A little while back I did a post on some of the popular forms of martial arts, you can find that here:
And this time I want to expand on that a little.
As it is not just the styles that have a wide range of things, but the way people train does as well.
You could take two martial arts styles and not have a single overlapping technique between them. Some are based around punching and kicking, others don’t use punches or kicks at all.
The same goes for training methods which can also vary greatly.
In the same way that not a single “style” of martial arts is best for everyone across the board, the same goes for training methods and school culture.
Some places will almost resemble military drill practice… and there is a reason for that. A lot of “modern” arts where implemented as military training. Or rather pre-military training, a way to get youth mentally and physically prepared to join the military. This was one of the stated aims of the Dai-Nippon Butokai (Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society) until it was disbanded at the end of WW2 as a result of the allied forces conditions to disband all military organizations.
As for us, we are less drill line like and our culture is much more based in creativity and dynamic problem solving.
We don’t do forms or kata, and we try to base our teaching methods more on modern sport science and child psychology.
At the end of the day I think the program that is going to work the best for any given kid is the program they enjoy the most. We all learn best when we are having fun, we all learn best when what we are doing is something that interests us. As parents / adults in kids lives sometimes they need a little push to keep going, motivation in anything tends to peak and valley, often in sync with plateaus that need pushed through.
So what do we do? We practice techniques that are age and skill appropriate… and then we play. If we are working on takedowns we will play a game (or “drill” if you prefer) that lets the kids try and take each other down. We will use games that are designed to teach them balance and off balancing, games that are designed to teach them to advance position. We will use games that emphasis teamwork, strategy, conditioning.
With the younger kids we will even use games designed to teach them to resist the urge to run around when they are supposed to stay in place. We will have games that are designed to not just give them techniques, but teach taking turns and co-operating.
Fitness, teamwork, sportsmanship, confidence, leadership, balance, etc. These things always progress the fastest through dynamic experiences and “play”, not through rehearsed patterns and pre-set responses.
Have your child come “play” with us, it can make a world of difference 🙂