so it is almost with a sad heart that I make this post/observation. When I was a kid, ya know back when we rode chariots to school, martial arts training was different. We went, warmed up, worked on our techniques, worked our drills, sparred, and went home. That was it, no frills, no nonsense. Now every now and then there was a bloody nose, or a kick in the nads, but other than that, not a whole of excitement went on that did not pertain to the training.
And you know what? We loved it. We went in pumped and ready, and we left tired and satisfied. We did not need games to make class more interesting, or camaflouge gis to look cool. We had plain white gis, and they were wrinkled and sweaty when we left. Ahhh the joys of life. We knew why we went to class, and that it would be serious business until we were dismissed.
So what has changed? Now, kids have to change drills every 5-10 minutes. They wear more body gear than your average knight from the Round Table. It seems that it is almost taboo to teach a tough, focused class anymore. I have read in almost every recent martial arts magazine about how a class has to be fun. Well of course kids should enjoy class. Why do anything that you dont enjoy? But if your martial arts class is mistaken for a Gymboree, I think that there is a problem. Ninja nights? Little Dragons programs? Pardon me while I buy myself a break! At what point did our children become so weak and weak-minded that everything has to be a game?
I liken it back to the days before answering machines. Before, if nobody picked up the phone, we just called back later. Now, if we cannot get a hold of someone for 20 minutes, we are all in a panic. Same thing with martial arts. How are we going to teach kids to persevere, and tough out the training if they have never had to suck it up? How about making them do just one more situp? One more set of side kicks? Trust me, it wont kill them. Almost half of American kids are overweight. Let’s do our part to fix the problem huh? And by the way, if you are reading this post Emily, this one is for you 🙂