Every adult has dreamed of being a martial artist … but where did those years go?
As adults we face constant challenges in our lives that must be overcome in order for us to find success and even just a little peace of mind.
Our jobs place strenuous demands on our time, drain our effort and mental energy. Then, our families and friends still require our attention.
The problem is that, very often we become so consumed by providing for others that we lose sight of our own personal goals, we’re too tired to take care of our own needs at the end of the day, and our health can sometimes begin to deteriorate as a result.
The solution we’ve come up with at Glens Falls Karate Academy is to develop a unique program that targets the needs of adults while providing skill-based training that goes beyond the punches and kicking techniques of a typical martial arts class to help create a lifestyle that makes success (which is defined personally for each student) a bit easier to see … and attain.
With that said, a structured program targeting physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development coupled with skill-based training in martial arts has proven to be very successful for our adult students.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT FOR ADULTS:
PHYSICALLY: After high school, many adults experience a slow down in activity. This is in part caused by the increasing demands of work life, and the lack of structured physical activities such as physical education classes and team sports. Even more challenging, beyond the age of 25 our bodies begin to change; it takes more effort to see the same results. While we may still enjoy physical activity, we tend to relegate it to the ever-decreasing free time category instead of making it a priority.
We expect our adult students to sometimes need extra help and encouragement when facing tough physical challenges.
The goal for our program is to get them to understand their potential if they remain consistent in training and mindful of the way their bodies feel at any given time. We spend a little more time warming up, a lot more time learning how to work not just harder, but smarter, and with an emphasis on increasing health and overall fitness.
INTELLECTUALLY: Adults can grasp every concept taught in a martial arts class, and have the benefit of their own experiences to measure by. Their critical thinking skills are top notch, but their decision making skills are sometimes tempered by their mindset; life is no longer a game, and sometimes fear of failure can hold us back.
We expect our adult students to require proof, and to sometimes need to have things explained before they believe it. We expect to encounter self-defeating thoughts, even in those with the keenest of minds.
The goal for our program is to help our students see the bigger picture and apply their intellect in order to find solutions to problems in and out of the dojo.
EMOTIONALLY: We all enter the dojo with a particular set of life experiences. We’ve been hurt, we’ve felt joy, we’ve known fear. These things can hinder our growth, or they can give us the foundation on which to craft a world-view full of wisdom and compassion.
We expect the efforts of our adult students to be based on the emotional moments of impact that they have experienced in their lives, even as far back as childhood. This is true for emotions of both positive and negative impacts.
The goal for our program is to help them apply more powerful mindset tools to help see each aspect of themselves in a different way that helps them to achieve new goals; using past joys and fears in a way that spurs growth rather than hinders it.
SOCIALLY: Confidence in the adult world is one of the key drivers of success. Too little confidence and that promotion at work slips through your fingers, too much confidence and you’re off-putting to people which causes your social life to lack depth.
We expect our adult students to initially hold back if they are uncomfortable as a defense mechanism, or to push too hard trying to prove to themselves (or others) that they are capable.
The goal for our program is to help them develop positive relationships, while also learning to step into leadership with ease.
THE SKILLZ METHOD:
By understanding these stages of development and the needs of adults, we were able to select 8 skills that make up the foundation of our adult program:
- Hojoundo – physical training.
- Kihon – basic technique
- Kata – forms/patterns
- Kumite – sparring
- Goshin-Jitsu – self-defense arts
- Kenkyu – curriculum research
- Seishinteki-na – mindset
- Kobudo – traditional weapons
HOW THE ADULT KARATE PROGRAM WORKS:
We cover each one of the above skills per class (in order).
During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a mat chat about the skill; run two or three skill building drills; and then we apply the learning toward progressing through our curriculum.
Students must show proficiency in all 8 skills in order to be promoted to the next belt level, thus developing the ability to set goals, and learning how to break those goals into manageable action steps.
Once students earn their next belt, they will continue to run through all 8 skills with a more challenging curriculum as they advance in rank. Our adult students can work toward earning their 1st degree black belt after completing all 8 ranks of our adult program.
Here is an example of what types of content will be learned for each of the 8 skills above:
Hojoundo – Use it or lose it. Our bodies need to be strong enough to perform the techniques we’ve learned, our cardiovascular system robust enough to continue beyond what we thought we could do, our resolve hardened to see every effort through, even when the little voice inside says rest. The Hojoundo skill helps us develop our bodies and minds to have the strength needed to face any task. At a white belt level, students will assess their current level of physical fitness, while also setting basic calisthenic goals.
Kihon – Having strong basic technique is key when focusing on martial arts training. It’s the foundation on which everything else is built. By taking the time to learn how each technique is executed without the fear of getting hurt, students are able to perform at higher levels while maintaining greater levels of safety for themselves and others. At a white belt level, students will learn the basic punching, kicking, and stance work.
Kata – These choreographed patterns of movement are nothing more (or less) than the text books of our study. At a white belt level, students will learn the first set of kata designed to teach angle changes and stability in motion.
Kumite – It’s one thing to take the word of a trusted/trained instructor that you’re improving, but to be able to measure yourself against the skills of others, the student gains both insight and experience. During the practice of kumite, students will start off working on pads, bags and mitts to learn how to adapt to the ever changing flow of combat, eventually joining in sparring exercises with fellow students. At the white belt level, students will learn some basic sparring combinations and concepts while working with a partner holding pads.
Goshin-Jitsu – Learning to apply without the guidance of katas or instructors leads to competence; and competence breeds confidence. In a self-defence situation, you may be all alone. The Goshin-Jitsu skills lead students from classical choreographed movement to freestyle tactical self defense, allowing the student to gain the skills necessary to protect themselves and others at a pace that is right for each individual. At the white belt level, students will learn basic footwork, defensive skills and counter attacks leading to simple takedowns and finishing techniques.
Kenkyu – Once a student knows some moves, it becomes important to learn how and when to apply them, link them together, as well as how to control space, distance, and timing. The Kenkyu skill of researching and studying technique helps teach these concepts through the use of kata bunkai (both solo and with partners) to draw usable strategies from the kata for application in self-defense and in light partner sparring. This is where the real fun happens. During Kenkyu classes, students at a white belt level will be guided by their instructors with personal attention to help draw connections between the other 5 skills and form an understanding of the application of techniques and strategies.
Seishinteki-na – Martial arts is about far more than the physical skills learned in class. In fact, without the proper mindset, success is impossible. The mindset skill helps us to develop the emotional tools we need to see things in a new way, to see a world of possibility and opportunity rather than obstacle and defeat. No outside change can ever become powerful enough to overcome a misguided view of the world. By changing the inside, however, the outside cannot help but grow.
Kobudo – Traditional Okinawan weapons training. During these classes students will expand on their empty hand training by incorporating one of several weapons. These lessons may span a single class, or an entire semester. Over the course of training we will cover many traditional weapons, unique self-defense concepts, and possibly take you outside of the dojo entirely as your instructor guides your exploration deeper into the world of martial arts. “Karate and Kobudo are like brother and sister. Different, but never separate.”
As you can see, we’re taking martial arts training to a whole new level!
More than just “Adult Karate Classes,” we’re using elements of assorted traditional Okinawan martial arts curricula to build skills that are important for success in the adult world. This means that you will learn and grow at a pace that is not too easy, nor too challenging. The best part is that, in addition to powerful self-defense techniques, the Adult Karate Program at Glens Falls Karate Academy will equip you with skills that you will utilize in every area of your life!
HOW TO GET STARTED:
Continue below to complete our pre-evaluation application and schedule your first visit.
HURRY! Space is limited in each class – so new enrollment is subject to availability.