Lesson learned?!?! What are we really teaching with traditional martial arts?

Almost every traditional martial arts school across America talks about teaching “Life Skills” in their martial art, which is what makes us different from the MMA or non-traditional styles, but what and how are we doing this in Richardson, Tx?  Does it really translate into the student’s everyday life? I know and understand that each martial arts school chooses their branding and ideals to which their Dojo, Dojang, or Academy adhere to too. However, we almost universally use the same Life Skills; Discipline, Integrity, Focus, Perseverance, Courtesy, Indomitable Spirit or a derivative of these.

In our Richardson, TX school we have a monthly word and then weekly sub-words we work on with each student. With our program the students are rewarded for exemplifying our Life Skill words in class. If a parent tells us about it, or we become aware with our outreach to the schools (We include the schools in the ability for our students to test for rank) a student is rewarded with a skills stripe on their belt. We insure constant feedback from our school and parents on the progress of these skills.

It is scientifically proven that humans learn and absorb lessons many ways, and as traditional martial artists our lessons each day must incorporate as many as possible and they must be smooth throughout the class. If martial arts classes are just teaching the life skills through mat chats, they are only touching on a small prong of the equation. Each technique, stance, and drill must be dripping with knowledge about the Life skill we wish to translate into our student’s lives. Each lesson must have practical application for the student to be engaged in. Just like working on Forms we meticulously cover purpose, power, balance, strength, and proper techniques and alignment, we must also do so with our Life Skills. To be truly successful we must also incorporate visual learning age, for example our Harry and Friends cartoons, posters, and free video games(used in our 4-6-year old program) from Black Belt Principles; Visual aids must be exciting, intriguing, and demonstrative!  Another important aspect to truly teach the skills and have them stick is to give weekly or monthly handouts that emphasize your lessons. Coloring sheets for younger students, chore charts for older students, and practical articles and stories for your teens and adults. By providing the interactive handouts and incorporating them into your curriculum you are insuring that your lessons are staying in the students mind and that they will in turn start to impact those students.

So how did we learn to do this? Just like a class plan or rank curriculum we developed it using our knowledge gained. If we don’t have a clear, concise plan of action we have created a failing curriculum for what most parents are expecting and letting our students and clients down. Our instructors not only follow our curriculum but plan on a way to creatively teach the life skills we have assigned throughout the class. We make sure it is detailed oriented and that we not only speak the lesson but also demonstrate and have visual aids to assist in the lesson. We create interactive ways to quantify what we are teaching. Weekly chore charts, coloring sheets, and constant communication with parents and teachers is how we track our progress.

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Martial arts focus on training the body, spirit and mind to act as one. Its practitioners not only aim for harmony, but also master effective self-defense techniques. Adults who practice martial arts reap several benefits, both psychological and physical. Martial arts include karate, kung fu, tae kwon do, jiu jitsu, aikido and judo. Here are the major reasons why you should consider getting involved in this form of art.

Benefits of martial arts for Adults

Fitness

Fitness is an important part of any martial arts class, particularly where adults are involved. Warm-ups with pushups, stretches and jumping racks are the order of the day, and the movements associated with the martial arts itself will challenge the cardiovascular system and the body muscles. Martial artists are typically physically fit, toned and flexible and you will be no different.

Self-Discipline

Martial arts can enhance your mental focus, enabling you to concentrate on tasks until the goal is achieved. Most forms of martial arts teach discipline with regards to techniques, uniforms and customs, which usually translate into other aspects of life, such as workplace rules and meeting other general duties.

Self Defense

The ability to defend oneself against assailants is a great feeling. Most martial arts focus on self-defense as their foundation. The methods may vary from one discipline to another, but with regular practice, you will learn how to defend yourself in many different ways.

Respect

Martial arts is all about respect. Locking, punching, kicking and throwing are all secondary elements to the respect shown right from the moment you join a martial art club. You learn to respect and bow to old masters as well as your current instructors. Moreover, you are taught to treat other trainees as they want to be treated. Professional martial arts instructors emphasize on respect regularly and instruct trainees to exercise respect for self and peers.

Self Confidence

Being involved in martial arts generally enables you to be confident in yourself. The belt ranking system and the entire learning process gives you realistic goals to follow and attain. Whenever you master a new technique or graduate to a new belt, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will follow you wherever you go.

Teamwork

Teamwork is an essential element in nearly all aspects of life. It gives you the opportunity to develop confidence and understanding to work with others. Many martial arts schools teach trainees that the more they work together in their practice, the more they get accomplished. (For more information on Adult karate classes in Richardson, Tx visit our webpage

Balance and Posture

One of the most important skills for humans that is frequently overlooked, but requires constant attention and focus is balance and posture; the basic skills required to perform almost any activity. Martial arts help to build healthy balance, postures and movement through the use of appropriate techniques.

There is a popular perception that martial arts encourages violence but this is not true. While martial arts teaches people defensive techniques against kicks and punches as well as how to attack an opponent, students are also taught how to avoid physical confrontation unless necessary.

For more information on our adult martial arts classes visit our website

For more information visit www.loneeaglemartialarts.com

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