Why Every Child Should Study Martial Arts……

You have seen it a million times, on TV, Movies, Plays, in your neighborhood….at Halloween. A cute little kid all decked out in his karate uniform, white belt tied around his waist, punching, kicking and jumping in the air at some invisible person with a big smile on their face.

It reinforces just how popular martial arts are. In fact martial arts can now be seen on television weekly in the form of Mixed Martial Arts Competition, and even the addition of Karate to the Olympics in 2020.

All this popularity begs the question. Why should anyone, especially a child study martial arts?

Here are 5 reasons that help to answer that question:

  1. “There is no confidence, like self defense confidence” Knowing how to defend yourself not just physically, but verbally is an essential skill for children. Especially, with 1 in 4 children being bullied in America, and an estimated 160,000 kids that skip school to avoid being bullied every single day in the United States. Kids who know how to defend themselves are much more likely to stand up for themselves, and much less likely to be targeted by bullies.
  2. “No One Sits on the Bench at the Dojo” Martial Arts is unique in the sense that kids are a part of a group, but they still get to progress at their own rate. The stress and demands to preform and deliver for a team is eliminated. A child is free to make mistakes, and to learn from them without being singled out. Also, they get to play every “down”, with no time spent on the bench watching everyone else play.
  3. “Chivalry is Not Dead” Manners, Self-Respect, and Respect for others may seem like a lost art with children, and adults these days. That is not the case on the mats at the dojo. There is an emphasis on self-respect, they way you are dressed, how you keep your uniform and yourself clean, how you present yourself at the dojo, the respect you show others in your words, and in your actions towards them. Yes Sir, Yes Mam, Please, and Thank You, are all alive and well in the hearts, minds, and voices of children taking martial arts.
  4. “There are no Keyboards at the Dojo” Children are ever increasingly talking to each other from behind screens. From texting, to FaceTime, to Snapchat, to tweets, the list goes on and on. Martial Arts Classes are a great place for face to face interaction. For children to work together directly. To learn the art of communication, to see face to face how to work with another person.
  5. “It Takes a Village” Parenting is every bit as difficult now as it ever was. Raising Happy, Safe, Respectful, Helpful, Leaders of tomorrow is too much for even the best parents to do alone. Family, Friends, Teachers, Mentors, and Martial Arts instructors are vital in helping reinforce the values that you are instilling at home. A Martial Arts Teacher or “Sensei” influences not just the way students defend themselves, but he or she is imparting lessons on self-confidence, leadership, kindness, and motivation every single class.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg about why martial arts for children is an amazing resource, about why every child should learn these lesson, but all these words don’t mean much until you see it in action.

We urge you to take your child to a class, but not just any class. Find a Facility that is clean, and instructor that is knowledgeable, that is a Blackbelt of Skill and Character. Someone who you trust to teach your child more than just how to fight, but how to live.

Joshua Page,

http://www.hickorykarate.com

http://www.joshuapage.me

Advertisements

“Sensei Does 25”

IMG_1567

We play  a game at the end of class with this big red cube. It has exercises and challenges for the students on each side, except one……one said is for the Teacher. It boldly states Teacher does 25. 

Our students love it, they love to see the Teachers drop down and give 25 pushups. Its a great chance for the Teacher/Sensei/Professor/Coach to lead by example, to humble themselves, and remind themselves and their students that Blackbelt is a Verb, and not a Noun. That it is a state of action, not a state of stagnation.

I have seen this cube at a few martial arts schools, and even saw a few with the Teacher Does 25 taped over…….It breaks my heart as an instructor, a student, and as someone who loves martial arts.

Teacher does 25 is a mindset, and a culture that is sorely needed in the martial arts community, in our communities, and our country. 

Leadership is defined by action, by holding to not just the same standard you hold those you lead to, but exceeding that expectation, in the hopes that those you lead might do the same.

What opportunities for growth and leadership have you “taped over”?

My challenge to you is to rip that tape of today, that sting is much less than that of keeping it on.

Joshua Page,

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

On Slipping….

IMG_1500

“Daddy I slip a lot less when I hold your hand.” 

 

My Son was talking about the rocks we were walking across, but he reminded me the importance of being connected to the things that keep us from slipping, and keep us moving along the right path.

Life is too complex, too difficult, and just plain too tough to get through without having to hold onto someones hand from time to time. Without having to lean on someone, or something to get you down the trail. Without having to be part of a group for direction, comfort, and safety during our trip.

IMG_1503The question is, whose hand are you holding, what are you leaning against, what group do you travel with. 

Life brings us the opportunity to strive for perfection, to seek out the best in ourselves through the help of others, to allow us to be guided and lifted by those who see the destination ahead, and not the side trails that look promising but lead to nowhere.

 

Chose the hand you hold carefully, choose the things you use to prop yourself up, surround yourself with people concerned with the destination, and the ones who walk the right path, even when it is not the easiest path.

Most of all even when no one is around to help you, when Daddy has already reached the end of his trip, you still have a Father who is always there to guide you, to hold you, to put you on the right path, to hold your hand and let you know everything is going to be just fine.

Safe travels, God bless, and Thank you to the people who hold my hand when I need it.

IMG_1508

 

Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

3/30/2016

 

 

 

Manners and Martial Arts

IMG_0893Good manners, common courtesy, and respect seem to be in a bit of a decline in recent history.

With the advent of social media, and the power of anonymity it provides, it is easier than ever to say and do things that you might not do in person. In a society that seems to be speeding up exponentially, people just don’t seem to have the time……..for patience.

Popular culture is bombarded with examples of this type of behavior, even our Presidential Debates have taken on a decidedly “Jersey Shore” feel to them. Most of the popular shows, movies, and media are filled with topics, and language that are anything but respectful, courteous, and kind.

As we go speeding through our day, inundated with bad examples, running eternally late, tethered to our devices is it any wonder why manners seem to be in short supply?

In fact manners might be considered one of the great challenges ours and future generations face. Why is that you might ask? Because manners….how you speak to others, how you treat others, how you act to the people we meet, the people we love….and those that we have trouble dealing with is in direct relation to the amount of self respect we have for ourselves, for the respect we have for the people around us, and is a direct reflection of the morals, and principles that guide our lives.

Can you have good manners, and be devoid of solid morals and guiding principles? Of course you can (See: Eddie Haskell), but you cannot have solid morals and guiding principles without having good manners.

Yes Sir, and Yes Mam are the building blocks of something far more important…..Respect.

That is one of the most powerful lessons Martial Arts teaches us. Having an environment, where it is the rule, and not the exception to use manners sets the stage for mutual respect. Having an environment where there are high expectations or consequences for what comes out of your mouth, fosters responsibility. Being held to a high standard of behavior on and off the mats, is a great way to build a leader.

From bowing on the mats, to shaking the instructors hand, looking classmates in the eyes and thanking them for a good class, bowing to an opponent before you fight and hugging them after the match is over, respecting the hierarchy of belts, and being expected to demonstrate and perfect required lessons/techniques, to helping new students…..the list goes on and on and on. Martial Arts is one of the few places where manners are expected, morals are not just taught, but displayed by the teachers and high ranking students, where respect, kindness, humility, and perseverance are celebrated, encouraged, and taught…..one on one, without screens, without phones, and without apology.  

-Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Carrying the Flag: Leading from the Front

We all say the right things most of the time, speak the truth, give good advice…..most of which is overlooked.

In large part this is the case when our actions don’t sink up with our words.

Our actions have a way of leading from the front, giving the visceral example that put meaning to our words, that create the spark to fire action.

What you say will fall on deaf ears, will be forgotten, will be misunderstood. What you do will followed, and emulated….even by those who you don’t know are watching.

Lead from the front, carry the flag where you want others to follow.

-Joshua Page

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Dedication….from Moment to Moment

Just in case you were thinking about slacking, laying low, skipping out on your goals this week.

Remember this, “winning” and succeeding is not a one time thing, it is not a big event, not one pivotal moment. It is an every day thing, it is a habit, it is in the decisions and actions we make from moment to moment.

Champions are “winning” one second at a time, through continued effort, continuous discipline, through continuing to strive past our own limitations, or own negative self talk, past our doubt, and fears, and the judgments of others.

DEDICATION is not a personality trait, it IS A VERB….something that is breathed into life by being put into ACTION……

-Joshua Page,

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Time…

Your time, my time,…..out time is constantly moving forward. Racing into the future and an ever increasing pace, robbing us of our abilities, of our health, even those we love……and the worst part is that we can do nothing about it.

Our time will tick by regardless of how we use it, how much we value it, or how much we enjoy it.

Take back your time, enjoy all the minutes and seconds of your day. Squeeze all the love, and life out of each day.

Soak up all the sun you can, while you can. Dance in the rain, don’t let it ruin your day, take that time back. Dance through that storm, grateful to be a part of it.

Love openly, and honestly, we don’t have time for unsaid words, and unheld hands.

Live, Live, Live while there is still LIFE to be had.

Joshua Page, http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Inspiration…..

Inspiration, should lead to motivation, and hopefully to perspiration!

However the whole process is useless, without dedication.

Dedication is the piece that takes you from dreaming, from bouncing from idea and dream to idea and drean, from one gym to the next, one goal to another.

Dedication is part of the price of innovation.  Part of your “Success dues”.

Anyone can do a hard workout,  pull an all nighter, get excited for a week or a month, but all those are done in vain without a sustained, consistent,  and dedicated effort.

Keep getting inspired, keep getting motivated, keep making perspiration…..and above all tie them all together with dedication and harvest the fruits of your labor!

Joshua Page, http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Success Beyond Talent

Early success is a mix of talent and luck. Simply being in the right place at the right time, or having a natural inclination to something, make initial achievement seem easy.

Continued success however, has a funnel effect. Imagine how easy it is to pour something through a large funnel….now flip it around and try again!

Continued success is more often than not a result of continuing to show up as the funnel gets smaller and smaller, continuing through mistakes, carrying on past defeats and disappointments.

Making it past where luck and natural skill can never take you.

Joshua Page, http://www.hickorymartialarts.com