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Give The Gift of the Martial Arts

In National by SDSS

Giving the gift of martial arts is more than giving someone “fun.”  It’s giving a gift that will change someone’s life for the better. You can’t say that about a video game.     Few things have changed the lives of today’s children more than the combined onslaught of personal electronics, social media, and massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like Fortnite.  Many typical adolescents begin the day communicating with friends through text and social media.  They barely say two words to their family before leaving for school.  Then they go to a school that has become a digital playground.  Declining …

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Improving the Lives of Others

In National by SDSS

The Shaolin Monks make an amazing commitment.  They dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others.  They give up all their earthly attachments, live a life of simplicity in a temple at the foot of Song Mountain, and spend their lives studying the Shaolin Arts.   Most of us can appreciate that, and perhaps even admire these individuals.  But, we probably can’t relate to it. After all, we have busy lives. Family, friends, work, school, study, bills…and can any of us remember the last time they got to the end of their “to do” list?  The difference between a …

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Our attachment…to attachment

In National by SDSS

The Shaolin Monks are some of the fiercest fighters and most compassionate people on the planet at the very same time.  These people decided to give up all worldly belongings and attachments to study Shaolin and Kung Fu. It is, by any standard, a radical commitment.  Yet somehow, through hardship, war, and multiple destructions of the temple, these radical warriors of compassion have endured for over 1600 years. Grandmaster DeMasco is the International Ambassador of the Shaolin Temple, and he has studied and written extensively on the Shaolin Monks.  One of the more radical concepts he reveals is the notion …

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2018 SDSS International Championship Tournament

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On Saturday, November 15, hundreds of SDSS students from around the country gathered to celebrate the martial arts at the SDSS 2018 International Championship Tournament.  This is the biggest event of the year. We gathered at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury to celebrate Kung Fu and our shared passion for the martial arts. Students competed in Shaolin Defensive Techniques, Forms, Sparring, Weapons forms, and Sword Sparring.   Each event was judged by senior instructors carefully assigned by Senior Master Meyer and Grandmaster DeMasco.  Students earned scores based on power, accuracy, and level of difficulty. Trophies go to the top scorers in …

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Student Spotlight – Caitlyn from Needham

In National, Student Spotlight by SDSS

Congratulations to Caitlyn from Steve DeMasco’s Shaolin Studios of Needham. She’s a brand new Green Belt and the focus of our Student Spotlight! Caitlyn has been a student at the Needham studio since they opened nearly three years ago. “She works incredibly hard,” said Sensei Hill, the Needham Chief Instructor. “But what’s really incredible is how great a person she is. She lives the values of the Life Skills program. She’s helpful, kind, and a natural leader. I’ve really seen her grow since she started here with us.” Her mom, too, saw her grow as a person since beginning Kung …

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Martial Arts Teaches Respect

In Life Skills, National, Respect by SDSS

Respect is at the core of all martial arts instruction. From the very first day and the very first lesson, children are taught to respect their parents, instructors, and teachers. Adults learn it too – to respect their significant other, their family, their boss. Respect is an ancient value. Respect is an ancient value. Confucious said, “A youth, when at home, should be filial (respect and obey their parents), and abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all and cultivate the friendship of the good.” It is a value so …

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The Tiger Teaches Self Control

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In our system, we learn Self Control from the Tiger fighting style.  Among the fiercest and most aggressive of the animal styles, the Tiger possesses incredible strength and power.  It always advances. The tiger can be huge, powerful, and intimidating. Because of that, the Tiger also teaches us that a warrior must learn to control that great power.  Establishing this balance is the lifelong journey of a martial artist. In Kung Fu, students learn to focus, be still, breathe deeply, and center the power of each punch or kick.  That takes remarkable self-control. In fact, the less self-controlled a person …

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Martial Arts Builds Patience

In National, Patience by SDSS

It takes patience to master anything.  The journey to black belt takes years, and it is different for each martial artist.  It’s no surprise that, across the country, about 1 in 10 make it that far. (That percentage is higher in the ranks of SDSS, a result of higher-than-average student retention.)   Each new belt brings new goals, and there are no compromises along the way.  As soon as you tie the new belt around your waist, you’re presented with a new set of challenges, more demanding than what was on your last test.  That takes patience. But, as the …

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Student Spotlight – George from Natick

In National, Student Spotlight by SDSS

Meet George from SDSS Martial Arts of Natick. He’s a brand new blue belt, a thriving 2nd grader, and he is the focus of our Student Spotlight. George has been with SDSS of Natick for about a year now, where he just earned his Blue Belt. “He’s been taking lessons with us since we first opened last October. He arrives focused and motivated for every class, and displays very mature behavior on a consistent basis,” says Sensei Lucas, George’s instructor. “George engages honestly and willingly when talking about the life skills, and takes them with him everywhere he goes. He …

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October is ADHD Awareness Month

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October is ADHD Awareness Month.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that 9.4% of American children have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.   That’s nearly 1 in 10.  Those percentages vary widely by state and community, but ADHD diagnoses continue to grow.  In fact, the diagnosis of Attention Disorders has risen 50% in the past decade.  ADHD is one of the fastest growing health concerns facing our children today.   But there is good news – the Martial Arts at SDSS can help.   Martial Arts Can Help Students with ADHD At SDSS, we teach in a …

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Martial Arts for Students with ADHD

In ADHD, National by SDSS

If your child has ADHD, you know how challenging it is for them to succeed in school, in sports, and in many of the activities that come naturally to many of their peers.  At the same time, you know how they need action and a place to channel their energy more than most kids. The good news is, Martial Arts is often the perfect fit for their learning style, providing the individual attention they need and providing a place to channel their extra energy positively.   If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you probably see any or all …

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Student Spotlight – Justin from Wellesley

In National, Student Spotlight by SDSS

Meet Justin, from our Wellesley Studio. Justin is a third grader, and a Green-Brown belt who is about to earn his Junior Brown, First Degree, and he is the focus of our SDSS Student Spotlight.   “Justin always comes to class and works as hard as he can,” says Sifu Nicco, Chief Instructor of the Wellesley Studio.  “Justin is a model of self-control.  He sets a great example for not only the lower belts in class but also the higher ones. Justin always has a smile on his face and is an absolute blast to teach. He is the perfect …

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West Hartford Grand Opening

In National, SDSS West Hartford by SDSS

Grandmaster DeMasco and Senior Master Mikael Meyer are proud to announce the opening of our 15th studio, in West Hartford, Connecticut, on September 8, 2018. Sifu Andrew Collard first began training with Chief Operating Officer Master Mikael Meyer back in 1997. Following a brief leave during 2006, Andrew returned and entered the SDSS instructor academy to begin learning how to teach kids the lessons, philosophies, and martial arts that the Steve DeMasco’s studios are renowned for. The couple can’t wait to get started. “One of the best things about our business is that no one is ever alone. We can …

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Martial Arts Builds Focus

In National by SDSS

Focus is essential to the self-discipline of the martial arts.  Focus is also the key to success in school, and to achieving our goals in life.   What many adults may not realize is that focus is a learned skill.  Children don’t begin Kindergarten with the ability to attend to a task, and unless that skill is developed over time, it won’t necessarily improve as children get older.  There are many reasons that students can’t focus on a task, and Martial Arts instruction can help with all of them. Learning to focus Martial Arts classes and lessons begin with specific, …

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The Martial Arts Gives Your Child An Edge In School

In National by SDSS

Martial Arts training helps your child in the classroom Give your child the gift of martial arts training, and you may help them do better in school.  It’s not magic. The very same skills we teach in the martial arts will help your child do better in the classroom.  It is that simple. Martial Arts helps with Focus Since the birth of the electronic age, we have steadily lost our ability to focus.  A study published in Time Magazine in 2014 said that the average adolescent attention span was 8 seconds.  A goldfish can focus for 9 seconds. Believe it …

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How To Choose A Martial Arts Home For Your Child

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There seems to be a dojo on every corner, in every family town in America.  How do you find the “just right” fit for your child? Each student is different, and nobody knows your child better than you do.  Here are a few suggestions for making this crucial choice. Any reputable dojo will give you a chance to take a lesson or a class for free.  The good ones may let you do both. The best dojos know that seeing a class is their best advertising.  If you can’t get a free lesson, don’t even bother. Your child’s martial arts …

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Senior Master Meyer Promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt

In Master Meyer, National by SDSS

On May 31st, 2018, SDSS Senior Master Mikael Meyer was promoted to the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt.  This is the highest promotion ever conferred by Grandmaster. Master Meyer is the Chief Operating Officer of SDSS and is acknowledged nationally as the highest ranking black belt in the company.   “Senior Master Meyer started with me toward the end of 1991, as a student,” said Grandmaster Steve DeMasco, 10th Degree Black Belt, and SDSS Founder.  “After graduating Boston College in 1993, he joined the Professional Martial Arts Academy, which I personally instructed. In 1994, he opened his first martial …

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Grandmaster DeMasco Celebrates His 20th Year at the Shaolin Temple

In Grandmaster DeMasco, National by SDSS

In July 2018, Grandmaster Steve DeMasco celebrated his 20th year as a Grandmaster of the Shaolin Temple.  He performed the “Iron Wire” form, in a presentation that held enormous personal significance and was profoundly moving to all who were privileged to attend.  Twenty years earlier, then Master DeMasco was invited to meet with the newly elevated Great Abbot, Shi Yongxin. That meeting and the performance that followed changed the course of his life.    In 1998, following a two-year review, Grandmaster was invited to meet with the Great Abbott at the Shaolin Temple.  He interviewed Grandmaster, asked about his personal …

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Lay Buddhist Yandi, an American Shaolin Disciple, Leads 41 Students to Make a Pilgrimage to the Shaolin Temple

In Grandmaster DeMasco, National by SDSS

The original article can be found here. On July 24, 2018, American Shaolin disciple Yandi led 41 overseas students to make a pilgrimage. Witnessed by the Great Monk Yongxin, each student performed Shaolin Kungfu learned in turn and was issued course-completion certificate. At 7:40 a.m., American Shaolin disciple Yandi led 41 students to invite and greet the Great Monk Yongxin in front of the Abbot Hall. The Great Monk Yongxin welcomed overseas disciples to make a pilgrimage to the Shaolin Temple and delivered a speech. Yandi has become attached to the Shaolin Temple for a long time and often leads …

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Grandmaster DeMasco Hosts Workout in New West Hartford Studio

In Grandmaster DeMasco, National by SDSS

On May 1, SDSS proudly opened our 15th location in West Hartford, CT!   Grandmaster DeMasco held a Chief Instructors’ Workout at this new and spacious location.  Chief Instructor Andrew Collard and Program Director Haley Collard were honored to welcome the SDSS Founder to his newest studio on June 1, 2018. Grandmaster DeMasco promises to deliver the best-trained instructors in the industry.  He delivers because he trains our instructors himself. There is something quite profound in the life of a new studio when Grandmaster comes to call.  He brings years of his own experience, and with that, the spirit and tradition …