The Benefits We Can't Measure As Easily

“I walk taller now.

“My posture is better.”

“I’m so much happier on the inside.”

“I’ve become a better parent.”

 “I feel healthy.”

"I feel confident out in public."

“I feel confident in my food decisions.”

“I’m more organized.”

“I am stronger… inside and out.”

“I’m determined.”

“I'm more focused.”

These are real things that our martial arts students tell us on a regular basis. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in the goals, outcomes, and benefits that we can easily see or measure such as pounds and inches lost, promotions, or the number of push-ups we can do. 

Don't get me wrong - those measurable things are PHENOMENAL too. But we can't lose sight of all the other ways our lives are improved by martial arts training, exercise, or changes in our nutrition and lifestyle habits.

So, what are some ways your life has been impacted by the martial arts way of life?


This Saturday at our annual holiday sale from 10 AM - 1 PM, we will be offering our lowest price ever on our 1-year nutrition and lifestyle coaching program. This 100% online program is regularly priced at $1,999, and has only been discounted to our students to $999 in the past. We are going to take on 10 additional students into the program to start on Monday, January 1, 2018, and will be offering the entire year of coaching for $899. This price will be available at the holiday sale only.

If you'd like to go ahead and lock in your spot now, email me at dcorrigan@pmaoakridge.com and I will make sure your spot is saved on Saturday. Then we will check you out at the sale (even if you can't make it in person!). 

Learn more about the coaching program here - 

http://www.pmaoakridge.com/nutrition

Check out the event page on Facebook for more information on sale items, and RSVP to make sure you don't miss announcements as they come out this week:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2031918930370641/

Tournament Breakdown (Videos)

PMA instructor, FILKENJUTSU Black Belt, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue-Purple Belt, Madelyn Fowler, competed in her first ever competition this weekend in Concord, North Carolina. After a few months of hard training in preparation, we picked out the NAGA North Carolina championships to be the battleground! With her being an instructor, we thought all of her students, training partners, friends, and family might like to see her matches!

We drove down on Friday night for weigh-ins, and Sempai Madelyn weighed in at 112 pounds and would fight in the 109-119 division (flyweights). After fueling up with a good dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest up before she'd compete on Saturday.

In her very first match, Madelyn demonstrated her skill and strength, executing a couple of takedowns before finishing with a perfectly executed guillotine choke. Our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students will recognize the final move, as it was the EXACT variation that was taught on Thursday night last week!

Then, in the No-Gi finals she was matched against a very tough competitor who put Madelyn in danger early in the match with an arm bar submission. Madelyn would escape and counter with an ankle lock submission to tie the score 2-2, and in the final seconds, her opponent achieved the side control position to win 4-2. This earned Madelyn the silver medal in the No-Gi division, but it would not be her last time facing this opponent!

Now exhausted from experiencing how quickly energy is drained by the adrenaline, nervousness, etc. it was time to switch to the gi. Madelyn faced another new opponent in her first match and planned to use her guard this time to control her opponent and set up an attack. After multiple close attacks, Madelyn won via referee's decision.

She would now face the same opponent that defeated her in the no-gi finals, in the gi finals! After analyzing Madelyn's first match with this opponent and another one of this competitor's matches, we decided that her opponent really wanted to be on top. So this match, we would let Madelyn use her strength and skill in takedowns to keep the fight standing and fight for the top.

She landed a beautiful ogoshi (hip throw) into side control to go up on the scoreboard and would later score an advantage point for a near guard pass, and these would be the deciding points in the match to win the gold medal!

Most importantly, Madelyn is leaving this competition with a tremendous amount of experience. We would be so proud of her regardless of her results, but the wins make it even more sweet! Her results were great on their own, but when you consider that this was a pure grappling competition and she spends more than half of her time teaching and training in a striking art it is even more impressive. 

She demonstrated mental toughness, skill, sportsmanship, and even the proper way to handle a loss all in this one tournament. We could not be more proud of her and the way she prepared for and then carried herself in this tournament.

Martial arts and combat sports. Which is better?

At our academy in Oak Ridge, we teach a few martial arts. These arts, when combined, prepare a student for every empty-handed scenario (no weapons) that they could find themselves in if in a self-defense situation, and most attacks involving weapons too. Specifically, we teach FILKENJUTSU Kenpo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Filipino Kali, Jeet Kune Do, and Kickboxing. Or as we like to call it a "Full House!" There are 3 K’s or Kings (Kenpo, Kali, and Kickboxing) and 2 J’s or Jacks (Jiu Jitsu and Jeet Kune Do), a "full house" in poker. 

This weekend I will be taking our Youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competition Team (that's some of them in the picture above after our last tournament) to their next grappling tournament - a combat sport. So I thought I'd spend this post discussing the difference between a martial art and a combat sport. What are the pros and cons of each? By the end, I hope you can tell the differences between them and distinguish whether you’d prefer to be training in one over the other, or both!

We often talk about there being five steps to learning a martial art:

  1. Learn
  2. Practice
  3. Master
  4. Functionalize
  5. Maintain

Here’s a quick video briefly explaining each step if you want to learn more:

At the “functionalize” phase, sparring becomes a crucial part of training. This is when two martial artists engage in a "live" training exercise where they are both attempting to use their techniques on the other, simulating some element of a real fight. 

Since each art tends to focus on specific areas of the fight (punching, kicking, grappling, weapons, etc.), rules are put on these sparring drills to make them more focused on the techniques taught in that particular martial art. These rules can be both good and bad. 

The good is that the techniques themselves get much more refined and efficient for that specific ruleset, often leading to a more effective way of performing the technique. That is the core reason Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most effective martial arts on the planet - the heavy amounts of live sparring, or "rolling" as BJJ practitioners like to call it, has led to the techniques being refined and perfected generation after generation to an extremely high level of effectiveness. 

The bad is that sometimes the student becomes too comfortable with the specific ruleset for the particular sparring drills of his art.

In most cases tournaments start to pop up as a way for students of these arts to test their abilities against other martial artists that train in other places around the world. This provides a unique opportunity to not only test your skill set against other martial artists but, more importantly, to learn about yourself and how you handle stress and adrenaline. These tournaments have rules, and often the academies that participate slowly but inevitably adapt their curriculum and techniques to this specific ruleset to have more success at these championships.

This process has happened multiple times with multiple martial arts, and ultimately led to many “martial arts” being taught purely as “combat sports.” Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are all perfect examples of this process.

 Interestingly, what sometimes leads to more success in the tournaments can bring an art’s “street effectiveness” down. How can this be? Wouldn’t it make sense that if the original goal of sparring was to be able to perfect or functionalize their techniques that it could only serve to make them more effective in a fight?

Unfortunately, no.

What happens instead is that over time the techniques themselves are adapted to fit the specific ruleset for the tournament they are fighting in.

For example in basic Tae Kwon Do sparring competitions the rules are:

“Kicks are allowed to the torso and head. Punches are allowed to the torso. Kicks below the belt and strikes with any part of the hand other than the knuckles are not allowed. Points are awarded for solid kicks and punches to valid target areas as long as the attacker stays on their feel (i.e., no falling down).”

This specific ruleset made the stance, movement, and strikes of Tae Kwon Do stylists adapt to being good for this format but extremely vulnerable to other techniques that wouldn’t be allowed in this form of competition such as leg kicks.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, no striking is allowed - only grappling. And therefore, students that only train for this specific ruleset are often not prepared for the realities of a real confrontation when their opponent would be throwing strikes.

One of the most recent examples in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community was a rule that fighters could not be kneed or kicked in the head if at least one hand was on the ground. This led to fighters intentionally putting themselves in positions that would completely expose them to a knee or kick to the head in a real fight, but their opponent couldn’t take advantage of them because of the rule.

Obviously, the rules are put in place to protect the athletes, but in doing so, they are also changing the way that participants will prepare for these competitions. That is neither good or bad, just fact.

Here is what’s outlined in the “Martial Arts Catalogue” on the difference between art and sport:

“Art, as the word applies to martial arts, is the specific application of skill in perfect traditional form. Sport, which has come to be considered the antithesis of art, is the specific application of skill to obtain effective results.”

So, what do you do about it? Is one better than the other? Should you train a martial art or a combat sport?

The key is to ask yourself first why are you training? 

For most individuals, a martial art is at least where they should start. They are often interested in learning to defend themselves, getting in shape, relieving some stress, maybe meeting some new people, and having fun. A martial art can be perfect for this.

Unfortunately, they have to be careful as many schools that claim to teach an art such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu even, really focus the majority (or all) of their time on the combat sport side of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Therefore a new student that is interested in learning to defend himself will be spending the majority of his time preparing for a ruleset that he doesn’t have any interest in trying to become a competitor in and not preparing for the realities of self-defense.

As an academy, we try to be very clear about what we teach so that the students are receiving exactly what they are looking for. 

This weekend, I’ll be taking our competition team to a grappling tournament (combat sport) that they have been training for separately from their regularly scheduled group classes in the martial arts that they are learning. Here's one of our kids at their last tournament in April. He's the one in the PMA gold shirt and is only 8 years old. Watch the determination and skill presented and imagine how talented he will be as an adult if he spends the next 10 years of his childhood perfecting these skills!

I hope this helps someone navigate the sometimes tricky path of finding a martial art (or combat sport!) to take up learning, and the right academy to do it at. I hate that martial artists feel such a need to put down one or the other, as there is a space and niche audience for both. Traditional martial artists like to point out the flaws in the sportive side for not being “street” enough, and sport practitioners often point out that traditional arts aren’t “live” enough. When in reality, there is a place for both.

We can all learn to be a little more understanding, compassionate, and open-minded towards others. Especially in this crazy world we seem to be living in right now. Let’s leave our egos behind, try to keep making the best decisions for our personal journey, and let others have the freedom to do what they think is best without your criticism.

There is nothing wrong with a healthy discussion or even argument, but this pick a side and be closed minded to anything that might potentially mean that we've been even a little wrong about something has got to stop. After all, do any of us really have all of the answers?

Does Size Matter in Martial Arts?

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to martial arts training. Although height and weight may be advantageous in other sports, martial arts rely more on technique and therefore when choosing whether or not to learn the arts, your size should be irrelevant. 

All sizes can and should train martial arts to learn how they can effectively fight with their body type. Executing correctly and on point is what delivers victory over an opponent. Keep in mind too that training with people of all different sizes helps understand better what tactics to apply during an encounter. 

Now, power makes more of a difference than size does. Strength training and development gives you the energy, momentum and force to deliver faster strikes, stronger throws and sustain balance. Whether you’re short, tall, big or small, strength is more important than feet and inches. A small frame can develop the strength necessary to execute powerful techniques.

The nice thing about martial arts is that men, women, children, and seniors can all enjoy the physical benefits from an ancient sport and not be overly concerned about size playing a significant role in their ability to perform. Learning techniques and applying them comes from practice and dedication. For individuals who are studying martial arts for its health benefits and acquiring the self-defense skillset, size is irrelevant. 

In some techniques, it can even be beneficial to be smaller. The tallest person in the room may appear to be intimidating, but a smaller person can easily throw them off balance. 

It's also important to keep in mind that martial arts isn’t always about fighting and that means that you don’t have to dwell on your size. The health benefits that martial arts provide on a physical and mental level are tremendous. A complete range of motion and mental concentration require participants to exert energy on many levels which result improved muscle and aerobic conditioning. This has nothing to do with your size. 

Whether you’re 4’ nothing or 6’ something and you’re looking for a way to get fit, build strength, feel a sense of calm, and maybe even lose a few pounds along the way then martial arts is a great option for you. If you’re feeling self-conscious about numbers on the scale or the ones that say how small or tall you are, then martial arts is beyond a great option, it’s the perfect one. 

Now to answer the question: does size matter?

Yes. A larger opponent does have an advantage over a smaller one, but that is one of the most important reasons to train. The techniques taught in the martial arts are designed to help you overcome those disadvantages. We don't have any control over who may potentially attack us, and therefore training to overcome brute strength with technique is one of the most critical and most empowering aspects of training.

5 Key Health Benefits to Martial Arts Training

Participating in physical activity is much more beneficial than a sedentary lifestyle. And as we age, it becomes even more important to incorporate some form of fitness into our daily routine. Exercise has been shown to improve your mood, combat chronic diseases, and manage your weight. Regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability, experiencing the outstanding health benefits that martial arts have to offer is a great way to improve your well-being.

Here’s a quick rundown on some of the advantages that martial arts provide in the world of fitness.

Mentally Refreshing

Seeped in ancient traditions, the martial arts have significant mental and spiritual elements that work toward enhancing focus and cultivating better self-control. Filtering energy and cleansing the mind from stress and tension enables martial arts practitioners to feel a sense of balance and tranquility that transcends into their daily lives. If you’re feeling the pressure from work, family, and life, exploring martial arts is an excellent way to release some of the tension.

Sense of Accomplishment

Unlike running on a treadmill or pedaling in a spin class, martial arts involves a series of progressions that define advancement and skill level. Through practice and commitment, martial arts enthusiasts can see themselves advance from novice to expert. Measurement through recognition builds confidence and creates a rewarding environment.

Increase Strength

Pop culture and Hollywood have misled many people into believing that martial arts are strictly about training and fighting. In truth, high-quality martial arts training should include many other attributes such as strength and conditioning. Various techniques are employed that develop strength through calisthenics, which makes martial arts a great way to become stronger without getting bulky.

Overall Stamina

Research shows that the combination of exercise and energy found in martial arts considerably bolsters stamina. Chemicals released in the brain make you feel better, stimulate the immune system and have even demonstrated anti-aging capabilities. 

Flexibility

The soft style routines found in some forms of martial arts dramatically increase flexibility. Training and study of martial arts require an entire range of motion from the body, and that helps with coordination and balance.


There are many forms of martial arts to choose from. Find one that’s right for you and discover the benefits first hand. 

4 Types of Meditation/Visualization for Martial Artists

As more and more research comes out highlighting the importance of a healthy body AND mind, I’d like to highlight four different types of meditation and visualization that can be used by martial artists.

1. Mindfulness  

This is one of the purest forms of meditation, and one of the best ones to start playing with if you are a meditation newbie. To practice this all you have to do is stop for a few moments at any time during the day and focus on being fully present in that moment. You don’t need to change your breathing, just notice it. You don’t have to say anything, or do anything, or be anywhere. Just stop and pay attention. Be present in the moment, for a few minutes.

2. Focused

For a focused meditation, you will need to set your mind to solving a problem, visualizing a goal, or imagining a scenario play out the way you want it to. Athletes stand to benefit the most from an exercise like this (we all remember the Michael Phelps face from the last summer Olympics, don’t we?). 

Martial artists can use this form of meditation also to visualize performing a specific technique, or the way a fight is going to play out. The brain doesn’t recognize the difference very well between imagining you’ve done something and actually doing it. We can capitalize on that and better prepare ourselves for combat by visualizing different scenarios in a fight so that if we ever find ourselves there, it’s not the first time (at least in our minds). Being a step ahead like that will help us not to freeze, and be better prepared to react correctly and quickly.

3. Movement

A movement meditation is when you perform an activity and you are focused solely on the movement. This type of meditation can be simple or complicated. An example of a simple movement meditation would be to pick some pattern to do with your arms and close your eyes while you repeat that pattern (martial artists, imagine doing Hubud Lubud with a partner with your eyes closed).

A complex movement meditation could be something like a form or rolling in Jiu Jitsu. When you are grappling with a partner, you can’t help but be entirely focused and concentrated on this one activity - or you will get choked out pretty quickly. Doing this a couple of times per week works wonders on mental health, stress relief, and overall happiness.

4. Mantra

For this type of meditation, you will need to find a saying, quote, or scripture that you like and spend a few minutes truly soaking it up and internalizing it. Try to understand it, think of how it applies to your life, and say it multiple times throughout the session. One of our favorites is “To Fall Seven Times, To Rise Eight Times. Life Begins Now.”


I recommend starting with the first one, and then slowly trying to integrate some of these different forms of meditation into your martial arts practice, and your life, and see the impact it has on you.

The Underlying Reason We Never Change

We want to eat healthily…but we love good food.

We want to exercise…but we like to be lazy.

We want to quit smoking…but will probably just pick up another cigarette.

We want to quit drinking too much…but enjoy drinking.

We want to save money…but enjoy our lifestyle.

We want to eat more veggies…but chips taste better.

We want to read a book…but we love watching TV.

We want to take care of our planet…but still waste because it’s easy.

We want to live in the moment…but are always looking at our screens.

We want to be happy…but we are satisfied with just okay.

We want to make a change…but are ambivalent to do so.

Think about your own life and all of the things within it that you’d like to change. Do you see both reasons to change and reasons not to? If yes, you are not alone. This ambivalence is widespread for us humans, but the good news is that if you are at this stage, you are at least heading in the right direction.

You can view the steps to making a change as:

1. Someone needs to make a change, but they don’t see why.

2. Someone needs to make a change, and they see why, but also see reasons why things should stay the same.

3. Someone needs to make a change, chooses a path to move in that direction, and follows it (no matter what).

Today we are talking about step 2 - the ambivalence stage. This stage is where people get stuck for a long time trying to make a change. It seems with every step you take in the right direction, you are pulled back towards the other side by seemingly good reasons and arguments on why things should stay the same. We like them that way, and they are comfortable, easy, and enjoyable.

I’m here to tell you that is completely normal. Inside you though, you know that a change needs to happen. You know the lifestyle that you want to curate for yourself and long for it frequently.

When you’re ready to move from step 2 to step 3, you will finally make that change. When you are fed up with being ambivalent, you will pick a path out of your old ways and follow it. You won’t let the talk inside your head bring you back to sustaining the old habits. Until then, expect to remain stuck at the ambivalent stage.

When you are ready, willing, and able to move on, you will go for it. When you go for it, you will slip and fall and take steps backward. That is okay. You need to have an unlimited re-do button that you just hit over and over again (we call this the clean slate policy). You have to! Because if you are actually struggling with ambivalence, even when you finally decide to make a change, you will double back and fail. 

But what am saying you know this already, right? How many times have you tried to ________________? We often make statements like, “I’m not going to eat any more junk food.” But of course, we inevitably eat junk food (sometimes embarrassingly close to when we just swore it off). Without the clean slate policy, we just give up. We assume we aren’t capable of making the change and just quit…until we get fed up with ourselves enough to try again.

So, what have you been longing to change? Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you able? Are you fed up enough to finally say “I’ve had enough” and do something about it? This time, it’s not going to be a start and stop. This time when you decide to make that change, stick with it for life. Go down that path away from the old habit and no matter how many times you fall, get back up and try again.

“To Fall Seven Times. To Rise Eight Times. Life Begins Now.” - Daruma


Towards the end of this year, we will begin accepting both male and females into our nutrition and lifestyle coaching program again. Our next group will start on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Input your name and email address below to be one of the first to receive notification when we begin accepting this next group.

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Let Me Tell You About My Greatest Enemy!

In a short period of time, I will be in my mid-sixties.  Age is my greatest enemy, and as anyone my age or older will tell you; the things that once were easy have become a lot more challenging. 

Well, all enemies are the same, whether human, physical, or psychological.  What enemies are, are negative entities in your path of success.  So, how do you get rid of your enemies?  My answer to that is very simple;  simply confront them and defeat them.  Age is no different! 

One of the first things to do on the path of defeating age is not to consider it a factor at all.  I came to the realization, that I was spending more time worrying about the limitations of age than I was on the ways I could overcome it.  Once I got on the right road, I came up with a pretty successful framework for defeating the aging process, and adding to the time I will be able to train.  Here are a few things from the Corrigan master plan:

  1.  Work Backwards – Don’t start by comparing yourself to a 20-year-old.  First, compare yourself to those your own age and see how you fit.   Are you the same as them physically and mentally?  If you are “younger” than them – go lower.    For example, if you truly feel that at your age you are physically and mentally “younger” than someone 5 calendar years younger than you, then that is where you start.  Hold yourself to your “calculated” age standards.  Conversely, if you feel you are much “older” than your age – start there and work your way backward until you are physically and mentally fit as your peers. 
  2. Take care of your body.  Don’t train injured, baby the injuries. Rest.
  3. No Excuses – I hear older Martial Arts students say all the time (including me sometimes!) “at my age…,”  “I used to be able to….,”    “I'll never be able to…,” etc.  These are just excuses and self-limiters.  If you set the bar at 3 inches rather than 3 feet, then that is where you will stay.
  4. Stop trying to use “old man strength” – Listen, all this does is make you tired, and the bane of everyone’s existence.  You don’t have to win all the time to maintain your respectability.  Chances are, if you are “older” then all the young guys respect you, and want to treat you with respect.  Enjoy the respect, and stop hurting them with your desire to beat them.
  5. Supplement your training – Go to the gym, walk, run, move, stretch.
  6. Make time – I have a physician that I go to that has said to me for the last 12 years “ Man, I gotta try that, but I just don’t have the time!”  He is my doctor, but I know for sure that he will take the “dirt nap” before me.  Why? Because he is fat, out of shape, stressed and overworked.  I need to write him a prescription, but he’ll never get it filled. 
  7. Variety.  If you like martial arts, don’t limit what you study.  I often say that I am good at boxing, okay at Jiu Jitsu, excellent at Kali, and great at Kenpo.  Combined, I am satisfied.  The moral of the story is that you might just be training in the aspect that you will never be GREAT in, no matter what age you are. Seek things that you can excel at as well as those that you might just be mediocre in. Besides, variety makes you train differently and with all you got.
  8. Train as much as possible with younger people.  Enjoy their ability and learn from them.  Ask them how they are dominating you.  Learn ways to dominate them using your experience.
  9. Finally....Make martial arts a lifestyle.  That DOES NOT MEAN MAKE IT YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!  You have other things, like a family, a job, other hobbies, kids, grandkids, etc.  Make martial arts fit in your life, and use your training to enhance everything else you do.

5 Reasons Martial Arts Training Is The Best Activity for Your Brain and Memory!

A recent Consumer Reports article presented the latest research on keeping our minds sharp, especially as we age. As I read the article, I couldn’t help but notice that each of the five areas discussed could be addressed by being actively involved in a Martial Arts program!

1.    Reducing Stress

Exercise is well known for its ability to aid in the reduction of stress. Add to that the myriad of stress-reducing benefits of the Martial Arts in particular and you have a true stress buster. 

2.    Staying Connected

By this, the authors meant staying connected socially with others. The social aspects of a training class such as a Martial Arts class cannot be underestimated, not to mention Martial Arts classes are fun and engaging, helping you to commit to the long term benefits. 

3.    Feeding the Brain

Consuming a nutritionally-balanced diet is key to any Martial Arts program and your overall healthy lifestyle. The recommendations for maintaining healthy brain function are much the same as for maintaining overall healthy body function: minimizing trans-fat intake, reducing saturated fat intake, and consuming more fish and other foods that contain healthy fats. 

4.    Staying Fit

Physical activity is the best-known way of protecting your brain against aging. The recommendation here is the same as for general health and well-being: at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. Martial Arts training incorporates daily exercise into your routine in a fun and exciting way so that you can stick to it. 

5.    Flexing Brain Muscles

Use it or lose it. The mental aspect of Martial Arts training provides this type of mental stimulation along with a great physical workout. This is something I discuss with our adult students on a very regular basis. Adult students often notice that the martial arts we teach are so technique oriented, cerebral, and detailed that they sometimes have difficulty remembering the techniques. That is exactly why it is so beneficial for you. Using the brain to make the mind and body work together performing a complicated Jiu Jitsu technique, or a long Kata in Kenpo is exactly the kind of workout that your brain needs!

Keep in mind that “aging” doesn’t mean you’re heading toward your 90s. Depending on your lifestyle, aging-related changes in your brain such as memory loss can begin as early as your 20s or 30s. So stay committed to your Martial Arts training. Your mind will thank you for it.

Some people plan on doing crossword puzzles and sudoku to keep their minds working as they age. I for one plan on rolling and practicing my forms/techniques when I’m 90!

Should We Teach Children How to Fight?

When watching kids play, you’ll often see one lose his temper when he doesn’t get his way. The feeling that arises when he doesn’t get his way is completely normal and okay, what we aren’t okay with is the reaction to lash out at the other child in response to that feeling.

Adults aren’t any different. When you watch a sporting event, you’ll often see tempers get the best of the athletes and fights break out during what was supposed to be a game. In some sports, like hockey (one of my family’s favorites!), the fighting aspect may even be encouraged. The crowd goes crazy, and some argue that it even has a place in the game so that the bigger, tougher guys on the team can stand up for the smaller, skill-based players when they take a big hit or are getting roughed up by the opposing team trying to slow them down.

When two kids fight, you’ll often hear the adults say, “they're just kids,” or, “boys will be boys." I'd like to argue, though, that they're just human. Adults and kids alike!

Fighting is a natural part of life, and unfortunately, children may sometimes be put into situations where they need to stand up for themselves or a smaller, weaker child. Teaching them how to fight should be an essential part of their childhood.

However, it is not because we want them to fight.

We teach our kids how to fight so that they don’t have to. When training martial arts, the most important things you learn are how to respect everyone (including your opponent), how to control your actions (even when you are angry), and who you are at your core. How do you respond to stressful scenarios? Do you run? Do you stand up and fight? Do you let your pride get the best of you? How do you walk away from a fight? When should you walk away from a fight?

These questions are all critical for a child to answer for themselves, and martial arts training will help guide them to the answers on their own. No one will sit down and tell them the answers. They have to come to them on their own.

How? Through learning how to fight.

Next Thursday, September 14 we are canceling all of our kids’ classes for the night and holding a free bullying prevention class from 4-6 PM open to the public. We would like all of our youth students ages 6 & up to attend this class and invite some friends to also. 

Our space is limited, so please reserve your spot at the link below (even current students should reserve their place). We encourage parents to attend this class also, as we will talk about some valuable information that you and your children should discuss at home so that you are on the same page when it comes to how they will handle these challenging scenarios that are bound to happen.

CounterBully: More Information and Reserve Your Spot Online - 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/counterbully-seminar-tickets-37441138453