I love to teach! I love to see the changes that our wonderful martial art can make in our students.
I see reminders all the time….
Maybe it’s the adult student that reminds our teenagers to answer “Yes Sir” during class.
Or it’s the 6 year old that walks in the door and respectfully bows and says “Tang Soo” to her seniors.
Martial Arts, is all about respect. Some instructors have forgotten that. They have replaced respect with winning trophies and getting belts.
At Synergy Martial Arts we are not about that.
But, I am not going to spend a lot of time on that. At least not today, lol.
Due to the COVID 19 restrictions we haven’t had a major tournament with schools or competitors outside our Federation in 3 years.
But, this past weekend, we had the opportunity to compete with others since 2019.
Seeing others and experiencing how they conduct themselves can be eyeopening. It actually was my inspiration for writing this blog post.
It inspired me to come up with 3 things that made me “rediscover” why our students are different (not better, just different. Every instructor and school has their own opinion on what is the standard. And that is their prerogative. I can only speak from my point of view).
We Have Roots
All instructors have roots. We were all taught by someone and they were taught by someone else.
At Synergy Martial Arts we are rooted in the traditional martial art of Tang Soo Do. We still teach the way we were taught. With respect and good attitude.
The way our martial art was intended to be taught. Of course we take our lessons and adapt them to the way students learn in 2022.
We may not go to the parking lot for pushups as much any more, or get spankings with a bamboo sword.
But correct our students. We fix them when they are wrong. Sometimes we may have to raise our voices.
It’s all for a good reason. To help our students grow. Make our roots grow deeper and stronger.
We teach them to have respect for each other, even when people dont have respect for us.
We take the high ground.
We build their confidence and discipline through hard practice.
We need to keep the tradition of good attitude and respect going.
If we don’t what do we have?
Kicking and Punching. And that is not Martial Arts.
Its Not All About The Trophy
Its really not…
If you choose to go tournaments victories will come. But only through hard work and practice.
When you go to a tournament you should always go hard and go to win.
But win fairly and with good attitude and respect. Represent your school, your instructor, your organization, your family and your art with those good attributes.
Don’t lie about your rank to avoid a harder competitor. Don’t cheat to win. Fight fairly.
Not all of us compete to win a trophy. But all of us do compete against ourselves.
Are you getting better? I always tell my students, 1% better every class. It adds up.
Winning is good. It’s amazing. And we should all train and compete to win. Whether it is in competition at a tournament or within ourselves. The traditional way, builds us from the inside out. Beat yourself 1st. Who you were last class.
Train this way and you will become unstoppable.
Its Not All About The Belt
Some schools out there that will give you a black belt in just under 2 years.
In fact, they promise it. Some schools owners refer to them as “McDojos”.
Again, I am not here to judge. Just to tell you what I know. No disrespect is intended. To each his own.
It is my belief that with any promotion you need, as a fellow Master once told me, “Martial Arts Maturity”.
What is that?
It’s not just knowing your required material to test for your next rank.
It’s about truly understanding your current rank.
Its about being better than you were before your last test.
Have you improved? Is your spirit high?
Everyone is on a different mission. No two students will look the same.
We have to overcome what is slowing us down. Work through our sticking points.
For example, not every students will be able to sidekick over their heads, I know I cant. But it doesn’t stop me from working at it and trying to make it better. And our students should too. Like I said above 1% every time you are on the mats.
When we improve ourselves physically we transform mentally. Or confidence grows.
That is what being a black belt is about.
Come to class. Work hard. Put in the effort. And you WILL succeed. You will surprise yourself. That I can promise you.
Marital Arts, especially Tang Soo Do is so much more than kicking and punching. It’s more than just winning a trophy or rushing through belts to get to black belt.
Remember, train hard, with good attitude and respect for your seniors as well as your juniors. Train with a white belt mentality, always learning.
But be sure to stop, look around and enjoy the process and the friends you make. Enjoy spending time with them, training, competing and socializing with them afterward.
As my teacher, Grandmaster C.S. Kim always says, our training is about making us better human beings.
You want to get on the path to greatness?
Check out our programs here: synergykarate.com
We would love to have you train with us.