Life Style

5 Reasons


The five reasons why Martial Arts is the best fitness program for adults :

  • Better self confidence: This reason tops the list. Due to the goal setting, positive encouragement and respect for values that are part of all martial arts programs, the greatest benefit usually reported by martial arts students is greater self confidence. You become more comfortable in all situations – whether you’re in danger or simply doing a task that takes you beyond your comfort zone — and you’ll discover you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
  • Total body workout: Martial arts is a high-aerobic workout that uses every muscle group in the body. Your stamina, muscle tone, flexibility, balance and strength will improve with martial arts.
  • Stress relief: In martial arts you get to kick, punch and shout(Kiai), which is a great stress release no matter what your age.
  • Reach and maintain your healthy weight: Due to the total-body nature of a martial arts workout, tons of calories are burned during every class. However, you’ll also find that your natural eating signals become better regulated so food cravings will disappear and you’ll eat less portions with more frequency as a result you will have less fat and more muscle tone.
  • Learn self-defense skills: Unlike any other form of exercise, with martial arts you learn potentially life-saving self-defense skills.


Always walk inside your dojo, with an empty mind, ready to learn no matter your rank.

When we think about the front line of martial arts, the names that pop to our minds are Bruce Lee, JCVD, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, etc.

All  movie stars, and great martial artists; also, all whom started like you… looking for a discipline with which they could learn to defend themselves against bullies.

In training, their main focus was to follow the path of training like a star, with thoughts of greatness, each becoming the best they could become.

One thing they always kept in mind, and never lost, was being humble.

They came everyday to the dojo with an empty mind, ready to learn new techniques, and trained and practiced until they could dominate every single move flawlessly. 

You stay humble…. train to be your best.

Be Black Belt

The one with the camera

It has been over a year…

I was the aunt -the sister- with the camera; taking every picture, every video, until the last drop of my battery. Recharging on some outlet while sitting on the floor. Always so proud to see the fantastic accomplishments of my black belt family. So proud to see the dedication, and the passion, in my sister, her husband, and my niece and nephew.

Especially my niece who, clearly, has blossomed into a strong little miss.


(With my black belt family)

Surely, I am not the first.

It has become fascinating to be so immersed in the world of Tae Kwon Do, it having begun so indirectly.

More over, the man I would come to share my life with would be a black belt too; a very advanced one -Mr. Benavides. Another wonderful personal discipline shared with his sons. 


(With Mr. Benavides)


(With my teenage stepsons)

Now, more affected than ever.

Cheering at every moment, for every level of black belt in the book. And for many ages…  

Seeing little children be also inspired, and starting. Like Isa -I love her spirit.


(Celebrating Isa’s birthday)

No wonder the bug would hit me.

To a person uninformed, the practice may seem an aggressive one, but it is all so positive. Mr. Benavides is a very joyous man, and I know his character in part he gets from a lifetime in martial arts. So for me, it only was a matter of time.

Fast forward and I have become obsessed with the idea of the practice, and participating in ATA competitions. Not as a camera woman, but on the mat. I particularly enjoy forms, and especially creative forms. 

When a form is performed superbly, as I witnessed Mrs. Von Schmeling perform it, it can be mesmerizing. That is the word I will use… I was mesmerized. The perfect synchronization of form and breadth… I could hear her every move and its intention. I could see every start and stopping point, and so much control. I could see her power.

Then I thought -I can do that… I would LOVE to be THAT good.

The thought quickly turned, and I started to think… I am an Architect. But it turns out I am not the only architect that would practice the discipline. I have friends all around the globe that have emerged at all levels of belt since I began looking -and feeling- more deeply about training. A friend architect -Mark- 2nd degree black belt in Chicago, an architect colleague -Armin- training with his son across the globe -a green belt in Austria, another colleague in Arkansas -Jeremiah- who not only is a brown belt but actually also participated in the design of ATA’s headquarters, and another colleague -Keith- who called it a life-changer also practicing with his daughter, in Raleigh. The list goes on. Funny, I have yet to encounter a woman, architect, martial artist… (aaah, the story continues!…)

My goal is to start training on 09/01/15, deliberately scheduled. Today is different than over a year ago in that I am more immersed, I have more intent, I have observed more, and now I have more freedom midday to train with adults in a less hectic, less full session. On those same days I will attempt to also practice Bikram -combining the two at least twice per week.

As I move forward with my path, I will be sharing my progress, and I hope to achieve an impossible: a true scorpion kick in a short 2 1/2 years… Why, you ask? It is only a line of measure. I like to set myself seemingly impossible goals because that is the way I make my most optimal, best, personal progress (in anything).

On that note, one last thing…

I can’t wait!


-Tabitha, White Belt, Bikram Yoga practitioner + Reiki Master