“Martial Arts” or “Self Defence” is perfect for every child. If they are old enough to learn they are old enough to enjoy the benefits of our classes. It doesn’t matter if your child is 5 or 105 (we are all of course somebodies child) you can always benefit from starting a martial arts class.
I’ve had many a debate recently about the terms “Martial Arts” and “Self Defence” and how these are perceived as a kids activity.
Many people believe that “Martial arts” is a thuggish past time and for children that just want to fight. Surprisingly in a good school such as PPCKD the exact opposite is true and Martial arts becomes not just a safe but beneficial all round childrens activity.
In a PPCKD Martial Arts and Self Defence class we hold traditional Martial Arts values very close, Humility, Honesty, Gentleness, Perseverance, Self Control and Unbreakable Spirit.
Looking back at our traditional values, I uphold these staunchly within the classes at PPCKD. With the right level of discipline and fun the kids develop within the classes and learn skills that can be translated to everyday occurrences that are essential for their development and making them better students and eventually grown ups.
Looking at them individually:
Humility – We encourage all of the students to be humble. We want them to be confident and assured in their skills but not running around showing off. This skill will allow them to listen to others, whether it be an opinion or an instruction. This in itself allows them to be a better school student and in my opinion potentially a better leader of the future.
Honesty – Of course we all want the children to be honest. If they have made a mistake with a routine I encourage them to admit it and start the drill again. They will learn that there is no negative to being honest and will in fact make them stronger and better.
Gentleness – The classes are a mixture of age groups and boys and girls. We encourage all students to train with each other so they can understand how the techniques translate to someone who is bigger or smaller than themselves. It is therefore essential when training with younger students or boys on girls who maybe smaller that they understand how strong they are. Also as we are a non-competitive martial art all students work together to help improve each other. The way in which we interact with each other is essential and could be referred to as a gentle approach. We do not carry out full contact drills, thus ensuring that everyone benefits from our gentle approach.
Perseverance – When learning any new drills or techniques it takes time and effort to get them right. We often repeat drills on a regular basis to make sure they are correct and we can develop further. These drills are not always the exciting games that the children want to play but are necessary for development. The children learn that by persevering they can get on to things they do enjoy. This often translates into school work, the children will work harder at school and have the ability to focus longer on their studies.
Self Control - Children don’t always have the ability to control themselves, especially when things are not going their way. The very first test I give all of the children is to sit down with their legs crossed, hands on knees and eyes closed. They have to complete this for 10 seconds. When I first introduced this it would often take 5 minutes to get all of the children to complete. Now it rarely takes more than the 10 seconds. This simple exercise allows the children to demonstrate self control, ignoring everything around them and just being still. Also as our drills are not full contact it is essential that each student has the control over their techniques throughout any drill.
and Unbreakable Spirit – its more than perseverance, its what allows them to persevere. To keep going even in the face of adversity and be unwavering in their approach. This skill is essential as they go through school. They will often be faced with things they don’t understand or don’t want to do. With this skill in their arsenal they will be better equipped with whatever life throws at them.
In addition to these I add respect, respect for oneself and for others. I hear quite often of senior instructors that don’t insist on being referred to as sir and this meets “humility” perfectly. I prefer in my classes for everyone to be equally respected and respectful. I refer to all of my students as “Sir” or “Ma’am” all of my black belts by “Mr” or “Mrs/s” and I simply ask that they return this respect. At the end of each drill we bow to each other, again I see this is a mark of respect, that each person bows to say "thank you for training with me". Whether they are a white belt on their first class or a Black Belt running a drill we all have reason to say thank you.
All of the above is a commentary on the mental side of martial arts as I feel that this is even more important than the physical. The body can be trained to do anything as long as you have the right mind. If you start with this training at a young age you are more likely to achieve your goals as you grow.
But don’t worry its never too late. You can apply all of the above skills to any age to help with getting ready for exams or distressing after a day at work. An hour to centre yourself is always going to be of benefit.
We will help you or your child within every class. So if you think we can help, please call me on 0800 612 2742 or complete the contact form and we can start your journey soon.