Krav Maga Classes for Children in Need

I would like to show gratitude to all those who have contributed to BC Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hunger Fund in helping children in need. In particular to those who are listed on our Sponsor/Supporter page of the event website: http://www.mariofitfightingforkids.com/

I know many of you are keen to continue donating and I am thankful that Simon Kaebe from teccrab online services inc. will extend his management on my website and the fundraising pages to the end of this year (2012).

Last week, I was very excited to have the opportunity to lead a seminar on Krav Maga at Burnaby Karate Academy by the request of Mr. Sandeep Gill. At this class, I taught specific martial arts condition for top karate students. Again, the fundraising doesn’t simply stop at the competition. I am extending it to other aspects of my life – such as teaching krav maga (Israeli Self Defense) classes.

Thank you to the many top champions and medalists who attended such as Derek Chan, Matt Bickel, Arash Beytoei, Cedomir Vasic, Kyle Macmillan, and many others. At this seminar, we are proud to have raised $410 to help Children’s Hunger Fund towards children without homes or food.

Furthermore, as a Full Force Padded coach with KidPower International, I will soon be instructing a kid/parent anti-bullying and self defense workshop at Mr. Gill’s dojo. His goal is to not only help his students gain more confidence, but to assist in helping more children through Children’s Hunger Fund!

If you are part of a club and are interested, I would be thrilled to give self-defense and martial arts conditioning seminar for your club members! These seminars will be based on individual personal donations for either BC Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hunger Fund.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time by phone 604 -725-9002 or e-mail: mariofit@ymail.com, to learn more or have any questions.

Cheers,

Mario

 

 

Winning Silver and Thank You!

I apologize for being behind in this blog and I owe an explanation to everyone who have been following me in the last few weeks. I decided to take a day off from my computer and reflect on what happened at the competition.

After the last few weeks of intense training, a day of rest and spending time with my family was in order. My 6 years old daughter, Lara, stayed very close to me the entire Sunday evening after the competition finished as well as on the following day.  My younger daughter, Cora (almost 4 year), has been playing with my medal and asking when I will bring home a medal for mommy, one for Lara, one for her and one for her grandmom. Isn’t that cute? But then, how can I make my daughter understand that it is not an easy task to get a medal? Plus, she was asking for 4 of them.

I am very excited to announce that I received a silver medal after placing second in the men’s kumite (fighting) competition +84 kg! This means that I am qualified to represent British Columbia at the Nationals in Toronto in March 2013.

More importantly, fighting in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial championship is dedicated to raising awareness for kids in desperate need of food and medicine. I hope that I have accomplished my task to attract people’s attention to this event so that they can connect with many kids who need help. Although winning was great, for me, the purpose was raising awareness and making the right connections with the right people.

Speaking about the competition, I have to recognize that in merely eight months since the 2012 Karate National Championship (held at the Richmond Olympic Oval in March 2012) many of the BC Elite Karate Athletes was performing at the national tournament. They undoubtedly impressed me with their improved performances and I saw many great fights between great athletes.

There are many people who were so supportive on the competition day and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone:

  • Firstly, I would like to thank my wife Daniela and her never-ending patience in being there for me and taking care of our two little daughters.
  • Thank you to all my friends and supporters who cheering me on and to those who messaged and emailed me with encouragement on Sunday.
  • My appreciation goes to my friends from the West End. Instead of meeting for coffee at Blenz as per usually, they came to cheer for me this time.
  • A huge thank you to Simon Kaebe from teccrab online services inc. for spending the long day working with me even though he was sick! Also, I would like to show my appreciation to Queenie Wong, from INTERNeX International Exchange and an assistant to Simon, for her constant update on the social media and blogs. They have both played a huge part in this event process for the past few months.
  • I also want to express gratitude to Daniel-Sorin Nica from DuraSeal for his support and motivational thoughts.  Twenty-five years ago, he was one of my karate club assistant and one of the finest fighters in Romania.
  • Thank you to Catalin Velicea from Maximus Martial Arts for being in the coaching corner encouraging me during my competition fights and Kenneth Lee and his crew for the loud voices and encouragement that accompanied my fights.
  • Particularly, I would like to thank my competitors, Ron Curran from Curran’s Karate and Jason Higgins from Campbell River Wado Karate, giving me a chance to fight and challenge them. This was an extraordinary experience with two great athletes.
  • We would like to thank Lucian Mihailescu from Lucian Web Service who is willing to keep our event open and updated. Just a reminder, we are still accepting donations for BC Children`s Hospital and Children`s Hunger Fund until the end of this year!
  • As well, Adelina Suvagau from Rompost who will advertise our video clips on the Rogers Multicultural Channels during the beginning of December. Keep an eye out for that!
  • Last but certainly not least, I would like to express gratitude to all the officials, organizers and volunteers from Karate BC who put in so much effort and time for us to get the most of this competition event.

Cheers,

Mario

Today is the Competition Day.

Today is the day of my biggest challenge!

While I am competing today, the 2012 BC Karate Championship started yesterday with competitions between other categories. I helped with organize some last minute details and watched the competition for kids as well as for other participants who competed on the first day of the event.

Those competing for a spot in the Elite Team, such as myself, will be participating today in both Kata and Kumite.

I am participating in Open Tournament and in my weight category, 84 kg and up. I weighed in today and am exactly 84.25 kg! My competition scheduled time will be between 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

I had a chance to speak with the vice president and brilliant organizer of Karate BC, Mr. Kurt Nordili along with Mr. Dan Wallis, the president of Karate BC and chief instructor of Campbell River Wado Karate.

In addition, I chatted with Elizabeth Wijnstra the chief instructor of Jushinkan Martial Art and Chad Edberg from Campbell River, who led the British Columbia men’s team to a silver medal in the team Kumite event at the 2012 Karate National Competition the was held at the Richmond Olympic Oval on March 2012.

After the competition I attended the Karate BC Annual General Meeting where they provided updates on the new National Certification Program and other related matters. Yesterday was long, but thanks to the organizers, everything was on schedule.

Today I am ready for a big show. I have promised to deliver my best despite the fact that I am a 50 years YOUNG man.

Cheers,

Mario

 

MarioFit Fighting For Kids Event Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day! Catch me in action tomorrow afternoon at the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championship! I will be fighting in two categories: +84 kg and Open Weight. 

Where? BCIT gym at 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby (MAP)

When? Sunday, November 18th, 2012

For more information, check out my Facebook event HERE.

Please continue to help raise awareness in helping children in need and donate to the two charities I am supporting!

Thank you for all the support and see you tomorrow!

Cheers,

Mario

Important Announcements – Extension of Fundraising Event!

Earlier today, Ralph Simon Kaebe, the CEO of teccrab online services inc. and I met to further discuss our future after the competition on Sunday and we have some exciting news to update you!

First off, I just want to say that teccrab did such a great job on creating the entire online marketing platform such as the website, MarioFitFightingForKids and even a better job on advertising in the media.

Simon asked me questions about my feelings and motivation at this moment before the competition. Our discussion evolved around the event and the importance of my participation in raising awareness to living a healthier lifestyle as well as helping children in desperate need.

In addition, the fundraising doesn’t end after the competition this weekend and there are several reasons why. We are very ecstatic to announce that INTERNeX, one of our sponsors, is going to support one of the charities by creating their own fundraising event!  All the funds received will be entirely donated through MarioFit Fighting For Kids to the charities.

Thus, we are extending our fundraising page to the end of the year (2012) after receiving requests from friends and supporters wanting to donate after the competition event!

This event is a small step towards helping children who are suffering, but many still require continuous love and help. Please continue to support these charities Children’s Hunger Fund and BC Children’s Hospital. With your support, they have the ability to reach these children and change their lives.

As well, winning one of the top three places in the 2 divisions I am competing in, +84kg and Open Weight Category, will allow me to qualify as a member of the Karate BC Elite Team. Since the beginning, my ultimate goal is to make this team who will be representing the province of BC at the Karate National Championship in Toronto during March 2013.

If you have time on Sunday afternoon, come to the BCIT Gym in Burnaby and see me in action! These are the the most anticipated categories and the last events of the competition.

Cheers,

Mario

Hypertrophy – The Second Phase of Periodization

There are many types of strength training that can be applied for different sports such as general strength, specific strength, absolute strength, relative strength, power or power endurance, etc.

Regular strength training produces structural changes in the body. When the body adapt to these changes, the manipulation of load, volume and frequency of training that challenge the “adaptation threshold” of the body will result in a superior strength and performance.

Previously, we explored the General Strength or Anatomical Adaptation phase which produces a progressive structural adaptation. Anatomical adaptation must be at the beginning of any strength training program as it is the functional training that prepares the body for the next phases. Today we will continue with a discussion on the second phase: hypertrophy.

HYPERTROPHY

Phase two of strength periodization should be the hypertrophy or an increase in the muscle cross-sectional area.  Hypertrophy is influenced by bodybuilding methods that isolates the muscle in regular training and push it towards exhaustion by using moderate loads with minimal rest interval between sets.

Body building is a competitive sport where optimal symmetry is more important than optimum athletic performance. Unless you are training for one of their body building contest, I will not advice their methods for athletic performances.

Instead, if your goal is to increase power, speed and reaction time, you must train the muscle’s movement and only in its isolation. Generally, this phase could be 4 – 6 weeks long and the intensity will be moderate at 70-80% of 1RM with 6-12 repetitions and rest intervals of 3 – 5 minutes.

Both methods of training are increases the number of cross-bridges and proteins in the muscle, but the ultimate goal for athletic performance is to stimulate the fast-twitch muscle fiber and the central nervous system using heavier loads with more rest interval between sets. Thus, the athletic hypertrophy created is different than that of body building.

Cheers,

Mario

My Interview with teccrab online services inc.

Other than training hard at the Denman Fitness Club, my wife and I celebrated our daughter’s 6th birthday at the park with all of her friends.

She is clearly ready to stuff herself with her favourite chocolate cake!

Also, have you seen this interview of myself with teccrab online services inc.?

We filmed this video a few weeks ago that might answer some of your questions. You will get to see clips of myself performing the exercises that I have been mentioning in previous blogs and how important it is to me in competing on Saturday at the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championship.

Watch the interview below and get to know me more! 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4Y8JE6GtX4o]

Cheers,

Mario

Would You Support me on my Competition Day- Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 17 &18)!

With the competition so close, my mind is running at 100 miles per hour. All that I’ve been working towards will be tested in just 3 short days.

Though, the most important thing of this event is to raise awareness and money for children in need. I hope the message that gets across is that there are many children in the world who are hungry or hurt who are unable to help themselves. With our help, they can thrive in their unfortunate circumstance and make their future a little brighter!

I would also like to take the time to thank the many people who have helped make this event happen: 

1. Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters! As you know, your support means everything to me and has allowed me to make this comeback into the karate world.

  • Sponsors: teccrab online services inc., Denman Fitness Center, Stay Classy, INTERNeX International Exchange, Meta Communities!
  • SupportersVancouver Romanian Association, Vancouver Sports Massage, Thera-Roll, Federatia Romana de Karate, Richmond Olympic Oval, LifeMARK Health, Las Vegas Karate – Do, Dr. Hal Brown Naturopathic Physician, International Martialarts Association, DURA SEAL, USANA Health Sciences, VANPRINT, Canada Trust, Maximus Martial Arts, Arawaza, TACTIX, MAX SANTÉ, IRON LAB, HumanMotion, ULTRA ELECTRIC LTD., Sinclair Travel, Israeli Krav International.

2. Thank you to the organizers– BCIT and KARATE BC – for putting on this event showcasing the best karate talent in BC. This is the biggest challenge for me since all of the athletes in this weight division are much younger and some are also Canada National Champions.

3. Most importantly, thank you to my family, especially my wife Daniela and my mother-in-law, for being giving unlimited support throughout everything and so patient with me!

4. Finally, a huge thank you very much to everyone who has donated to BC Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hunger Fund! Your support, whether big or small will change the lives of many children.  Your contributions will go far beyond simply this event and may mean saving the lives of those who are dying.

Other than donating, you can support me by attending the  2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships.  It is on this Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18 and located at the BCIT gym at 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby (MAP).

Thank you again and I hope to see you Saturday!

Cheers,

Mario

Testing Before Starting

Before beginning any strength-training program for sports, it is necessary to estimate your current strength level as the intensity of exercises is a percentage of maximum strength. For example, to develop strength one should perform 1-4 repetition at 85% – 100% of maximum strength. To develop power one must perform explosive exercises at 30%-50% of maximum strength.

Due to a previous motor vehicle accident, some physical limitations. I wanted to be safe so before starting a weight training program specifically for sport karate, I tested my strength and my biomotor capability.

Coming from a rehabilitation workout program, I needed to estimate what my maximum strength was for five major exercises such as: leg press, squats, bench press, lat pulldown and barbell bent-over row. Additionally, I find it necessary to test what is my core muscle strength is and to determine my current level of core stability to be able to determine my progress over time. I needed to test my ability to do chin ups starting from a fully extended arms position as well as how many dips I can perform at once.

All the tests and knowing what is my one-repetition-maximum (1RM) for a specific exercise were essential to building a strength training plan as part of a complex periodization program that included tactical karate sport specific techniques to develop speed, agility and reaction time and a nutrition plan designed to lead me to peak performance right at competition time.

ONE REPETITION MAXIMUM (1RM)

There are many methods to estimate and calculate someone’s strength, but for my particular physical condition I prefer to use gym machine equipment (Smith Machine, and Technogym) for testing. For others without a physical condition, my recommendation is to use a barbell or free weights whenever possible.

As I mention yesterday, I started my Anatomical Adaptation Phase with circuit trainings where the intensity of training was 40-60 percent of One Repetition Maximum (1RM). One Repetition Maximum (1RM), as I explained, is the amount of weight that can be lifted only once.

For example, if you can squat with 150 kg (330 lbs) only one time, this means that your 1RM for squat is 150 kg. Exercising on Anatomical Adaptation at 60 percent intensity means having the ability to do 8-10 (or more) repetitive squats with a weight of 90 kg (198 lbs). Doing repetitions with 135 kg or more (90% +)) will develop maximum strength while explosive fast movements with 45 kg-75 kg (30%-50%) will increase the power.

Simply, the best method for testing 1 RM is to actually perform it. Predict a weight that allows you to complete 4-6 repetition and after 3 minutes of rest, increase the weight until you can only perform one repetition. Record how at each stage and adjust the weight accordingly.

For convenience, Epley’s Formula can calculate weights that can be lifted up to 10 repetitions.

1RM = W x (1 + 0.0333 x R)

  • Where 1 RM = 1 Repetition Max, W = Weight used, R = The number of Repetitions (must be less than 10)

For example, if I can perform 10 squats with 80 kg, using the formula my estimated 1 RM is approximately 106 kg. 1RM = 80 KG (1 + 0.0333 x 10 Repetitions). This formula may not always produce accurate results, but can be used as starting point for testing Maximum Strength. Starting from there I can attempt a lift to see if this is accurate or not with a spotter and a proper warm up.  The weight can then be changed as needed to perform the number of reps needed for the training procedure.

Similarly, I used a medicinal ball to test my motor abilities, power and power endurance, my core muscle strength and level of stability to necessary further develop speed, reaction time and agility.

Anatomical Adaptation – Strength Training for Competition

From his previous coaching experience with the Romania Olympic team, Dr. Tudor Bompa brought over brought over a highly effective method of training known as the “Periodization of Strength.”

Periodization is a complex subject that includes periodization of biomotor abilities, strength, power, nutrition and many more. We need to understand that performance cannot be maintained at all times during the year and that it should be planned from one competition to the other. This means using a preparatory phase, a competitive phase and a transition phase with recovery time built into the program to allow compensation and supercompensation.

The most physical activities involve force, power, speed, flexibility, endurance or a combination of them. Strength training and specifically training for the energy systems used in a particular sport as the basis of best athletic performance is often disregarded.

I am here to explain that being strong first and then converting this strength into power and speed right before competition is a key element to success. The question is: how do we achieve this optimal state?

There are five phases to consider when designing a periodization of strength program:

  • Anatomical Adaptation
  • Hypertrophy
  • Maximal Strength
  • Conversion Phase, and
  • Transition

Today I will talk about the first phrase which is the Anatomical Adaptation. The exercises here are all-purpose in nature, designed to support the connective tissues, to stabilized joints and to correct different muscular and structural imbalances.

Unfortunately, most athletes and coaches tend to focus on sport-specific training with emphasis on training all year round only related to the prime movers of their sport. This sport specific training performed for longer periods of time will create a structural imbalance that may lead to injury.

Based on the athlete experience and athletic performance, an anatomical adaptation phase should last between four to eight weeks (or more for a novice). The focus on training should be placed on many bodyweight exercises and circuit training using weights and medicinal balls.

The volume should progressively increase with 10 or more exercises to be performed in a circuit with 8-12 repetition per set and a rest interval of 30 seconds – 1 minute between sets. Usually, the circuits are repeated two or three times per session and about two to three sessions should be performed per week.

The intensity of training should be medium with 40-60 percent of One Repetition Maximum (1RM) which means the amount of weights that can only be lifted once. I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, I will expand into the testing for 1RM as well as the other phases of Periodization: Hypertrophy, Maximal Strength, Conversion Phase and Transition.

Cheers,

Mario