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What’s this martial arts lark actually all about?

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

When speaking to parents & students, we occasionally hear comments about costs or we speak to people who’s only motivation around learning is to be equipped with the skills to fight effectively. As I tell parents, people’s motivation varies and whilst we can teach you to be a trained killer, here at Family Martial Arts Centres, we want our students to develop a very rounded view of the martial arts. As Mr Foster from the Bury Centre says ‘it's more than just punching and kicking’.

Within Tang Soo Do we have our ‘8 Key Concepts’ (which you will see up on the wall and hear talked about a lot in class) and Grandmaster Hwang Kee wanted all students to incorporate these into their training. Alongside these, Family Martial Arts Centres has developed a series of leadership skills which we expect our students to adopt, develop & model - we don't just want to create martial artists; we want to develop the leaders of the future. How do we do this…?

We want our students to know their actions speak louder than their words and we want them to make sure that when they do take action, they take massive action. We want them to be remembered for what they do but also to understand that for every action there is also a reaction.

We know that you only ever get one chance to make a first impression and so we work with our students to develop respect. We try to develop the conversational skills and we try to get them to think about how to make a positive first impression. However, as things don't always go well, we ask them to reflect upon situations where they haven't been positive or made a good impression and how they can rectify that.

Key to this is their communication skills. We don't just mean verbal communication but the whole range of ways in which humans communicate with each other and with themselves. We want them to think about and have an internal conversation with themselves about what they're doing and why.

Being positive about what you do and what you've got helps to breed confidence & confidence begins with a smile. We want our students to think big and aim even bigger and we try to get them to think about how they can demonstrate the positivity that they feel inside.

Of course, you need courage to be a good martial artist but many of the situations in a person's life also require courage. This can be both physical spiritual and moral and we get them to think of challenges would you require them to dig deep within themselves.

We also don't want to build robots. We need our students to be free thinking and creative and to understand the past results do not limit their future achievements. We encourage them to be creative in all situations both within the Do Jang and without and to think big in what they want to achieve with their lives.

Motivation is often the key to success. Don't get me wrong, hard work plays a big part but if people are motivated then they’re going to put the work in. We want them not only to motivate themselves but also think about how they can motivate others and how they can have an effect on another person's motivation. We want them to model successful people and be successful themselves.

Everyone has a passion & we hope that one of those passions is martial arts. Channelling that passion is often the key to achievement and we look to our students to set goals based on this.

We explore the idea of persistence & endurance and how persistence is a measure of one's belief. How they get through the troughs and ride out the peaks on their way to their Black Belt will really help them develop a skill that would be invaluable in later life.

We get them to think about having a strategy for success and thinking about the big things that they want to achieve in their lives breaking them down into smaller more manageable tasks. Having a vision is often what separates leaders from followers and we try to get them to develop a clear vision of who they are and what they want to be.

Being a successful leader requires the development of trust. Trusting in yourself, in the support of others and in the vision that you have developed are critical factors in this area. We ask them to think who they can trust to help guide them on what can often be a long and rocky road.

So if you just fancy just doing some punching and kicking I suggest you look elsewhere. We want to develop martial artists who will be the leaders of a future that they can help shape.

Bruce Lee film
Bruce Lee

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