leg at a time. Then step backward with one leg at a time closing the distance between your feet. Imagine you're making a V shape on the floor with your steps. Repeat this aerobic step for a few minutes.
Mambo
After completing basic aerobic dance steps, begin to add more advanced moves, such as the mambo. The mambo involves stepping forward and backward repeatedly with the same foot while shifting the weight rhythmically between the supporting, static foot and the moving foot. Switch feet after a minute or two. Ramp up your mambo by shifting the direction of your mambo steps to alternating side angles, and instead of stepping backwards between angle moves, try triple-stepping sideways between each side mambo move.
History & Evolution of Aerobics
Aerobic exercise is a type of physical exercise that is done to improve the way the cardiovascular system works. It aims to make the system more efficient in the absorption and transportation of oxygen. There are many different types of aerobic exercise and these exercises are done for extended periods at a moderate intensity level. Founder This type of exercise was developed by Kenneth H. Cooper M.D. who was an exercise physiologist. In 1970, Dr. Cooper resigned from the United States Air Force, with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel, to open his own clinic to study health and longevity. He has since written 18 books and is nicknamed "the father of aerobics." The Quest Begins Dr. Cooper was puzzled about why certain people, who were in excellent strength, still performed poorly at activities such as long distance running, swimming or biking. He wanted to find out why this was happening and set out to do so. Dr. Cooper began by measuring human performance with a bicycle ergometer. This is an instrument used for measuring the amount of work done by a muscle or a group of muscles. He also measured sustained performance and how it related to a persons ability to use oxygen. First Bestseller In 1968, Dr. Cooper published his first book called Aerobics. This book became a bestseller and includes many exercise programs and incorporated running programs, walking, swimming and bicycling programs. This book was the beginning of what we know today to be aerobic programs. After his first book was published, a woman named Jackie Sorenson took what she learned in that book and developed dance routines that incorporated the principles from the book. These dance routines came to be known as aerobic dance and was done to improve cardiovascular health. In addition to his books, Dr. Cooper has opened many clinics that research how fitness and exercise affect the body. He developed fitness testing that is used currently by the military, colleges and universities, athletes and law enforcement. This includes a 12-minute run, a 1.5 mile run and the Aerobics Points Systems. Because of his research, legislation has been created to get physical fitness textbooks into schools in the state of Texas. These textbooks have been used by the youth in the state to get them thinking about their health and to promote a healthier lifestyle. Branching Out In 1989, step aerobics was started. A college competitive gymnast named Gin Miller had sustained an injury due to overuse during high-impact aerobics. During physical therapy, her rehabilitation was to step up and down on a milk box. She would do this over and over and she would even do this at home. While at home, she would use her front porch step and over time this became repetitive and boring. To break up the boredom and the silence, she starting doing this with upbeat music playing. This lead to what is known today as step aerobics. Aerobics is a type of activity that is fairly new to the world and is growing each day in popularity. This type of exercise will get the heart pumping and will improve the cardiovascular system.
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Dance
Hip Hop:
Hip hop is an urban, street form of dance that is most popular in nightclubs. The quick succession of movements involved in this dance exercises the entire body. It is a high energy workout that is good for both beginners and veterans. It has been given this name because of the fact that it takes place in the hips and waist and thus helps to firm and tone your abs. Dancing while watching a video or at a club for an hour will enable you to burn around 250 calories.
Hip Hop Abs:
This dance form strictly uses dance moves to shape and tone your abs so there is no need to lie on the floor and do crunches. This involves isolation exercises in combination with an intense cardio workout to enable you lose fat and build a strong six pack. Women are at greater advantage to cut down those extra pounds in abs and look pretty. Hip hop abs should be completed in 2 to 3 days a week.
Salsa:
This intricate and exhilarating Latin American dance form has recently gained immense popularity in night clubs and dance studios. It has drawn inspiration from the dance styles of combia, bomba and merengue music among others. Salsa basically consists of a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music along with several turns and is danced side to side. An hour of salsa dance steps causes you to burn an impressive 420 calories. Hence, it is a good choice for a weight loss program.
Zumba:
Zumba incorporates salsa, rumba, merengue and hip hop moves to cause movement thus giving you a cardio workout. Zumba classes are offered by many chain gyms across the country and aim to make people enjoy while working out simultaneously. No partner is needed for this type of dance. Most of the steps are easy and isolate your arms, abs and legs for strengthening. This aerobic workout is great for overall fitness. You are bound to enjoy the results as you enjoy the dance. This is one of the most demanding dance styles all over the world for its convenience in style and output. Zumba classes are also offered on DVD. For best results, zumba workout should be done at least 2 to 3 days a week.
Ballet:
Ballet is often viewed as a slow-moving and low impact dance form but it plays a great role in shaping your body. In fact, this dance forms demands a lot of flexibility and it actually requires strength and precision to perform most ballet positions and movements. The slow pace and posture required in ballet is very much similar to Pilates. The slow and controlled movements help to build long and lean muscles. Some ballet movements are comparable to certain gym exercises. The movements cause the stretching and lengthening of the muscles, thus providing you a full body workout. Concentration will increase the flexibility of your body parts and help burn fat deposits that make you look fat.
History of Dance
A brief dance history of ballroom, breakdance, country, fad, flamenco, hiphop, jazz and Latin dance, salsa, swing, tango and western. Argentine Tango The antique Argentine Tango was influenced by the Tango Habanera, which bears no resemblance to the Argentine Tango we know today. Argentine Tango History Milonga and Argentine Tango history by Mike Higgins. When talking about the history of the Tango, the reader should consider that although their were many ‘influences' in the creation and life of the Tango, it is very important not to assume that it was some form of linear development. Breakdance Though some experts trace the lineage of the break dance back to the Brazilian Frevo, a Russian folk-dance-influenced form of martial-arts dance/march, it seems more likely that breakin', while it did originate in Brazil approximately 500 years ago, was invented by African slaves rather than native Brazilians or their Portuguese rulers. Cha Cha Cha Cha is an offshoot of the Mambo. Clogging clog dancing or clogging, as it is sometimes known, takes its origins from square dancing. This is not where or how clogging began however. Disco Most Disco dances have strong roots in Swing, Samba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Merengue, Fox Trot and Tango. Flamenco and the Spanish Gypsy History of Flamenco Dance & Music. Foxtrot The Foxtrot originated in the summer of 1914 by Vaudeville actor Harry Fox. Hip Hop The first mention of hip hop dance dates back to the 70's when some new moves were introduced to the dance world to accompany the funky sounds of hip hop music that was also being discovered.The styles that developed in the later years are known as the New School. The older ones involve break dances and funk styles. Hula and Tahitian Dance Today, there are many different variations of the original hula dance but all have the roots grounded to some extent or another in the original hula dance created centuries ago. Hustle The Hustle started here, in the Big Apple. Irish Dancing There are many different styles of Irish dancing but for those who are only familiar with Riverdance and others, there is no question that this style of Irish step dancing is mesmerizing. Jazz Only one kind of music suited this generation - jazz, the vehicle for dancing the fox-trot, shimmy, rag, Charleston, black bottom, and various other steps of the period. Mambo The Mambo dance originated in Cuba where there were substantial settlements of Haitians. Merengue Merengue has existed since the early years of the Dominican Republic (in Haiti, a similar dance is called the Meringue or Mereng) Peabody Legend has it that the Peabody was created by a portly police or fire chief - Captain Peabody. Polka Bohemian historians believe that the polka was invented by a peasant girl (Anna Slezak, in Labska Tynice in 1834) one Sunday for her amusement. Rumba There are two sources of the dances: one Spanish and the other African. Although the main growth was in Cuba, there were similar dance developments which took place in other Caribbean islands and in Latin America generally. Salsa Salsa is a distillation of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances. Each played a large part in its evolution. Samba The Samba originated in Brazil. It was and is danced as a festival dance during the street festivals and celebrations. Swing The history of swing dates back to the 1920's, where the black community, while dancing to contemporary Jazz music, discovered the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. Tango Originating in Spain or Morocco, the Tango was introduced to the New World by the Spanish settlers, eventually coming back to Spain with Black and Creole influences. Twist - The song "The Twist" was written by Hank Ballard in 1959. Viennese Waltz The first record of a dance to 3/4 rhythm is a peasant dance of the Provence area of France in 1559, as a piece of folk music called the Volta. Waltz Waltz: a dance born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria. Western Modern western dance is part of this global language and its roots run wide and deep. They can be traced to the taverns of Ireland and to the ballrooms of Europe, to the Czarist palaces of Russia and further back still to the fluid tribal rituals of Africa.
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Spa
Avocado and Honey Facial Mask
What better way to intensely moisturize and hydrate your skin that with a nourishing avocado and honey mask made of creamy avocados and rich honey? The potential humectant properties of organic honey make it an essential ingredient for facial skin care. Honey is one of the best natural remedies for dry lips and dry skin whereas avocados are a potent source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. The combination of avocado and honey makes this one of the most nourishing spa facial masks that you can prepare easily at home.
Ingredients:
1. Avocado - 1/2
2. Organic Honey - 1/2 cup
Spread a clean cloth soaked in warm water over your face in order to open the pores. Then apply the face mask made of mashed avocado and honey on the face and neck and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash your face generously with warm water and then splash some cold water in order to shrink the pores. Use this natural spa mask once every week to prevent dryness of the skin.
Carrot and Oatmeal Spa Face Mask
When it comes to weight management, carrot juice for weight loss is extremely useful, but carrots are also a popular ingredient for homemade beauty recipes. Carrots are loaded with minerals, vitamins C, D, K and E along with B vitamins and Beta-carotene, all of which help in making the skin youthful and glowing by increasing the production of collagen in the skin cells. Carrots are especially useful for preparing winter SPA masks because it supplies all the necessary nutrients to the skin during the harsh and dry winter months.
Ingredients:
1. Freshly Grated Carrots - 2 Tablespoons
2. Oatmeal 0 1 Teaspoon
3. Lemon Juice - 1 Teaspoon
4. Egg Yolk - 1/2
Put all the constituents in a glass container and mix till it forms a smooth mask. Apply it evenly on the face, neck, and other body parts if you want. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. You can apply this face mask regularly on your skin in order to get even skin tone.
Apple, Sugar and Cinnamon Body Polish
Apples are well known for their skin-friendly vitamin A and C that not only promote collagen production in the skin but also the regeneration of new skin cells. The mineral copper found in apples helps in melanin production which protects the skin from harmful UV rays of the skin. The malic acid present in apples works as an exfoliating enzyme which removes dead skin cells and dirt from the external layer of the skin. The combination of apples with cinnamon and sugar makes it one of the best skin care recipes to enhance skin tone and is the ultimate answer to the question of how to get rid of dead skin cells naturally.
Ingredients:
1. Grated Puree - 2 Tablespoons
2. Brown Sugar - 1 Tablespoon
3. Granulated Sugar - 1 Tablespoon
4. Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Blend all the ingredients in a glass bowl by stirring it thoroughly. Apply the body polish all over your body and scrub in a soft circular motion using a loofah or washcloth. Pay special care to the elbows, knees and heels. Rinse well and apply a deep moisturizing body lotion. If you plan to use this scrub on the face, just make sure to leave out the granulated sugar.
Olive oil, Almond Oil, Sesame oil and Coconut Oil Hair Massage
The first step for a perfect natural hair spa treatment is a scalp massage using a natural oil or a combination of a few natural oils that promote healthy hair. In this recipe, we have included all the natural oils that are known for their benefits for healthy hair. An effective homemade tips for hair growth must include an oil massage. It improves blood circulation to the scalp and hair follicles and promotes hair growth.
Ingredients:
1. Olive Oil - 1 Teaspoon
2. Almond Oil - 1 Teaspoon
3. Coconut Oil - 1 Teaspoon
4. Sesame Oil - 1 Teaspoon
Mix equal portions of olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil and sesame oil in a bowl and massage it thoroughly into your scalp. Make sure the oil covers all the hair strands right from the roots to the tips. Immerse a towel in warm water, squash out the excess water and wrap this warm towel over your head in order to cover the hair. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes and then move to the next step of the hair spa treatment.
Banana and Egg Hair Pack
Although this modest fruit is ignored by health conscious people because of its high-calorie content, bananas are actually loaded with various other nutrients like vitamins and minerals that make it an important ingredient in home spa recipes. The potassium and natural oils present in ripe bananas increases the natural elasticity of hair, thereby preventing breakage and split ends. It also helps in softening the hair strands by closing open cuticles. Eggs are one of the best natural protein sources, integral to improving overall hair health.
Ingredients:
1. Ripe Banana - 1
2. Egg - 1
3. Honey - 2 Tablespoons
4. Milk - 3 Tablespoons
5. Olive Oil - 2 Tablespoons
Mash the banana and add the beaten egg, honey, milk and olive oil to it. Mix thoroughly to form a smooth blend. Apply this hair pack evenly on your hair and cover it up with a shower cap. Wait for 30 minutes and then rinse your hair well with water. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo followed by a conditioner.
History & Evolution of spa
May it be health, wellness, anti-aging, or relaxation, with more spa therapy benefits getting revealed, owning a spa is becoming a cultural trend. But do you know that this "spa," or the social bathing in healing waters, is an ancient practice done before even the Greeks and Romans? Certainly, Yes! Contemporary spas have their roots in primeval towns, eminent for the curative powers of their mineral waters and hot springs. Let's go back in time to rejoice the world of spas that have given a definition to our lifestyle, and have been an ultimate source of healing and relaxation through centuries. History of Spas The history of spas, which is associated with water treatment and is also known as Balneotherapy (from 1000 BC to the 21st century). Origin of the Word "Spa" No one knows exactly where the word spa comes from, but there are two main theories. One is that the word spa in Latin is an acronym of "salus per aquae" or "health from water." Others believe the origin of the word spa comes from a small Belgium village called Spa, where hot mineral springs were used by Roman soldiers to treat aching muscles and wounds from a battle. Origin of Thalassotherapy (636 - 546 BC) It was not until around the time of the Greek philosopher, Thales (c.636-546 B.C), that thalassotherapy (a therapeutic treatment that involves bathing in sea water) and hydrotherapy (the treatment of ailments by the external use of water, such as exercising weakened limbs in a pool) came into existence for hygienic and cosmetic purposes, and therapeutic healing using minerals, herbs, teas, and essential oils. Ancient Bathing Theory (460-370 BC) For the western world the earliest proponent of the spa for therapeutic purposes was Hippocrates (460-370 BC). Before that time bathing was used mainly for cleansing and hygienic reasons. However Hippocrates put forth the idea that the cause of all diseases centered around an imbalance of bodily fluids. Bathing in Greek and Roman Times (27 BC - 14 AD) Even before the Bath mineral spring was discovered, Roman citizens bathed daily in the now famous Roman Baths. During the reign of Caesar Augustus (27 B.C. to 14 A.D.), there were approximately 170 baths in Rome. Many of these were public baths were primarily built and used by the Roman soldiers. Spas by Romans (43 AD - 70 AD) By 43 A.D. citizens of Rome began to view baths as a way of providing rest, relaxation, and solace to all people, not just those weary of war. In 70 A.D., the Romans built a spa around the hot springs at Bath, England, and a temple nearby to honor the goddess Minerva. Bathing in Greek Times (300 AD) Some of the earliest descriptions of western bathing practices came from Greece. By the year 300 A.D., there were over 900 baths throughout the Empire. The Greeks began bathing regimens that formed the foundation for modern spa procedures. Bathing in Roman Times (500 AD) The Romans emulated many of the Greeks bathing practices, Romans surpassed the Greeks in the size of their baths. As in Greece, the Roman bath became a focal center for social and recreational activity. The oldest Roman spa is still in existence today is located in Merano, Italy. King's Bath in Rome (1100 AD) In the 11th century, the King's Bath was built over the ruins of the temple of Minerva at Bath. By the Elizabethan Era, the popularity of the hot springs at Bath had increased greatly. At this time, the use of spas was becoming more widely accepted attracting many visitors who were searching for cures to various illnesses and ailments. Baths in Roman Communities (1200 AD) The Romans also developed baths in their colonies, taking advantage of the natural hot springs occurring in Europe to construct baths at Aix and Vichy in France, Bath and Buxton in England, Aachen and Wiesbaden in Germany, Baden, Austria, and Aquincum in Hungary, among other locations. These baths became centers for recreational and social activities in Roman communities. Bathing in Medieval Times (1326) In 1326, Collin le Loup, an ironmaster from Liège, Belgium, discovered the chalybeate springs of Spa, Belgium. Around these springs, a famous health resort eventually grew and the term "spa" came to refer to any health resort located near natural springs. During this period, individual springs became associated with the specific ailment that they could allegedly benefit. Spa-Going Around the World (1556) The spa traditions grew out of different cultures worldwide from Japanese "Ryoken" to Turkish Hammam. Saunas began appearing along the Baltic in Finland. Also the Ottomans were famous for their domed and beautifully mosaic hammam, the crowning example being the Baths of Roxelana (built in 1556) Spa History in 17th Century (1600 -1700) By the 17th century, physicians at Karlsbad, Bohemia, prescribed that the mineral water be taken internally as well as externally. In the English coastal town of Scarborough in 1626, a Mrs. Elizabeth Farrow discovered a stream of acidic water running from one of the cliffs to the south of the town. Dr Wittie's book about the spa waters published in 1660 attracted a flood of visitors to the town. Sea bathing was added to the cure, and Scarborough became Britain's first seaside resort. Invention of Rolling Bathing Machines (1735) The first rolling bathing machines for bathers are recorded on the sands in 1735. During the 18th century, a revival in the medical uses of spring water took place among some Italian, German, and English physicians. This revival changed the way of taking a spa treatment. Spas in Colonial America (1777) Dr. David Beecher in 1777 recommended that the patients come to the fountainhead for the water and that each patient should first do some prescribed exercises. This innovation increased the medicinal benefits obtained and gradually physical activity became part of the European bathing regimen. Colonial doctors gradually began to recommend hot springs for ailments. Spa Industry After American Revolution (1815 - 1821) After the American Revolution, the spa industry continued to gain popularity. The first truly popular spa was Saratoga Springs, which, by 1815, had two large, four-story, Greek revival hotels. It grew rapidly, and by 1821 it had at least five hundred rooms for accommodation. The United States became a center of spa innovation beginning in the 1850s, when New York's Saratoga Springs emerged as a fashionable retreat for luminaries. First Day Spa in America (1910 - 1960) The first day spa, Manhattan's Red Door Salon, was introduced by Elizabeth Arden in 1910, offering manicures, facials and the signature "Arden Wax" (in addition to serving as a finishing school). A second-generation American, Deborah Szekely, also created the first destination spa, Rancho La Puerta, located just south of the border in Baja California. In 1958, Szekely also opened the pioneering Golden Door spa in California, offering individualized weight loss and fitness programs. Spa as Medical Treatment (1970 - 1997) The first fitness spa, The Ashram, also debuted in California, in 1974, brandishing a grueling weight loss/fitness regimen that was toned down and popularized by Tucson's Canyon Ranch in 1979. By1997, innovative U.S. doctors began to introduce "medical spas," combining Western and holistic medicine in a luxurious, spa-inspired environment alongside spa services. Spa-Going Hits Mainstream, Goes Global (2000) With the advent of these and other diverse spa offering, the spa - which by the mid-20th century had become the rarified domain of wealthy women looking to lose weight - reclaimed its relevance in a society increasingly focused on prevention, healthy lifestyles, fitness, spirituality and relaxation.
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Martial Arts
Karate
Karate is a generic term for Japanese martial arts. Japanese marital arts are heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism and the Samurai warrior tradition. Karate translates into "empty hand" in English and uses kicks and punches delivered with special shouts -- it is a defensive martial art.
Judo
Judo is based on jujitsu. Judo means "the gentle way" and is concerned with both attack and defense. It is similar to wrestling and uses balance and leverage for its powerful throws.
Jujitsu
Jujitsu is self-defense without weapons and was developed in China and Japan. The movements use holds, joint locks, chokes and blows. Jujitsu uses the opponent's force of attack as a weapon against him.
Kendo
Kendo, also a popular Japanese martial arts, is a style of sword fighting that uses bamboo swords. The bamboo sword is approximately 4 feet in length. Fighters wear protective gear around the head, wrists and abdomen.
Kung Fu
Kung fu has many different systems and is a powerful form of martial arts that uses strength, low stances and powerful blocks. The original Shaolin kempo kung fu style is based on the fighting techniques of five animals. It is more than 5,000 years old and is practiced by Shaolin monks in China.
History & Evolution of Meditation
Definition Martial arts is another way saying the "art of combat" or "art of waging of war." In it's infancy, it was used as a weapon to survive. Kill or be killed. Martial arts can be a set of movements used for offensive or defensive purposes (called Kata's or forms). It can also be a set of movements used to promote health. It has structure and every movement has meaning. Then again, the late Bruce Lee taught that one should take the best from all arts and adapt them to whatever situation one finds oneself in. By not having structure and preset movements, one is not limited and confined. But as some have pointed out, therein lies the structure. Martial arts has evolved into everything from simple to complex systems of fighting and health. For example, in Kung Fu, some mimic movements from the animal kingdom and adapt them to human fighting. Other's, like in Tae Kwon Do, use focus techniques to build up "Chi" (Ones Life Force) and use it to generate powerful strikes. While others, like in Tai-Chi, use it to promote health. The list goes on and on. The truth of the matter is most martial arts are similar. They all teach similar principles (like the ones mentioned above), just in different ways. It's like religion. Many different religions but they all have something in common, they worship some form of deity. The one thing all martial arts have in common is that they promote self-defense. Hence the reason martial arts is called the "Art of self-defense" and it just depends on your personality, your range of movement and your comfort level as to which martial art will work best for you. Furthermore, traditional martial arts, as we know them today, has it's roots in religion and philosophy. Buddhism had a great impact in India and China which impacted Chinese martial arts. Taoism and Buddhism in Japan led to Zen and all three impacted Japanese Martial Arts. Moreover, Chinese and Japanese philosophers too had an impact on martial arts. They strived to set a code of ethics and morals to live by. The Japanese Samurai, for example, had the code of the Bushido. The Beginning So where did it all begin? Well, we've heard martial arts started in China way back in 1,300 - 1,000 B.C. We've also heard martial arts started in Greece with the Romans and wrestling somewhere near 40 B.C. And yet, there are still others that believe that it started in India somewhere in the first or second century B.C. and was brought over to China in or around 500 A.D. And we've heard it started in Europe around 750 B.C. and that wrestling was the first martial art known as Pankration. Still others believe it goes back even further to 2,500 B.C. to the Egyptians, as they had some form of hand to hand combat. More than likely, in some form, wrestling was the first martial art. When and where, who knows. The closest thing that historians can agree upon is when a martial art started in a particular country. For example, from what we've been told, most historians believe Kung Fu started around 500 A.D. when a man named Bodhidharma, who was said to be a monk from India, wandered the plains in search of enlightenment. He wandered into China and came across a Shaolin Temple where he began to teach his philosophy to the monks and some exercise skills. It is there where Kung Fu had it's beginnings. And F.Y.I., Kung Fu is more of a western term as it means "he who possesses skill or ability." The Chinese refer to martial arts as Wu Shu.As you can tell, we here at thefightgame. tv have heard many explanations as to when it all began. All we know is that we are extremely grateful it has survived and flourished in our times. Evolution Martial artists have adapted that which was used to fight wars of yesteryear into a gift of physical and mental conditioning for our times. This art, that teaches the ultimate skills for war, that has been handed down from generation to generation, has also transformed its practitioners into some of the most mellow, well mannered individuals the world has ever seen. From the day when a martial artist was in a kill or be killed situation, it has grown into somewhat of an oxymoron. That of a peaceful warrior. He/she would rather walk away from a fight than be in one. The greatest victory one can achieve is that which you do not use your physical skills but that which you win by using your mental skills.
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