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Innovative Martial Arts
15-1599 Dugald Rd
Winnipeg, MB
Our Philosophy

Martial Arts School Culture pt 2: Who Serves Who?

The next part of culture I want to talk about is who serves who.

In the martial arts it's not uncommon to put the head of the school or organization up on a pedestal.  They get their picture on the wall, the picture gets bowed too, you aren't supposed to speak to them unless spoken too.  We even had a guy in the city that had students "volunteering" to go out and build his on temple in the religion he started with him at the top...

This is very contradictory to so much of the traditional values of the martial arts.  "Samurai" translates roughly to "one who serves", humility has always been a core belief in martial arts from all over the world.

Our goal is to be accessible, human, and to be here to serve your needs, not the other way around.

So if you want to know who the master is at our school is, it's the students.  The white belts.  The person that just stepped through the door for the first time.  We are here to help you get better, to use our experience to serve you.

And it is our hope that one day many of our students will also be able to serve others by sharing their experience.

In the words of Albert Einstein "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"

Keep following our blog for more thoughts on our schools culture

Our Philosophy

Input => Output: Who you spend time with matters

One fundamental concept when working with just about any sort of processor is that input controls output.  The numbers you put into a calculator lead to the numbers you get out of it.  The ingredients you put into a recipe control the finished product.

We aren’t much different, our inputs control our outputs as well.

This covers diet, if you eat low quality food you’re going to have low quality energy and feel poorly.  If you eat high quality food you’ll have more energy and be healthier.

It covers our fitness, if you exercise right you’ll end up strong and in good shape, if you don’t exercise you won’t.

And it also covers our mindset, which is going to lead to all those other things.  A person that grows up surrounded by people that are out of shape and complain about those “health nuts” that eat vegetables and exercise is most likely going to end up in a similar situation.

“Garbage in, Garbage out” is a common concept in software.

A person that is surrounded by people that don’t value education is most likely going to end up not getting one.

A person that surrounds themselves by people that love to learn is going to likely end up doing the same.

A person that is surrounded by people that take care of themselves through diet and exercise is likely going to end up healthy.

If you don’t have the right inputs in your life it is going to be very hard, if not near impossible to get the results you want.  The people we surround ourselves with make a huge impact on the way we see the world.  As does the media we consume, the books we read and the activities we do.

Perhaps the worst offenders are the complainers… complainers are the people that always have something to complain about.  Complaining is a terrible input to have because it shifts responsibility away from the things we can actually change.

Now I’m not talking about legitimate complaints.  Things like “I bought this tv and it doesn’t work”, things like that are a different sort of complaint that has a resolution.

“I have bad genes, I can’t lose weight.”

“Rich people got lucky, and exploit the poor.”

“I can’t afford to eat healthy”

“I have no time to exercise”

Now in some cases there may be some level of validity to the complaint.  But focusing on the complaint shifts your mindset to “It’s not my fault, I can’t do anything” away from finding a solution, which is where it should be.

Consider the things that matter to you in life.  Health, finance, family, work, relationships, etc.  What are the inputs are you surrounded with in those regards?

Do all your friends and co-workers creed going to work and spend the whole week avoiding doing as much as possible while complaining about not earning enough?  Probably won’t like your job either.

Do your friends spend much of their time complaining about their significant other… chances are you’ll end up unhappy in your relationship too.

Do you eat lunch with people that eat junk food and make fun of the health nuts that eat salad?  Chances are you’ll have a hard time with your diet.

Garbage in, Garbage out.

Choose who you surround yourself with wisely, and choose who you listen too.

Our Philosophy

Where is all the screaming?


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In the movies, screaming and yelling is certainly common.  It's also a staple of a lot of traditional martial arts, ever wonder where it came from and why?

Or why if you watch a actual match, whether it is kickboxing, boxing, MMA or really anything with actual contact it never shows up?

Quite simply it gives you a bit of tunnel vision, having your mouth wide open is a bad idea when someone is trying to hit you unless you like drinking all your meals.

Anyways, all that was probably well and good if you where a samurai who was set to live and die on orders.  Might need that little boast if you are walking into someone else sword as you attack.

So how about Karate & Tae Kwon Do?  Well, traditional karate only really goes back to the early 20th century, and Tae Kwon Do branched off of that.  It was in the lead up and aftermath of WW2 that it really took it's shape in Japan.  Karate became a tool to train children in Physical Education, which in imperial Japan meant prepping for battle.  Taking a lot of influence from Kendo (way of the sword) it developed into it's modern form.

A big piece of this was attacking with everything, for one hit.  Forgetting about the after, and focusing all you got into landing that single hit.  From this we got modern point fighting competitions, where action is halted every hit.

We don't believe in this at Innovative Martial Arts, our philosophy is not one hit, one kill.  While yelling can, at times, be used to develop confidence, so can many other things.  We believe in tactical and strategic fighting, protecting yourself first and foremost. Remaining calm and acting intelligently under pressure...  and not upsetting our neighbours too much :)