Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 16, 2012 by akkanorthland

Our Kenpo Tigers are learning about self-discipline this month.

They’re learning that they are in control of their emotions, their actions, their words, their thoughts.

It’s a lesson we all — adults included — can take a refresher course in from time to time.

It takes self-discipline to take care of your health, when grabbing a candy bar and a soda is so much easier.

It takes self-discipline to stay positive when surrounded by the negativity of others.

It takes self-discipline to refrain from name-calling when your little brother throws a tantrum over a video game.

It takes practice to maintain your self-discipline!



Student Papers

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2011 by akkanorthland

It was an easy decision for me to make at joining AKKA Northland with Mr. Middleton. I had decided after watching a Black Belt ceremony that, that is what I am going to work towards. I thought to myself, “I want a Black Belt with my name on it!” None the less I realized I needed to get into shape and going to the gym just wasn’t going to work. Money wasn’t the problem nor was the working out part; the problem was working out by myself, it just doesn’t work. So why not gain knowledge, discipline, respect and still get to workout with others all in one trip, it seemed to be an easy and simple decision to join AKKA.

So far my journey of three months I have learned way more than words can be read on a page. I feel better about myself in terms of being healthier. Also I have improved on my balance, with the leg lifts on warm ups and just walking around, I feel more balanced. I know that I am only going to be graduating to a gold belt, but the atmosphere and diverse group of people have made it super exciting and fun. I had taken karate before but nothing could be more intriguing than Mr. Middleton’s class.

I would like to think of him as a perfectionist in his own way. He likes to pay close attention to the little details, always saying, “I would rather you do the move slow and correct than fast and sloppy.” It’s also a great feeling when you are doing your best and he is walking around and says, “Good! Yes!” no matter what rank you are. I like how Mr. Middleton is always involved, whether it is with outside the school activities or staying a few minutes late to get a few more things down. Never would I have expected with joining AKKA, all the time and hard work that everyone has to put into this. To be able to manage my time with work, school and Karate is teaching me to put things that I like on hold and focus on what is important in life. This is my first graduation ceremony so I’m looking forward tot he things that are to come in my future at AKKA Northland. T.M.

Strong Mind, Strong Body, Strong Spirit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2011 by akkanorthland

For the past couple of weeks, Mrs. Middleton and I have been on a body-only workout program, and the words that keep appearing are to be ‘mentally strong’ in order to be physically strong.

We have been discussing what our mission is, and mentally strong kept coming to the forefront. AKKA has a statement that “when I get my Black Belt, I can do anything.” What does this statement really mean? It means that for any endeavor that is deemed worthwhile, mental focus and determination are key.

I have run into many people who ‘used to’ do this or ‘used to’ do that, and never actually finished any of what they set out to do. What was the key ingredient missing? Mental toughness! We have discovered that when it gets hard, there tend to be two options: stop or keep going. Guess which one most people choose?

Which is why Kenpo is so important, not only for personal safety, but also to cultivate mental toughness. This week, we have been asking our students to do just that. Work on the mental aspect of their game. Everyone has been put to the task of working all out for 5 minutes. While the time itself seems like a trivial amount, the energy output is extreme. We are focusing on push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, squat thrusts, and monkey squats, each a minute duration. Not only is everyone encouraged to push themselves for that time, but to keep ‘control’ over how well they perform each exercise. I am proud to say there are several who even beat our numbers in each category.

It is an effort not only to put in front of you areas that could use improvement, but also to build an indomitable spirit.

Our June 2011 Back Belt test is upon us, and for AKKA Northland, we are proud to have 11 graduating, including our older daughter.

It is said each Black Belt represents 100 people who tried and gave up. The numbers are true, and that statement is sad in one respect, and a testament to the mental discipline these people have, to push themselves to train, to accomplish, to achieve. Because when they get their Black Belts, they can do anything.

What are your goals, and what were your goals? Do they still match? If not, it is time for a mental check. If they match, congratulations — you are one of the fortunate few. Our hope  is to build on being mentally tough. As Batman once said, a tired body is easy to overcome, a tired spirit is not.

Go get ’em, and a huge congratulations to everyone who keeps their head in the game and achieves!

You are who you are, where ever you are

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2011 by akkanorthland

“I recommend participating in a sport to observe your behavior from a different perspective. The next time you’re playing your favorite sport or doing your favorite thing, look for ways that you similarly run your business. After all, your behavior is consistent from activity to activity; it all comes from the same brain, with the same mind and the same consciousness.”

— by Burke Franklin, author of “Business Black Belt”

I don’t care for most of this book, but this quote makes sense to me.

Even if you don’t “run a business,” you DO run a business. It’s the business of your life. It’s your home, your family, your job. How you behave there is how you run your business.

You are who you are, no matter what you’re doing.

Try something new, something unfamiliar. Pay attention to the way you behave in this weird role. It will give you a clearer picture of how you behave in your familiar day-to-day roles. And if you discover things you like about yourself, remember what they are and be conscious of them the next time. Try to improve next time.

When you discover things you’d like to change about yourself, recognize that, too, and use it to your benefit.

You are who you are, no matter what you’re doing.

Make sure you’re the you that you want to be.


The goose that laid the golden eggs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 16, 2011 by akkanorthland

I’m reading this book right now, “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,” and in it, there’s the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Maybe you already know this story: A farmer has a goose, which one day lays a golden egg. This continues for many days, and the farmer becomes very rich. He becomes impatient and decides to kill the goose in order to get all the golden eggs at once. So he kills the goose, but upon opening up the goose, the farmer finds nothing. So he has no golden eggs, and he has no way to ever again get any golden eggs.

So what’s the moral of the tale? Some answers I got in class: Be patient and you’ll be rewarded. Don’t kill animals.

Here’s how the book asks us to look at this tale: Don’t sacrifice the goose in order to get the golden eggs.

Here’s an example of what not to do: This past weekend, my step-daughter was with us, and I wanted her to brush her teeth. She was in the middle of playing a video game, but I told her, “go brush your teeth now.”

She may have cleaned her teeth (that’s the golden egg), but in the process, the way I went about getting my “golden egg” caused some damage to the “goose” (that’s my step-daughter).

We don’t want to go too far, though. There has to be a balance between the golden egg and the goose. If I don’t ever ask her to brush her teeth, that’s just as bad as when I asked her the wrong way. It’s a balancing act.

What is your “golden egg”? Do you want to eat more healthy foods? Get better grades? Earn more money? Have a better relationship with your step-daughter?

Then figure out how to treat the “goose” in a way that respects both the goose and the golden egg.

The System is the Solution

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 by akkanorthland

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that statement.  I can probably tell you how many times I have said it, though.  So what does this statement mean really?  As with any good Martial Arts answer, it means many things, so the answer is a resounding yes…

For starters, let’s look at the basic idea of movement.  If you maintain an active lifestyle, it has been proven — your longevity and quality of life not only improves but continues at a high level of health and overall satisfaction.  I believe it ties in with the old statement “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”  It has also been proven that once humans become sedentary, their life expectancy drops significantly… So just by running the system as a means of practice also promotes health and a better self-portrait in one’s psyche…

As with any endeavor, if it were easy everyone would be one.  For us it takes a minimum of 4 years for an adult to earn their Black Belt. During that time, there are physical demands and personal demands. Who has not had something difficult come along within almost any four-year span of time? But to continue with what you deem important and to maintain the overall “why” behind training creates a can-do attitude that can then be applied to every aspect of life — particularly with regard to goal setting, job prospects and long-term plans.  Through the avenue of working the system to achieve your goal of A Black Belt, you can thereby accomplish anything else, with the proper amount of learning, patience, persistence, dedication and focus.  No wonder businesses pick the Black Belt over the non-black belt during job consideration. They know they have a person who is dedicated and focused on their team when they hire them.

Martial Arts have been proven and suggested by doctors for people with ADD and anger issues.  The system teaches mental acuity and focus. Also, the physical repetition creates compassion between self and other that, coupled with the physical training, helps the student develop an overall calm, which has been noted amongst family and friends in students as a marked improvement.

I have witnessed bad attitudes come into class and leave all smiles and rainbows.  Through the system, people can clear their head and allow themselves to focus on difficult tasks in their daily life.  The system reduces stress not only in the body but mentally as well — and we all strive for that in a world as stressful as ours.

Through proper practice, students prepare themselves for successful outcomes in confrontation, which in turn creates self-confidence and awareness. This, coupled with mastery, develops an indomitable spirit — and who does not wish to have such a thing?

Is all of this true? The answer is yes, and it has been proven time and time and over and over and again and again … just remember Martial Arts – hundreds of thousands of people can’t be wrong.

Snow Daze

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2011 by akkanorthland

With the winter weather behaving as winter weather it is difficult to overcome excuse season as well.  Excuse season has legitimate excuses and non legitimate uses.  Due to reason of safety at times we all make the decision to not go out of our comfortable homes under the nice soft warm blankets engulfing us on the couch as we drink apple cider or hot coco.  While I applaud the decision for safety first I must encourage each practitioner (fancy word for student) to not use this as an opportunity to not train on your own.  It is a dangerous trail we tread allowing comfort zones and complacity to create new and different excuse for not practicing. Even with a passion for working out such as mine the longer I keep from training the easier it is to make up excuses to not train.  The end result is I look in the mirror at someone I am not proud of for allowing poor excuses keeping me from being the person I want to be. The end result is you must reaffirm your goals and the why you want to be better and then use that to fuel your drive to achieve your goals….if not there really is no excuse then is there? Point the finger at yourself and demand more, you can do it…I believe in you, do you?