Top 10: Why Martial Arts Is A DirtNKids Affair

Getting our first belts,
Sensei Ro to the center

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.” ~ Bruce Lee

10. Being secure in oneself and abilities will both open doors and build relationships.

When we don’t know how to do a thing, we practice it — together. We are each others’ worst critics. When a skill is practiced correctly enough times, we become masters of it. When we become masters at a thing, confidence strengthens. Self-confidence as a first impression is generally a lasting one.

Do it right. Make each impression count.

Scott works on his side kick with Sensei Ro

9. None of us are too old or too young to sync the body and mind.

For the kids, staying active outdoors is the norm in this increasingly digital, indoor, face-in-a-screen world. Martial arts practice — and at its base, core-strengthening calisthenics — has become the new daily thang.

(Even Mom is getting back to six-pack abs and regulated breathing during physical stress. Really helps with garden activities.)

8. Weekly sessions break up the summer doldrums or school monotony.

Practicing to earn orange belts, sparring and weapons is only just beginning.

7. Getting back ‘in’ after being knocked down is the new normal.

It’s one thing to be able to deliver a punch or a kick to a bag or team opponent. It’s another thing entirely to take the hits and keep on going with the pain. Some pain is necessary to learn how to be better at forms.

Bob, you may have taken my big toenail,
but I forgive you. See you next week.

6. It’s not about the self — it’s about the team.

When your uniform isn’t sharp or when your stances aren’t deep and committed, when you’re not giving it your best, we all do push-ups as penance. If you do that enough (to us), the team will eventually come after you…at home (when you least expect it).

Now that we are all yellow belts, that team kata better look so good come September that we bring home the 6-foot-tall trophy.

Keeping the uniform crisp and sharp

6. Discipline is about knowing when best to move and breath or — when required — how to be still and listen.

Action is good, except when action is not permitted. When a teammate speaks out of turn when attention is warranted, we all do push-ups as penance.

5. Violence is always the last resort.

When met with a bully or someone who can inflict physical pain on you or someone else, be confident in your abilities — and be ready to defend to the best of your ability.

4. We are each individuals, each with our own skill and style.

When the ‘pop’ of your starched uniform can be heard across the room while performing your kata, even though your punch form may not be as ‘pretty’ as your classmates, you can be proud of yourself!

It’s okay to yell KIA! at the top of your lungs in the gym. Please remember not to use your gym voice in the house when we are not in class, Angie. Time and place.

3. A round-house kick with restrained power is a nice ‘tapping’ attention-getter.

Gone are the days of head-thump. Mom’s got some skills.

2. It’s perfectly okay to ‘reap’ a sibling in class.

Just remember, John, Little Sis gets to do it to you next. Be kind or it may come back to you ten-fold.

The Student Creed

I intend to develop myself in a positive manner
to avoid anything that will reduce
my mental or physical growth.

I intend to develop knowledge in the mind,
honesty in the heart,
and strength in the body.

I intend to develop self-discipline in order to
bring out the best in myself
and the best in others.

I intend to use what I learned in class
defensively and constructively in order to
help myself and my fellow man
and to never be abusive or offensive.

7 thoughts on “Top 10: Why Martial Arts Is A DirtNKids Affair

  1. Yes yes and yes! Excellent points, especially about violence being the last resort. Martial arts is the biggest reason why I began avoiding physical confrontations.

    I remember you had mentioned this to me in an old post of mine, so glad to see the photos. Roudhouse kick y’allselves to serenity and happiness, my favourite blog family ever!


    1. I knew you’d like this one! It really should have been a Top 20. There are just so many great reasons to engage in martial arts and not football, basketball, soccer, or baseball. Unless one is wanting to draw an income from it…

      Liked by 1 person

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