Martial arts is a wonderful activity for fun, fitness and competition, for all ages. Dr. Karla Steingraber, Psy.D. and an IMGCA Certified Mental Game Coach, sits down with John Fonseca, founder of Fonseca Martial Arts and Sensei Jaime Gamboa to talk about how to support youth growth in the martial arts and to encourage students, from children to adults, with incremental wins along the way.
They’ll also talk about when an athlete might work with a Mental Game Coach/Sports Psychologist like Dr. Steingraber to up their game in competition.
- Even for competitors, the game has to be fun.
- Positive reinforcement allows students to progress at their own ability, builds self-esteem and encourages success.
- Martial arts is a sport that spans the lifespan.
- Competition draws on physical performance and mindset.
- A certified mental game coach can help athletes build confidence and go for the win in competition.
- “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Winnie the Pooh
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Sensei John Fonseca
Sensei John Fonseca is Chief Karate Instructor and owner of Fonseca Martial Arts. Sensei Fonseca has been competing in national and international tournaments since age seven and became the first American to medal at the Karate World Championships in almost 20 years. He is the only male karate athlete in the world to win repeat gold medals at the Pan American Games and was the first American karate athlete to win the Paris Open in over 30 years. He currently holds a fifth degree black belt in Shotokan karate, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a black belt in Taekwondo. His accomplishments are recognized both nationally and internationally and earned him the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Year award for three years in a row and an induction into both the USAKF’s and Black Belt Magazine’s Halls of Fame.
Sensei Jaime Gamboa
Sensei Jaime Gamboa started training in Shotokan karate at the age of 4. He has competed in many junior and adult state, regional, and national level competitions winning medals in both kata and kumite. With a background in Goju-Ryu and Shito Ryu, Sensei Jaime achieved his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in Shotokan in 2004. In 2010, he earned his Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) while pursuing his business degree at the University of Illinois Chicago. In 2015, he received his Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt). His goal is to inspire his students to aim for excellence inside and outside of the dojo by applying karate’s principles of self-discipline and hard work.
Dr. Karla Steingraber
Dr. Karla Steingraber is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a certified Mental Game Coach. Or, as a others like to say about her, she’s “a freaking superhero. You push people’s boundaries in the best way, helping them grow.” As a sports psychologist Dr. Steingraber helps people perform their best on the field and off. She drives clients to success by helping them recognize the connection between their feelings and actions. She expertly guides people to articulate their needs and goals, helping them to face and overcome fears or mixed emotions that can lead to self-sabotage. As a certified Mental Game Coach (IMGCA), Dr. Steingraber teaches clients to identify mental barriers. She provides a proven mental skills system to improve performance in competition and to help build confidence and maximize performance.
Dr. Steingraber’s deep insight is informed by her own experience as a competitive athlete, having competed in horseback riding, skiing and marathon running. She’s also trained in social and ballroom dance and enjoys weight lifting and working with a personal trainer to build strength. She is insightful, compassionate and driven to bring you results.