adults

The Dangerous Risk of Not Training

Last week I was talking to one of our adult students that will be turning 50 this year. We had a funny conversation that comes up fairly often when teaching martial arts about how he could beat up his former self. This student didn’t start training until his late 40s, but now that he has been training for a few years, the skills he has acquired would enable him to defeat his 30-year-old, stronger, faster, younger self in a fight.

The important thing to take away from this is that with every passing year one of two options is happening:

1. You are training martial arts. In this scenario, the percentage of people in the world that would beat you up in an altercation is decreasing year after year. Or depending on your age, at the very least it isn’t increasing as quickly as it would be without training.

2. You are not training martial arts. In this scenario, the percentage of people in the world that would beat you up in an altercation is increasing year after year.

It’s as simple as that.

Sometimes, when talking to someone over the age of 35 or so, they make the assumption that their time to train has come and gone. In all actuality, that is never the case. No matter your age, 35 or 75, it is important to train for self-defense (and so many other benefits).

While you should always try to avoid a fight, through training you are increasing your chances of being able to survive an attack.

Sometimes people say they will just keep themselves out of situations that they might need to fight. That’s really good - I will too! Unfortunately, sometimes there are situations we cannot avoid. As we’ve discussed in previous entries, men can avoid many altercations as long as they check their ego and alcohol consumption. But not all.

And if you are a woman, you have an even more important reason to train, as there is a much greater chance that you could be targeted in an abduction or sexual assault.

So, how would 50-year-old you fare against 30-year-old you? I can GUARANTEE that 50-year-old you will be much better off if he/she is consistently training.

See you on the mat!

2017 PMA Year in Review

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of my favorites of the entire year. After getting extra time with family for Christmas, we have a week to look back on the past year and plan for the year ahead.

This year was full of many good memories, but I’ll take just a minute to highlight some of my standouts and then the video can do a pretty good job with the rest!

February 2017 - Gary Hall and Linda Davis were promoted to Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo!

April 2017 - We took our Youth Competition Team to NAGA Atlanta, and they earned 6th place at their first significant tournament!

May 2017 - Brittany Corrigan and Kristie Fox finished their instructor training program/test, and became official PMA instructors!

May 2017 - Brittany, Charlie, and I had the opportunity to spend 11 days in Brazil, with our close friends Felipe and Ana, and their son Bento. This trip will forever be one of our greatest adventures and favorite memories. We can’t thank Felipe enough for bringing us to his home and showing us his city.

July 2017 - PMA students took a field trip over to my Dad's dojo in Knoxville to surprise him during his class for his birthday!

September 2017 - My brother, Nick, and his wife, Kylie, welcomed their first child, RJ Corrigan, into the world!

October 2017 - PMA’s Youth Competition Team brought home 2nd place at the NAGA Tennessee Grappling Championship out of 38 teams!

November 2017 - Sempai Madelyn Fowler competed in her first tournament and brought home the silver medal at the NAGA North Carolina Grappling Championships in her No-Gi division, and the gold medal in her gi division!

I liked competing when I was a child and young adult, but it never became a love of mine. However, coaching Jiu Jitsu has genuinely become one of my favorite aspects of my life. This year, we have had some incredible performances from our students (in both wins and losses), and I couldn’t be more proud!

December 2017 - Progressive Martial Arts Academy turned 15 years old! And December couldn't have been a better month. Brittany Corrigan and Kristie Fox were promoted to Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo! And Austin and Eli Fox were promoted to Junior Black Belt, along with many other students earning their next rank this month. We closed out the year with a wonderful holliday party, and some fun last classes of the year. For the kids class, we had 60 kids out on the mat together! 

Here are our Top 10 songs played from 2017 at PMA (dominated by Imagine Dragons this year!):

1. Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
2. Believer by Imagine Dragons    
3. Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons
4. Thunder by Imagine Dragons    
5. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
6. Rise Up by Imagine Dragons
7. Stay by Zedd & Alessia Cara
8. Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
9. Hard Times by Paramore
10. Shine on Me by Dan Auerbach

You can listen to the playlist while working out this week and getting ready for the new year here: 

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/pmas-top-10-songs-of-2017/pl.u-LRyv4IBkmEE

We had a crew of senior students and instructors in over the holiday break helping us update the dojo a little bit, so get excited about a new look when you come in next week! Thank you so, so much to the people that helped us out with that - you know who you are! :-)

We expect incredible things out of 2018, and can’t wait to share it on the mat with all of you.

Now, enjoy this video to wrap up 2017.

Happy New Year!

David Corrigan
Owner/Chief Instructor
Progressive Martial Arts Academy

5 Paradigms Adults Believe About Martial Arts

Every adult, no matter their age, gender, or physical limitations, should be training martial arts! Unfortunately, many adults have a mental block that keeps them from even exploring it as a possibility. Let’s break down the different misconceptions:

1. Martial Arts Training is for Kids

Yes and No. Martial Arts is incredible for children! BUT, it is designed for adults. We modify our curriculum quite a bit for children by removing some of the more violent self-defense techniques, highly detailed techniques, and complicated techniques.

Many of us grew up watching the Karate Kid, and that has planted the idea in our brains that Karate is for Kids. Through the years, we have somehow come to believe that martial arts are just another after school activity that we throw our kids into.

But, have you ever wondered what you would do in a fight? Every adult, both men and women, should learn self-defense. This is one of the primary reasons to train. It’s an important reason for kids too, but the character development is most parents’ main concern. For adults - it’s self-defense.

Check out this video from Jocko Willink talking about what arts you should train in (I’ll give you a hint, we teach them all!) to learn self-defense:

2. Martial Arts Training is Like a Kung Fu Movie

At our academy, we teach martial arts such as Kenpo, Jiu Jitsu, and Jeet Kune Do. One of the first responses we get from adults when they hear these names is a funny sound that you might hear Bruce Lee make in a Kung Fu movie.

They can’t imagine themselves making those silly noises and doing a “karate chop.”

Then there’s this guy:

In reality, martial arts training is really normal. Adults from all walks of life come together to learn fighting techniques that could save their lives, get a great workout, and have a lot of fun in the process. The benefits are innumerable and include things like stress-relief, discipline, and focus. Each class you leave as just a little bit better version of the person you walked in as. 

3. Martial Arts Training is Cagefighting

In 1993, the Gracie family from Brazil created the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a way to showcase their family’s art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, against other martial arts. Royce Gracie dominated the first few UFC events, and two things blew up in the United States - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

Many adults have now come to believe that martial arts training is the cage fighting (Mixed Martial Arts) that you see when you are flipping through the channels. While we will teach you the same techniques being used in the cage or boxing ring, it does not mean you take the abuse that a professional fighter does.

There are safe and fun ways of training that will challenge you and develop your skills as a martial artist without getting into a cage. 

We study these events as a way to learn about which techniques are being used most effectively in these rule sets, but we anticipate that 99.99% of our students will never enter the cage to be in a fight!

4. You Need to Be In Shape to Start Training Martial Arts

WRONG! But we understand why you feel that way. Instead of waiting until you are in shape, use martial arts training to help you get in shape! Don’t wait any longer. Just start!

Once you step on the mat, you’ll never look back. You’ll be surrounded by encouraging partners that have been or may currently be in the same stage of their fitness journey as you are. The people you train with will be one of your greatest tools to getting in and staying in shape.

5. You Can’t Train with a Bad _________________ (Fill in the blank - knee, shoulder, back, etc.)

As you get older, you will have injuries, illnesses, and all kinds of things “wrong” with you. We are human, and unfortunately, that means our bodies will slowly break down just like a car. These things shouldn’t hold you back unless you let them.

Modifications can always be made to adapt the training to what you need. If you allow your “bad knee” or whatever it is to keep you from starting something like this, before you know it you will have other bad things due to inactivity and unhappiness.

So, what does martial arts training look like? 

Well, at our Academy it typically starts with a warm up of jogging and various exercises to prepare your body for the lesson planned that day. Then you will spend some time learning the technique that has been scheduled in our curriculum for that day. 

The content might be a self-defense technique versus some of the most common assaults, a traditional martial arts form to develop traits that enhance your skills as a martial artist, or dynamic skills from Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, or the Filipino Martial Arts. 

After training the material for a while, the class usually finishes with some drills to make the technique functional so that you can use it effectively in a fight if necessary. At the advanced stages, this includes sparring drills with partners that will challenge you and protect you at the same time.

Here’s a demonstration I did of some of the techniques taught in the adult curriculum at Progressive Martial Arts Academy. No, they’re not all for kids. No, you don’t have to be in a Kung Fu movie, and no, you don’t have to fight in a cage!

So, if you’re still here reading this and you’ve been on the fence about starting martial arts, take action right now. I mean, RIGHT NOW! If you wait five more seconds, you will come up with a reason not to start now. 

I’m telling you, you won’t regret it. Just start. Take action right now. I’ll even make it easy for you - put your contact info below and I’ll reach out to you about setting up a free private introductory lesson.

Name *
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See you on the mat! 

Who Should Train Martial Arts?

“I wish I could train martial arts.”  

“I would train, I just have this __________ problem.” 

“There is no way that I could fit training into my schedule.” 

“I want my kids to train but…” 

Tonight, I thought back through my day and realized there are very few things that should keep someone from learning martial arts. Usually, the excuse given is out of fear or stubbornness but rarely should prevent them from training.

Here was my teaching schedule today:

10 AM - Beginner's Jiu Jitsu Class - Average Age of 40 with a myriad of joint issues, back problems, tight schedules, etc.

11 AM - 33-Year-Old Female - Takes time off from work to learn self-defense and relieve stress.

12 PM - 56-Year-Old Male - Private Lesson - This individual also uses his lunch break from a stressful 60-80 hour work-week career to learn the martial arts. Often wears a knee brace or pads to support his knees after having a surgery years ago.

12:30 PM - 67-year-old Male - Private Lesson - Trains martial arts to learn self-defense as he is sometimes involved in physical altercations with unruly patients at the hospital he works at and wants to be able to defend himself while controlling a patient without bringing them harm. Thus, he trains in Jiu Jitsu - The Gentle Art.

5:15 PM - Juniors Class (Ages 8-12) - These kids range from very athletic and outgoing to shy and physically weaker. Their parents come from all walks of life, and for some, the tuition for their children is but a small dent in their monthly income, and others work very hard to scrape together the money to get their child in the martial arts. For all - it is life changing.

6:30 PM - Adult Kenpo Class - The youngest in this class currently is 16 years old, and our oldest is 71. Some have issues jogging, jumping, kicking, etc. due to various health problems or injury, but all find a way to push their limitations and enjoy their training. 

These were just the classes I taught yesterday, but other instructors at PMA taught others. We have students with autism, cerebral palsy, asthma, chronic injuries, and many learning disabilities. We have moms, dads, teachers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, engineers, scientists (it is Oak Ridge!), butchers, veterinarians, salespeople, mail carriers, college students, police officers, entrepreneurs, pharmacists, military personnel, security guards, retirees, children, and everything in between.

Anyone can train martial arts.

Everyone that trains martial arts will run into obstacles and limitations, but part of the journey is the ability to overcome these perceived barriers. 

Martial arts empowers people of all ages to live their lives to the fullest and enables them to conquer the same obstacles and stress of their daily life that we all face. 

The intent of this article is to motivate those that have hesitated to begin their martial arts journey due to certain limitations and motivate those that may have quit training for one reason or the other. 

Check out this video published by Ryron and Rener Gracie last week emphasizing a critical point:

If you are training now, keep it up! When obstacles present themselves,  handle them accordingly but never let them stop you from training for the long haul.

See you on the mat!