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Spar Obesity and WIN!

Martial Artists Spar Obesity and WIN

There are many ways to accurately assess whether a person is clinically overweight or obese, one of the easiest being body composition testing. Testing can be very helpful in combatting obesity when performed properly and safeguards followed. Likewise, there are many ways to curb the incline of obesity rates nationwide, one of the overall best being regular training in the Martial Arts!

It is an alarming and unfortunate fact that childhood obesity is rampant in the U.S. and most developed countries. A current controversy in American physical education (P.E.) classes is whether to administer to students the simple, non-invasive analytical procedure known as body composition testing. There are legitimate reasons for the testing and evaluation, but valid concerns to be addressed, such as privacy controls, training, and advisement.

Body composition testing is used to determine the percent of body fat by taking three to seven skin-fold measurements using calipers. There are other methods available, but this one is usually used by schools and can be fairly accurate when administered by minimally trained personnel. In the school setting, a member of the same sex should administer the test.

Some “pros” of testing:

  • It could put many teens, especially girls in the “normal” range.
  • Borderline teens would be aware of a potentially dangerous health issue that a physician could
    help them address.
  • Evaluation may encourage some to pursue more active lifestyles or nutritional habits.

Some “cons” of testing:

  • It may hurt the self-esteem of those with an otherwise healthy and positive self-image.
  • False results are possible. A recent study has shown that tired or untrained personnel may alter
    results by 20%.
  • Students may compare scores that could prompt eating disorders or other undesirable response.

Many adults have nightmare stories of discomfort, humiliation, or worse from their school days in P.E., but today’s teachers are working to erase that outdated image. One thing that never changes is that information improperly communicated, phrased or spoken in the wrong way, can have a detrimental lifelong effect on someone. This is why the results of body composition testing should be kept strictly confidential. Students should be advised against comparing their numbers with those of other students. “Fat shaming” is a commonplace form of bullying and students should be reminded about the policies in place at their school.

The “obesity epidemic” didn’t happen overnight. Its demise will take a lot of time too, evidently much longer. In order for body composition testing to have a positive effect on a class or community, the community has to be willing to make changes. Are there safe areas for students to have fun that are also physical? Does the community have parks or youth centers for the kids to meet? Do kids hang out at the fast food joints mainly because they feel welcome and safe? Are there any adequate alternatives? Is it cost-prohibitive for many students to participate on local teams? Testing is only one part of what needs to be evaluated to curb the rise in obesity everywhere. Martial Arts training can be an integral part of the solution. They deliver many health and fitness benefits, such as preventing or remediating obesity, for millions of students of all ages worldwide as they have for generations and will continue unabated.

“Each student’s Martial Arts journey is a unique set of ‘personal victories’ that are rewarding, motivating, and structured for personal self-improvement both mentally and physically,” says Taekwondo and Krav Maga instructor Senior Master Tracy Lee Thomas, 7BD, of Virginia Beach, VA. “Fighting obesity requires our commitment to being proactive and educating our youth on the importance of healthy eating habits and an energetic physical fitness routine. Martial Arts training is more than just kicking and punching: it’s a way of thinking and doing that changes us and leads to better, safer, healthier, and longer lives!” and Crabapple Martial Arts Academy has been selected the nation’s #1 martial arts schools for SIX YEARS IN A ROW by the American Budokai International!

Founded in 2013 by Mr. C. Matthew White a 5th degree Black Belt in Karate and 6th degree Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu, and Master Instructor, Crabapple Martial Arts and Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 4-6, and elementary age kids ages 7 and up, are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

Crabapple Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at or call directly at 770-645-0930. You can also visit our website at

About C. Matthew White, Renshi:  Matt is a fifth-degree black belt in a traditional Japanese and Okinawan Martial Arts – Shuri Ryu Karatedo. He is also a sixth-degree black belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu – Shintoyoshin Kai Jiu Jitsu, and a master instructor with the title of Renshi, which means Scholar in Japanese.  Matt has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Physiology. He has been training and teaching martial arts for over 27 years and has owned Crabapple Martial Arts Academy since 2013. Renshi White is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world.

Crabapple Martial Arts Academy Headquarters is in Alpharetta, Georgia at 12315 Crabapple Road., Suite 124, Alpharetta GA 30004. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Sensei Robert Reed there or directly at (770) 645-0930.