Martial Arts for Life

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Family Safety: Carjacking & Vehicle Safety

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Thousands of unsuspecting motorists are car jacked each year. Carjacking is a violent form of motor vehicle theft. It is a serious threat to one’s personal safety because the perpetrator uses force to steal the vehicle. Sometimes the vehicle occupants are kidnapped during a carjacking. The worst case scenario occurs when victims are transported to a secondary crime scene, which is usually more dangerous than the original confrontation.

Many people mistakenly assume that carjacking crimes occur only in blighted areas. Carjackings can and do occur in all types of communities of varying socio-economic status. On July 19th, a couple was carjacked at gunpoint on Watchung Avenue in Chatham. And in May, The Cranford Patch reported on a carjacking that took place on Raritan Road in Cranford where the victim was threatened at knifepoint.

The recommended approach to remaining safe while driving is to remain cautious, use common sense, and educate yourself on techniques used by carjackers and what to do in a threatening situation. In any dangerous situation, you are going to fall into one of two categories: you will either have absolutely no idea what to do in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, or you will have some idea of what to do. Obviously, you want to have a good idea of what actions to take.

In order to form a plan of action, we must first understand some facts about carjacking crimes. According to a 9 year study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a weapon was used in nearly three-quarters (74%) of carjacking victimizations. Guns and knives were the most popular weapons chosen by thieves. Nearly one-third (32%) of victims of completed carjackings were injured.

A majority (68%) of carjacking incidents occurred at night (6 p.m. – 6 a.m.). 44% of carjacking incidents occurred in an open area, such as on the street or near public transportation and 24% occurred in parking lots or garages or near commercial places such as stores, gas stations, restaurants/bars, etc.

Some of the most common techniques employed by carjackers include:

1.) The Bump: The attacker bumps the victim’s vehicle from behind. The victim gets out to assess the damage and exchange information. This is the tactic that was used to carjack the victims in Chatham.

2.) Good Samaritan: The attacker(s) stage what appears to be an accident. They may simulate an injury. The victim stops to assist, and the vehicle is taken.

3.) The Ruse: The vehicle behind the victim flashes its lights or the driver waves to get the victim’s attention. The attacker tries to indicate that there is a problem with the victim’s car. The victim pulls over and the vehicle is taken.

4.) The Trap: Carjackers use surveillance to follow the victim home. When the victim pulls into his or her driveway, the attacker pulls up behind and blocks the victim’s car.

Awareness and avoidance are always the first steps in remaining safe, so let’s go over some common sense tips to reduce your risk of being carjacked:

– Drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up. Keep your cell phone within reach.

– When stopped in traffic, look for possible escape routes. Leave enough room between your vehicle and the car in front of you to maneuver easily enough to escape.

– When stopped at a red light, use your rear-view and side mirrors to monitor your surroundings. This makes it less likely for an attacker to surprise you.

– Always keep your cell phone close by and have emergency numbers pre-programmed.

Be wary of panhandlers or people asking for directions and handing out flyers.

– If you are bumped in traffic, be suspicious of the accident. Contact the police immediately.

– Don’t pull over in any isolated area. Get the other drivers attention and motion to him to follow you, and drive to a gas station or busy parking lot before getting out.

– Be cautious of the Good Samaritan who offers to repair your car. It’s okay to get help, just be alert and cautious.

If all else fails and you find yourself confronted by an armed carjacker, do not resist! Give up your keys or money (if demanded) without resistance. Never argue, fight, or chase the carjacker. You can be seriously injured. In a vast majority of carjacking scenarios, the vehicle is the primary target. There is a good chance that the victim might not be harmed. However, if you cannot escape in your vehicle, it is imperative that you get out of the vehicle right away. Remember, non-confrontation is often the best response. The object is not to thwart the criminal, but to survive!

In the wake of a carjacking, get to a safe place and call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information.

*Statistics and tips compiled from various sources including: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Apex Self-Defense, C. McGoey  (Crime Doctor ).

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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July 25, 2013 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “63 – 60” Arm Workout

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything Counts!

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins

When it comes to your exercise and eating habits – everything counts. Research in the area of human behavior indicates that over 90% of our daily actions are habitual. Everything that you decide to do (or not do) on a regular basis adds up to shape your level of health, fitness, and well-being.

In his book, “The Compound Effect,” Darren Hardy uses the example of a person who chooses to eliminate just 125 calories per day from his or her diet and in 31 months loses thirty-three pounds. The math works like this:

31 months = 940 days

940 days x 125 calories/day = 117,500 calories

117,500 divided by 3,500 calories per pound = 33.5 pounds!

Is this a bit of an over simplification? Perhaps, but the principle is sound. The calories that you consume (and burn) according to your daily habits will compound over time.

By the way, a 12 oz. can of cola has 150 calories. By simply substituting one bottle of water for one can of soda each day, you would instantly eliminate 150 calories from your diet. Do you work in a place where co-workers take turns brining in doughnuts or doughnut holes each morning? Two of those little doughnut holes contain between 120 and 140 calories. Half of a glazed doughnut contains about 125 calories. Caloric values of almost anything you eat can be found by doing a quick internet search.

You can now see how making a very small improvement in your diet could easily lead to cutting 125 calories. Now just imagine if you combined that change with a regular exercise routine – your results would increase exponentially.

“The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.” – Jim Rohn

The best way to make this simple, healthy change is to track what you eat every day for a week. Keep a small pad and a pen with you and jot down everything that you eat or drink. This is not fun or easy, but it is educational. You will uncover hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of empty calories in your diet that are the result of mindless snacking and poor food choices. Armed with this information you can then take a step towards making small (or even large) changes in your daily eating habits and start your own positive compound effect.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 3, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-Discipline: A Pearl Which Grows Slowly…

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

“Self-discipline is a pearl which grows slowly.” – Chinese Proverb

In nearly two decades of working with adults looking to gain health and fitness, I have found that most people are generally well-meaning but easily overwhelmed. Many men and women start out with over-ambitious workout and meal plans, only to give up on their goals within weeks of starting. I believe the key to avoiding joining the masses with unused health club memberships, basements filled with dusty workout equipment, and shelves stocked with unopened workout DVD’s  is simply to practice small daily disciplines.

Small Daily Disciplines

Small daily disciplines are seemingly minor actions that relate to one’s diet or level of physical activity. For example, when approaching a weight loss goal, instead of drastically altering your diet and slashing your calorie intake (the “cold turkey” approach), start by committing to just having a healthy and sensible breakfast each day. Besides being a very doable goal, it can help build momentum leading to healthier choices of snacks and meals throughout the rest of the day. Even seemingly marginal improvements in eating habits can add up quickly.

Here are some examples of small daily nutritional disciplines that can be easily implemented:

–          Have a glass of water with lunch each day instead of a sugary soft drink

–          Eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of an over-processed breakfast cereal

–          Replace white flour products with whole grain products

–          Drink a glass (or two) of water before meals so you will consume less calories

The same philosophy is highly effective for beginning an exercise routine. Rather than jumping into a hardcore four day per week workout program right away, begin with easier, less intimidating steps towards physical fitness. You can always add more daily disciplines or increase the intensity of your exercise regimen if things are going well.

Here are some examples of small daily fitness disciplines that can be easily implemented:

–          Begin a workout routine by going to the gym or taking a class just one day per week

–          Park further away and take the stairs when possible

–          Commit to taking a walk around the block after dinner each night

–          Start a weight training routine by doing just one set of each exercise

The whole concept here is to remember that a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing! In addition, as your self-discipline improves you can tackle bigger daily disciplines which lead to better results.

As an aside, the small daily disciplines concept can also be applied to folks who are already highly disciplined with their exercise and eating habits. By disciplining yourself to add incrementally more mileage to your runs, do one more set of exercises, or eliminate processed snacks from your diet, you can continue to take your health and fitness to a whole new level!

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part 2

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part Two

“Get Rid of Junk Food”

Welcome back to “Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle” a short series dedicated to providing tips for sensible adults who are looking to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Part One of this series dealt with the concept of “eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure.” In Part Two we will be focusing on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach.

Listen, when you’re in the process of cleaning up your diet and losing weight, there are certain things that are going to be outside of your control. For example, a co-worker brings in doughnuts, a friend bakes you a cake for your birthday, etc. What you can control, however, is what you place in your shopping cart and your cupboards.

Trust me, if it’s in your home you will find a reason and a way to eat it. Think about the Halloween candy you purchase. If you’re like me, passing by the bowl of mini candy bars is temptation enough to eat one (or two!) and I don’t particularly like candy bars. The point is, if there’s a bag of Oreo cookies in your house or a gallon of ice cream in your freezer 99% of people WILL justify eating it at some point. You know the reasons:  you’ve had a rough day, you’ve been sticking to eating healthy and deserve a reward, having just one cookie won’t hurt, or maybe you’re hungry and there’s no better options. Whatever the reason is, you (and everybody else) will eat that junk food.

But it’s for the kids!

I know, I know, the cookies, ice cream and candy are for the kids! Here’s some food for thought (pardon the pun): A study published in the Health Education & Behavior journal looked at six middle schools over a two year period. In three of these schools the snacks offered did not change, but did so in the other three schools in Connecticut. Snacks that did not meet the nutrition standards set were removed and replaced with water, 100 percent fruit juice, baked chips, pretzels, granola bars and canned fruits.

The train of thought was that when these junk food items disappeared from the schools, the kids would naturally miss them and then go home and eat more. However, the result was actually the reverse — the study showed that when pop and fatty snacks were taken out of schools, the kids did not make up for them at home. Instead, they ate no worse at home and even better at school.

When healthier options are presented, everyone wins. Just as junk food is not good for kids, it is not good for adults. Removing junk food from your home benefits your whole family. Our bodies were not designed to live off unhealthy food. You do not need ANY junk food. Junk food makes you fat, destroys your health, and simply makes you feel bad. Trust me… you don’t need it.

What is “Junk Food”?

Just to clarify, for the purposes of this article I’m  talking about the cookies, sugary drinks, cakes, ice cream, frozen pizzas, and other highly processed foods that most people have in their homes. I’m not talking about a white flour free, dairy free, vegan, organic, “sticks & dirt” type diet. At this time, we’re speaking strictly about getting the empty calories that have virtually  no nutritional benefit out of your home.

Healthier Alternatives: Substitution is the plan

Guess what? It’s a bad idea to cut out unhealthy snacks and replace them by starving yourself. Our goal is to substitute healthier alternatives for chips, candy, cookies, etc. FYI, the less junk food in your diet, the less you will crave it!

Protein Bars: When you’re craving something sweet, a protein bar is good alternative. Most major grocery stores and even places like Target and Wal-Mart sell boxes of all-natural bars (Cliff bars, Zone Perfect, Pure Protein, etc.) These bars are always a better choice than cookies to satiate your appetite.

Fruits & Vegetables: You really can’t beat fruits and vegetables for a healthy snack. Nearly all major grocery chains sell containers of fresh cut fruit that’s perfect for a snack. In the past there has been some debate about the sugar content of some fruits, but trust me that no one has ever gotten fat from eating too much fruit. :0)

Flavored Seltzer or Water with Lemon: As a much healthier  (and zero calorie) alternative to sugary soft drinks, try flavored seltzer or water with lemon (or lime).

Yogurt with fruits & nuts on top: Ice cream can be replaced by non-frozen yogurt. It is highly likely your body is just craving something cold and sweet–so make it extra-refreshing with some generous chunks of real fruit.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. For additional ideas you could Google a phrase like, “Junk Food Alternatives” or “Healthy Snacks.” As a a reminder, any kind of “Low Fat” or “Reduced Fat” cracker or cookie is still probably high in sugar and highly processed – skip these.

As always, Fit or fat? The choice is yours.

This article was written by Rich Brugger. He holds a Strength Conditioning and Weight Training Certification from ISMA and is Black Belt Master Instructor. He co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with his wife Michelle (a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor).

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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January 1, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Martial Arts for Life: Discipline at the Plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t dig your grave with your knife and fork” – English Proverb

Having “discipline at the plate” is a key trait of successful hitters in baseball. It refers to having the self-discipline to only swing at quality pitches that can be put into play and lay off pitches that are poor quality or out of the strike zone. Hitters that have this characteristic are coveted by major league teams and often enjoy great success.

Of course, we’re talking about another type of discipline at the plate here, one that leads to success with regard to one’s health and longevity. This is the act of exercising discipline when eating. According to the TIME Magazine article, “Eat Less, Live Longer?” decades of calorie-restriction studies involving organisms ranging from microscopic yeast to rhesus monkeys have shown that reducing the amount of food consumed has extended the life spans of these organisms by as much as 50%.

One of the healthiest countries in the world is Okinawa. Nearly 30% of Okinawans live to be 100!  The Okinawans have a saying that goes like this “Hari Hachi Bu”, which roughly translated means “80 percent full.” The idea is that you never stuff yourself. Instead of eating until you’re full, you eat until you are not hungry. This takes practice and discipline but the benefits are significant.

It should also be noted that the traditional Okinawan diet consists of portions made of a bowl of cooked food and a fruit. According to author Stefan Anitei, “Okinawans eat daily seven portions of vegetables and fruits, seven of cereals and two of soy products. They take various portions of fish weekly and very sporadically meat and dairy products. Overall, their diet is low in calories and contains a lot of vegetables.”

To put this discipline into practice,  try using a smaller plate for all your meals. This makes it seem that there is more food on the plate. Research shows us that by doing this, you will automatically eat less.

Most entrées at restaurants are oversized. Try sharing one entrée with someone else or only eating half and taking the rest to go. Replace a 12” sandwich with a 6”, etc. Remember, instead of eating until you are full; eat until you are no longer hungry.

When it comes to your health, a little bit of a discipline goes a long way.

“If you take care of your stomach the first 50 years of your life, your stomach will take care of you the next 50…” – Unknown

 

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

Kickboxing New Providence, NJ

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interval Training at Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

Kickboxing New Providence, NJ

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Benchmark Workout

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

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November 15, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Benchmark Workout

Burn Down Push-ups

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

Kickboxing New Providence, NJ

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vehicle Safety


Vehicle Safety Tips from Martial Arts for Life of New Providence

1.) Evaluate entry areas to your home and garage. Consider locations that could hide an intruder from your view while entering or leaving your home. Consider removing shrubbery or lighting any location than could conceal an attacker. Use motion sensor lighting near doors or driveway access points.

2.) Keep garage doors closed and locked. Remove remote door openers from vehicles regularly parked in your driveway.

3.) Try not to carry a purse, if you must, carry it securely under your arm. Never wrap the strap around your arm or enter a tug-of-war if a thief grabs your purse. You could be seriously injured.

4.) Consider your return approach when you park your car. Pass up parking spaces in corners and without a clear view from several angles. Stalkers generally attack on your return to the car when you are distracted, your arms are full and they have evaluated you as a target.

5.) If you are bumped from behind by another vehicle, do not immediately exit your car. ASSESS THE SITUATION. If you feel uneasy, remain in your vehicle until police arrive. If the other party leaves the scene, note the vehicle description and tag – do not follow.

6.) If someone threatens you with a weapon, give your vehicle up immediately after you collect your children. DO NOT FIGHT OR ARGUE. Your life is more important than your car.

7.) If your car breaks down, raise the hood to signal for help. If possible remain in your car. If someone stops to assist you, have them call for help. Do not allow strangers inside your vehicle and do not accept a ride from them.

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs

Martial Arts for Life

August 31, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vehicle Safety