Challenges of Adult Life: How we recreated our adult martial arts program to help foster success
About a year ago, we set about redeveloping our adult martial arts curriculum. We started from the ground up in an effort to recreate the powerful skill-based methods we use in our kids’ martial arts classes; a program that would still provide strong martial arts skills, but which would be relevant to the needs of the modern adult. To do this, we first had to understand which skills were important to adults. So we asked!
We got some pretty cool answers. See some of them in this Facebook post, and feel free to add your own:
Traditionally, much of the focus of our classes has been on things like self-defense, fitness, and traditional concepts. And while we still do cover all of those things in class because they are extremely important, it turns out that the average person worries far less about being mugged than about being fiscally responsible, feeling confident, and having the time to accomplish everything they want to in order to feel successful.
“So wait…. You don’t teach self defense in your martial arts school!?”
Of course, we still work on the physical and theoretical aspects of self-defense. Personal safety is so important that we consider it to be a personal responsibility to know how to defend oneself. We have simply taken an approach to training that trains the intellectual, emotional, and social skills that help keep us out of conflict right alongside the physical skills that get us out alive.
For example, in the Facebook post above, one of the most common responses was that people wanted to feel CONFIDENT.
How do we help with this?
First, we recognize that one of the most powerful ways to help build confidence is to help people feel COMPETENT. In order to do this, we focus not only on the techniques being taught, but on conveying the reason why we do each thing, how it works, and by teaching each new thing at the proper time.
By removing the stress from the learning environment, we help each student progress at a pace that is challenging yet comfortable. Sure, we still pressure test our abilities, but we do so with an eye on results, measuring performance against objective goals. By having clear objectives, a thoughtful timeline, and a skill-based curriculum, students are able to gain competence and build confidence.
“But what about the discipline?”
For centuries, the study of martial arts has been about one thing: survival in combat. Students were expected to have military discipline because training had to happen quickly and on a large scale. Modern militaries still train the same way.
However, discipline does not mean simply standing still, feeling fearless, never speaking out. The truest sense of the word discipline is a path of instruction. Students are disciples of a school of thought or of a teacher. Discipline, to us, is not a harsh hand ruling the school, but rather the student’s ability to follow a path, guided by mentors, with a specific goal in mind.
And in our research, many adults told us that discipline was something they could use more of. They didn’t ask for someone to yell at them to take a punch without flinching, of course. They said things like “I wish I could lose some weight,” or things like, “I struggle with time management.” Some even expressed a desire for self-sufficiency.
Another common adult challenge was, “I need help managing my finances.”
While these may not be concepts associated with self-defense or martial arts, they are concepts which, if improved or mastered, will help students improve in all aspects of adult life. Let’s be clear: we didn’t create a new system, there are no new magic techniques, we simply changed how we teach so that by laying a foundation of success, the student can more easily attain martial arts skill and harmony in their life.
Imagine how competent one could become art anything (including martial arts) if one had ample time to train and the personal resources to afford classes. And of course, more training will lead to a healthier body and lifestyle.
Mindset topics like this are covered regularly in our classes, with martial arts serving as the vehicle for conveying those lessons. In fact, mindset is one of the skills we teach.
“OK, I get it. But what does all this mean for me?”
Training martial arts is a fun, rewarding experience all on its own, and being able to protect oneself and one’s family is vitally important. But imagine if you could get even more… BE even more!
Whether you need better discipline in your life to help you lose weight and build wealth, or you find yourself afraid to do the things that would take your job and your life to the next level, or your social or romantic relationships suffer because you keep sabotaging your efforts or you simply need help figuring out how to meet new people, or you need help standing up to the office bully…. whatever your challenges, a martial arts program that focuses first on building and supporting you as a person while teaching you the skills and techniques you need to get ahead can help.
The only thing we CAN’T do for you is…. get you to take that first step. But here’s the cool thing: the biggest successes start with the smallest actions, and the smallest actions are, in themselves, the seeds of success.
Ready to take a small action? Click here to get started on your new journey:
Want to chat about your goals? Give us a call or stop by for a visit:
4GK Martial Arts
380 East Main St
Patchogue, NY 11772