Adults do Martial Arts Too!

What we want non-martial artists to know

One night I asked my Guardian students (highest tier students in our school) what they think are some early essential lessons we should teach all students. I heard some insightful things, but one thing I noticed was that most of what they contributed, had nothing to do with what you need to know AFTER you enroll, but what you need to know BEFORE you enroll. As a Black Belt who has been teaching for 35 years, I am guilty of, perhaps, assuming most people understand what we do and why we do it. It's called, "Seeing the world with Black Belt eyes." Here’s an example; people think in martial arts, all we do is learn to fight. The reality is that our ability to defend ourselves is a happy byproduct of our real goals in martial arts.

For instance, why does a teenage boy come to us, wanting to learn how to fight? Does he need to get into a fight? Is he joining a circuit of bare-knuckled street fighters? No, probably not, but some recent situation in his life scared him, and he wants an edge in case the situation should arise again or escalate. What he needs, is not the ability to fight. What he is really seeking, is confidence. If he felt confident in the first place, the situation that brought him to us wouldn't have been an issue at all. He would have gone about his life as if it didn't happen. We are going to teach him amazing and effective self-defense techniques. We are going to reward him for his progress, and those things together are going to boost his confidence, far outdistancing anything he or his parents expected.

So, that gives an example of how we do things maybe outside of what the general population is aware. And even with that explanation, there will be people who think it's impossible. They will think, "It’s just a sales pitch to convince people to sign up." I can tell you; we see it work wonders every – single - day. Think of this, child psychologists, physical therapists, social workers and psychiatrists send their patients to us for these amazing benefits and much, much more. That’s not a sales pitch, that’s science.

Well, to back up a little, my students did want me to tell you one thing about starting your training, or your child’s, which they think you should know. They worry that this may seem like a little thing, but they all said when they started, it was huge for them. That thing is, “No one will judge you here.”

Yeah, that’s it. It doesn’t seem like much but let’s discuss it a bit.

I have a young adult student who told me that when he joined the wrestling team in high school, he was made fun of and constantly belittled by his teammates for his lack of experience and lack of skill. Now here he is today, an adult, and he told us originally he was terrified the same thing was going to happen when he started training in Martial Arts, something he had always wanted to do. He waited a year after his friend started encouraging him to join before he finally decided to give it a try. He said he was astonished that no one judged him at Ancient Ways. Everyone greeted him as a friend and a fellow traveler on this path to self-improvement.

I think the reason for that is that we all started as white belts in the beginning. We all felt off balance, uncoordinated and a little foolish that we didn’t know anything and couldn’t do anything. We felt like everyone was watching us and judging us, even though it wasn’t true. Since we all remember those early days ourselves, we just pay forward the patience and compassion that was shown to us by the higher belts. They were friendly, gregarious and welcoming and we are too.

Martial Arts is not a sport. It can be done competitively, but it really is different. In sports, the goal is to win. This place is a school. People come here to learn, grow and develop skills. Because martial arts training lacks that competitive element, the judgment that is seen in other activities doesn’t happen here. Some students decide they want to spar and ground fight, but even then, we are partners, helping each other to improve, not to prove anything in an egotistical context.

With that message from my students now delivered to you, they and I want to encourage you to try our program. We have hundreds of students of all ages, 3 to 72. These are people just like you and your family members. Some always wanted to try martial arts, and they finally worked up the courage to do it. You can do it too. No judgment, just try it. $49 gets you our 4-week trial. We want your first experience here to be easy, so the trial includes a tour and a private lesson on your first visit. After that, you have four weeks of regular classes to get a genuine feel for how we do things. It even includes a uniform which normally is a $50 item by itself.

Call us today and accept my invitation to do the trial. We’ll schedule your first visit. Don’t worry, according to my insurance company, more people get hurt in the gym and doing yoga than they do in martial arts. It’s a safe, controlled and super clean environment where you are going to be very welcome. Our number is (941) 756-0800, and if we aren’t here, it forwards to a mobile phone where one of us will answer during reasonable hours.

Maybe you prefer to visit in person? By all means, drop by and take a free tour at our new 6000 square foot location, next door to YouFit in the Cortez Commons Plaza, 5566 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton, FL 34210. We look forward to you enjoying your training with us, and fulfilling your dream of training in martial arts and hopefully, someday earning a Black Belt. Picture that and call us today.

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