What is the most important thing for kids to learn in Martial Arts?
Why should my kid learn Martial Arts?
How can Martial Arts help me?
Why are traditional Martial Arts important?
The answers are often evasive or self centred basing the response on a level of ‘come to my martial art as it is the best’.
The best martial art has a teacher and instructors that can communicate the importance of self defence and respect rather than fighting especially for kids. There are martial arts out there where the sporting aspect requires a particular fighting mindset and thats fine but only if that child is the kind of kid that wants that. There are many kids that do not have that fight in them and will feel safer in a martial art that will cater for each individual kids needs. That requirement must be clear and understood by the instructor who, through experience, will know the needs of each child and direct their training in a way that gives them full exposure to developing their full potential and not feel left out. For example, it is easy to teach a child how to protect themselves from bullies but it is equally important to make a child aware of the devastating effects of being a bully and to instil that from an early age. Good martial arts teach discipline and manners to a level that makes kids aware of bullying but also how not to become a bully. It is how you impart that knowledge and carefully place those valuable teachings on the minds of young people.
The most important thing for children to learn in martial arts is self defence but what is self defence? it is not fighting, it is being clever and dealing with difficult situations that will harm or hurt you and others. It is the last resort to fight your way out of trouble and the first thought or natural reaction, through good training should always be to escape. Running away is said to be the best escape but if a child has fear or worse, hatred, after running away then they have not truly escaped and have only partially removed themselves from danger. Strength in the mind is equally important to a childs understanding of self defence as much as physical techniques.
At Shogun martial arts Navan kids learn all of this with emphasis on good behaviour throughout all aspects of their lives and time spent well in good manners with a disciplined mind will keep you safe. Safety however is not just something that you can magically summon or wrap yourself in an impenetrable lovely warm cocoon. It is earned through hard work and good training.
All instructors at Shogun Navan are trained in Japan and each with their individual knowledge and training history bring valuable teachings to the kids here at the Navan ninja kids martial arts club. Manners, discipline, respect and the highest level martial arts techniques to train the body and the mind imparted at a level of understanding the needs of each child make the instructors in Navan Martial arts the most qualified teachers of kids martial arts.
The best kids martial arts teach manners, discipline and respect as well as good self defence for kids. Navan martial arts club not only imparts this knowledge but does so in a fun filled happy environment. Kids martial arts classes in Navan co Meath cater for all ages and parents are very much a part of the club. All our instructors are trained in Japan under grandmaster Shoto Tanemura and all members are registered in Japan. Martial arts Navan cover all aspects of childrens martial arts and encourage this discipline throughout other aspects of their lives. Kids martial arts Navan teach children the value of respecting their parents and teachers as well as the best childrens self defence through awareness. It is better if a child can see danger before it happens and escape. This is the age old way of teaching children good martial arts and martial strategy. They must only engage in conflict when there is absolutely no other option and in that case they must have good childrens self defence.
An important part of kids martial arts Navan is learning how to deal with bullies in a way that does not turn the child into a bully. If a child has self worth then they will not bully others. The best childrens martial arts classes teach children self worth.
Adults martial arts classes in Navan teach traditional Japanese Kobudo in the traditional way with emphasis on the highest level of manners. Kobudo forms the basic levels of all Japanese martial arts and therefore the best adults self defence. Navan martial arts club teach Genbukan Martial Arts which covers the complete martial arts spectrum of training from kicking, punching, blocking, locks, throws, escapes as well as Japanese sword, bo staff (stick fighting) spear and archery. There are specialist weapons after this and the highest level of martial arts training that round the person. In ancient times women had to walk the mountains attending shrines and some were even monks. They had to learn the highest and best womens self defence in order to survive. This again was achieved through traditional training. It is not about fighting or competition. It is about self defence and the preservation of life. It is about teaching children good manners and the best childrens self defence through martial training. It is about giving women the tools to deal with difficult situations while enjoying training. It is about the best fun things for kids to do in Navan while learning valuable life skills. Kids can learn great skills through a very good childrens martial art but they must balance this with good manners and understanding the essence of the martial arts.
For adults martial arts Navan and kids martial arts Navan just call in to the club
My annual trip to Japan was as always a most memorable time. Having returned to Ireland late Thursday evening 23rd after a very long and arduous journey due to delays I was happy to be home with my family. My time in Japan was as always one of intense training and valuable teachings that can only come from the wise mind of a great teacher. Imparting knowledge is a great gift and one that few can duly place upon the minds of those who wish to learn, for placing such immeasurable wealth can only be done by those who are trained to the highest level and accord each student the greatest gift, that of knowledge.
As we raise to higher levels our training does not get easier and more effort is required. Those that are raised to higher levels have the greatest distance to fall and must always be mindful of this. Even the grandmaster continually trains in his awareness of this most important point.
Japan was in full bloom at this time of year with cherry blossoms displaying their beautiful pink and white flowers all over the country. In Japanese these are called Sakura and are awaited every year with great excitement. Sakura bloom for approximately one week to 10 days of each year. They are not used for anything just admired for their beauty. In the old koryu schools of which we are one of the last sakura are endemic of the Samurai heart. The true samurai does not walk with big shoulders but appears at times when good is needed. This is the heart of sakura showing the beauty only one time and symbolic of a peaceful nature bringing happiness. It is said in the old Ninja schools that the heart of the Ninja is that of the flower. It is said in the old schools that the Ninja is never seen but his presence is felt. My teacher Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura explained to me that a person who displays a vulgar nature can never be a true martial artist and will always be seen for what they are. Simply look to the Hanna (flower) and you will see this. There is no vulgarity in true beauty.
Japans history in its turbulence managed to somehow create a balance between the beauty of nature and the discipline of the sword. My training this time in Japan was in one of the rare sword schools that are preserved within our system and with grateful acknowledgement to our martial Arts ancestors I can bow in reverence to everything they passed on to us and to my teacher of course who so attentively imparts these wonderful gifts.
One late evening with the Grandmaster and his family we strolled along the Edo river where a vista of Cherry blossoms, Sakura, lined the banks for about 3 miles each illumed by a Japanese lantern that reflected a darting red shimmering light on the water. The grandmaster explained that the trees have a life span very similar to warriors of the Sengoku Jidai (warring period) and subsequently soldiers during periods of war the world over 16-20 years. A short lifespan for a warrior but one that was all too familiar during both world wars.
Their beauty therefore may depict far more than that of a flower but reflect that of a life well lived however short and duty performed no matter how dire the circumstances. We must do boldly what is necessary in our lives but we must do so with manners, discipline and respect and in so doing show the heart of compassion with the strength of bamboo. This will lead to Butoku Martial Virtue and in itself displays the very heart of Sakura. This is the way of the Martial Artist.
Japan as always has fond memories for me and each time is a time to itself where things learned are ingested and nurtured. I look forward to my next journey in October along with a large contingent of Irish students and I am sure each will experience something of Japan in their own way.