One of the things that I love about our martial arts curriculum is that it’s attribute, or skill, based. This means that it is focused on breaking down and developing martial arts skills. I have started noticing recently that a lot of the programs I have chosen for my children lately have also been skill based. That is probably why I ended up choosing them in first place. My most recent purchases were a soccer development program called Beast Mode Soccer and a sports fitness program called SKLZ. These programs, much like ours, focus on breaking down individual skills and coming up with practical drills to train them. These particular programs have had so much success doing this that they currently train professional athletes, olympians and teams across the globe. For our martial arts organization, attribute based teaching has helped us become the largest in the country with over 300,000 members.
Turning dreams into visions
Posted: April 18, 2020
At Flourtown ATA Martial Arts we are currently discussing Belief as our life skill. I wanted to take a second to talk about two of the "pillars" of belief, Dreams and Vision. Let's start with dreams, a cherished ambition or ideal, for our children something they really want to be or do. Dreams are important because they are what gives us cause and reason to believe. The dream of playing in the MLB, NBA, NFL or MLS is what motivates our youth to go out and practice that sport with their friends. Notice when our children first have a dream like that they truly believe they will do it. It isn't until a parent or friend starts to consistently tell them that is not likely going to happen that they begin to give up on their dream. Adults, who have had enough dreams shot down, tend to just give up when a dream gets hard. So, while dreams are important, they must be turned into visisons. A dreamer alone will end up living in their parent's basement. Vision is the ability to foresee how things will develop in the future and plan for it. So, a child that dreams of playing in the NBA for example. They would see the hard work and hours of practice it takes to master the craft. They would then start simply by playing that sport outside everyday. Then they would progress from playing with friends to adding legitimate training on their own. They would ask to attend camps, seminars and additional training oppurtunities. As they get better they would seek out a higher class of player to train or practice with. Following this path or vision would enable them to work past the haters or nay sayers, including their own parents, and keep working on the dream. Because now, they can see the steps ahead of them to achieve their goal. To often people feel the need to "give a child a dose of reality". Really, that is usually just a person that could not accomplish their dreams and tells anyone working towards something of value that they won't do it. People that have accomplished greatness or lofty goals know that staying on the path and working hard will get you towards your goal. Lets say you dream and have a vision of playing a pro sport and you fall a little short. Then you played in college. If you fall far short you played in high school. There are far worse things we can do than consistently work towards something with maximum effort and intenisty. Let's encourage our children to dream and motivate them to turn the dream into a clear vision with some work clothes on. Rather, than feel the need to "give them realistic expectations".
The Origins of the Bow
Posted: April 15, 2020
In the martial arts, it is common to see students, instructors, or friends bowing to each other before and after class. The bow is similar to western handshake. The reason for the traditional bow was a way of demonstrating respect toward the other person. For example, during sparring practitioner would bow to his or her partner meaning that “I respect you, but I’m going to do my best to kick and punch you to beat you. I am doing this to further progress my Taekwondo skills and myself, not to hurt you. The second this match is over, it is forgotten and we are still friends, and I hope, better friends than before.”
This is an important lesson for us as martial artists; no matter what art we practice. The purpose of practicing martial arts is to improve our art and ourselves. That is why it is so important to leave your ego at the door. To improve, you have to acknowledge that there are areas in your life that need improvement. This is why we respect our teachers.
Another method of improving yourself is by respecting your fellow martial art practitioners. We respect them because they are also coming to learn and improve. As you practice, try to keep in mind the meaning behind the traditional bow. It will build your respect in and out of the school.
AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM: Keep Safe This Holiday Season!
Posted: April 10, 2020
The holiday season is upon us, and it is definitely a very special time of the year.
Unfortunately, this also means that people become busy and are not always as aware as they should be.
Thieves and criminals are aware of this and become especially active during this time of the year.
Find Your Community
Posted: March 31, 2020
Thanks to the wonders of technology and a personal hotspot I am sitting outside watching my child play on a local playground in Oreland, PA while writing this blog. While here we have visited the small town convenience store and hardware stores, the auto body shop our car is at and the pizzeria. We have waved hello to the carpenter that worked on our storefront, a friend from daycare and a familiar face from one of my other children’s schools. This has all reminded of the great community we are a part of and the importance of community. This is why I love owning a business in the town that I live. I have owned or operated five schools over the years and none have been more fulfilling than the ones operated out of my home town. You can’t beat the feeling of interacting with people you see around the town and the feeling that the work you are doing in martial arts in improving the area you live in on some level. Just yesterday we received a phone call from someone that was referred to us after a neighbor raved about our instruction. Thank you by the way! What a feeling to know you are looked at as a public figure within your town.
This leads me to the importance of community as it relates to martial arts. It is one of the reasons martial arts has become such a popular and successful activity for kids and adults alike. It provides for children a place wear they are encouraged and nurtured in a positive way without the pressures team sports can sometimes bring. They also become a part of a community of like minded children all working towards the same goals. Your martial arts community becomes like a family and acts as a great support network through out all of life's ups and downs. For me it was a great place to go and be motivated after a tough day at school dealing with bullies. For adults the martial arts community is one of motivation and encouragement. A room of cheerleaders helping you to accomplish your fitness and defense goals, uplifting your self-esteem and providing you with much needed accountability. I love the martial arts community both as an owner operator and as a student. I encourage you to try out a martial arts community or just to get involved in any positive community environment our you. It could be a Sunday soccer league, a local church or community group, even an online fitness group like Beachbody. You will have more success and people to share it with.