Martial Arts Blog

Warrior Martial Arts Academy Co-Founder Profiled in News Story

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Warrior Martial Arts Academy co-founder Pamela Cohen was profiled in a recent article featured on Frisco-OnLine.com. This profile tells her story of a life dedicated to martial arts, from beginning lessons at age four to now running three schools. Check out this clip from “Lifetime of Work Pays Off for Entrepreneurial Collin County Woman”:

While watching her organization expand has been a source of pride for Pamela, seeing her students’ personal growth has been even more exciting. “We just held a Black Belt test,” said Pamela, “and it was great seeing how all the kids have improved since they started. By that I don’t just mean their martial arts skills. They’ve developed their leadership skills, and that’s great to see.”

You can read the full piece here.


Teens Are Now More Stressed Than Parents!? How Martial Arts Can Help

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Think about how stressful life gets as an adult. Worrying about work, paying bills and supporting a family can seem overwhelming. With that in mind, the American Psychological Association released a report parents of teens may find shocking. New research shows teenagers may be more stressed out than their parents. Even more worrisome, the study states high school students’ problems will continue into adulthood if they don’t “reverse their current trajectory of chronic illness, poor health and shorter lifespans.” Kids and teens need an outlet to blow off steam, and many have found that in martial arts.

Any age can make a change when it comes to healthily handling life’s difficulties. Martial arts help kids and adults develop positive, responsible strategies for dealing with stress. If these skills are taught at an early age, they can set a child up for success throughout their teenage and adult years.


Improved Outlook on Life –Martial arts emphasize confidence, physical fitness and teamwork. This foundation of skills help kids and teens grow into responsible, balanced adults. The positive results help children out with current challenges, resulting in improved grades and lower stress levels.

Accepting Their Body – Some advertisements for beauty, health and weight loss products contain an ugly message: Your body has to look a certain way, or it’s worthless. Kids may start believing this falsehood after hearing it over and over again. Martial arts counteract this. In a dojo, it’s not about what a body looks like. The focus is on what a body can do, regardless of size or shape. It sends a positive message to children that abilities matter more than appearance.

Self-Discipline – One of the most important ways martial arts help children is teaching them to concentrate on a task from start to finish. On the mat, persistence and practice trump instant gratification. Learning the values of patience, respect for others and discipline at a young age helps cut stress levels later in life.

Self-Esteem – Confidence isn’t a trait everyone is born with, but it can be built by achieving goals. In martial arts, kids are constantly focused on completing their goals. Their self-esteem is given boosts both big and small whenever they learn a new technique or earn their next belt rank.

Respect – It’s one of the foundations of martial arts. Children learn to positively interact with authority figures. That means they’re prepared for everything from taking lessons under a teacher or meetings with their future boss.

Physical Fitness – Kids and adults become stronger, more flexible and healthier through martial arts training. These skills even carry over to other sports they participate in. Exercising reduces stress, helping both their physical and mental health.

Listening Skills –Today’s world moves fast. When information can come instantly through text messages, Facebook and other sources, it can be difficult for kids to develop attention spans long enough to take in lessons during school. The kind of focus martial arts builds in kids not only can help them pay attention in class, but later in their lives as well.

Teamwork – Kids aren’t alone during their martial arts training. They learn with support both from instructors and students. This team-centered environment helps children learn to navigate working with others, an essential skill both in school and life.

Socialization Skills – People who share common interests tend to get to know each other. In a martial arts class, peers from diverse backgrounds have a common bond. That helps them learn to relate and work with others in friendly, positive ways.

Anti-Bullying and Non-Violent Conflict Resolution – Over three million kids skip school due to bullying every month. Bullying at any age can be a huge source of stress. That’s why it’s absolutely essential kids learn non-aggressive, positive ways to deal with this important issue. Martial arts training can help students to respond in non-violent, calm and controlled ways when handling these difficult situations.


Life can be stressful. That fact isn’t changing anytime soon. Young children, teens and adults can still learn healthy ways to deal with stress through martial arts training. The earlier in life these skills are learned, the longer they’ll last.

The Rise of the House of Gracie

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How One Family Made Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Into an International Phenomenon

The Gracie family name wasn’t always synonymous with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Their success as martial artists is the result of disciplined training and hard work beginning almost 100 years ago.  This story begins in 1917, when Carlos Gracie began learning a style of Judo from Mitsuyo Maeda.

Starting Small

Carlos went on to pass his martial arts skills on to his brothers. However, one of his smaller siblings struggled with moves requiring him to directly oppose an opponent’s strength. That man was Helio Gracie. He would go on to adapt these techniques so that smaller martial artists could take down larger opponents. This was the birth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The Challenge

Carlos Gracie submitted the famous Gracie Challenge in the 1920s. In an effort to promote and develop Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he and his brothers dared martial artists of all styles and abilities to test their mettle in the ring. The only rules were the match could only end by submission or knockout.

Many martial artists accepted the Gracie challenge. Few won. The reputation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the Gracies began to spread.

From a Garage to Greatness

After the birth of a second generation of Gracies, some of the family migrated to America. There, Rorion and Royce Gracie began teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu out of their garage.

From these humble beginnings a martial arts empire arose. Rorion helped host the first UFC match in 1993, in which Royce would compete. This bout was meant as a test to find the most effective martial arts style in the world. Royce was chosen to represent the family and step into the ring, where he gained the title of champion.

The members of the Gracie family are some of the best martial artists to ever live. However, this isn’t the result of raw talent or innate ability. The Gracies simply worked and trained until they possessed the leadership to build a martial arts dynasty, the discipline to work tirelessly to unlock their potential, respect for their opponents and the confidence to believe all things were possible.

Completing the Journey to Black Belt

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Every martial arts student has thought about quitting his or her training. It’s natural for your child to feel frustrated when they’re learning a new skill. You may hear them talk about how it doesn’t seem like they’re improving, or that they’ve hit a wall. There’s one difference between students who go on to become black belts and those who don’t: the black belts never gave up during hard times.

The journey to black belt isn’t a steady climb towards mastery. There will be peaks and valleys on the path to your child’s goal. Weeks will go by where they quickly learn each new technique, as well as times when they’ll struggle finding the motivation to attend class.

This is normal. Learning to overcome obstacles is an essential skill taught by martial arts. You can be an important part of helping your child learn the value of discipline and perseverance. The next time your child talks about being stuck in a rut, try considering these three tips:


Put It In Perspective – Some students feel overwhelmed while preparing for a tournament or belt testing. When this happens, help them take a step back and consider their training in a new light. Instead of focusing how far they have to go, look at how far they’ve already come. Techniques that challenged them in the past are now performed easily. Remind them that if they keep training, what they struggle with now today seem simple in the future.


Look Outside the Mat – Sometimes when a student is having trouble staying motivated, it’s caused by something in their lives outside of martial arts. Are they worried out about an upcoming exam in school, or dealing with other issues? That sort of stress can creep into their other activities, including training. Taking a holistic view of their life can help you pinpoint what exactly is stressing out your child.


Communication is Key – Remember, you can always talk to our instructors whenever your child is feeling stuck. They have years of experience keeping kids pushing through the hard times. If you want tips for keeping your child motivated, all you have to do is ask their instructor.

Congrats to Our NAGA 2013 Winners!

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Congratulations to all of our WARRIORS who competed at NAGA on December 14th. Everyone’s months of training and hard work payed off. Several students placed in the tournament, and we’d like to take a moment to congratulate those who brought back medals. Here’s the results:


Jake Clark – Bronze in gi, Silver in no gi.
George Alejandro – Bronze in gi, Silver in no gi.
Gabe Wilde – Silver in gi and no gi.
Karson Mitchell – Bronze in gi, gold in no gi.



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The upcoming Picture Day will be rescheduled for a later date. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to schedule you appointment in the lobby. We will announce the new date for Picture Day at a later time.


Four Mind-Blowing Muay Thai Facts

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Maybe you’ve practiced “the science of eight limbs” in class, but how much do you really know about Muay Thai? Seeing as Warrior Martial Arts Academy is hosting a free Muay Thai seminar with EFC Champion Jason House on November 18th, we put together this list of fun facts about one of the most popular martial art styles used today. Train your brain with these informational tidbits ranging from funny to far-out.

From Nine Weapons to Eight Limbs

Before there was Muay Thai, there was Muay Boran. This ancestor of Muay Thai doesn’t describe single style. Muay Boran is an umbrella term describing all the unarmed martial arts of Thailand before modern rules and equipment were introduced in the 1930s.

While Muay Thai is famous for utilizing the “eight limbs” of a fighter’s hands, legs, elbows and knees, Muay Boran uses “nine weapons.” If you want to know what that means, just use your head… literally. Muay Boran also added headbutts as a ninth strike for its martial artists to incorporate.

What’s In a Name?

Muay Thai training in Thailand took commitment during the 1800’s. We’re not just talking about how aspiring martial artists had to leave their families and move into special Muay Thai camps with intense training regimens. Trainees at these camps were considered part of one big family. They were so much like family that students replaced their last name with the name of the camp they trained at! Be glad that tradition fell out of practice. Imagine the weird looks you would get today if your name were something like “Alex Warrior-Martial-Arts-Academy.”

 Muay Thai Saved a Prisoner of War’s Life… 

…well, at least according to Thai folklore. In 1767, invading Burmese armies took thousands of Thais as prisoners. This included a bunch of Thailand’s best kickboxers. These poor souls were rounded up and taken back to Burma

Flash forward to 1774. The Burmese king Hsinbyushin was throwing a wild seven-day, seven-night festival that would make Mardi Gras look like a prim and proper tea party. His majesty decided to see how Thailand’s kickboxing compares to Burmese boxing. To test this, the king selected a man named Nai Khanomtom to fight against the Burmese champion.

Prior to the fight, Nai did a traditional pre-match dance honoring his teachers, the audience and other important figures. Once Nai finished getting his groove on, he soundly trounces Burma’s champion. Referees at the match declare Nai’s victory was invalid, because his smooth moves distracted his opponent too much before their bout!

So what did Nai do to prove his skills? He beat nine more opponents in a row, with no breaks in between matches. The Burmese king was so impressed he granted Nai his freedom.

One Muay Thai Champion Retired for an Awesome Reason

This martial arts story may sound fictional, but it’s actually 100% true. One of the most famous Muay Thai arenas is Lumpinee Stadium; it’s kind of like Thailand’s version of Madison Square Garden. From 1981 – 1985 a man named Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn was the Lumpinee Stadium Lightweight champion. Famous for his devastating knee strikes, Dieselnoi had a career record of 50 wins and only four losses before retiring.

What forced Dieselnoi into hanging up his gloves? The man had run out of opponents. At the end of his four-year winning streak, no one would go up against this martial arts master.

Hopefully these fun facts will get you excited about Muay Thai’s fascinating history. If you want to get some real Muay Thai training with a world-class martial artist, make sure you come to our seminar with EFC champion Jason House on November 18th. You can also contact Warrior Martial Arts online with any questions you have about our regularly scheduled mixed martial arts classes.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: To accommodate for our Muay Thai seminar on November 18th, classes will be combined that day. Full schedule and time changes below:


LITTLE WARRIORS: 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

WARRIOR 1/2/3: 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

LEADERSHIP: 4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

WARRIOR BASIC: 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm



We’re doing this to make sure all our warriors can make it to the great training session with Jason House. The kids seminar will take place for 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, while adults and kids will train from 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm. See you all there!


Free Muay Thai Seminar with EFC Champion Jason House

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Martial artists of all ages and skill levels can come train with Element Fighting Championship’s Welterweight champion Jason House for free on November 18th. This seminar will be at our Frisco school, with a kids class from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm and adults from 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm. Both sessions are open to the public to attend, so please bring any friends and family members who would be interested in learning from this world-class martial artist.

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After being introduced to the sport of boxing when he was one year old, Jason continued to study various martial arts as a teen including Tae Kwon Do and Akido. This lifelong passion for martial arts drove him to become a professional MMA competitor in 2001. Jason has a winning record for the 14 professional fights he has participated in at events such as King of the Cage, Ultimate Texas Showdown and Maximum Fighting Championship.

Jason is one of three people worldwide to be certified as an instructor by six time World Muay Thai Champion Saekson Janjira. Over the past 12 years as a martial arts instructor, Jason has taught students in disciplines including Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing. Jason has also trained with multiple highly regarded martial artists including Kenny McClure, Samart Payakaroon and Yousef Alirezaei.

This combination of championship competition and instructional experience makes this seminar an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. We’re proud to continue our tradition of bringing world-class martial artists and instructors to our students. Please arrive wearing Gi pants and a Warrior Martial Arts t-shirt. Please invite all your friends and family who may want to learn from Jason House’s expertise.

Martial Arts Cross Training

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How Cross-Training in Martial Arts Benefits Kids

“Cross-training” involves engaging in two or more sports.  Cross training provides fitness, variety, academic and psychosocial benefits and prevents injury to young athletes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids cross-train on a regular basis. Cross training that includes martial arts is especially beneficial because martial arts is also a total body-and-mind exercise.

The ABCs of Cross Training

Cross-training ABCs is an excellent way to improve conditioning for young athletes, advocates Mark Verstegen, performance coach to Major League ball players. A = agility, B = balance, C = coordination, S = speed. The ABCs are vital skills to become a good athlete and develop a variety of other skills, muscle groups and game senses.

Good Academic Grades

The American College of Sports Medicine reveals the link between physical activity in children and academic performance: active children perform better in school, are better able to concentrate, possess stronger self-esteem and self-belief, have improved motor skills, cooperation and teamwork. Non-athletic children can benefit from non-competitive activities such as biking, swimming, jogging, dancing or playing games like tag.


Cross Training martial arts with other sports such as football, soccer, baseball or lacrosse, provides physical and mental conditioning, strength-training, and flexibility. Year-round fitness is important for kids to get into shape so they have more fun and become a more successful player.

Injury Prevention

Conditioning and rest are important keys to preventing injuries. The body gets imbalanced if your child only plays one sport without any other conditioning sports. Insufficient rest after an injury results in overuse injuries to muscles and bones. About half the injuries in middle and high school students are overuse injuries.

Psychosocial Benefits

Athletes who are also martial artists may experience diverse psychosocial traits such as goal setting, encouraging good moral and ethical development, personal growth, initiative, self-discipline, being more focused on school and an ability to work with others.

A Coach/Mentor’s Role

Youth coaches make a great commitment to a sport, but it’s also a huge responsibility. The instructor acts as a positive role model, influences the athlete’s behavior through modeling, provides your child with the support, encouragement and guidance when he/she needs it the most, and inspires your child.

An Example:  From the Head Coach, Frisco Bulldogs youth football team

“As a youth football coach, I love to get a kid on my team who is training at Warrior Martial Arts Academy, as I consider football a martial art. The techniques used in both football and the mixed martial arts style taught at Warrior Martial Arts Academy are very similar regarding using their hands, foot placement and leverage; so teaching our football techniques to boys who have already learned similar techniques in their martial arts training is much quicker, as the techniques translate so well across both sports. An additional benefit that is not just related to sports; the boys who have martial arts training are generally more confident and disciplined than boys who have not received the training.”

In addition to training bodies, athletics helps shift young athlete’s mindset to become more conscientious. Martial arts are a complimentary sport for enhancing athletic skills.