About a two years ago, we set out to redevelop our adult martial arts curriculum. We started from the ground up in an effort to recreate the powerful skill-based methods we use in our kids martial arts classes, but which would be relevant to the needs of the modern adult while incorporating the roots of our traditional Okinawan karate curriculum. To do this, we had to first understand what skills were important to adults … so we asked!
We got some pretty cool answers, connected with some great coaches, and got in touch with our roots like never before.
Traditionally, most of the focus in our adult classes had been on self-defense, fitness, and traditional karate concepts. While we still do cover all of those things in detail (because they’re extremely important to what we do), it turns out the average person living in Glens Falls worries far less about being mugged than about being fiscally responsible, feeling confident, and having the time to accomplish everything they want to in order to feel successful.
“So wait … you don’t teach self-defense in your karate academy!?”
Of course we do. We still train daily on the physical and theoretical aspects of self-defense. Personal safety is so important and central to what we do that we consider it to be a personal responsibility to know how to defend oneself. We have simply taken an approach to our training that trains the intellectual, emotional and social skills that help keep us out of conflict right alongside the physical skills that get us out of conflict alive!
For example, in asking students and prospective students why they came to us, once of the most common responses was that people wanted to feel CONFIDENT.
How do we help with this?
First we recognize that one of the most powerful ways to help build confidence is to help people feel COMPETENT. In order to do this, we focus not only on the techniques being taught, but on conveying the reason why we do each thing, how it works, and by teaching each new thing at the proper time.
By removing the stress of the unknown from the learning environment, we help each student progress at a pace that is challenging yet comfortable. Sure, we still pressure test out abilities, but we do so with an eye for results, measuring performance against objective goals. By having clear objectives, a thoughtful timeline, and a skill-based curriculum, students are able to gain competence and build confidence.
“But what about discipline?”
For centuries, the study of martial arts has been about one thing: survival in combat. Students were expected to have military discipline because training had to happen quickly and on a large scale. Modern militaries still train the same way.
However, that hasn’t exactly been the case in the lineage of Okinawan Karate. In our traditions, discipline doesn’t mean simply standing still, feeling fearless, never speaking out. The truest sense of the word discipline is a path of instruction. Students are disciples of a school of thought or of a teacher. Discipline, to us, is not a harsh hand ruling the school, but rather the student’s ability to follow a path – guided by mentors, with a specific goal in mind.
As a bonus, many adults in our research told us that discipline was something that they could use more of. However, they didn’t ask for someone to yell at them and to take a punch without flinching, of course. They said things like “I wish I could lose some weight,” or things like, “I struggle with time management, specifically when it comes to taking care of myself.”
Another common adult challenge was, “I need help managing my finances.”
While these may not be concepts traditionally associated with self-defense and martial arts, they are concepts which if improved or mastered, will help students improve in all aspects of adult life. Let’s be clear: we didn’t create a new system, there are no magic techniques, we simply changed how we teach so that by laying a foundation of success, the student can more easily attain martial arts skill and harmony in their life.
Imagine how competent one could become at anything (including martial arts) if they had ample time to train and the personal resources to afford classes. And of course, more training will lead to a healthier body and lifestyle.
Mindset topics like this are covered regularly in our classes, with martial arts serving as the vehicle for conveying those lessons. In fact, mindset is one of the skills we teach!
“OK, I get it. But what does all this mean for me?”
Training in martial arts is a fun, rewarding experience all on it’s own, and being able to protect oneself and one’s family is vitally important. But imagine if you could get even more … BE even more!
Whether you need better discipline in your life to help you lose weight and build wealth, or you find yourself afraid to do the things that would take your job and your life to the next level, or your social or romantic relationships suffer because you keep sabotaging your efforts, or you simply need help figuring out how to meet new people, or you need help standing up to the office bully … whatever the challenge is, a martial arts program that focuses first on building and supporting you as a person while teaching you the skills and techniques you need to get ahead can help.
The only thing we CAN’T do for you is … get you to take the first step. But here is the cool thing: the biggest successes start with the smallest actions, and the smallest actions are, in themselves, the seeds of success.
Ready to take a small action?
Learn more about our adult karate program & how to schedule your first lesson below!
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