Thursday, June 9, 2011

Classic Martial Arts Moments

Sometimes in business and life you just have to stop and laugh at those classic moments and situations you find yourself in. Here are some of the top moments of my experience

  • I'm teaching class one night and we are performing front kicks in place. All of a sudden, a jock strap complete with cup and supporter flys through the air over my head and hits the mirror. After class, no one claimed it....

  •  I had a student named we'll call "Earl". Earl was about 8 years old and pretty rough around the edges. Once in class another kid was bothering him and he said,"Man, I'm gonna take you out". I overheard this and explained to Earl how we cannot do that in Martial Arts, and that this is positive place, etc... Earl's next statement was, "I'm not gonna do it here....I mean like in the streets." On a side note: One day Earl is in class and drops a $100 bill out of his uniform. He picked it up and put it back in his belt like nothing happened.

  • I had a student who was a giant burly lumberjack type guy and we loved to give him a hard time. When I put together his sparring gear package I gave him the child XS cup. One of the funniest things I have ever seen was that guy's face and body language as he came out of the bathroom with that cup on.

  • Once I was in front of a panel of high ranking judges testing for my next belt, and in the middle of my performance a completely naked baby ran through the center of the testing. Talk about Self Control.

  • I had a student named Jason, who had a habit of acting up and misbehaving. One day in the kids class Jason was doing something he wasn't supposed to do and ended up hitting his head on a metal rail hard enough to make blood spray out of the top of his head. We quickly brought him into the back room and took care of his injuries. I came out and sat all the kids down and proceeded to tell them how when we don't follow directions we can get hurt. After explaining how dangerous it is to misbehave a little girl raises her hand and asks, "Is Jason dead?"

  • I was an assistant instructor in class one time and noticed that there were little brown balls on the mat that looked like milk duds. I walked over to get a closer look and right then as I realize exactly what it is - I notice the head instructor has one in his hand and in proceeding to bring it to his nose to smell. I was too late and it was a total slow motion "nooooooooo" moment!

What is your own favorite classic martial arts moment? Leave a comment below!

Jeremy Molley is the owner of Visit our facebook fanpage for free drills, tips, and inspiration.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Teaching Life Lessons Through Martial Arts

Whether you call them Mat chats, life skills, focus words, life lessons, etc..., these lessons should be taught in your martial arts program if you want to develop well rounded martial artists. Here are some tips on presenting and implementing these types of lessons in class.

  • Use classroom examples. Whether you have an organized system of teaching life skills in your program or not, you will find many opportunities for life lesson discussions happening in each class you teach.  Example: Talk about Self Reliance when putting on sparring gear, or courage to spar someone bigger, perseverance for not giving up on a board break, pride in your self image with a clean uniform, etc...

  • Don't preach to adults. Quotes are excellent, short stories of how something affected you personally work as well. For example, everyone in town knew I had a crazy neighbor who had a bad reputation. She was trying to tow my students cars illegally, shut off my power at the box, yell profanity at me, burn her business down for insurance money, etc... She just wanted to cause trouble. I told them how for a while revenge crossed my mind, and I thought of all the rotten things I could do, but in the end I decided that it wasn't my place. Things always seem to work out because she was evicted and later thrown in jail. I felt much better that I didn't try to stoop to her level. I found that if I focused on positive things I got positive returns. Just sharing something like this can make an impact and get the point across without preaching.

  • For kids, I like to use examples that kids understand and relate to. For instance, "When I was a kid I decided that I hated ice cream. I had never even tried it, but determined it was gross. One day my mom fed me some ice cream and didn't tell me what it was. I was eating it and loving it. I asked what it was and when she told me it was ice cream I felt silly. I made sure to have courage to try new things from then on. Sometimes we can be scared to try new things but we have to have courage. Can anyone tell me about a time you had courage and tried something new?" These are the kinds of stories and discussions that you should be having in class. If you don't have a true to life story- make one up with make believe characters.

  • Try to find students using life skills and highlight them as soon as they do so. Don't be afraid to pause class for a moment and highlight something or someone that just happened. Example: You see a child share the battle ball with someone else. Call that person to the front of the class and tell them how proud you are. This will make every kid in the class want to share now!

  • Consider having a weekly theme to your life skills and posting it in your newsletter, on your message board, facebook posts, or weekly emails. Parents want to know what their child is learning and this serves as a constant reminder of the benefits of martial arts.

Jeremy Molley is the owner of endlessmartialartsdrills.comFor more free drills, videos, and tips become a facebook fan.