With a few martial arts mats in a space in your home, you can add a new flavor to a workout routine that might be tasting a little bland. Incorporating some martial arts into your daily workout can increase your progress and improve results as well as offer some focused mental discipline. Continue reading Adding Martial Arts to Jumpstart Your Workout
With the study of the martial arts comes the implied understanding: it’s ok to defend yourself. How would today’s headlines read if millions of women and minorities for centuries had believed that and been empowered to act on it? Tragically, the implied understanding simply isn’t true. There are many for whom self-defense can become the first step toward the destruction of all they hold dear. But it isn’t right, and it falls to the martial arts community to add self-defense, in its truest meaning and practice, to that glorious list of inalienable rights. Continue reading Self-Defense for Better Headlines
It’s sad to say, but there are parents who consciously prepare their children for the eventuality of facing bullies as part of their back-to-school routine. It’s not sad that they’re preparing them, but sad that it has to be done. There are many ways to approach it; talking about how to diffuse a situation, learning the strength of walking away, but also knowing how to protect yourself physically. That’s why many back-to-school activities involve martial arts practice at a studio, but also at home. Continue reading Back to School…Bullies
Tired of a workout regimen that’s just the same thing over and over? Do you find yourself dreading going to the gym every now and then? Maybe a different approach to your workout routine is in order: one that has benefits beyond staying fit, building muscle, and being active. Continue reading Adding Martial Arts and Self-Defense to a Workout
School is back in session, and sadly, for many kids and their parents, this means bullying season is in full swing. How can you help your child, whether she’s bullied or is the bully, cope with aggression this year? Martial arts can help kids and families on both sides of the bullying fence because of the core principles they teach. Continue reading Martial Arts for Bully and Bullied
Why do we choose to learn self-defense? For many, the choice is based on the knowledge that bad things happen to good people. Take last week in France, for example. A gunman emerges from a bathroom on a train with a rifle over his shoulder, intent on violence. The passengers on the train were not armed, not at all prepared for what would have happened if the gunman had succeeded. Many, many good people could have been injured or killed, were it not for the actions of a few heroic individuals.
Violence robs us of our sense of security, our freedom from fear. The goal of terrorism is to incapacitate using fear as a weapon. The word terror, in one of its earliest recorded uses, describes a fear “so great as to overwhelm the mind.” And once our minds are overwhelmed, our bodies follow suit. Self-defense is one tool we can use to stay active and vigilant in situations involving fear and violence.
Even in situations of lesser scale, we can be incapacitated by our fears. We see something happening that should be stopped, yet we ignore it and hope that someone else gets involved. School bullies often rely on this bystander effect. But what if, on a daily basis, we were more self-confidant, more prepared to face unexpected events? It is no secret that a practice of martial arts instills these things, and more. An understanding and respect for of the value of all human life, self-integrity, and a personal ethics that does not leave room for by-standing are hallmarks of the martial artist, as well as many others.
Those who were able to subdue the gunman on the French train were not bystanders. They understood the situation and chose action over inaction. Not all of us are physically able to take action, but those with training in self-defense and martial arts are mentally prepared to adapt to situations of uncertainty because they are certain of themselves and their own values. This is probably the greatest benefit that training in self-defense offers: a higher degree of self-confidence and courage.
The inaugural class of a new elementary charter school has been proactive in the way they plan to approach bullying behavior in their new school. In the late spring, the kids and two facilitators met over a weekend to conclude a semester-long class on personal choices as they pertain to bullying. As in any program worth its salt, the children were told that self-defense is a last resort. Continue reading Self-defense and the School Bully