Put a Little Oomph Into Your Training! | 4GK Martial Arts
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Danna Davis

My 6 year old son has been attending Ninja class at 4GK since August 2018. He loves it and I do too! He loves the skills and games and I love the discipline he is learning. I’ve spoken with a child-behavior doc about what he gets to do in class and the doc was *thrilled*. It’s clear that he believes in the philosophies Sifu and Miss Heidi teach about the importance of play and physical activity for children for all aspects of their development.

Jen Robinson

I took a kickboxing class and it was amazing. I was so pumped and ready to take on the day. Everyone was super nice and the routine was so much fun I would definitely recommend and be back for more!!!

Laura Miller - Owner, Little People's Center reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Had the pleasure of visiting Heidi at 4GK Martial Arts and observing both her EARLY SKILLZ for children ages 3-4 and MOMMY AND ME class for children 18 months and up. The children are guided through the basics of martial arts with hands on gross motor activities set at their own individual pace. It was a pleasure to see.

Di Trudden reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter completed her first group class tonight and I could not be a prouder or happier mama right now! Heidi Burmann and Raquel made Lily feel welcome and were so patient with her as she was learning the kicks and routines. I am so happy that we discovered a healthy and fun new hobby for Lily! If you are looking for an affordable place where your little one can learn and grow then 4GK is for you!

Everyone knows I have been on my own little health journey creating Our Mommy Movement and finding new ways to exercise. I signed up for kick boxing classes through 4GK and am really excited to try them out! Seeing how patient and kind the staff was with Lily I don’t have to worry about being surrounded by people who will judge me while I try to keep up with the moves.

Tina Dos Reis reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great school and awesome team! Everyone is extremely friendly. My nephew Sebastian just loves his Extreme Skill class and after watching the team work together, I decided to try the kickboxing class. Frank put the entire class through a great workout! I can't wait to lose weight and build muscle. It's just the change I was looking for! Thank you 4GK!

Jennie D'Ambroise reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great school! Adult kung fu classes are approachable for all levels. You will learn a lot and you will work hard. Sifu and your fellow students will help you to improve and you will make great friends. Kickboxing classes will also kick your butt. Women, train here, you are welcome at all classes and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive.

Tommy Aliberti reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

This has always been a home away from home! Very much a family, and I have been part of this system for 18 years! Great values, hard work, and many lessons to be learned every time, which I have taken with me in the ring, and in everyday life! 5 Star recommendation!

Donnie Keegan reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter has been studying here for, two months shy of, three years. She still loves it! I my self have decided to join. Love the staff. they are constantly innovating and improving,both the structure of the school and its teachings. I can only hope to improve myself to the degree in which my daughter has been improved herself! Absolutely top notch school!

Rachel Ramsey Weir reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We have had a great experience in the last year that our son has been attending 4GK. He has become more disciplined in his actions, his body has been strengthened and he knows the rewards of hard work. The dedication of the staff is evident in each class. It is clearly a labor of love!

Cheryl Anne reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Fantastic staff !!!!!!!!!! Fantastic fun classes, they know you're name, they know how to make you work while you happily sweat toward a better you !

Katie Bacigalupo reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

LOVE the kick boxing class! It is such a great work out and fun at the same time! I always feel great afterwards and can't wait to get back to the next class!

Michelle McCann reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great atmosphere, awesome staff and incredible workout! Love it!!

Victoria Ingoglia reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I absolutely love the atmosphere. It's clean, friendly n very challenging. I've given some awful dirty looks while stressed n I get high fives later. High intensity fire burning workouts keeps me motivated!!

Rebecca Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4GK is excellent! I signed up my son for Basic Skillz just a few weeks after his 4th birthday. He loves coming to class to see his fellow ninjas and I really enjoy watching him learn new skills. In a short time, I had already noticed a behavior improvement while in a group setting and the two half hour classes a week are perfect for his attention span. Thank you Miss Heidi and the rest of the staff for your patience and influence on Neil.

Dawn-Marie Francois reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The school is great!!! Classes are manageable and they push you to do your best. Staff is friendly and patient.

Frank Gil reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I wanted to make a change in my life. I was stagnant, not active and unhappy honestly. One day my brother and friend convinced me to take a class at 4gk. That was years ago and thousands of punches and kicks ago and I love it every bit now as I did that first class. The instructors are amazing, knowledgeable, and were always willing to work with me at my level. I've spent a lot of time here and find no matter how my day has been I can't help but smile when I walk through the 4gk doors. It's a great environment for people who want to challange themselves and grow and there is no place else I'd rather be

Roseann Wander Walsh reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I absolutely love it there. Everyone is very welcoming and make you feel very comfortable. I've done kickboxing at several other place and all the people there were very clicky I am very comfortable here and would recommend it to everyone.

Kimberly Lago reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My oldest daughter has been coming here for a year. We fell in love immediately after seeing how wonderful the staff is with working with children of all ages. My second daughter was dying to be in a class also. As soon as she turned 3 we gave it a try and she has blossomed. Seemingly shy I was curious to see how her first class type activity would be. She loved it. Just waiting for daughter number three to be old enough because she is only two, but already feels like she belongs. We absolutely love it.

Shannon Marr reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I love this place. Everyone is super friendly and makes you feel like a part of the family. I get constant encouragement to keep going. And when I had sprained my ankle and couldn't come for awhile, they worked with me financially and kept sending me encouraging messages to take it easy and get better. I get the best work outs and never any judgements.

Leianne Marques reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4GK is an awesome school. The entire staff treats you like family. I take the kickboxing and skillz fit classes. The encouragement and motivation you get from the instructors makes you feel like you can achieve your goals, do anything you want, even if your first instinct is to say no when they all you to do something. I accomplish something in every class and have learned to think yes I can instead of there is no way I can.... the instructors break things down so you can easily understand each move. Everyone is made to feel important and special in each class, no one is left out. I can't imagine going anywhere else.

Linda Cummings reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We just started the mini skillz program a couple of months ago. I admit, after being in the free play, no rules music program for the entire spring, my 2 yr old granddaughter was starting to rebel against listening. The first day of class I was almost in tears after five minutes when I realized how bad her behavior had gotten without structure. I'm so glad I stuck it out though. The second class was a joy, with her listening intently and using her brain. Miss Heidi has the patience of a saint. She is also on top of age appropriate skills and stresses them at each class. We've learned taking turns, following direction, jumping, kicking and punching, and many, many other useful things. She loves going to her class twice a week and I truly love taking her. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these wonderful people and this fantastic school to anyone.

Danielle Hulse Maloney reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My two sons have been coming here since December 2016. They absolutely love it & have THRIVED since coming! The older one suffers from anxiety & general fear, he has since built up tremendous confidence & has learned to verbalize any issues he may be having. The younger one is a ball of energy that needed direction & a release, he has achieved focus & better listening skills. The staff is AMAZING! They are welcoming, accommodating & listen to any issues you have whether it be with them, the class or your children. I could go to any of them & speak with them about ANYTHING & feel very comfortable doing so. Si Fu teaches the class in a low-key, fun manner that has the children engaged AND having fun at the same time, it's not the typical militant style. We received a military discount since my husband is a former marine AND ... They run a monthly themed Parents Night Out that gives parents a break without their kids from 7:30-10:00! I am thrilled that we found them & highly suggest to anybody looking for a martial arts school to check them out!

Yaoska Fleming reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great team! My daughter loves the school. She has learned so much since she started a year ago. I am so happy I found this place. I am so grateful for Ms. Heidi, Sifu Mike and all the team. Their love and dedication is shown in every class. Good job!!

Neil Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I highly recommend 4GK to anyone considering Martial Arts for their children or themselves. The staff has been doing an amazing job with my 4 year old son. He has a safe and fun outlet for some of his endless energy supply and the staff do a great job keeping all of the students involved, active, and engaged in the classes activities. My son loves it and looks forward to it every week!

Christina Annessa reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We just started a month ago and my kids are in love & can't get enough of it. Everyday they ask do they have class. Its great for all ages and I really like that they split them up. My daughter is 5 and is learning age appropriate skills while in the next class my 8 year is learning different things. The staff is super friendly and always accommodates our needs. I absolutely love the fun nights they do as well, the kids get to hang out & have fun while I get to relax a bit a home. Overall very satisfied with this program.

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Put a Little Oomph Into Your Training!

Much of what happens in a school of traditional martial arts is designed to teach a set of skills.   We train in choreographed forms (Taolu) that teach us theories of movement, how to link techniques together, how to manifest the philosophies of the particular system in our applications, how to execute our attacks and defenses with speed, power and accuracy.   We practice choreographed self defense with a partner, both those techniques taught as a part of the system and those the students develop themselves, in order to learn how to gauge distance, improve targeting of sensitive areas of the body, and to provide deeper insight into the forms we have already learned by giving hints to what the motions in the forms represent.   We spar to learn how to respond to randomized attacks, to build stamina, to decrease reaction time.   We do many things during our time in the kwoon, but all of it is child’s play if we do not make a commitment to ourselves and our fellow students to remember that, while we are learning an art, a form of self expression through an ancient modality of movement, we are also learning a MARTIAL art.  We must be constantly mindful of both the Yin and Yang aspects of what we are doing once we dedicate ourselves to learning.

In other articles, I have discussed the difference between traditional martial arts training and pure self defense training, so I won’t really delve into that here.  This article is about the fact that, in remembering our martial aspects, we must realize that there is going to be some amount of contact involved in our training.  Of course, this level of contact is commensurate with the level of training.  I cannot expect a student, on his first day, to try to absorb my best kick, but an intermediate students should be able to survive it, and an advanced student will be more likely to take it in stride.  No matter how much we train our techniques, if we crumple the first time we get hit, those techniques will be useless.  It is important for a martial artist to build his body and discipline his mind so that when his opponent strikes him, he is able to continue the battle.  Nor is getting hit is not our only area of concern.  There is a tremendous amount of force generated in a well executed martial arts technique.  When I throw a punch and make contact, an equal and opposite force is reflected back toward me.  I must be prepared to feel the shock of that reflection.  I must make sure my technique is perfect to maximize energy transfer through the structures of my body.  I must train before hand to strengthen those structures in order to withstand what returns.  I must steel my mind to ignore the impact.  The same holds true when blocking.  I have seen many martial artists do more damage to themselves in blocking than if they would have simply taken the hit.  Blocking an attack does not magically make that oncoming force evaporate, it simply dissipates it across more surface area and (hopefully) across less sensitive areas of our bodies.

While we do want to increase our tolerances for pain, our goal is not to injure ourselves or our training partners.  (Check out this article about being a good martial arts training partner).  So how do we modify our training to better prepare us?  In my classes we use the “Oomph Principle”.  When practicing with a partner, whether it is free sparring or choreographed forms, we must attack with enough oomph to make our partner respond with an audible “OOMPH!”  Not “ouch”, not “teehee”, not “Oh my goodness, call an ambulance!”… just “oomph”.  This is the sound made by someone who has taken a good hit but is still able to continue.  For a student who has just started his first lesson, this is not a lot of power, but for a student who has been training for a while, we must strike harder to garner the same reaction.  By striking in this power range, the body is hit hard enough to begin to adapt over time.  The mind must acknowledge the discomfort, but the student is able to push through.  Fear of being injured does not compromise desire to train.  Over the course of a student’s development, the amount of oomph required to make him say “oomph” gradually increases.  Not only does he refine his own technique to avoid getting hit in the first place, but he is better able to deal with increasing amounts of force when he does end up on the receiving end of a well placed strike. As training becomes less standard and more in line with a realistic modern tactical situation, the addition of stress-induced chemical releases in his body increase this pain tolerance even further.  By the time that beginner student has progressed to his Black Sash level, he should feel at least fairly confident in dealing with full force blows.  Yes, they will still hurt (this is not a pillow fight), but his body will not break, and his mind will open, clear, and ready to respond.

Yes, martial arts training does have a strong artistic aspect.  Yes, martial arts training does have a strong warlike (martial) aspect.  This is the natural duality of  martial arts training.  Yin and Yang, inner development and fighting ability, self expression and self preservation.  If we sacrifice the martial for the artistic, then we are simply dancing.  If we sacrifice the art for the martial , then we are simply fighting.  It is only when we keep both aspects firmly in the forefront of our minds that the true beauty of the martial artist is realized.  I encourage each of you to honestly examine your training, to look inward at your fears and hopes as they relate to your training, and then to ask yourselves which aspect of your personal journey could use a little more OOMPH!

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