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Before you click the 'SUBMIT" button, please read the following information to better prepare you for your first lesson.


WHAT TO WEAR?

Wear loose fitting clothes such as sweat pants or warm-up pants and a T-shirt or sweat shirt.  Shoes don’t matter since we practice barefooted.

 

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

For ages 4 through 6

When you arrive, you will need to complete a New Student Analysis form (this will take only about 5 minutes).  After that we will escort you to the Class Room where you will take a 30 minute class in our Lil’ Dragon’s Class, structured exclusively for the 4 through 6 year old age group.  The Lil’ Dragons Program is a detailed curriculum that focuses on improving young school age children’s basic motor and listening skills.  The Lil’ Dragons curriculum consists of developing Eight Major Skills that are necessary for participation in any sport or activity: Focus, Teamwork, Control, Balance, Memory, Discipline, Fitness, and Coordination.

 

For 7 year olds and older

When you arrive, you will need to complete a New Student Analysis form (this will take only about 5 minutes).  After that we will escort you to the Introductory Class Room where you will take a 30 minute, private class  (or semi-private class if someone else has made an appointment for that day). You will learn Basic Martial Arts Techniques, including Kicks, Strikes, Blocks, and Stances.  You will also be taught about Martial Art Values such as respect, discipline, patience, confidence, and effort.

 

AFTER CLASS IS OVER

For ages 4 through 6

After class you will be given the opportunity to enroll in a one-month Trial Dragon’s Membership for $129.  This membership includes up to 3 classes a week and a free Lil’ Dragons uniform. 

 

For 7 year olds and older

After class you will be given the opportunity to enroll in a one-month Trial Membership for $149.  This membership includes unlimited classes and a free practice uniform.  We suggest that a student come to class a minimum of 2 days each week.

 

Thanks for enrolling and we’ll see you shortly

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Archive for the ‘99. Mr C’s Blog’ Category

Not all Martial Arts Schools are Created Equal! Here’s What Sets Us Apart from the Rest!

 

Safety is our number one concern! All of our instructors undergo background checks, are CPR and First Aid certified, and are trained how to specifically teach pre-schoolers, school- aged children, teens and adults!

 
Our curriculum is rich, including not only practical self-protection techniques, but also monthly character development segments, and, for those interested in competition, a strong competitive program. Our focus is on developing confidence, character, and leadership.

 
Unlike many Martial Arts schools, our classes are not routine. But, they are interesting, fun and entertaining! We do not believe in “ survival of the fittest” theory that many schools unfortunately operate by. We understand that by nurturing our students along patiently and encouragingly, we will produce not only a much better Martial Arts student but also a more well-positioned, successful individual!

 
We will not try to sell you. We are not salesmen! We are real Martial Artist, who train as well as teach. We are passionate about our art and our craft! We want to be your trusted advisor, consultant, and confidant! Our core philosophy centers around trust and integrity. We really believe that what we do will enormously and positively impact each student who studies at our academy and ,ultimately, our community!

 
Finally, what sets us apart from the pack, is our financial arrangement with each student. We charge an reasonable and affordable monthly tuition. And that’s it! Your uniform is free. You will not pay promotional rank testing fees or stripe/tip fees. We will not “penny, nickel, and dime” you with back-end fees that are customary in the Martial Arts. Once a month, we even provide free boards for “board breaking” practice!

 
So give us a call to set up your free tour of our school, located in the heart of Waldorf in the Elite Gymnastics building on Old Washington Road, and a free introductory lesson! If you like what you see, take a one-month trial course (includes up to 4 classes a week) for just $159.

 
Be one of the first 15 callers and receive a free Waldorf Martial Arts T-shirt! 301-645-1650. Visit us at www.waldorfmartialarts.com

My Mission

My Mission.  I am on a mission . . . to get adults back into martial arts training halls!  To get them training and feeling great.  To get them sweating, smiling, and excited about training!  I started training in Taekwondo when I was 21.  That was in 1976.  Back then, it was rare to see kids involved in martial arts training.  It was 99% adults.  Nowadays, there has been a 180 degree turnaround.  Everyone thinks Taekwondo is an activity to put their kids in to learn respect and discipline.  It’s not something many adults think about doing any more.    Let me tell you though, based on my 36 years of training, Taekwondo IS a great activity for adults of all ages, male and female alike!  I don’t understand why more adults aren’t training?  First of all, who couldn’t use some practical, simple, and effective self-protection techniques and strategies?  After all, Taekwondo is a method of self-defense, created and brought to maturity in one of the fiercest combat units in modern history; the 29th Infantry Division of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army!  They were feared by all whom they confronted, including the Viet Kong Army.  They were so versed in hand to hand combat that they were commissioned to train the American military in both Malaysia and Vietnam.  And yes, it really does work!  In addition to self-defense, Taekwondo is a great total body fitness system!  Training will tone your muscles, strengthen your bone structure, increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity as well as increase your flexibility and range of motion.  It can lower your blood pressure and exercise your heart and lungs.  And don’t think you’re too old or out of shape, because you aren’t.  I’m 58 and I still train 4 to 5 days a week.  As for being out of shape, well, you work at your own pace.  Plus you have an instructor who, unlike scenes from the Karate Kid movies, will watch over you to make sure you don’t overdo it.  Safety is a big concern with adult students on the mat.  (That’s because, over the years, with my own training, I learned for myself . . . the hard way!)  In my ads I ask; who wants to kick stress’s ass.  That’s because Taekwondo is great at channeling all that negative stress right of your body!  Imagine punching, kicking, yelling, hitting and kicking a heavy bag!  I know I still feel awesome after a workout!  And you will too.  You’ll experience a refreshing mental clarity and focus.  You’ll feel great . . . like you’ve been on a mini-vacation!  Another great aspect of Taekwondo is that it has a built-in system to measure your progress; the belt rank system.  And, it’s belt rank system not only measures progress, but is a means of introducing increasingly challenging curriculum to the student at the proper time.  There are 9 belt ranks leading up to Black Belt.  It takes 3 to 5 years to earn a Black Belt.  The thing  most people don’t know is that there are also 9 levels or degrees of Black Belt too!  It takes an entire lifetime to obtain the highest Black Belt; the 9th Degree Grand Master.  So,  I restate my thesis that Taekwondo was developed by adults for adults . .  to practice well into old age!  Why else would there be such a ranking system?  Another point I’d like to address that I think keeps people from studying martial arts is the intimidation factor.  If you feel intimidated by visiting a martial arts school, you shouldn’t.  Most of us professional martial artists are easily approachable and quite friendly.  And don’t worry about jumping into a ring right away and sparring with a 27th degree Black Belt!  (Back when I was a student, that would have happened; but not anymore, at least not at my school!)  So don’t let that stop you from trying out martial arts training. You’ll be with all adults and all beginners, and you won’t put the gloves on until you’re ready!  We really are like an extended family.  Deep friendships are developed among students and their families as well.  It becomes a brother/sisterhood of sorts.  We come to trust and rely on our fellow martial arts students.  It really is a very unique and wonderful culture.  In closing, let me say that Taekwondo has been called “Moving Meditation” because of the way it not only engages the body but also the mind and spirit.  It really is a unique feeling; a peaceful confidence.  However, it’s something you must experience to understand. So, in closing, I hope I have sparked your curiosity.    So on that note, I invite you to try it out!  You’ve got nothing to lose.  Our next All Beginner, All Adult Introductory course begins January 28th at 7:30 pm.  Click on the link below to enroll.  Hope to see you there!  Master Cavanaugh    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-adult-all-beginner-4-week-introductory-taekwon-do-course-tickets-9445587005

 

My Mission!

I am on a mission . . . to get adults back into martial arts training halls! To get them training and feeling great. To get them sweating, smiling, and excited about training! I started training in Taekwondo when I was 21. That was in 1976. Back then, it was rare to see kids involved in martial arts training. It was 99% adults. Nowadays, there has been a 180 degree turnaround. Everyone thinks Taekwondo is an activity to put their kids in to learn respect and discipline. It’s not something many adults think about doing any more.

Let me tell you though, based on my 36 years of training, Taekwondo IS a great activity for adults of all ages, male and female alike! I don’t understand why more adults aren’t training? First of all, who couldn’t use some practical, simple, and effective self-protection techniques and strategies? After all, Taekwondo is a method of self-defense, created and brought to maturity in one of the fiercest combat units in modern history; the 29th Infantry Division of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army! They were feared by all whom they confronted, including the Viet Kong Army. They were so versed in hand to hand combat that they were commissioned to train the American military in both Malaysia and Vietnam. And yes, it really does work!

In addition to self-defense, Taekwondo is a great total body fitness system! Training will tone your muscles, strengthen your bone structure, increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity as well as increase your flexibility and range of motion. It can lower your blood pressure and exercise your heart and lungs. And don’t think you’re too old or out of shape, because you aren’t. I’m 58 and I still train 4 to 5 days a week. As for being out of shape, well, you work at your own pace. Plus you have an instructor who, unlike scenes from the Karate Kid movies, will watch over you to make sure you don’t overdo it. Safety is a big concern with adult students on the mat. (That’s because, over the years, with my own training, I learned for myself . . . the hard way!)

In my ads I ask; who wants to kick stress’s ass. That’s because Taekwondo is great at channeling all that negative stress right of your body! Imagine punching, kicking, yelling, hitting and kicking a heavy bag! I know I still feel awesome after a workout! And you will too. You’ll experience a refreshing mental clarity and focus. You’ll feel great . . . like you’ve been on a mini-vacation!

Another great aspect of Taekwondo is that it has a built-in system to measure your progress; the belt rank system. And, it’s belt rank system not only measures progress, but is a means of introducing increasingly challenging curriculum to the student at the proper time. There are 9 belt ranks leading up to Black Belt. It takes 3 to 5 years to earn a Black Belt. The thing most people don’t know is that there are also 9 levels or degrees of Black Belt too! It takes an entire lifetime to obtain the highest Black Belt; the 9th Degree Grand Master. So, I restate my thesis that Taekwondo was developed by adults for adults . . to practice well into old age! Why else would there be such a ranking system?

Another point I’d like to address that I think keeps people from studying martial arts is the intimidation factor. If you feel intimidated by visiting a martial arts school, you shouldn’t. Most of us professional martial artists are easily approachable and quite friendly. And don’t worry about jumping into a ring right away and sparring with a 27th degree Black Belt! (Back when I was a student, that would have happened; but not anymore, at least not at my school!) So don’t let that stop you from trying out martial arts training. You’ll be with all adults and all beginners, and you won’t put the gloves on until you’re ready! We really are like an extended family. Deep friendships are developed among students and their families as well. It becomes a brother/sisterhood of sorts. We come to trust and rely on our fellow martial arts students. It really is a very unique and wonderful culture.

In closing, let me say that Taekwondo has been called “Moving Meditation” because of the way it not only engages the body but also the mind and spirit. It really is a unique feeling; a peaceful confidence. However, it’s something you must experience to understand. So, in closing, I hope I have sparked your curiosity.

So on that note, I invite you to try it out! You’ve got nothing to lose. Our next All Beginner, All Adult Introductory course begins January 28th at 7:30 pm. Click on the link below to enroll. Hope to see you there! Master Cavanaugh

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-adult-all-beginner-4-week-introductory-taekwon-do-course-tickets-9445587005

Great Comeback Lines to Use on a Bully!

101 Great Comeback Lines to Use on a Bully

Comebacks are not for everyone! Comebacks can be helpful when dealing with mean kids, however, kids should practice  comebacks with an adult. Comebacks don’t stop bullying, BUT they can increase confidence, which can discourage bullies. A comeback is not a return insult! Never us a comeback if a kid may become challenged or violent! The following are just examples to help you think of ones that may be suitable to your situation and to your age. Many high schoolers have commented on some of the following stating how such comebacks would not work and would only make a bully want to do it more. This may be true in some instances, that is why regardless of your age you should talk to an adult to get some feedback about using comeback lines.

How to Use Comeback Lines
The key to comeback lines is to remain COOL and AVOID the temptation to trade name calling or personal insults with the bully or teaser. A great comeback line is brief and to the point and leaves the bully or teaser feeling that they did not get to you! Don’t forget to always look them in the eye and keep cool – anger is a sign to them that what they are doing is working. Try some of the following, however always remember: if another student is threatening physical violence toward you, don’t say anything to him or her – do your best to get away from the situation and to where a teacher or other adult is located.

1. Your words are meaningless..

2. Oh get a life.

3. Are you talking to me?

4. Whatever you say.

5. Why do you say things like that?

6. You are a pretty mean person.

7. How does it feel to be this mean?

8. This makes you happy?.

9. Why does this make you happy?

10. You are wasting your breath.

11. You’re right. I said you’re right OK?

12. Again?

13. Not getting tired of this?

14. Nothing better to do?

15. How would you like it?

16. Sorry. Your opinions have no effect.

17. I don’t let someone like you get me to me.

18. What type of person you are?

19. I heard you and I don’t care.

20. Are you satisfied?

21. That really got me but stop now.

22. That’s pretty funny but stop now.

23. This is just wrong.

24. Everyone says I’m going to run into people like you for the rest of my life – great.

25. Here we go again.

26. You again? Annoying.

27. You are a waste of my time.

28. Hurry up and finish with your stupid garbage.

29. I wish you would stop wasting my time.

30. Feel better now?

31. You’re a real expert at this. Congrats.

32. It must be hard to stop what you are so good at.

33. Can you just stop?

34. Are you done?

35. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

36. Yeah right!

37. Why do you do this over and over?

38. You are just a low person.

39. How can you say that with a smile on your face?

40. How would you feel if someone were doing this to you?

41. It would be nice if you grew up.

42. Real mature.

43. Stop being such a child.

44. You should hear yourself.

45. I could care less about what you think.

46. You can see I’m terribly hurt.

47. Say whatever you want.

48. I will never feel bad because of you.

49. I will never feel bad because of your words.

50. Keep talking – I am not listening.

51. You are the king of putdowns. Congrats.

52. Aren’t you getting bored?

53. Why don’t you bother someone else?

54. Why don’t you bother someone who cares?

55. You can leave me alone now.

56. Ha. Ha.

57. Real funny.

58. It’s real sad that you are doing this.

59. Yes, you’re better than me so just stop now.

60. You’re absolutely the best at this.

61. I’d really hate to be your parents.

62. What did I ever do to you?

63. Why does this make you feel good?

64. I should feel bad about what you are saying but you’re not worth it.

65. Stop doing this already.

66. You can’t stop can you?

67. This is a shame because I actually thought we could have been friends.

68. You know we used to be friends.

69. When we were friends I never thought you would do something like this.

70. I really thought you were a good kid.

71. I had no idea you were this kind of person.

72. I never thought you could do something as mean as this.

73. You used to be a pretty nice kid.

74. You have really changed.

75. I’m tired of you using me to feel good about yourself.

76. Build up your self-esteem some other way.

77. OK you hurt me- move on to your next victim.

78. Just words.

79. Who cares!

80. Eureka! You’ve discovered I’m different than you.

81. Eureka! You’ve discovered I look different than you.

82. Everyone has a talent…

83. Thank you.

84. OK…and that’s supposed to make me feel what?

85. What did you say? What? What?

86. Nice reputation.

87. It doesn’t bother you that this is what you’re
known for around the whole school?

88. I should really report you but you’re not worth it.

89. I’m so upset!

90. Nope. Doesn’t bother me.

91. That’s your best?

92. That’s it?

93. My little brother makes me feel worse than that.

94. You’re better than I am, OK, I admit it, now stop or I’ll report it.

95. You can think about stopping now.

96. I heard that one in kindergarten.

97. Mission accomplished: I really feel bad now so move on.

98. Are we going to go through this every single day?

99. Are you going to waste my time like this every day?

100. Is it your goal in life or something to do this to me?

101. I feel sorry for you

 

The Truth About Tae Kwon Do

The Truth About Taekwondo

Tae Kwon Do. What is it? To most, it’s a method of simply learning how to defend one’ self. Many simply think it’s a sport or “activity” their children can do for a few months…until football or soccer season begins again. Some believe it to be violent and heavily influenced by Eastern Religion. Let me tell you what it’s really all about, based on my 37 years of study of the Art of Tae Kwon Do.

Tae Kwon Do translated into English means “Kick-Punch-Way”. But much gets lost in this literal translation. Tae Kwon Do is a multifaceted and deeply profound way of living one’s life. To more accurately describe the depth and complexity of this martial art, the translation needs to be expanded. The power of this martial art is all-encompassing. It is not just about learning how to defend yourself. Tae Kwon Do has many layers that are peeled away and revealed slowly over one’s entire life. That is why anyone of any age can enjoy the benefits of Taekwondo. Unlike most sports that are reserved only for the young, Tae Kwon Do can be practiced well into old-age.

Tae Kwon Do more accurately described is “a way of life that shapes the practitioner’s self-concept in its entirety; one’s physical, mental, and spiritual spheres. It accomplishes this through extremely rigorous training of one’s body which, if practiced over many years, eventually leads to mastery of the many kicking and punching techniques it teaches and, thus, forges the body to levels that are remarkable. A natural consequence of this physical transformation is the extraordinary mental confidence and spiritual enlightenment that is also achieved.”

Tae Kwon Do, taught in a traditional manner, is a holistic method of character development, a personal improvement system that can totally affect one’s way of life and way of thinking. The Art of Tae Kwon Do has a deep philosophy, rich in the traditions of East Asia’s warrior class (i.e. Samurai). A philosophy of necessity to these soldiers. This is known today as the Way of “Budo”, or the Way of the Warrior. Their philosophy cherished life in the highest regard. To take a life was the last resort. These warriors held values such as honor, courage, loyalty, respect, integrity, humility, gratitude, and service in great revere.

Tae Kwon Do, today, emphasizes the same set of values to its practitioners. Unlike what is portrayed in film, its philosophy is based on a peaceful way of life built on freedom and justice. Tae Kwon Do skills should never be used until all other options have expired (i.e., walking away, talking it out). It underscores the importance of honor and respect towards parents, teachers, seniors, fellow students, and of course, one’s self. Tae Kwon Do’s philosophy also places a high priority on the protection of those younger and weaker, and, never to use one’s martial skills unjustly.

Tae Kwon Do is not easy, it’s benefits are not quickly obtained. It takes years to become proficient. But then, think about it. Anything of value requires hard work, patience, discipline, and dedication. Otherwise, it would hold no value. For those who stay the course, the results of their commitment and sacrifice are immeasurable!

In the end, a true practitioner of Tae Kwon Do lives a life striving for mastery of mind, body, and spirit through consistent and committed life-long training. Tae Kwon Do itself is a vehicle to build a more peaceful and harmonious individual and society . . .to build a more peaceful world. In fact, advanced practitioners pledge an oath to “share what I have learned with others” in hopes of achieving this end.

 

What Taekwondo Can Do For You! Lessons for Life.

What Taekwondo Can Do For You!

Lessons for Life.

Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art. “Tae” means foot, “Kwon” means hand and Do means “the Way”. Literally translated it means The Way of the Foot and Hand. The word “Taekwondo” was coined in 1955 by a South Korean Brigadier General named Hong Hi Choi. Taekwondo was born out of an indigenous Korean Foot-Fighting art called Tae Kyeon and Japanese Karate (which the General learned while imprisoned by the Japanese Government during their occupation of Korea). General Choi headed up the Military School of Taekwondo called the Oh Do Kwan (meaning School of My Way). The Famous South Korean 29th Infantry Division (also known as the White Horse Brigade) was the vehicle through which he developed Oh Do Kwan Taekwondo Training for the R.O.K. Armed Forces. At the same time a colleague of his, Won Kuk Lee, was training civilians in South Korea at the Chung Do Kwan School of Taekwondo (Chung Do Kwan means School of the Blue Wave). Master Lee’s Chung Do Kwan was the largest and most popular civilian Taekwondo School in Korea.

In the late 1950?s and early 1960?s, American Armed Forces were called to South Korea to help control the attempt of Communist North Korea to dominate the Democratic Republic of South Korea. While stationed in South Korea, many U.S. GI’s learned Taekwondo from the South Korean soldiers. Upon returning to the States, they began teaching Taekwondo themselves to Americans. Most notably, Chuck Norris, actor and martial artist, came back and began teaching Taekwondo to movie stars and film directors in Hollywood, California. This eventually led him to his now highly successful career in acting.

Today, Taekwondo is taught in countries all over the world. It is the most popular and most widely practiced of the Asian Martial Arts. Taekwondo is recognized as not only the most effective and scientific method of learning self-defense but also as a fun and exciting means to teach our youth values such as respect, discipline, patience, courage, and effort. Adults practicing Taekwondo can expect reduced stress levels in their lives, keep fit and feel better, increase their energy and self-esteem, and enjoy the comradery and friendship of other adults with an interest in Taekwondo.

As you can see, Taekwondo is not just a sport. While it does have a competition aspect, this is just one small facet of the Art. Furthermore, the competition aspect of Taekwondo was not developed to win medals at all, but rather to test one’s skills in a situation that, as closely as possible, resembles an actual self-defense scenario; it was meant to make a student face his or hers own fears and learn to control them under pressure.

In reality, the Art of Taekwondo in its entirety is a way of thinking and acting. It is a way of life that all students can enjoy. The utmost purpose of Taekwondo is to develop an individual’s self-confidence and self-esteem; to help him or her realize their full human potential, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well! It challenges each individual to develop, to the fullest, their personal abilities.

Taekwondo’s purpose is to strengthen the individual physically and spiritually through its rigorous training methods and morally and ethically through its philosophy. As Taekwondo accomplishes this end we will begin to see stronger families which lead to stronger communities and ultimately to a more peaceful world for us all. This is the promise of Taekwondo, the Art. And everyone, young or old, male or female, weak or strong, big or small, may enjoy the benefits attained from practicing Taekwondo’s physical and philosophical lessons.

A Winner Never Quits

A Winner Never Quits

Taekwondo is a scientific discipline and a stunningly aesthetic Art as well.  There is nothing magical or mystical about the seemingly super-human feats a Master of Taekwondo can perform.  I can assure you that there are no secrets that Taekwondo Black Belts share.  The only secret is desire, dedication, discipline, and a whole lot of hard, hard work.  And that’s ALL that it takes, period.

Taekwondo training is rewarding and life-changing, but also extremely challenging.  At times it’s simply not easy.  To be proficient in Taekwondo, you must go to class to learn the proper execution of techniques and skills AND you must do your “Homework” too!  Consistent  training both in and out of class is a must.  And the higher level one achieves, the higher the level of training that is required!

Yes, it takes sacrifice and hard work to master anything that’s of value.  I would go as far as to say that hard work and sacrifice are one in the same, in that you can’t have one without the other.   The reality is that this is why so many people who begin taekwondo training, excited to learn the skills of the Art, discontinue their training after only a few short months or years.  After the newness of taekwondo training has worn off, and the student gets a taste of the repetitive drill-work that’s required, they simply tire of the hard work that’s needed to realize their goal.

So what happens?  Choices are made and priorities are shifted to something else that requires much less effort.   Commitment gives way to laziness.   Students find themselves constantly  making choices between practicing or doing something else.   Choices are made like going to Taekwondo practice or playing a new video game, or playing with your favorite friends, or coming home to a comfortable, cozy couch and your favorite beverage and watching T.V.   And on and on it goes, until taekwondo training is just a distant thought in the back of one’s mind.   Something they tried, but it wasn’t for them.

Another reason students hang up their belts is failure. But failure is a necessary and important aspect of Taekwondo.  I don’t know anyone who has NOT failed at least one Taekwondo exam.  Unfortunately, many people who fail an exam blame something or someone other than the true culprit…themselves!  Truth be known, the only one responsible for failing any test, is one’s own self.  Sometimes it’s from being ill-prepared, and sometimes it’s due to uncontrollable circumstances, such as injury.  But one thing is for sure; the ones that don’t quit learn a valuable lesson of Taekwondo.  That is, failure eventually leads to success.  And sweet success it is.  It is a lesson that will guide you for the rest of your life!

In summary, hard work, failure, and sacrifice lead many to quit training in Taekwondo.  But these  are actually blessings in disguise for the ones who carry on.  Setbacks in training, failure in promotion, and learning how to work hard at something are a normal part of everyday life that one needs to not only understand, but also how to  defeat.  Those students who overcome the setbacks and hardships experienced through Taekwondo training  benefit from the hard, but necessary, life-lessons they conquered in training for the rest of their lives!  They understand that “Winners Never Quit”!

Martial Arts & Middle School!

Martial Arts & Middle Schools!

I am going to make a bold statement, based partly on what I see day in and day out at my martial arts school and also on the behavior I witness of our community’s youth when I am out in public:

I think it should be a requirement that ALL students in Middle School study a martial art!

Not to learn how to defend themselves (although that is one of the many benefits acquired through study), but rather, to be exposed to the fundamental elements of respect, discipline, focus, and confidence that are inherently learned through the structure and function of a martial arts class.

In addition, not only will students learn these fundamental human values through the study of martial arts, they will also gain a profound understanding of what it takes to succeed at a worthwhile goal.  They will learn how to be patient and to persevere, even through failure; life lessons that are not easy, but which are sorely needed in the technologically speedy world in which we live today.

Respect, Discipline, Focus, and Confidence

The martial arts have, through the centuries, been founded on and operate by these basic human elements (respect, discipline, focus, and confidence) which are its underlying foundation.  These are elements which are integral to a warrior’s existence, as well as the existence of the society which he protects.  The warrior’s code, “Bushido”, has always and by necessity must demand of its members respect for authority, discipline to obey orders and superiors, focus on the mission at hand, and confidence to stand strong and fight alongside of your fellow warriors; even when being vastly outnumbered.  This is known simply as the “Way of the Warrior”.  It is a profound way of life.

Today, these elements of “Bushido” are still in use, but have been carried over in a totally different manner, to use as tools by martial arts instructors to build character in our students, especially our youth.  However, today we stress respect for our teachers, parents and our own body.  We stress discipline to do what’s right and not to be a victim of negative peer pressure.  We teach our students to focus on the positive and when trying to accomplish a task they must focus their eyes, their mind, and their body to be successful.  We instill self-confidence in them by believing in them ourselves and by showing them how to develop their own self-confidence by helping others who are younger or weaker than themselves.  The same concepts used centuries ago by the Samurai.  But used in a totally appropriate way for the youth of today.

Patience & Perseverance

Because of the speed that our society now operates, children also need to learn about patience and perseverance.  Patience and perseverance are extremely important elements in realizing any meaningful goal.  Anything of value takes hard work, effort, and time (A.K.A., patience) to accomplish.  If it didn’t, everyone would have it and its value would be worthless.

Furthermore, I believe that “success is composed of 99% failure”.   So perseverance is also essential to succeed at anything worth attaining.  What I mean is that at some point in life, we all fail at something.  We must understand that failure is a part of success and that we must continue past our failure by getting up brushing ourselves off and persevering towards our goal.

Unfortunately, I see that kids today have very little patience and perseverance to accomplish anything worthwhile, anything that takes a great amount of time, effort, or patience.  Furthermore, they are not willing to put out the effort necessary to really be excellent at something.  It seems that “good enough” is the standard among most of our youth.  This worries me.  No goals, no ambition…no future.

Martial Arts, taught properly, can change these negative attitudes.  I’ve seen it happen firsthand.  Again through the structure and function of a martial arts class, it provides the foundation to learn what it takes to accomplish a valuable goal (such as the Black Belt); to strive for excellence; to not be satisfied with mediocrity; and to try and reach for your full potential as a person!  It’s certainly not easy, but, with patience, perseverance, and passion anyone can be a success!  Goals we set are goals we get!

Conclusion

The martial arts are something that is sorely needed in our modern technologically enhanced society; for our youth in particular.  They need the solid moral and ethical foundation that martial arts will provide them:  A foundation that may be structurally a part of the academic school system’s curriculum, but not functionally brought to life as it is in a martial arts classroom; a foundation that may or may not be taught in the home.  We need to instill in our youth a solid foundation of moral and ethical values that will enhance their lives as well as the communities in which they live.  And the martial arts can and will do this, given the opportunity.

So again, I make the bold statement:

I think it should be a requirement that ALL students in Middle School study a martial art!

I hope you agree.

Regards,

Mr C.