In these times of work stress, financial worry, and hectic lifestyles, people are increasingly turning to martial arts as a different way to improve health.
Galway man Shane Fitzgibbon is an experienced Taekwon-do instructor, accomplished competitor (10 world medals, four gold ), health and fitness author, and personal trainer. He has put in place a system that he believes to be as important as the four wheels of a car — the four pillars of Taekwon-do training for true health and fitness. These are Taekwon-do skills and mental training; flexibility; conditioning (aerobic fitness, core strength, etc ); and nutrition (for maximum health, reduced likelihood of chronic disease, etc ).
“Our classes tend to focus on a variety of different exercises which members can do at home between classes,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “This provides them with increased variety in workouts.”
A key factor missing from many other fitness class environments is “specification of exercises” for the members. It is well known from the latest physical therapy research that exercises that will be good for one person may be bad for another. The days of giving the whole class the same exercise to perform regardless of individual needs should be passed. In Fitzgibbon’s organisation, Connacht Taekwon-do Schools, the instructors are constantly learning and applying beneficial stretches and conditioning routines that will help and not hinder members’ progress.
Fitzgibbon’s Taekwon-do Academy is one of the few martial arts centres in Ireland that takes a holistic approach to health and wellness by offering lifestyle and nutritional assessments to its students.
The acquired discipline achieved through Taekwon-do training in a fun environment helps to alleviate the day to day mental stresses of modern society.
For children there are also tremendous benefits in taking up a martial art. Apart from helping to tackle the problem of increased obesity among children, many parents report other benefits. For example, improved results at schools due to the increased concentration levels resulting from the mental focus taught in Taekwon-do classes are commonplace. Other benefits include increased self-esteem, confidence, leadership qualities, respect towards oneself and others.
Taekwon-do classes are run by Shane Fitzgibbon and his colleagues all over the county. To find the classes nearest you, visit the website www.connacht-taekwondo.com or phone (087 ) 2070577.