AdrenalineFC MMA Blog

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Who Needs Martial Arts the Most?

After blogging about law enforcement and their need for martial arts, it occurred to me that although they are in serious situations often, military personnel may be in more dire situations more often. Now in any war, there is always a necessity to be skilled at close quarters combat. Encounters with those who mean to kill you in the name of country are readily available and are usually at war because they are trying to occupy the same space you are. The whole point is, if you are in the military, Martial Arts are going to be taught to you. Krav Maga is a martial art that was specifically developed and adapted for Military use, Israeli Military to be exact.

Marines implement martial arts as a huge part of their regimen. Mainly because Marines are in the thick of the battle most of the time. Marines are on the front lines and must be highly skilled at hand-to-hand combat because they are the most likely to employ its tactics. They have their own program. Marines have the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, or MCMAP, which focuses on hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat. There are specialized instructors that are usually taught by some of the masters of certain martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai in order to take what they learn and pass it on to their students. How involved a Marine gets is usually up to them, but all Marines are required to gain minimal knowledge of Martial Arts. It could surely save their lives.

The flexibility and muscle memory in martial arts is necessary and must be learned and then practiced.

With all of the physical attributes mentioned, I’m sure you can easily the connection between the mental toughness and discipline needed for both military training and martial arts. It is well known and quite celebrated by both that discipline is not just present but very necessary for becoming an expert in hand-to-hand combat. You have to get through the bumps and bruised involved in learning. You have to deal with the disappointment of being beat by those who know more than you. You have to endure the hours of conditioning. You have to keep an open mind and follow instructions from those who teach you. There are so many similarities in the mentality that it takes to be a soldier and a martial artist. Perhaps the need to protect yourself, or your country is the motivation for most soldiers. What is the motivation for most Martial Artists? The notion of being able to defend yourself is probably the number one motivation for beginning a Martial Art.

When something is a life-and-death situation, you want as many tools as possible. Martial Arts provides that. There have been many young people that came into the gym because they had intentions on joining the military. I always thought that it was a good way of “cheating”. It isn’t actually cheating, but why not become proficient at it quickly. As I have mentioned several times, learning a Martial Arts also allows you to learn how to learn. Those of you familiar with my writing know what I mean but for those of you who don’t, I stress the fact that learning a Martial Arts helps you become a “coachable” person. Learning how to learn is a great way to advance in any aspect of your life.

Martial Arts teaches you about yourself; your strengths and weaknesses all come to light when you become a Martial Artist.

My advice to anyone thinking of joining the armed forces: Get a head start now and learn a Martial Art. A great coach once told me that it is better to become a master of something than a jack of all trades. Become great at a Martial Art, it just might save your life.

Law Enforcement Officers Should Always Train

Knowing what we know about recent history, it seems like common sense that those in Law Enforcement should not only have trained, but should have ongoing training in Martial Arts and Self Defense. For them it could be a matter of life and death. I read articles all the time on Law Enforcement Agencies and their need to defend themselves. Practical Martial Arts should apply here. MMA, Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Jiujitsu. The arts can be brutal, but people don’t die when they train or compete in MMA, what is brutal are the streets. The martial arts I mentioned don’t kill the person who is at the unfortunate receiving end, but it helps practitioners enjoy better fitness and confidence.

With the ones I mentioned, people have tried these techniques and they work. The training teaches approach techniques, immobilization and how to disarm someone with a gun or knife. The training also includes self-defense techniques, ground encounters with weapon retention, ground avoidance and ground escapes.

These skills can save the lives of people who are put in harms way daily.

With all of the negative press surrounding law enforcement in regard to brutality, this may be a great way to reconnect with the community.

The purpose of this training? The training is intended to keep officers up-to-date on the latest techniques and provides them with the knowledge to better perform on the job. As someone who trained and teaches MMA, I can attest to the many benefits associated with MMA. It may go further and actually change the lifestyle of an officer who didn’t realize the obvious benefits until they started practicing. If the training can save a life, or cause an officer to be more confident so that they don’t have to use more force, then the training is working for everyone.

Who was teaching the El Paso police officers? You may recognize the last name, Colin Gracie from The Gracie Gym/Fight School is led the instruction for officers. The Gracie name is famous for being one of the leading founding families in the sport of MMA. Royce Gracie was the first winner of the UFC when it was a tournament style format. I don’t need to go over the entire history, but let’s just say that before him, nobody knew what BJJ was, now all MMA practitioners incorporate it into their regiment.

After competing for a number of years, it became apparent that Officers of the law benefit from training in martial arts.

The benefits don’t just include them being able to defend themselves, they benefit the community.

When an officer can share his knowledge with the community through teaching, it boosts morale and brings worlds together. The other side of the coin is true as well. When an officer walks into a studio and meets new people, they become more approachable and more understood by the community around them.

In conclusion, I would say that training in Martial Arts is good for everyone. The benefits reach beyond personal goals and self defense tactics. The benefits are social as well as physical.

Nate and Nick Diaz

One of my favorite topics is the Diaz brothers. Tony Ferguson recently let Nate know that he isn’t scared, because the Diaz brothers love to say “Don’t be scared homie.” They may sound a little immature at times, but make no mistake, these two are well versed in the disciplines of boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As a fan of MMA since its inception, I can say easily that I have never cared for their unprofessional antics, where they lose their cool more often than not and actually engage in “street fights” with other fighters.

These two do have something that we all love though, a warrior spirit. They are true fighters to their core.

With all of that said, and the the fact that Nate just eagerly and aggressively agreed to take the fight with superstar Conor McGregor on just two weeks notice after RDA pulled out due to a broken foot he sustained during a sparring session; Nate Diaz is definitely either not scared homie, or he is really good at hiding his fear. Hence the subject of this blog today.

Oh, in fact, you should be scared. Should you be scared of another man if fighting is your profession? Not necessarily. Fear does drive us to train harder and smarter though. If you are not confident that you have done everything you can to prepare yourself physically and mentally for a fight, fear is exactly what you will feel. Being scared is natural in any competition. You started out in a sport or activity and you began to love it. You may have even gotten good at it. You practiced against the same people day in and day out, or you spent hours perfecting your technique. Whether it is intellectual or physical, you have invested a lot of time, sweat, tears, blood, and/or money in this. What if you get out there and fail miserably? What if you aren’t as good as you thought you were? What if you get injured? What if you injure someone else severely? What if what if what if… These are all things that go through your head if you devote your time and energy into something that turns into a competition setting.

If you are not scared that you have the possibility to fail at something you think you care about so much, then you may not really care at all.

We all know Nate Diaz is telling his opponents that they need to stand in front of him and fight him “like a man”. But is that the best strategy for his opponents? No, not in most cases. There is always a game plan and standing in front of a puncher that peppers and moves forward is not a great idea. I know that Conor is supremely confident in his training so fear of Nate Diaz does not amount to simply thinking Nate will kick is butt. Fear amounts to the fact that you will lose a lot of what you have built up over the course of a lifetime. Every black eye, every bloody lip, every bruise has all brought a fighter to the place you see them at on fight night. Fighting is not a job, it is a lifestyle. It is a daily grind of pushing yourself beyond the limits of what you even thought was possible. It is the amazing movement and rhythm that comes with years of dedication to a craft. If you aren’t scared, you aren’t normal.

In conclusion, I’m not saying that I was or any other fighter is “scared” but fear can be a great motivator. Find out what fear is and you will be able to develop a goal that helps you avoid that fear. If that isn’t the solution you want to hear, then face your fears head-on. If you’re scared of snakes, go hold a snake. Fear does motivate those exceptional athletes to go beyond what normal people feel is possible…

What Do You Call Your Martial Arts Teacher?

The question struck me as odd, but I suppose that you really need to know what you call your martial arts teacher. I have the kids call me coach, but it depends what martial art you are teaching. I don’t think anything is insulting, but here are some common teacher names for some common martial arts.

Japanese martial arts commonly use Sensei meaning “teacher” or literally translated, “born first” or “one who has gone before”.

A Sensei is a person who has knowledge and is willing to teach that knowledge to another.

Grandmaster (or Grand Master) and Master are titles used to describe or address some senior or experienced martial artists. Typically these titles are honorific in nature, meaning that they do not infer rank, but rather distinguish the individual as very highly revered in their school, system, or style. It is a badge of honor and respect that isn’t formal, but is a compliment.

Chinese Martial Arts like kung-fu usually call the teacher Sifu,, although the term and pronunciation are also used in other southern languages. In Mandarin Chinese, it is spelled “shifu”. Many martial arts studios pronounce the word like “she foo”. In Cantonese, it is said as “see foo” (almost like “sea food”, without the “d” on the end). The actual Korean word for a student’s master is suseung-nim. This term is only used by the student when speaking to the instructor. The student is hakseang. Many Korean titles are often mistakenly translated as “grandmaster”. The term is general term for any teacher of any subject as well as a respectful form of the word “you”. Coincidently, martial arts instructors (in Korea 4th Dan and above) are called Sabom-nim.

In the Muay Thai world, instructors are called Kru and Arjan. (also ajaan, ajarn, acharn, and achaan). These words do not by any means mean “Master.” Quite simply, they both mean “teacher.” They do not differ from society to the gym. Your english teacher or math teach would be referred to as Kru or Arjan. Although Ajarn is used for more experienced or respected teacher… it still translates the same as Kru. In the Muay Thai world, it is a tad disrespectful to call yourself a Kru or Arjan if you haven’t fought though. Although the term doesn’t mean that you are a fighter, it is commonly understood that the instructor was an actual fighter at some point.

The term that seems to have the most controversy is the name that BJJ practitioners call their instructor. Most of them just call them coach but others are referred to as Professors. I thought this to be a distinguished honor when I first heard it and it added some regal sense of mastery to anyone who was being called a Professor by their students. When I learned why, it was actually kind of underwhelming. The term is a literal translation from Portuguese (the national language of Brazil), that means simply: Teacher. So now you know what to call your instructors.

Martial Arts in the Real World

I look up stories all the time about practical uses for martial arts. I try to find the best headlines and stories about how Martial Arts is used in the real world and the stories I come upon are plentiful. They are from all over the world and it makes me feel good that Martial Arts help people. I found a story from Florida the other day and it proves once again that you can get your self out of a scary situation when you know Martial Arts, more-so than if you don’t. A person who is involved in martial arts is generally someone who is confident in them self. Working through a martial art and the belt ranking system gives you measurable goals to follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment we feel by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows us everywhere. It can even get us out of situations that non-martial artists would be lost in.

In the story, a Florida homeowner said he used his martial arts training to apprehend an alleged burglar who was stealing from his home. Brian Burch told the local news that he used his Brazilian jiu-jitsu training on a burglar, later identified as Josue Ortiz after he found Ortiz stealing from his garage. Burch said he walked into the garage to see Ortiz holding his jackhammer and airgun cases. Ortiz told him that his boss sent him to pick up tools from Burch’s house. He then tried to flee.

That’s when Burch said he stopped Ortiz with jiu-jitsu, which he studied for over 2 years.

A neighbor who saw the scuffle called police as Burch held Ortiz down. Once police arrived, they said they found several of Burch’s tools inside Ortiz’s car. “They told him he got exactly what he deserved,” Burch told the news. “He had a broken nose.” Ortiz’s broken nose and black eye were on full display in his mugshot after he was arrested and charged with grand theft and burglary.

So let this be a lesson to would-be burglars, you never know whose stuff you’re trying to steal. It is good to see that nobody was seriously injured in this situation.

The ability to defend yourself against an assailant is an empowering feeling.

Most martial arts use self defense as a cornerstone of the entire program. The precise methods will vary from discipline to discipline, but you can be certain that with regular practice, you will learn to defend yourself in a variety of different ways. Many martial arts schools also teach street-smart techniques to help you in real situations. The story about the burglar above reinforces all of that. Happy ending to an otherwise tragic situation.

What move was that?

Nowadays, most people recognize the finishing moves used in MMA as well as the basic techniques. There isn’t a lot of mystery left in what move actually finished a fight or did a lot of damage. Not everybody knows all of the technical terms for moves so I wanted to review some of the main moves used in MMA. I have blogged about this in the past, but I feel that we all need a refresher course from time to time. After all, a jab in boxing can also be called a front punch in other martial arts so maybe we will learn something in the process.

There are a lot of fights finished with punches, whether they be standing or during a ground-and-pound. Contrary to natural instinct, when a fighter is right-handed (also known as orthodox), most of the time they stand with their left foot in front. This is to be able to utilize their power hand and leg most effectively. A left-handed fighter stands the opposite way (again, for the most part) and is also known as a “southpaw”. For the purpose of this discussion, I will use the terminology that applies to an orthodox fighter. So keep in mind it is the opposite for a southpaw.

The fight ending punch is usually the right cross.

A cross is a punch that is thrown straight down the middle with the power hand. Fights can also end in close quarters with a left hook, which is a turning punch executed with the lead hand at while the arm is at a ninety degree angle and is thrown horizontally. These are the two main punch fight finishers in MMA. When a fight ends in MMA due to a kick, more often than not, it is ended with a head kick. This is when the fighter throws a roundhouse (not spinning) kick aimed at the opponent’s head. This kick can finish whether the fighter lands with the foot or the shin, but the shin is compared to a baseball bat’s force when it lands. MMA has hammerfists, spinning backfists, superman punches, and several other exclusive techniques but these hardly ever finish fights.

Wrestling may be the next most understood part of MMA. Being an Olympic Sport doesn’t hurt its popularity. Finishing moves in wrestling are non existent since wrestling is a sport about total control over an opponent, not submitting or knocking them out. When a fight ends from wrestling, it is from a “slam” nine times out of ten. Since slamming an opponent with intention to injure is illegal in wrestling, it isn’t practiced much. There have been cases of fight-ending slams in high profile fights. The most famous is probably the slam executed by Quinton Rampage Jackson against Ricardo Arona in Pride. Arona put a submission hold on Jackson, but Jackson elevated Arona’s body over his head and brought all of his force straight down and knocked Arona out cold. The topic of wrestling being a fight finisher is debatable, but doesn’t hold much merit.

Besides boring decisions, fights are ended with submissions executed by good grapplers. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, catch wrestlers, and submission grapplers are all dangerous opponents. There are two main types of submissions: choke and pressure. An arm bar is a good example of a pressure submission. Since opponents in MMA have a lot of pride, some boast that they will let their arm break before they tap to a pressure submission. An arm bar is the most used pressure submission for fight stoppage. Arm bars are normally executed by the grappler taking an opponents arm, bringing the hand near their own face, forcing the opponent’s arm between their own legs, pulling back on the hand, then elevating their hips. It creates a hyperextension in the opponent’s elbow. Now, there are a lot of ways to defend before and during this submission, but some people like Giva “the arm collector” Santana and “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey have made this the most effective pressure lock in MMA. As for the main finishers in grappling, you are going to have to learn the difference in three chokes. The Rear Naked Choke or RNC, the Triangle Choke, and the Guillotine. The RNC is when an opponent gets behind another opponent, wraps one arm around the neck of the other, and then grabs the inside of their opposite elbow to add squeezing power. The oxygen to the brain is cut off and the opponent must either tap or go to sleep. The Triangle Choke is when a grappler traps an opponents head and arm between their legs, applies a figure four lock with their legs, then squeezes until an opponent taps or goes to sleep. A Guillotine is a front choke executed by wrapping an arm around an opponents neck when the opponent attempts to take them down. They are normally standing up with the opponent bent over facing the ground. Pressure is applied to the choke and the victim has to either pass out or tap.

Now, in conclusion, there are a lot of techniques that were not covered in this blog, but when you see finishes in MMA, it is usually by the means mentioned above. Knowing these terms and what they look like will definitely help your knowledge in MMA. Watch some videos now and search for the names of the moves. You’ll see some exciting stuff.

Who is Your Favorite Fighter?

It certainly isn’t exclusive to MMA, but if you are a fan of a football team, like the Cowboys for example, you are less likely to drop them as your favorite team just because they lost, or even if they have a losing season. I guess in MMA it is a really easy thing to do, change your entire opinion of a fighter once they have lost a fight. In Mixed Martial Arts it is very clear that people on the bandwagon will quickly abandon you if you lose. People love to say “I told you so” when it comes to a fighter losing. Conor losing to Nate, Ronda losing to Holm. How quickly people will share meme when a great fighter suffers a loss.

I am a fan of McGregor so when he lost to Nate Diaz, it wasn’t much for me to see the probable reasons why. Nate is way better on the ground, he is physically bigger, he is way more experienced, and he is tough as can be. Conor fought him hard and was murdering him until the round of his demise. I certainly didn’t drop McGregor as one of my favorite fighters because he suffered a loss to Nate. I know that is part of the fight game. They say styles make fights and they are right. Just because fighter A can beat fighter B nine out of ten times and fighter C has beat fighter A, does not mean fighter C automatically beats fighter B. I don’t want to be confusing but you should get the point. The main thing about this blog is you should appreciate the skill and enjoy the show when rooting for your favorite fighter, don’t let your own ego get in the way just because you were in support of the “loser” in a bout.

Taking into consideration the Rousey vs. Holm fight, the fight had to be seen to be appreciated. Now, the aftermath is the most interesting thing about this fight. There were a lot of “quiet” Ronda haters out there. Well, it could be that these Ronda haters were actually fans that didn’t want to be wrong. You can know MMA news, Martial Arts styles, MMA training techniques, and anything about Martial Arts that you want to, but something that had been obvious before Ronda changed the game was that Judo was not in itself a great base for MMA. Ronda changed all of that. Here aggressive approach included big take-downs and the arm-bars heard around the world. Like I say about most fighters that are confident (borderline arrogant), I may not like them, but they are enjoyable to watch. If it means watching Cael Sonnen take a beating because of all of the things he called an opponent, or Conor McGregor predicting his own dominant victories, it draws curiosity from the fans. Whether you are paying to watch someone win or lose, you are still paying.

To draw the conclusion best suited for this blog, I would say that when a fighter loses, it is easy for our egos to say “I knew it.” But keep in mind that the loyalty you show to a fighter if you truly enjoy their style, should be the same that you show to any other sports team you support. You don’t stop liking the Los Angeles Dodgers because they lose an embarrassing game if you’re a true fan. I have personally always been a BJ Penn fan even though he didn’t end his career on many high notes. So to all of the “fair weather” fans, you were never a fan in the first place. I hope humble Holly reigns as the champion for a long time and I hope Ronda does whatever is necessary to regain the confidence of her true fans.

Trash Talk In MMA

In the spirit of sportsmanship, I want to say that I am not for trash talk. But some of the characters in the UFC have made it a science. Trash talk goes against the humble nature that is supposed to be instilled in martial artists, but MMA fighters are more athlete than martial artist in regards to fighting in professional shows. Yes, martial arts is the basis for their training when they begin but when they become professionals, they become part of what entertains us all. Professional sports is prevalent with trash talk in every sport. Roberto Duran was famous, after him was Mike Tyson… combat sports have always had their colorful monologues aimed at demoralizing an opponent.

The reason I bring this up isn’t to talk about one of my favorite fighters, Conor McGregor who in my opinion is one of the wittiest trash talkers in the fight game, but Yoel Romero. Not known for being the type of fighter who talks badly about his opponents is what makes this interesting as well. Although Yoel Romero hasn’t been known for his trash talk, but he’s upping his game for a fight with the current middleweight champion Michael Bisping later this year. The Cuban-born Olympic silver medalist in wrestling was confirmed as Bisping’s next opponent, but he’s currently waiting for the champion to heal from a minor knee surgery he recently had. In anticipation of their championship showdown, Romero really did go and make a GoFundMe page to help pay for the medical expenses that Bisping will incur as a result of their fight. I thought it was pretty funny.

Yoel is quoted as saying “This is Mike, he will be needing money to survive after me and him meet in the Octagon approximately May of 2017, he is happy in this picture after defending his title against another fighter and the devastation he went through has caused him to have surgery on his knee where all the visible damage was on his face.” This is from his gofundme page. “This surgery has prevented him from competing in a timely manner. After his fight with me, I am convinced he will need this money to rebuild his life, he has a family and I am deeply concerned for him. Please help any way that you can as all funds will be used for medical expenses and his retirement party. Thank you for your time and #ynuevo.”

Romero’s post is after Bisping started an attack where he put Yoel’s business out there for cheating after he tested positive for a banned substance last year. Ultimately, Romero was found to be a victim of a tainted supplement and USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) suspended him six months as opposed to a potential two-year sanction if he was found at fault. Either way, Bisping has been aiming at Romero’s drug testing history while the number one challenger is saying that the champ may never fight again after he’s done with him. I want to see this one. Bisping has found ways to beat big, fast, strong opponents in the past. He has proven his toughness and to sit at the top of any division in the UFC is an amazing feat in itself.

Reasons for Kids to Practice Martial Arts Continued

To catch up on the blog I started, I haven’t really discussed reasons for kids to practice martial arts lately and I feel that we need a reminder. I happened upon an article that was talking about this subject so I named the reasons they gave and am giving my opinion of those reasons.

Their fifth reason was that kids will be able to connect their mind and body. Once again, I have to agree with this notion overall. I believe they are talking about a more spiritual sense here as opposed to a more coordinated physical body. When reading their reasoning, it is apparent that they are talking about the spirituality of Martial Arts. By there reasoning, it would always depend on the individual. If your child wants to participate in Martial Arts because they want to win medals or not fear bullies (which are perfectly acceptable reasons), they will most likely not tune into the spiritual side, especially if they are in boxing or wrestling. Now, connecting your thoughts to how you perform physically is how I would say they gain an advantage. I would say this is true for sports in general.

It boosts agility, speed, power, and response when you participate in physical activities.

Hand-eye coordination is also a great benefit to connecting your mind with your body.

A great one, is learning conflict resolution is another reason according to the article. I would say that problem solving is probably a more accurate answer. I know many a child that gets into several conflicts weekly and needs an adult to intervene. These same children probably have the behavior reinforced at school and home, so Martial Arts, in my opinion wouldn’t be any more advantageous to conflict resolution than any other aspect of their life. Problem solving is also learned at home and school, so my opinion of this reason isn’t that it is wrong, just not any more beneficial than other areas.

Reason seven is that they will learn to breathe (properly at the right time). I concur fully, but again, it must be taught correctly. I have seen many instructors that don’t emphasize breathing properly. For people who don’t know what I’m talking about, the article and I are talking about proper breathing technique. Proper breathing technique would be exhaling while exerting force such as a fast twitch movement to throw someone in Judo, or deliver a knee in Muay Thai. This technique extends to inhaling correctly for recovery between techniques. This is a great reason for kids to join Martial Arts because it can prevent injuries and help them achieve optimal training for whatever sport they choose to participate in.

If you are still skeptical about making the long term commitment to a Martial Art for your child, visit a few schools but chances are you have a friend, or friend of a friend who is already enjoying the benefits and will be happy to guide you on your first steps. Many schools offer trial options, especially for younger kids, so you don’t need to make a huge financial commitment up front if you feel that it isn’t for your child. It really can’t hurt, as I discussed, there are a lot of great reasons to start and not any good reasons to keep putting it off.

Reasons for Kids to Practice Martial Arts

I have been a youth Martial Arts coach for well over 14 years. I have my B.A. in Psychology and I consider myself to be an expert in Martial Arts, even more so when it comes to kids in Martial Arts. I just read an article about kids in Martial arts. Others share my consideration because I have been around kids when interviewed about participating in Martial Arts by very well known media groups as well as producers. I could go into way more detail, but that isn’t the purpose of this blog. The purpose of my previous statements was to simply let readers know that I am qualified to express my professional and personal opinions about this subject.

Back to the business of this article I read. First I will go over all of the reasons they gave. Reason number one was that they (and you) will get more active. With this being true, it doesn’t necessarily differentiate Martial Arts from other sports or activities. Playing football, baseball, basketball, or any sport would obviously make them more active. To me, Martial Arts does encourage more activity than if your child would have otherwise been watching TV or playing video games. Is this a good reason to get your child in Martial Arts? Certainly it is if your child is not normally active.

Reason number two was that they will find focus and stillness. I can say that this may be true for most Martial Arts but I do object a little to this statement. Stillness AND focus? Focus certainly will have to be utilized if a child wants to excel at anything. Having a child focus on technique or remembering movements is a positive for sure. Stillness is the word I have a little trouble with. If you are speaking about Karate forms, you will deal with stillness, however when we are talking about martial arts like Jiu-Jitsu or Judo, stillness isn’t what your child is being taught. I guess there is context to this statement, but stillness is probably taught better in school than a Martial Arts studio. Teaching focus is a great reason, but stillness is limited to a very few Martial Arts.

Reason number three
was an interesting one to me, and I quote “They’ll learn to take hits.” When considering Martial Arts, I always include wrestling and boxing. Your child will most certainly learn to take hits in most Martial Arts, but there are several that do not concentrate on striking an opponent. There are no strikes in Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, or Submission Grappling. Maybe a better reason would have been that it would toughen them up in ways. Learning to take a hit or deal with pain (that isn’t an actual injury) can certainly add character as well as teach kids that not everything that happens to us will mean the end of the world. I agree with the philosophy behind the notion, but not with the practicality.

I agree fully with reason number four although it does put two concepts in the same reason. The article says that they will gain self confidence and self respect. These are two terms that are separate virtues.

Confidence and respect are not the same.

With that point aside, I agree that all Martial Arts, when taught correctly, help kids gain confidence in themselves. A child that has skills to defend themselves fears less. They fear social interaction with other kids less, they fear the potential of being bullied less, they fear authority less, and they fear impending failure less. Martial Arts is full of success and failure, so that is a lesson they learn. Self respect is a more difficult notion to sell but if you have respect for yourself, you will have more respect for the people and objects around you. Picking up after yourself, good hygiene, leadership, and sociability are taught in Martial Arts and all can help build self-respect.

This blog is getting long, so, to be continued next week…