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Back to School Blog

Well, we’ve reached that time of year again, the time that most parents have been looking forward to all summer, and the time that turns most children happy faces upside down and that smile into a frown…….. it’s back to school time!!


The nights are starting to draw in, the temperature is slowly starting to drop, and for all the children out there, these past six weeks of getting to stay up later at night, the extra-long lie-ins in the mornings, hanging out with friends all day, and the endless TV/Film/Computer Games marathons during the day, are now becoming a thing of distant memory as we all settle down into the start of a new academic year.


This time of year is a big change for everyone as we all settle back into routines, and change especially for some, can be difficult to get our heads around. That’s where Martial Arts can help make a difference, as you take the knowledge and training you have picked up in the Do Jang, and use it to help you do well in the classroom and workplace.



But you may be asking yourself, how can skills learnt in a Martial Arts class be transferred and used at school and in the work? You’ll be surprised at how many there are.


Structure

Tang Soo Do is a Military Martial Arts, and as such comes with a certain structure that we enact every time we walk into the Do Jang. Whether it be bowing onto the mats, saluting the flag, or interacting correctly with partners, the repetition of these key Martial Arts foundations, really help to develop a well-structured individual, who can take this understanding of the consistency and apply it across their work. Martial Arts students understand both in class, at home and at school/work, repetition does not mean boring, it means building!


Focus

It’s so very important in these first few weeks of the new school year, that children make a good first impression. These weeks are the most valuable time for young ones to start off in the right manner, and build a good relationship with their friends and teachers. In class we get students to focus on the Instructor and the task in hand, and this in turn helps to improve their attention, to listen and learn and to react well to what they are being taught, while at the same time learning to aware of others and their surroundings. School teachers will generally notice and appreciate this, which helps to build a good rapport between student and teacher, and in turn that can lead to better grades, and good habits both in class and at home.


Discipline

We all know that we would rather be at anywhere else doing anything else than being in a school classroom, or sitting in an office all day. However, students who take part in Martial Arts have learned to discipline themselves through their training; they have learnt to listen to their teachers and peers instead of talking in class, day dreaming or staring out of the window. Without realising it, they have learnt that listening to Instructors and those with experience, can build on what they know and help them to learn new life skills. Martial Arts teaches children and adults alike that self-control can become the new normal for them, in their classroom, at home and at work.


Respect

One of the most important lessons Martial Arts can teach is respect. Both respect for yourself, and respect for others. In Martial Arts, students show respect throughout the class, by bowing when entering the Do Jang, addressing senior students with the correct ‘Sir/Ma’am’ titles, remaining silent and listening to Instructors when they are speaking or demonstrating a new technique. This understanding of respect can be carried from our classroom into the school classroom, and that same respect for one and all is carried over when dealing with other teachers and students……… and even possibly parents.


Confidence

Most of us can say we have experienced bullying of one kind or another at some point during our lives. Whether it’s little things people can say that demoralise us over time, or it’s physical bullying that can leave scars both seen and unseen. The sad truth is that bullying is real, and can affect anyone at any time. We can’t always be there to protect them, and we want to know that our children can look after and protect themselves. In Martial Arts we teach that physical self-defence is only to be used as a last resort, and that if possible and you can calmly talk your way out of a situation or even avoid it all together, then you are best to do so. However, we also teach everyone the skills to react and defend themselves if necessary. Martial Arts is amazing at building confidence which in turn can be very empowering and helps to build a good self-esteem, but all the while learning to remain humble.


Fitness

During the six weeks holidays, there has probably been times when you’ve been banging your head against a wall to get them off their phones and games systems, and get some fresh air and exercise. We all want the best for our children, and ourselves, and Martial Arts can give us the fitness and exercise levels we all crave, while at the same time learning a new skill. We find that children of all ages can break a sweat in class while having fun doing an activity the enjoy at the same time. The fitter you are the less likely you are to fatigue during the day, so children and adults who exercise regularly are more likely to focus and engage properly throughout the school day, as well as looking after their health and becoming stronger and fitter in the process.



As you can see, Martial Arts isn’t just something you come in and do for an hour or two every week, pack it up at the end of class and put it away until next time! Martial Arts is a foundation of principles that we take with on our journey through life, and use this knowledge at many points through our daily live. We become better and more confident individuals in all aspects of our lives and build on our learnings in class at home, work, and more importantly at school.



If you have never tried a Martial Arts class before, there is no better time than this time of change, to give it a go. If you are already a student of Tang Soo Do, maybe it’s that time to ask yourself, ‘can I do more, can I push myself further faster?’ If this is you, speak to one of your Instructors about the possibility of increasing your training time, as you can see from above, it’s not just in the Do Jang, where the skills of Martial Arts can help you.


Kyo Sa Nim Mr Nick Ogden

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