We had an awesome launch with our kickboxing class! Come check out this new program with Jarrett McBride. Kickboxing is essential for those looking to enter the Roch NY MMA arena. It’s also a fun way to get in super amazing shape.
Super Class is a games and fitness class we put together for Friday evenings for kids. It's important for kids to let loose and have fun with their fellow students. So Super Class helps our younger students bond and make friends. I think as adults we sometimes don't value playtime as much as we should. This is how kids exercise, build their social skills, and practice problem solving. So even if Fridays seem like a free-for-all, I know the kids are still developing valuable skills.
There was a time when I felt that "karate birthday parties" cheapened the martial arts and were just wrong. BUT, I have since learned how important and awesome having martial arts incorporated into a birthday party can be. I don't care how people experience the martial arts, it's the exposure that counts. If a child goes to a birthday party and discovers martial arts THAT IS AWESOME!! Their life has just been changed in such a positive way!
Plus, the fact that kids want to share the martial arts with their friends makes me feel so honored and happy. Recently we put on a birthday party for one of our students. Seeing how proud he was to demonstrate and show his friends his skills, it was awesome. That truly made my day.
We are now offering free birthday parties included with our kids memberships. I hope more kids get exposure to the martial arts and learn these amazing life skills. For more information, contact Brennan or myself. We'll be more than happy to help put together a memorable day for your kiddos!
I know finding a martial arts school can be very difficult. While I'm partial to Rochester Phoenix Martial Arts, I realize we aren't right for everyone. Still, I wanted to do some posts on things to look for. I've been training in the martial arts for a LONG time, and I can usually spot good schools pretty quick. This post is on openness. It's a quality I think is important and that separates good schools from bad ones.
Real modern martial arts training should not be clouded in mystery. We don't meet for secret magic training sessions with secret magic scrolls to enhance our secret magic skills. Sorry if I ruined the martial arts for anyone just now.
Can You Watch Classes?
We encourage potential students to watch classes. We encourage parents to watch their kids in classes. We encourage significant others to come watch their loved one in classes. There are no secret magic skills an instructor is teaching to your eight year old that you can't be allowed to see. If a school discourages viewing... RED FLAG! As a parent myself, I'd run from a school that wouldn't allow me to watch the class.
What Are the Parent Organizations?
That weirdo in the Wal-Mart parking lot can go ahead and open up a martial arts school in his basement if he was so inclined. There are no regulations for operating a dojo. Unfortunately, there are frauds out there. One way to avoid fraudulent instructors is to look into the parent organizations associated with the school. These keep up quality control, provide ranking guidelines, and instructors normally need to be certified through them. If there are no parent organizations, at least question and research the instructor's credentials.
How Easy is it to Contact the Owners?
Brennan and I live in an apartment. We have cell phones. We don't live on some mountain top fortress in the middle of nowhere. When students or parents want to talk to us, we're there! I always try to respond to texts, emails, and phone calls right away. We also try to check in with students and parents on a regular basis. If the head instructor/school owner is never at the dojo and doesn't respond when you try contacting him/her, probably a bad sign.
Finding a good school isn't easy. There are still a lot of outdated notions about martial arts and training. Hopefully this series of posts will help clear some of that up. Even if you aren't from the Rochester NY area, the same points apply.
Should your training begin and end with your own school? For many people, coming to class and training in their own school is enough. However, extra training can be extremely beneficial for so many reasons.
Additional training can take many forms. Seminars, open rolls, and tournaments are just a few examples. Why are these events so important to your training?
They Keep Things Fresh
As you train and start working with others, you start figuring things out about your training partners. We all have habits, and the more you work with familiar people, the more you can anticipate just how he or she will react. By training with new people, you can better tell if your techniques are working properly. A technique will work differently on someone who has no idea it's coming.
They Put Things Into Perspective
Maybe you're the biggest guy in class. Maybe you're the smallest. Maybe you're the oldest. Maybe you're the youngest. By traveling to another school, you can seek out others with similar or different body types than you're used to. I'm used to working with people a lot bigger than me in our classes. At first I was getting a little discouraged because it seemed like everyone was better-- Until I went to another school that had several women my size. I held my own! Suddenly I didn't seem to be doing nearly as badly as I had been thinking I was.
They Prevent "Martial Inbreeding"
This is a term I use for when people substitute anticipation/expectations for technique. In other words, is something working because it's legit? Or because Sensei says it will work and it's working for everyone else? Other instructors and high ranking individuals may have new ways of looking at things or interpreting techniques. By going out and experiencing new ideas - even if you don't agree with them - you keep adding tidbits of understanding and knowledge to your belt. This keeps your martial world growing, expanding, and evolving.
There are so many more reasons to venture outside your school walls. I'll tackle more in another post.
When Sensei Leigh and Sensei Brennan aren't training, we're keeping you updated on the happenings here at Rochester Phoenix Martial Arts!