Thursday 5 July 2012

Martial Arts Lessons: It’s Not About Violence

Martial Arts Lessons: It’s Not About Violence

Just the other day a parent asked me if she thought my classes promoted violent behavior in young boys. She was inquiring about lessons for her son and was concerned that he and his friends might take what they’re learning and use it inappropriately.

I thought it was a fine question.

Yes, there have been a few cases (very few) of students “playing martial arts” with friends, the same way they play as their favorite superheroes, but I’ve never heard of the play being malicious or hurtful. I do, however, hear many stories of my young students using the kind of restraint we talk about in almost every class. I hear many stories of the young people in my program --and other martial arts schools --avoiding violence, avoiding conflict, and staying out of trouble as a result of their training.

A good martial arts teacher adds instructions and advice about how NOT to use martial arts, as often as he or she teaches the technical aspects of the arts.

“The ‘cake’ that is what a martial arts teacher offers his or her students,” says Tom Callos (, the National Director of The One Hundred (, an association made up of martial arts instructors who embrace education over the more media-prevalent aspects of martial arts instruction, “is made up of blocks, punches, kicks, and other maneuvers, But the real “flour” of the recipe is in the restraint, the self-control, and the attitude of self-discipline that makes up the best-of-the-best the martial arts has to offer.”

And by way of an offer, any reader of this piece that would like to “taste” the cake we produce at our school, need only to contact us on 089 456 7533 and drop by our school.

And no, it is not about violence or aggression or hurting people. The martial arts are about grown-up adults mentoring young people in the ways of non-violence, self-control, and contribution.

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