1. Am I too old to begin
martial arts training?
The short answer to this question
is that you are never too old to begin martial arts practice. However, as
with any physical activity, it is important that you check with your doctor
before beginning your training. Martial arts practice is physically
demanding and involves everything from punching, kicking, falling, rolling
and jumping. It is important that you have a realistic estimation of your
capabilities and share these with your instructor who will then be able to
make adjustments to your individual practice.
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2. I am out of shape and afraid
I will not be able to keep up with the rest of the students. Is it realistic
for me to join the class?
We like to say that martial arts practice is an individual pursuit
done in the company of friends. That is to say, everyone proceeds at their
own pace with their own goals. Our classes are structured so that all of the
techniques presented are accessible to every student. If you do need to take
a break over the course of the class it is totally acceptable to do so. You
will find, however, that your endurance improves and you feel yourself
growing stronger with each successive class. As this transformation occurs
your instructors will seek to challenge you in more demanding ways. Just
remember that everyone around you, whether they are a green belt or a blue
belt, has undergone the same struggle initially in their training and are
there in the class to support each other, not compete.
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3. Will martial arts training encourage
my child to behave violently?
One of the tenants we teach our young students is that the martial
arts we practice are designed to make us physically and mentally strong, not
violent. Whenever we teach self-defense we try to elaborate upon this point
by showing students many options, or levels of severity, within each
technique. For instance, when talking about what to do when someone grabs
our arm we show a simple wrist escape that is perfect when the aggressor is
another school age child. We stress that in this situation our students
should avoid any striking are aggressive techniques. In this way they can
escape from the person grabbing them and proceed to the nearest
teacher/adult to inform them of what had occurred. If, however, the
aggressor is a total stranger and the student feels that they are in
physical danger we show any number of strikes and joint locks meant to
subdue or injure the aggressor to keep the student safe. Understanding how
to make that decision is an important part of our training.
If it does come to our attention that a student is behaving in a way that is
not representative of the conduct expected of a mature martial artist we
will sit down with that student and discuss their motivation for acting in
such a way. We then can stress the importance of using our training to have
a positive effect on those around us.
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