Innovative Martial Arts
15-1599 Dugald Rd
Winnipeg, MB
204-505-2787
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Kids

Martial Arts vs Seasonal Sports

As a martial arts school it might not come as a surprise that we prefer martial arts and other similar pursuits over team sports as a primary pursuit, but perhaps what is not as clear is the reasons.

Year Round

Martial Arts is a year round activity, just as health and fitness should be. Fitness needs to be part of day-to-day life, not a seasonal thing but part of your routine.

The other aspect of this is that in order to reach a high level of skill in anything you need consistency. It can't be something that you do for 3-4 months of the year, especially as kids. In that time their bodies change so much that by the time the next season starts they will have taken a step backwards from where they should be.

And finally with a big lay off it is very easy to decide not to go back. Seasonal sports participation drops off pretty severely as kids get older and tends to retain mostly only the top tier of players. This makes sense, after not playing a sport for 8 months going back to a team is going mohave some anxiety that comes with it. Not to mention it is no longer part of their routine.

Individual Accomplishment

Martial Arts is a team effort, you can't train on your own.  You can't be selfish in training and expect to get far.  You can only get better through the help of your "team".

But the accomplishments are individual.  When a student earns a belt it is because of their hard work, because of their knowledge and because of their skill.  It is not because they have a couple star players that carried them.  It's not because the other team choked.  It's because they did it, on their own.

When the goal of any sport is not really the sport itself, but the fitness, confidence, and other character traits that come from participation this is a big deal.   Every accomplishment they reach is because they did it by themselves.

Clear Goal Setting

There is a path from white to yellow belt and on.  It is very clearly laid out so that they know exactly what they need to do to reach their goals.  The only one in control of their actions to those goals is them.  It doesn't matter it the team skips practice, or if their goalie quits the team mid season.

Every student is in charge of reaching their own goals, yes, they need their "team" to do it.  But the control over reaching those goals goes to them.

They earn their belts, they are not given to them.  They don't choose to sign up for "orange belt", they earn that belt.

Scheduling Freedom

I know from talking to parents one of the hardest things about team sports can be the schedules.  Missing a practice or a game means letting the team down.  You can't go a different day to "make up" a missed game.

And if it's not you, it's someone else on the team missing that causes problems.

In martial arts if you have to miss a class it's ok, we train 6-days a week and it can be made up if you like.  You don't let the team down because they are then short their goalie because you where on holidays or had a cold.

Leadership & Starting Skill

One of the other interesting things about martial arts over team sports is you can start at any age and be fine.  Differing skill levels is part of the culture in most classes.  They more experienced students help out the newer ones, which in turn develops their leadership and understanding of the techniques and concepts to a higher level.

Starting a lot of team sports at a later age can be a tricky thing, if everyone else on the team has been playing for 5 years already joining the team as a beginner is a hard thing to do.

Part of what makes a martial arts class work is that the experienced members help the newer ones.  Leadership is a built in feature of the higher level belts.

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In the end every kid is different, and every parent needs to make the decisions that they feel best suit their kid.

Sports aren't their to teach the child to just play the sport.  They are their to teach them confidence, to teach them to keep going when they are tired, to teach them to push themselves, to teach them to work together, to teach them not to give up, etc.

Our Philosophy

Martial Arts Culture pt 5: Kids & &quuot;Fighting&quuot;

On the surface I suppose it looks like we teach kids how to fight, and indeed I'm sure that's what some people think about the martial arts.

But we do not.

Martial Arts is not about fighting at all, it is a strategy game played with your body.

Fighting implies violence, and violence has no place in a martial arts class, especially one for children.

We teach them to control situations, to control their emotions when they are in stressful situations, to think rationally and problem solve when they are in a bad situation.

We teach them to be confident and act decisively and with intention and planning. We teach them to protect themselves AND their training partners.

But to say a martial arts school teaches fighting is like saying a debate team teaches screaming matches. Fighting has no place in a martial arts school, it is counter productive to all of our goals.

That said we do teach kids how to control a fight, how to protect themselves in that sort of situation. But we do not teach them "to fight".

Our Philosophy

Input => Output - Why do we feel less safe?

I did a similar post a while back here

But this is from a slightly different angle.

Something came up in a discussion in class today, and that was that things are less safe nowadays then they where 20 years ago.  This is a belief a lot of people have... except it's completely false.

Crime stats have been on a steady decline for over 2 decades now, and a pretty steep one at that.

We've seen entire campaigns around "Stranger Danger", yet stranger abductions are extremely rare. "Police statistics show 25 children of the 46,718 reported missing in 2011 listed as "abducted by stranger."  More people get hit by lightning in a year then abducted by strangers...

So what gives?

The big difference isn't that crime has gone up, but our awareness of it has gone up.

Thanks to social media when an event happens it spreads fast and far.  What would have once generated a single article in a paper can now generate thousands and thousands of shares, likes, reposts and get people more emotionally involved then before.

It's hard to say whether or not it is a good thing or a bad thing, as the ability of stories to go viral and spread fast has resulted in people being found and saved.  But it can skew our perspective on the frequency of these events.

So here is my challenge, let's make a effort to share the good things as well.  Negative and fear inducing stories spread far faster then stories of a positive nature.  Balance it out, let's celebrate the > 99% of people that are good people, doing good things.

We are the safest we have been in half a century.  We are more connected to people then ever before.  We have access to more information then ever before.

Let's spread help and positive messages, not just the negative and fear based ones :)

Our Philosophy

Martial Arts Culture pt 4: Fitness

We are a martial arts school, and in this industry there is definitely debate about the place of fitness within a martial arts class.

Pretty much every martial arts school advertises it, but not all are going to deliver. Of course some that do send everyone home barely breaking a sweat...

Anyways, fitness in our opinion needs to be a part of what we do. Martial arts at its core is health and self-defence. Both of which are greatly impacted by fitness.

Being in good shape lets you train harder, keeps you healthier and greatly reduces the risk of injury. Any sport that doesn't incorporate fitness into training it's athletes is going to have mediocre performance and best, along with a increased injury rate.

Traditionally fitness in the martial arts was pretty simple and crude. Pushups, sit-ups and squats... pretty standard fair for the time period that martial arts really started growing in North America. The trouble is our understanding of fitness training has evolved greatly since then, and while coaches in a lot of other sports generally receive training in fitness aspects as well martial arts has had a "traditional" leaning that left it less receptive to change.

It's not enough that a work out is hard, making a workout hard is easy. It needs to serve a bigger function and get a result.

The truth is the fitness industry has made massive advancements in recent years, and this can be of great benefit to the martial arts.

We've spent a lot of time (and a lot of money) working with and learning from some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the world to develop our fitness component, and we are very proud of the results it gets for our members :)

Our Philosophy

Martial Arts Culture pt 3: Parent's Nights

At first glance you might wonder why we do all the events we do for kids.  Such as our "Parent's Night" events, Saturday evening parties from 6:30-10:30pm.

Part of any activity, for kids and adults is the social aspect.  Making new friends, having fun and socializing.

One of the key things in building confidence and anti-bullying is having more then one "circle" when it comes to friends.

Adults tend to make there own events, going out for a bite after work or a class, office parties, etc.  Kids need social events tied to their activities as well in order to build friendships, meet new people and gain confidence when it comes to group environment.

At school they have regular "parties", they have recess, lunch break, etc.  Lots of opportunities to engage in with other children.

Evening classes should be no different.  While getting in shape, learning martial arts and getting all the benefits that come from the classes is very important, making friends and playing is as well.

That, plus they are a lot of fun :)