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Archived Articles

September 2009 Articles

Good Habits. Great Success

by Rochelle Labuschagne

All of us have habits. Whether good, bad or harmless, a lot of what we do on a daily or even hourly basis is from our subconscious and is habitual. These habits include eating junk food, swearing, biting your nails, smoking, going straight to the gym after work, drinking two litres of water each day, and even something as harmless as blinking overly frequently. The question to ask yourself, though, is which habits are holding you back, and which are making you a better person?

Habits should be developed in all areas of life including your personal life, your moral life, and your work life. Good personal habits to work towards include a healthy diet, an adequate amount of exercise, getting enough sleep and taking at least 30 minutes a day for yourself to relax. Good moral habits to attain include the golden rule of treating everyone the way you'd like to be treated, and something as simple as conservation by using your recycling bin. No one would be happier than your boss if you adopted some good work habits also, such as arriving to work early to prepare for the day, organisation skills, prioritising skills and if you have any free time, asking if there is anything you can do, or assisting a colleague. This doesn't mean that as of today you should stop eating ice cream, hit the gym for three hours a day, arrive at work an hour early, or start working for the council's rubbish collectors. To make or break a habit, there are a few things that you should stick to, in order to be successful:


- Commit your plan to paper
- Think through your motivation of why you want to change this habit.
- Have a good support group, someone you can call when the urges get
too much
- Realise the obstacles involved in overcoming or forming this habit, and
have a plan for how you're going to overcome each obstacle.
- Log your process as you go along.
- Commit to it for at least four weeks as some research suggests that it
takes four weeks to develop a habit. Even if you stumble, get back up
and try again.


- Take on too many habit changes at once. Choose one, and stick to it
till you've achieved it.
- Be only half-committed. For instance if you're going to beat a bad
habit, you have to want to do it for the right reasons with 100%
- Give up every time you succumb to a bad habit. If you've been living
with it for a long time, it's not going to disappear overnight.

And before you know it, you'll have formed new habits that are going to improve your lifestyle. The more of these good habits your form, the greater your success in every part of your life.

The Teaching of Kata

by Rochelle Labuschagne

Kata is a formal exercise in traditional martial arts training that demonstrates the essence or spirit of the arts and its practitioners. Its origin goes back well over two thousand years to ancient China and Japan, during the oppression when raiders came to attack outlying villages. This is where and when primitive martial arts developed, and along with the teaching of these martial arts came the development of fighting combinations or fighting sequences called kata. It was found that techniques could be more easily remembered, practiced and passed on to others, through a compiled series of movements. Younger disciples would learn these set moves from their elders, and they were refined as they were passed on through the generations. From there, kata were also used by monks around Asia as a form of exercise which concealed deadly self defence techniques. When monks travelled, they would sometimes learn a form of martial arts for self defence.

There are many reasons why kata is practiced. Martial arts kata teach self defence including defensive and offensive techniques, as well as balance, coordination and posture. They also teach focus, visualization, and visual control. By practicing kata, we practice stance transitions / footwork, angles of attack and defence, continuity of movement, and proper rhythm and timing.

At Cobra Martial Arts & Fitness Centres we learn several different kata. We are different to most other martial arts schools in that the traditional Japanese kata are reserved for black belt students who have trained long enough to understand and appreciate kata. Often teaching kata to beginners leads to their frustration as they do not have the knowledge, experience or understanding required to see the applications hidden in the movements. Beginners and lower levels instead work on padwork, combinations, partner work and self defence until they are ready to appreciate kata.

Sources: Jusek, J. (2009). History of Form in Martial Arts. Suite101.
Davenport, J. (n.d). Chito-Ryu Official Kata. Kentucky.

Eskrima Workshop

by Scott Thackrah (Instructor - Cobra Martial Arts & Fitness Centres)

Earlier this year, Grandmaster Bobby Tabimina and his son Flint visited Cobra Martial Arts & Fitness Centres to conduct a workshop on their art of Balintawak Arnis.

Balintawak Arnis was developed by Venancio Bacon in the 1950s in the Philippines, and is named after a street in the city of Cebu. The system was created to enhance and preserve the combative nature of Arnis (also known as Eskrima, Kali or stick fighting), and uses close range fighting including foul blows similar to street combat. Arnis was brought to the world by Bruce Lee and his Filipino friend Dan Inosanto in the Bruce Lee film, Game of Death.

Grandmaster Bobby Tabimina started the workshop speaking about the nature of the art and the 'healing' that he had come to teach. By 'healing' he meant the way in which to build on what the participants already knew in the martial arts and compliment those skills, refining them - sharpening them. Rather than trying to teach an entire new system, he focused on the speed, reflexes, body movement and the general philosophy of Tabimina Balintawak.

Using only a single stick, rather than two sticks or stick and knife, the participants worked the basic striking angles and the defences.

Starting slowly and building speed, participants had the opportunity to clash sticks with the Grandmaster Bobby Tabimina himself. Rotating around, working with Bobby and his son and senior student, the participants experienced a variety of instruction from the leading Arnisadors.

Eskrima (or Kali / Arnis) is taught as a seperate specialised course at Cobra Martial Arts & Fitness Centres. It is also incorporated into the freestyle or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) course. More information about Cobra's Filipino Eskrima can also be viewed here.

Product Review: NSD Powerball

What is the NSD Powerball?

Although it is only as small as a tennis ball, and weighs just 250 grams, don't let its size fool you - the NSD Powerball is the fastest human propelled device ever created. Using its finely engineered and precision crafted gyroscope, the NSD Powerball can spin at a remarkable 15,000rpm and generate over 18kgs of force, giving your arms a workout like never before!

Ideal for avid sports enthusiasts who require power in the arms, hands and wrists, all the way to those merely looking to define and strengthen their arm muscles - everyone can benefit from the increased strength and dexterity that the NSD Powerball delivers. Small and portable, the NSD Powerball can be used while sitting at a desk, watching TV or walking down the street, exercise has never been this convenient! The inbuilt speed meter makes it fun and addictive too, as you compete with family and friends to become the Powerball champion.

For Martial Artists you will develop powerful hand, forearm and grip strength for grabbing, holding, wrestling and locking an opponent or attacker. No one will escape your killer Kung fu grip!

We have just received our first shipment of NSD Powerball's and are pleased to offer them for sale at Cobra Martial Arts & Fitness Centres!

Classic $59.95
Pro $69.95
Neon Pro $79.95
Signature Pro $89.95

Sensei Craig's Trip to Hamilton Island

Sensei Craig Monie, the Master Instructor and proprietor of Cobra Martial Arts & Fitness Centre in Cannington, was recently flown to the Whitsunday's Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, by one of the world's leading pharmaceutical giants.

The university business graduate, business owner, property investor, business coach and national champion in martial arts and kickboxing, met with 25 territory managers soon after arrival and presented to over 150 executives, managers and field representatives the following morning. He commenced the conference as the opening key-note speaker, revealing to the host company his secrets of self-discipline, focus and goal setting.

Sensei spoke about his childhood, beginnings in martial arts, key lessons learned, as well as how he was able to implement these principles into his life and businesses. He explained the 'winner's mindset' and about his other passions, including overseas training and property.

The entrepreneur continued by detailing the 'failure cycle' and taught his audience how to identify when they are entering into it, so they can 'snap' themselves out and move into the 'success cycle' before it is too late. He also taught them how to become part of the 3% of people who are self disciplined achievers and how to align goals with ones motivations for a happy and rewarding life.

Sensei talked about the reasons why most people don't achieve their goals and pointed out the missing links which are not explained at goal setting seminars. After revealing the missing pieces, he helped his audience set goals for all areas of their lives using his Yin-Yang Balance Wheel concept. His host was enthralled and further impressed when he explained and answered questions about leveraging set incomes through investments and home businesses.

Finally the Pro-sixth degree black belt demonstrated an advanced level of focus by using Chi-Kung Abdominal Breathing to concentrate his energy. On centre stage, in front of the silent crowd, he used a single martial arts blow to reduce a one foot high stack of roof tiles into a pile of rubble. Sensei was met with a standing ovation before he was given some time to himself to explore the Whitsunday Islands by helicopter.