Bolton Academy

About Us

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Canadian Black Belt Academy’s website. Our academy is Bolton’s largest martial arts training facility, offering adult and kid’s karate, little ninjas programmes (ages 3-5), MMA instruction and coaching, strength and conditioning classes, and Brazilian / Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. We also offer private lessons, AMAZING birthday parties and Dry-land training for local sports teams. Our school is focused on delivering the highest standard of black belt excellence and instruction to our students. Our mission is to instill attitudinal qualities that will assist our members in achieving positive life goals through martial arts, while strengthening their bodies and minds in the process. Our instructors have been teaching martial arts in the Caledon / Bolton region for over 13 years, and we look forward to building upon our strong community relationships in the years to come.
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2019 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon
2018 GOLD Standard Award– EFC Mpower Martial Arts Summit 2018
2018 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon
2017 GOLD Standard Award– EFC Mpower Martial Arts Summit 2017
2017 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon 
2017 Readers Choice Award for Best in CUSTOMER SERVICE 
2017 Readers Choice Award for Best SMALL BUISNESS
2016 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon 
2016 Readers Choice Award for Best in CUSTOMER SERVICE
2015 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon 
2014 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon

About the Owner and Chief Instructor Mr. Jason

Renshi Jason Figliano

Owner, Head Instructor
5th degree Black Belt Shotokan/Kempo Karate
Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Background:
  • Started training at the age of 7
  • Began training with Trevor Lewis at Lewis Karate Schools in 1999
  • Began teaching Karate in February of 2001
  • 1st Degree Karate Black Belt awarded by Trevor Lewis on July 16 2001
  • 2nd Degree Karate Black Belt awarded by Trevor Lewis February 22 2002
  • 3rd Degree Karate Black Belt awarded by Trevor Lewis on November 22 2006
  • 4th Degree Karate Black Belt awarded in May of 2013
  • 5th Degree Karate Black Belt awarded on June 4th of 2018
  • Title of Renshi Awarded June 2018- Meaning Polished Master
  • Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu awarded by Master Royler Gracie in September of 2013
  • Professors Degree- Awarded October 2014 by Master Royler Gracie
  • 1st Degree in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Awarded in 2016 by Master Royler Gracie
  • Amateur MMA fighter
  • 32 Service Battalion of the Canadian Armed Forces Combatives Instructor
  • The Only certified Instructor in Canada in the G.R.A.C.I.E Gun Retention program


Mr. Figliano has been competing in Amateur MMA for the past year, currently holding a 4-0 standing. He has worked with the Canadian Forces and local Police departments on hand to hand combat, armed combat and Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques. Mr. Figliano enjoys sharing his knowledge and skills in the community by volunteering his time in local schools to promote anti-bullying and by offering free Women’s self-defence seminars.

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Tottenham Facility

SERVING THE TOWN OF NEW TECUMSETH FOR OVER 28 YEARS!


Located at 13 Queen Street North, Tottenham Ontario, Canadian Black Belt Academy-Tottenham Location (Formerly San Do Jitsu Karate)


We are excited to announce the transitioning of the San Do Jitsu Karate School to the “Canadian Black Belt Academy” and we look forward to welcoming all of you into the CBBA family. The CBBA will continue to offer a wide range of classes within the friendly, welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment that you have come to know.

Under the leadership of 5th Degree Karate Black Belt and 1st Degree Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Jason Figliano, the CBBA is a well- respected Martial Arts academy and has been awarded multiple “Business of the Year” awards and has been recognized as the “Best in Martial Arts Training” by the Caledon Enterprise. The CBBA prides itself on excellence in both instruction and customer service and we plan on bringing the same excellence into the Tottenham community.

All classes are conducted by nationally recognized and Certified Black Belt Instructors who have also passed formal “Instructor Development” courses through the internationally recognized Satori Alliance Instructor Certification.


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BOOK YOUR FREE TRIAL CLASS TODAY!


COLLAB
 
About the Owner and Chief Instructor Mr. Jason
Jason Figliano

Owner, Head Instructor
4th degree Black Belt Shotokan/Kempo Karate
Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Background:
  • Started training at the age of 7
  • Began training with Trevor Lewis at Lewis Karate Schools in 1999
  • Began teaching Karate in February of 2001
  • 1st Degree Karate Black Belt awarded by Trevor Lewis on July 16 2001
  • 2nd Degree Karate Black Belt awarded by Trevor Lewis February 22 2002
  • 3rd Degree Karate Black Belt awarded by Trevor Lewis on November 22 2006
  • 4th Degree Karate Black Belt awarded in May of 2013
  • Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu awarded by Master Royler Gracie in September of 2013
  • Professors Degree- Awarded October 2014 by Master Royler Gracie
  • 1st Degree in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Awarded in 2016 by Master Royler Gracie
  • Amateur MMA fighter
  • 32 Service Battalion of the Canadian Armed Forces Combatives Instructor
  • The Only certified Instructor in Canada in the G.R.A.C.I.E Gun Retention program
 
Mr. Figliano has been competing in Amateur MMA for the past year, currently holding a 4-0 standing. He has worked with the Canadian Forces and local Police departments on hand to hand combat, armed combat and Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques. Mr. Figliano enjoys sharing his knowledge and skills in the community by volunteering his time in local schools to promote anti-bullying and by offering free Women’s self-defence seminars.
 
 
A message from Sensei Joe
Dear Students and Parents,
 
I am absolutely thrilled to announce that martial arts is NOT leaving Tottenham. In fact, it is the opposite; San Do Jutsu Karate will be transitioning into the Canadian Black Belt Academy. Jason Figliano is the owner and head instructor, he is a 5th degree black belt in Kempo Karate and a 1st degree black belt in Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I am very confident that I am leaving you in capable hands and with an organization that is very much in line with our curriculum.

Many of you have inquired about your current rank. I am pleased to announce that Jason has not only agreed, but has insisted that all current ranks will be recognized and that all class prices will remain the same for current members. As a bonus, all members will also be able to attend classes at the Canadian Black Belt Academy in Bolton.

Over the next few weeks you will notice some changes to our facility with some minor renovations including new mats and a parent viewing area, as well as a new schedule. The copy of the new schedule will be posted and copies will be at the front desk. For those of you who have been inquiring about classes for younger siblings, there will be classes for 3 and 4 year olds added. For the month of June only Karate classes will be available in Tottenham. If you would like to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bolton will open their mats until Tottenham programming is scheduled.

You will also notice some new instructors. Please take a moment to introduce yourself. Jason is sending a few of his best instructors up to help us not only in the transition, but to help us achieve our goals.

These last 28 years are filled with great memories and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for not only training with me but for being my students and making me proud of the levels you have achieved not only in the club but in life. Please do not think of this as goodbye, I will still be around and I look forward to watching you all move onto your next level.
 

Yours truly,
Joe Hamilton, Renshi
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Mississauga Academy

We are proud to have an affiliate program set up inside One of Mississauga’s Top Martial Arts Academies. Elite Training Centre


Taught by Coach Rick, a 3rd Degree Karate Black Belt under Mr. Jason and one of the first students of the Original Canadian Black Belt Academy.
Coach Rick started his training in 2004, Earning his first degree in 2008 and becoming one of the first instructors at the Canadian Black Belt Academy. Since then he has gone on to earn a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, trained extensively with Coach and Professor Claude Patrick a UFC Veteran and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt at Claudes Academy; Mississauga Elite Training Centre.


Left- 3rd Degree Black Belt Coach Rick, Right- 5th Degree Black Belt and Renshi, Mr. Jason
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About Mr. Jason


“All icing and no cake”, this is what stuck with me when I began learning the “Business side” of the martial arts. I started training when I was 7, teaching when I was 13, and running schools when I was 21. I have seen schools start from nothing and grow into large numbers, and I have seen large schools shrink to half their size. The one thing that most martial arts “consultants” focus on is how many people can you sign up, and how much money can you make? I was in this mindset for years as I worked behind the scenes for now defunct companies such as M.A.U.I (Martial Arts University International) and M.A.C.S (Martial Arts Consulting Systems) for 5 years.

Growing tired of the mindset that I felt was warping the concept of what a professional martial artist really should be, I left it all when I was 30 and opened my own Academy. In 5 years I have grown to two locations and have also been “consulting” for various schools. I have spoken at the MPower Summits for Martial Arts Business owners, and the Business development day for the Gracie Humaita Jiu-Jitsu Association.

Here is the deal, and it’s a pretty simple one: “walk the talk”. I believe that martial arts businesses should be about developing the student, family, and community above all else. Sure, it’s easy to get 100 students, but can you keep them honestly and with integrity? In my seminar, I won’t give you the typical “used car salesman tactics”, nor any of the “get 100 students quick” schemes so prevalent in our industry these days. What I will give you are sustainable systems that have been proven with success, but that have also been strengthened by years of watching other people approach things in the “All icing and no cake” flavor of the month manner (most of whom no longer work within their communities). The systems I provide are not entirely new; however what I do offer is a strategy for proven business sustainability through personalized follow up, years of experience, as well as constant and honest communication within an underlying framework of integrity.

A common theme in our industry is the notion that “our competition is not other martial arts schools, our competition is soccer, baseball and hockey”. I would suggest that this is blatantly false. Baseball and hockey, AS WELL AS other martial arts schools, are our competition; but not in the Karate Kid /Cobra Kai method. If a martial arts school down the street from you gives people a horrible experience, 80% of them will NEVER TRY martial arts again. That means they will never get a chance to see what separates you from other schools. I believe it is our responsibility to help all martial arts academies raise the standards of teaching and caring for our students.

AWARDS

2019 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon
2018 GOLD Standard Award– EFC Mpower Martial Arts Summit 2018
2018 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon
2017 GOLD Standard Award– EFC Mpower Martial Arts Summit 2017
2017 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon 
2017 Readers Choice Award for Best in CUSTOMER SERVICE 
2017 Readers Choice Award for Best SMALL BUISNESS
2016 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon 
2016 Readers Choice Award for Best in CUSTOMER SERVICE
2015 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon 
2014 Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts School in Caledon

CERTIFICATIONS

Karate

Godan- 5th Degree Black Belt- June 2018 Shihan Trevor Lewis- Lewis’ Karate Schools
Yodan- 4th Degree Black Belt- June 2013 Shihan Trevor Lewis- Lewis’ Karate Schools
Sandan- 3rd Degree Black Belt- Nov 2006 Shihan Trevor Lewis- Lewis’ Karate Schools
Nidan- 2nd Degree Black Belt- Feb 2002 Shihan Trevor Lewis- Lewis’ Karate Schools
Shodan- 1st Degree Black Belt- June 2001 Shihan Trevor Lewis- Lewis’ Karate Schools

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

2nd Degree Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Oct. 2019 Master Royler Gracie, Gracie Humaita Association
1st Degree Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Sep 2016 Master Royler Gracie, Gracie Humaita Association
Professors Degree in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Sep 2014 Master Royler Gracie- Gracie Humaita Association
Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Sep 2013 Master Royler Gracie Gracie Humaita Association

Laurentian University

Bachelor of Arts- Psychology

What others have to say;

Mr. Jason has helped tremendously when in comes to running my martial arts academy. From class structure, schedule, paperwork , promotional stuff etc. Mr. Jason is the one I call whenever a question mark pops up when it comes to my business. Can’t thank him enough!

David “The Crow” Loiseau


Former UFC contender and owner of the Crow Training Center
When I first started my own martial arts academy Mr. Jason was very involved with the entire process. He always carried sound advice that helped my business grow. When problems occurred he was there to offer creative solutions that helped ease my stress. He encouraged me through tough times and shared business strategies that were immediately effective. Mr. Jason is a life long martial artist and his philosophy and mindset are ideal for anyone looking to take their business to the next level. Mr. Jason has a wealth of knowledge to share and I am glad to have him on our team.

-Jason Saggo



Former UFC Fighter and Owner of Summerside Martial Arts

Jason is one of the hardest working people I know and expects the same from people he is coaching. He tells the truth with integrity and does not hold back. His intention is always your best interest, even if it’s uncomfortable to hear in the moment. The investment of improvement is well worth the uncomfortable moment of hearing it.

Jason is an idea machine. His creativity sharpens your own, so just being around him will turn challenges into opportunities.
If you are thin skinned he is not for you. If you’re someone who wants to see results fast and can handle strong constructive criticism, Jason is your coach. He will change your business and life.

-Andrew Buckley



Owner of Cavalo Jiu-Jitsu Canada

Integrity in action at very step of the way!

-Claude “The Prince” Patrick



Former UFC Fighter and Owner of Elite MMA and Core Jiu-Jitsu



The Mantra On View
Venue Address:
22 View Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217,
Australia


Date And Time
Fri, May 1, 2020, 1:00 PM
Mon, May 4, 2020, 11:00 AM EDT
Location
Westin Tysons Corner
7801 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
United States


PAST EVENTS

Toronto Canada
November 9th and 10th
Hosted at : Canadian Black Belt Academy, 19 McEwan Drive West, Bolton Ontario Canada


2018 MPOWER Summit- Birthday Party Systems & Retention Based Marketing


2019 MPOWER Summit

Building your Schools Culture through Social Media and No Gimmick Honesty



2019 Gracie Humaita Association Annual Meeting- Day 4 Business Development Day

2018 Gracie Humaita Association Annual Meeting- Day 4 Business Development Day

Mr. Jason in the News





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How to Choose a Martial Arts Academy

Picking a style of martial arts to train is not as important as picking the right school to train in, and the right instructor to guide you along the way. There are more styles of teaching martial arts out there than there are martial arts, and how you go about picking a school may be the most important decision you make in your training. Just because someone has a black belt, doesn’t mean that they can teach, or that they are even decent people. Character is an approach to life, not a belt colour. You have to get to know your instructor as both a teacher and as a person, and if at any time it doesn’t feel like a good fit for you and your growth needs, don’t be afraid to go elsewhere. When you begin training martial arts, also remember that you are a customer first, and if you are not valued as such, this probably says a great deal about the character of the instructor, and the approach of the school. Some other things to look for in order to ensure a good fit when choosing a martial arts school are: Is the school clean? Does it offer multiple class times to fit your schedule? Are classes structured into belt ranks and skill levels, or are they open and unstructured? What are the instructor to student ratios? Is martial arts the owner’s full-time professional practice, pursued with passion and excellence, or is it merely a hobby? – Part-time effort often achieves part-time results. Are fees all-inclusive or are there steep add on costs for belts, testing, certificates etc.? Are the instructors being paid and held to a higher professional standard or are they volunteers? Does the school conduct back ground checks on instructors? Are instructors trained in CPR? Is there a defibrillator on site? Does the school invest in, and place an emphasis on, staff training? Does the school belong to a recognized Martial Arts sanctioning body? Is the school properly insured? – Most are not; Can you sit in on a class before joining? Are there testimonials available and can you speak directly to students / parents about their experiences? Remember, Martial Arts is not just a sport but is a life skill. It is about creating decent and contributing members of society above all else. A quality school should emphasize respect, self-control, self-defense, and discipline, and these tenets should be reflected in its teaching style, and in the atmosphere of the school. Ask the owner or instructor how they plan on teaching these things, and don’t be afraid to ask the kinds of questions outlined here.
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Connection with Your Child

Written by Mr Jason on March 19, 2020

Connection
One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is establish a connection with your child. In fact, children need connection more than anything else. 
Here are a few ways that you can begin to build a great connection with your child:

Daily Interactions:

  1. Make one-on-one connections with your child. Instead of asking a question from across the room, take an extra 15 seconds to walk to your child, get down on their level, maybe tap their shoulder or touch their arm, and ask the question. Chances are they will engage right away (instead of ignoring you) and answer you because you have made that personal connection.  
  • Connect with your child as many times per day as possible. Every positive connection with your child means fewer disconnected or frustrating moments for both of you.  
  • Begin positive connections when your child is young. The more positive connections you make early on, the better they will respond and communicate as they get older. Over time they will have a strong enough connection with you that you no longer need to be right in front of them for them to answer your question.
  • Reduce stressful interactions. Good connections reduce stress or cortisol, which is the stress hormone. If you get upset with your child, it makes them upset, too. By improving your connections daily, you begin to eliminate some of the obstacles in your communication with them which also eliminates stressful interactions

Boost their Neurotransmitters!

You can “up” your child’s neurotransmitters to build a better parent-child connection, which means improving your relationship with your child by giving them positive reinforcement in a variety of ways that will allow them to thrive, feel happy, and be healthy. 

  1. Tell your child about something that is going to happen that is exciting, so they can look forward to it. This improves the neurotransmitter Dopamine which is the anticipation chemical.  
  • Hug your child and let them know they are important. Oxytocin is the chemical that reacts through touching.
  • Give your child praise for good behavior or a job well done. This improves Serotonin which is about feeling satisfied.
  • Finally, give your child the chance to run and play or engage in a fun physical activity, especially when they are stressed or feel anxiety. Endorphins are engaged through active movement.

The last key bit of advice is to self-assess. How connected you think you are with your child right now? On a scale of 1 to 5 what grade would you give yourself? Put these tips into action and make a better connection with your child because the more you connect, the better.   

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January Week 1 Message of the Week-Goal Setting

Written by Mr Jason on January 3, 2020


Bolton Karate and Tottenham Karate
Every Week we share a positive message of the week for our students, parents and friends to reflect on.

“The most important thing about goals is having one.”

– Geoffrey f. Abert

GOAL SETTING: The process of identifying something that you want to accomplish.

The Karate belt system is one of the greatest systems created when it comes to setting and reaching goals. It teaches us to set goals, attain them and see the visual results of our achievements. Achieving a Black Belt in Karate has significant meaning and is associated with excellence. We can understand our goals with the visual aid of the different color belt system. If you are a new student, there are many short terms goals to reach — white belt, yellow belt, etc. The long term goal is to become a Black Belt. If you want to earn your Black Belt, set that as your long-term goal and talk to your instructors about a time frame. It takes years of hard work and dedication to achieve that goal, so don’t lose focus or get discouraged. Learning to set goals is key to success.

Learn the best of karate and kickboxing for self defense and world class fitness with the team here at Bolton and Tottenham’s Canadian Black Belt Academy Eleven to Twelve year olds, for the most part, are the smartest students in the school. Yes, they are smarter than most adults! They are also physically competent and can excel in most physical challenges that are presented to them. The problem we discovered is they are so focused on what is socially acceptable that they have a hard time keeping themselves emotionally driven to the task at hand.

The solution we found is to provide them with their own program that targets their stage of development in a manner that nurtures their social and emotional instability while at the same time building skills that set them up for success. With that said a structured program introducing extreme skill-based training in martial arts has proven to be very successful.


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A SILENT TRAGEDY

Written by Mr Jason on November 11, 2019

Here is a Great article I found that I think we should be sharing to every parent on the planet, change starts with you, read and share!
There is a silent tragedy that is unfolding today in our homes, and concerns our most precious jewels: our children. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! In the last 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:
Statistics do not lie:
• 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
• A 43% increase in ADHD has been noted
• A 37% increase in adolescent depression has been noted
• There has been a 200% increase in the suicide rate in children aged 10 to 14
What is happening and what are we doing wrong?
Today’s children are being over-stimulated and over-gifted with material objects, but they are deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:
• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits
• Responsibilities
• Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
• Movement in general but especially outdoors
• Creative play, social interaction, unstructured game opportunities and boredom spaces
Instead, in recent years, children have been filled with:
• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent and permissive parents who let children “rule the world” and whoever sets the rules
• A sense of right, of deserving everything without earning it or being responsible for obtaining it
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• A sedentary lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological nannies, instant gratification and absence of boring moments
What to do?
If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and get back to basics. It is still possible! Many families see immediate improvements after weeks of implementing the following recommendations:
• Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you have control of the helm.
• Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what children NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your children if what they want is not what they need.
• Provide nutritious food and limit junk food.
• Spend at least one hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching
• Enjoy a daily family dinner without smartphones or distracting technology.
• Play board games as a family or if children are very small for board games, get carried away by their interests and allow them to rule in the game
• Involve your children in some homework or household chores according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, unpacking food, setting the table, feeding the dog etc.)
• Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure your child gets enough sleep. The schedules will be even more important for school-age children.
• Teach responsibility and independence. Do not overprotect them against all frustration or mistakes. Misunderstanding will help them build resilience and learn to overcome life’s challenges,
• Do not carry your children’s backpack, do not carry their backpacks, do not carry the homework they forgot, do not peel bananas or peel oranges if they can do it on their own (4-5 years). Instead of giving them the fish, teach them to fish.
• Teach them to wait and delay gratification.
• Provide opportunities for “boredom”, since boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. Do not feel responsible for always keeping children entertained.
• Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it at the first second of inactivity.
• Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, shopping centers. Use these moments as opportunities to socialize by training the brains to know how to work when they are in mode: “boredom”
• Help them create a “bottle of boredom” with activity ideas for when they are bored.
• Be emotionally available to connect with children and teach them self-regulation and social skills:
• Turn off the phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
• Become a regulator or emotional trainer for your children. Teach them to recognize and manage their own frustrations and anger.
• Teach them to greet, to take turns, to share without running out of anything, to say thank you and please, to acknowledge the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values ​​you instill.
• Connect emotionally – smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, play or crawl with them.
I thank you if you share it.
Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos Psychiatrist.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=669567043510720&id=653944098406348
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Training Dates with your Children

Written by Mr Jason on October 7, 2019

You may hear your child’s instructor talking about practice time at home fairly often. This is because practicing can have a huge impact on a child’s ability to perform in class which will lead to more confidence. With more confidence comes the ability to achieve faster and farther!
 
Another great benefit to practicing at home is that this will allow YOU – the parent, an outlet to connect over something they are passionate about.
 
Often times parents feel like they have to go on extravagant outings and spend long periods of time to build that connection. But this can also lead to allowing perfectionism to stop us from finding opportunities. Maybe the location is booked, or the activities just aren’t good enough.
 
Setting aside time to practice with your ninja can be just as fulfilling and allow you the ability to connect more often! Wouldn’t that be great!?
 
Here are a few tips to help you master practice time:
 
1) Don’t worry about consistency
Wait, What!? For real! Don’t worry about making it an everyday thing (at first). Whenever you have some free time and the opportunity is there, take it! This allows you to start off easy, start by practicing for a few minutes whenever they pop up and build from there. The goal would be to build to a set schedule, but the keyword is “build”. Focus on staying in the moment and grabbing them whenever possible.
 
2) Simplicity
Don’t over think it. You do want to practice what your child will be doing in class, but it does not need to be perfect. You do not have to correct everything. Focus on connection and not perfection. Keep the smiles coming and laughs loud as you give your ninja your undivided attention.
 
3) Take advantage of your surroundings
If you are in a park, do some jumping kicks. Find a tree (or maybe a bush!) with some low hanging leaves and see if you can kick that high. In a grocery store, how about a game of “Think Fast”, just don’t break anything! If you are in a waiting room, ask to see their form or ask them to show you’re their blocks and strikes while sitting.
 
4) Improvise
If your Child has chores, take some time and do them together! You can easily turn sweeping the house, raking leaves, shoveling snow into an epic lightsaber battle! Improvise! Wax on Wax off, find a way to make it fun by including your martial arts and be creative!
 
These tips should help you find more ways to practice with your child. More importantly, remember that this is about connecting with your kids so have fun and smile!
Sincerely,
Mr Jason

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Summer time parenting tips!

Written by Mr Jason on August 6, 2019

By now summer is in full swing and we hope that everyone is taking advantage of our Day Time classes here at the Canadian Black Belt Academy! If you are looking for something fun to keep your ninja occupied this summer feel free to find us at the front desk or give us a call and ask about all the cool things going on this summer!

Today I wanted to offer a few tips on how to keep boredom at bay this summer! These are simple tips that you can implement NOW, and will help set your ninja up for success.

Communicate the plan

Every evening, take a few spare minutes and review the “plan” for the next day. A little bit of structure will go a long way and will also help everything go smoothly. If possible, try to include 45min-1hr of physical activity doing things such as swimming, biking or practicing your forms!

Work together to develop effective summertime habits

Many parents will set boundaries and limitations for their kids which is great, but if you include your kids in the process they will better understand the “how” and “why”. This will help them better understand why certain things are limited and also help them find ways to keep themselves entertained. Talk with your ninja and determine how much electronics time per day & week are appropriate. Then work together to come up with a list of activities they enjoy!

Be a good role model

Get outdoors and show them how much fun it is to be active! Children will often make better choices when their role models are doing the same, do so and they will be more willing to give it a try! This can be as easy as having them teach you how to play a game! You can even take it to the next level and have them teach you how to do a few kicks or a form!

We hope that this has given you a few ideas to use when tackling summer boredom! If you are out and about or on vacation don’t forget we would love to stay in contact by posting a picture or video on our FB page. We hope you are enjoying your summer and can’t wait to see everyone back on the mat!

Sincerely,

Mr. Jason

Canadian Black Belt Academy

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3 Nighttime Rituals to Build Momentum

Written by Mr Jason on July 22, 2019

I cannot emphasize how important it is to have daily rituals to help you stay focused, motivated, and productive in the New Year…

In this post, I am going to share with you rituals you can do before going to bed to help you sleep well at night, and wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the next day!

Ritual 1: Chapter, article, or blog

Regardless of the content you absorb during the day, make it a nighttime ritual to read at least 1 chapter of a book, article in a magazine, or blog. This will stimulate your mind before bed, which I find beneficial because I tend to solve problems in my dreams.

Ritual 2: 3 wins

After stimulating your brain, write down 3 wins from the day. They don’t always have to be 3 big wins, so dig deep into your day to identify even the smallest accomplishments. Sometimes the small wins are more rewarding, so this is an important mindset to have.

Ritual 3: Gratitude journal

Finish your day writing down what you grateful for. This strategy is crucial before bed so that you are focused on positive thoughts. The more positive you are before bed, the more positive your dreams are, and hence, the more positive you will be the next day!

I hope these rituals become a part of your nighttime habit, and you experience more MOMENTUM in your day!
 
Thanks to Melody Johnson for writing this so well.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mr Jason

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The Key to Increased Motivation and Focus in Children and Teens

Written by Mr Jason on July 9, 2019

DOPAMINE
The Key to Increased Motivation and Focus in Children and Teens

Have you ever wondered why children and teens seem to be so addicted to their smart phones and other devices? Parents are frustrated with their children’s lack of attention and motivation but what do their devices have to do with this? The answer is found in science!
 
Often referred to as the “motivator molecule,” dopamine is a “feel good” chemical that is released in the brain which helps us focus and feel motivated. When dopamine levels are low, it can result in symptoms such as difficulty focusing, decreased motivation, trouble problem-solving, and social anxiety. Therefore, many ADHD medications target dopamine levels.
 
When children and teens have low dopamine levels, we often find that they spend more time on video games and smartphone apps, and some tend to be thrill seekers. These things give a boost of dopamine, which makes them feel good and then leads to them seeking out more of the same thing. This constant boost of dopamine keeps them coming back for more.
 
The reason is because dopamine is part of the reward pathway of the brain. When something is interesting or exciting, a surge of dopamine rushes to the brain. Much like the excitement we feel when we are preparing for a trip or waiting for dessert, the anticipation of receiving a reward tells the brain to release dopamine. This release tells our brain that this event is worth getting more of. And so, the cycle begins.
 
The great thing about dopamine is that it can help modify behavior in a positive way, when done correctly. Because of the pleasure that dopamine makes us feel, we are more motivated to learn and, therefore, we retain information better. This is because the dopamine creates new neurological pathways in the brain. When we find activities that are pleasurable, we learn more from them and keep doing them.
 
Now that we understand the neuroscience surrounding dopamine, how can we, as parents, teachers, coaches, and anyone who works with children, use this information? We must create a learning environment that is exciting and produces the “anticipation of accomplishment.”
 
The CBBA program does this by teaching with the brain in mind and utilizing game-based learning. Along with this, two of the Teaching skills that are used in class are specifically designed to increase the students’ dopamine levels.
 
  • Trickery: The use of “trickery” as a teaching skill in class helps the students focus, which ultimately leads to better listening skills. For example, when playing a game and the students are waiting for the instructor to say “go,” the instructor can trick the students by saying “goose” or “go cart” instead. This excites the students but also motivates them to listen better and, therefore, be more focused.
 
  • Intrinsic Motivation: The use of “intrinsic motivation” in class helps the students become more motivated, which leads to more confidence. For example, to get students more motivated from within, the instructor can say “You only have to do 5 pushups but if you want to be a Black Belt do 10 pushups, if you want to be a master do 5 pushups, but if you want to make me and your parents proud and show you are the best student, do 20 pushups.”
 
By utilizing these techniques, students get a rush of dopamine because they anticipate the events in class, stay focused, listen better, and are motivated to do their best. They feel good in class and they come back wanting more!
 
-written by Jennifer Salama

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Remembrance Day and Martial Arts - A tribute to our Veterans

Written by Mr Jason on November 10, 2018

In honour of Remembrance Day, I’d like to take a moment to salute our Veterans – those fallen and those still with us today – for their service to our country. May we remember the men and women who unselfishly fought for our freedom in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and all conflicts and peacekeeping missions since.

Today, we pay our respects to members of the Canadian Armed Forces – but also to the Veterans who serve and protect us every day – the RCMP, our local police officers, firefighters, and community peacekeepers.

May we recognize the extraordinary strength, courage, and self-discipline of these individuals, and always train and live by their principles.

Modesty – Courtesy – Integrity – Self-control – Perseverance – Indomitable Spirit

The above represent some of key virtues of Martial Artists. These principles are woven into our academy’s creed. They also align with the virtues of all those who have served and continue to serve Canada, in times of war, conflict, and peace.

As Martial Artists, we resonate with the spirit and self-discipline demonstrated by our special forces. We also train to defend ourselves and those unable to defend themselves – to protect and stand up for what is right and good.

I’d like to remind our students of these parallels, recognizing the connection that Martial Arts have to many of our fallen and still-serving heroes.
In addition to sharing similar ethics and philosophies, Martial Arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices which have long supported unarmed military combative training. Most armed forces teach some form of unarmed combat, where military personnel learn a combination of striking and self-defence techniques as part of their training. These skills contribute to the physical and psychological strength required to carry out national defense duties. For these reasons, Martials Arts have been known to support the growth and development of military personnel and police personnel.

A few years ago, we had the honour of running a Combatives Course for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (pictured below). It was a privilege to work with these exceptional young men. Over the course of a year, we taught them hand-to-hand combat techniques and various ways in which Martial Arts can support their self-defence and self-discipline.

On behalf of our academy, I extend our deepest gratitude and respect to the outstanding soldiers for their demonstrated discipline and dedication during our program – and for their service to our country.

And so, as we observe Remembrance Day this year, I urge all of our students, instructors, and parents to recognize our Veterans and public servant heroes. Make an effort to take a moment of silence, to pay your tributes, and to participate in community activities (CaledonGTA) held in support of Veterans and their families.

As we pass on the Martial Arts tradition to each new generation at our academy, may we honour all of our Veterans and continue to train in their indomitable spirit every day.

Lest We Forget.
-Mr. Jason
 
Professor Jason Figliano
Owner and Head Instructor
Canadian Black Belt Academy

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Let em hash it out - Why its okay to fight back against bullies

Written by Mr Jason on October 12, 2018

A bully shoves your child on the playground. Should they stand down, or fight back?

Most parents would teach their kid to ignore the bully, walk away, or get help.

I say, fight back — and hear me out. 

Whether they’re the bullied or the bully, our kids will experience bullying at some point in their childhood. In fact, they’ll continue to face it in some way or another throughout their adult life. But research shows that parents and schools are doing a poor job at preparing our kids for dealing with bullies, and consequently, for the realities of life.

In fact, a growing number of clinical psychologists say that teaching our kids to ‘take the hit and seek support later’ is NOT the way to curb bullying.
Shocking, I know. We’ve all read the articles arguing that the appropriate response to bullying is to identify and prevent the root of the problem – and that an ‘eye for an eye’ isn’t the solution. To some extent, I agree. It’s our job as parents to ensure our kids don’t grow into bullies. It’s our job as teachers to address bullying in schools and to work to prevent it. But, no matter how hard we try to shut bullying down, the reality is, our world is unkind. Kids will be mean. And, mean kids often grow into mean adults if their behaviour isn’t checked. So, if you truly think that we shouldn’t teach our kids to fight back – to rightfully defend themselves in the face of abuse – then I call B.S. Because, I know that NO parent wants their child to accept victimization.

Here’s the reality. By telling our children to constantly ‘stand down’ and ‘walk away,’ we’re impeding their self-confidence and ability to defend themselves when threatened with violence. In fact, ‘zero-tolerance’ policies on the playground may actually prevent your child from protecting him or herself against a bully’s attack. Most of the time, these policies don’t stop bullies from hurting others. But, they may prevent more obedient children from defending themselves with equal force when attacked.

Don’t get me wrong. NOBODY has the right to hurt another person. However, when it does happen, a victim’s fear of being disciplined for responding with force only punishes that child further. Succumbing to a playground bully’s abuse and walking away may mean your child is unable able to play in a specific area or with a certain friend without being picked on. This teaches our kids to accept defeat, which often only feeds the bully’s power. Some psychologists even argue that when physical attacks are not met with some degree of physical response, they tend to happen again. If the bully discovers that they can push your child around, they will continue to do so.

Several studies on primary school-aged children argue that submission to bullies only increases a child’s risk of ongoing abuse at school. One U.S. survey actually found that the most successful anti-bullying strategies reported by victims is counter-aggressionOthers even suggest that ‘fighting back’ can increase social cohesion and mutual respect in the long run.

This is why many professionals are urging parents to give their children permission to ‘fight back’ against bullies – even if it means getting detention. I say, instead of overprotecting our kids and sugar-coating conflict resolution strategies, we should let them fight their own battles. By teaching children to stand down, or worse, by rescuing them from facing their bullies (be it that playground a**hole or your kid’s first boss), parents are sheltering kids from realizing their own courage and responsibility. This fails to prepare them with the experience and confidence they need to face the hardships of real life.

No, I’m not suggesting we allow our kids to beat the crap out of each other. This is not what we teach. We recognize that responding to violence with violence, often only leads to more violence, and that doesn’t solve anything. But, what we should NOT do is frighten our kids with zero-tolerance policies that limit their ability to defend themselves. Instead, we give them the courage and permission to stick up for themselves and for others. And sometimes, that means fighting fire with fire.

The key is to know how and when to use that fire. That’s where Martial Arts can help. We teach our students the wisdom of self-defence, and the virtues of respect, self-control, and accountability – critical tools that help our kids protect themselves against bullies.


So, I’ll end with this. As parents and teachers, it’s our duty to ensure our kids know not only how to defend themselves, but that they can defend themselves. If we don’t teach them to stand tall and fight back, then how do we expect them to survive the realities of the real world?

For more on helping your kid ‘fight back’ against bullying, check these out:
  1. Fighting back may stop some children from being bullied
  2. New anti-bullying trend: Teaching victims to fight back
  3. When To Teach Our Kids To Fight Back, So We Don’t Raise Bystanders
  4. 5 Ways Martial Arts Can Completely Stop Bullying

For other (more conservative) bullying prevention tips, check out the Public Safety Canada’s Overview of Approaches to Address Bullying and Cyberbullying.

-Mr. Jason
 
Professor Jason Figliano
Owner and Head Instructor
Canadian Black Belt Academy

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Want to see your students grow- Leave your ego at the door.

Written by Mr Jason on August 27, 2018

I love teaching and training Jiu-Jitsu, but I don’t always like coaching it in tournaments. Now, contrary to what you might think, this is not a pride thing. Some coaches really can’t stand to see their students lose in tournaments, and that is the problem. While we all want our students to win, it’s more important for them not to lose. Let me explain. 

When my students compete in tournaments with the mindset toeither win OR not lose, then both the coach and competitor go into the match focusing on self-awareness and growth. For our students, ‘not losing’ means remembering to relax, focusing on their breath, control, and on self-improvement. For coaches, this means helping students practice humility while exhibiting self-confidence, knowing what to look out for, and creating safe and healthy competitive environments. By focusing on these elements and leaving our egos behind, we can help ensure students don’t lose, even when they don’t win.

Unfortunately, when the heat of competition takes over, some coaches forget this. I’ve seen too many instructors get carried away at tournaments when screaming commands to their competitors. I (and I’m sure other spectators feel the same way) get frustrated with instructors who ‘over coach’ aggressively from the sidelines, shouting out techniques over and over from the top of their lungs.

Classic example: One coach screams at their competitor – “go for the arm lock!!” – the other coach turns around and yells back at his competitor – “he/she is going for an armlock!” – What’s worse? Mixed and confusing commands: “Go for the arm bar! Wait no, for the triangle! Go for the triangle!” – no student wins in this situation.

This can be stressful and disadvantageous to competitors in the moment. It is also the type of coaching that can manifest into an obsessive fixation on competitive success, which can be detrimental to students’ growth. When tournaments become all about winning, competitors often experience greater difficulty learning and growing, within and outside of the competition. Their desire to win may blind them from seeing potential opportunities during and after the match. What’s more, after losing a tournament, that competitive desire is followed by self-disappointment and defeat. This vicious cycle can paralyze a student’s ability to reflect, learn, and move forward.

So, here’s my question: What kind of growth do you want to see in your student? Are they players in a video game that you want to control in the match in order to win that medal? Or, do you want to see them come to their own conclusions within the stress of the match and grow as individuals?

In Martial Arts, it’s impractical to try and control the player in the game. It’s their game, not yours. We are not there to work our students like puppets on a string just for the win. Our job is to look out for what they might be missing – whether that’s keeping up their guard, focusing on their footwork, or watching the time. We’re there to encourage our students to do better by giving them constructive ideas on how they can change the fight to their advantage.

All too often coaches forget to exhibit the virtues that they preach to students. If you think your most important role as a coach is to win matches, then you are losing, and your students will lose too. Let’s focus on not losing by helping our students grow as individuals so that they become stronger and better people, both on and off the mats.

I always say that coaching is a lot like parenting. Both involve knowing the inner-workings of human psychology. And, at the end of the day, we both want to see our young people grow and walk on their own two feet. That, to me, is a win.


For more on leaving your ego behind in Martial Arts (for students, parents, and coaches), check these out:

-Mr. Jason
 
Professor Jason Figliano
Owner and Head Instructor
Canadian Black Belt Academy

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If you have not been set up with a Black Belt Coach yet, please email us first so we can assign you one. 

INFO@CANADIANBLACKBELTACADEMY.COM

Use the following links to book your private lesson with one of our Black Belt Coaches. Please note that all students are allowed one private lesson per week. Ensure that you are ready 5 minutes before hand and signed on. All correspondence should go through either the Instagram Group Chat or via Email.


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Re-Opening Protocols Amidst COVID-19

We are glad to share with you in the attached PDF file our plan and response to COVID-19 and how we can all cope and manage as we return to training. Please take the time to read this for the health and safety of your family. We are here for you should you have any questions or clarifications. 

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