Tuesday, 29 October 2013

#Take #Five : Take five minutes to learn more about Costa Prasoulas

1) When did you start to practise martial arts? Which particular style of #martialarts did you start with?

I've been involved within the  combative arts for pretty much all my life. My family has a history of amateur boxing and #wrestling, so my first involvement was with the arts of #Hapkido & #Taekwondo when I was approx 5 yrs of age.

Master Instructor of Martial Arts during demonstrations.
2)Your passion for martial arts seem to have endured, how has martial arts changed your life? 

The combative arts have always adapted and transpired my inner strength from young. #Discipline, focus, concentration, respect, honour and confidence have been key areas which have changed my outlook on many circumstances throughout my life. At the time, I did not realise this, however, as time passes, I tend to reflect on many obstacles in my life that I have endured. The credit is due to my perseverance of my training.
There have been many achievements throughout my career in which I worked extremely hard for. A few of the major titles have been:

*3 x #AustralianChampion
*Intercontinental & South Pacific Champion
*Bronze  medalist - World Professional Champions Cup
*3 x Nominee  for #Australasian #Instructor of the year awards

Costas Prasoulas 3 x Australian Champion for Martial Arts
3)What is the essential philosophy behind martial arts? Why it resonated with you ?

This is a great question & the core philosophy of pretty much most martial arts is the same. From #Pankration and the Hellenic ideal in Europe to south eastern Asia in #MuayThai. The core is very similar. 

Through development of a strong and healthy body, a strong mind and spirit that refuse to 'give up', you acquire attributes as confidence, self control, strength, power, self esteem, and through self - defence training we build a powerful character, thus creating a better well rounded person and citizen. This is the ultimate goal. 'The unification of mind, #body & #spirit (soul)' . 

4)Some people come to take up martial arts because of a dramatic turn of events in their life, do you often encounter students or members who take up martial arts as a sport or as a protective defence lessons after some sort of dramatic event? If so what type of clients do you often come across?

Costa Prasoulas with students from Zeus Academy
Yes indeed, there are circumstances in which people take up membership with our academy because of certain dramatic experiences they might have encountered.

We have a number of different programs that we teach, so people's reasons for training do tend to differ.

Some people concentrate on #fitness & #weightcontrol, other people bring their children for discipline & concentration, others are their for self esteem & confidence, and some like to enter the competitive sphere and strive for glory. Everyone has their individualistic goals, however, everyone supports each other, train hard together and all grow together. 

5)The urban world we inhabit has brought us many stresses. For people suffering from low self esteem, obesity or motivational problems would you recommend martial arts? If so, what type of martial arts would you recommend? How or where do they start? How would martial arts help them?

Absolutely! #Confidence, #selfesteem, #stress etc etc.. Are all areas in which martial arts training can greatly improve ones self. Irrespective of style, consistency is the key.

#CostaPrasoulas with Martial Arts Students.
Specific style of martial art would be preference of learning specific areas of combative strategies & defences, and also a little more from the traditional aspect of style. Each style has their own unique characteristics and purpose, however, the core philosophy's are the same (as we previously discussed). On our website there is a brief historical and technical explanation on the styles we teach and practice at our academy.
www.zeusacademy.com.au This will provide people with a little more insight and knowledge on specific styles as: Muay Thai/ #Kickboxing, #Hapkido, #Pankration/MMA, Taekwondo & #Brazilian #JiuJitsu.

6) Often people start gym and there are much to do outside gym in terms of supplements, food in take and diets, when you take up a form of martial art and to be successful at it, are there similar dietary or external requirements/ discipline that would be expected of the participant/your students?

#Nutrition is an important part of any sport. It is also needed to perform at your best. It provides you with energy and keeps your body at its peak. 
I like to use the word nutrition not diet, simply because we all splurge with food. What I mean by this, is that we don't want deprive ourselves from all foods all the time. So make it a rule of thumb to eat clean 75% of the time. Leave yourself some eating freedom 25%. This way, it is easier to get on top of your food intake.
Ofcourse, if we are trying to cut weight for a specific purpose or competition, we tend to be quite strict with our nutrition and supplements. 

7)How much commitment is required of a student looking to learn martial arts seriously? 

To practice and train  Martial Arts on professional and serious level you need to commit to it, just as you would anything else. You need to dedicate a minimum of 5-6 days a week training, eat well, be disciplined and motivated. 

Training on some days would involve two sessions a day, morning and evening. You need to eat at certain times and make sure your protein and carbohydrate intake is good, you need to rest properly which may include lunch time power sleeps or naps, so as to be at your peak for each session and also boost your recovery and lactic acids. As a professional athlete, you make sure your routine is one that gives your mind and body 100% .

8)Do you think exams and fitness goals are important for someone looking to study martial arts ?

Yes, of course! Belt test/exams, fitness goals are important, because you can measure progress.
It is important to have some type of short and long term goal or purpose, in which you relate to our everyday life. This also can track individual achievements.

9)Martial arts are often seen to be a discipline, a school of thought with its own rules and uniforms. What is the significance of the uniform and why do you encourage students to wear uniforms when practising the craft of martial arts?

Great question. Dependent on style of martial art, there are different uniforms and attire we associate within each. Some more casual, some more formal.  The uniform that each practitioner wears is the same. This symbolizes equality amongst everyone. The only thing that is different is the belt color. The belts symbolizes a persons dedication and commitment in a particular style and their achievements within it. 

The discipline, respect and positive attitude represented within the martial arts academy along with the uniform are suppose to symbolize an 'ideal environment or community'. Everyone is equal. Mutual dress code, mutual respect, mutual attitude. Thus building better citizens, community, which in turn build a better state, a better nation, which in turn build a better world.

This is the 'ideal' that stems from the code of honour and respect, and the martial arts uniform.

Costa Prasoulas martial arts instructor with students.
10) With so much technology around, children are growing up playing games that involve violence.  Does martial arts encourage violence among children? What positive role do you think martial arts can play in a child's life?

Master Instructor assisting martial arts student with a few pointers.
I believe that violence in video games is a grey area. We have differences. For eg. We cannot compare a violent game such as GTA (grand theft auto) in comparison to games such as ninja turtles or power ranges. Discrepancies are required and need to supervised and looked at.
In relation to positive role models, martial arts instills many qualities and life skills that remain forever.

Confidence, self-esteem, anti -bullying, #posture, #flexibility, #selfcontrol, awareness, multi tasking, power & strength on a mental and physical level, are benefits that we all try to instil in our younger generation. 

11) For someone looking to start martial arts but not sure where to start, what should a new student do? where can they enroll and find out more information? How can he or she get in contact with Zeus Academy?

There is plenty of information on many aspects of the martial arts around via the Internet, magazines, radio talk shows and TV.
I would be happy to help & share my knowledge and information to anyone that would like to learn more.
Zeus International Martial Arts Academy is based in Marrickville operating 6 days a week.
Our website has plenty of information for men, women & children of all ages, from beginners to advance 
Tel: 0410689735 or 0424097009 

It's been a pleasure talking with you all & feel free to come up and say hi! Love to hear from you. 

In closing I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from #Aristotle. Take care and BELIEVE in yourself 

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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