- The principals of Courtesy, Integrity, Self-Control, Perseverance, and Indominatable Spirit are at the core of all martial arts. At Cross Martial Arts Academy we routinely discuss what these principals mean and how we implement them in martial arts and our lives.
- Physical exercise that combines flexibility, strength, balance and endurance.
- Mental exercise that includes repetition, memorization of steps in a process (forms), concentration, practice and patience.
- The combination of physical and mental abilities. I think this is one of the most important aspects of martial arts. For me, personally, it is the most difficult. In other sports, like running or swimming, the physical aspect is obvious, but you can be daydreaming as you run down the road. Not so in martial arts. If I’m not concentrating on my body, what it’s supposed to do, how it is to do it, the steps involved in say a basic front kick, I can’t be successful. If you want to perform a “technique” such as a kick, form, or block, you really have to be thinking.
- Building of self-confidence. I see kids transformed by the confidence that comes with martial arts. They are less likely to be bullies or be bullied. Our instructor focuses on the self-defense nature of martial arts, how it can be used to defend yourself or a loved one. With this information and training comes a natural self-confidence. It changes the way you even walk down the road, making you less likely to be chosen to be a victim in the first place.
- It is an individual sport that can be enjoyed from age 5 to 50 and beyond. I took my first class at age 44. I was with my kids who were 7, 12, and 14. Also, it’s a sport you can flow in and out of. For example, you can play basket ball for its season, then step back into martial arts during the off season.
- It can be competitive if you want it to be. Tournaments are offered, but it’s really about doing your own personal best all the time. We are reminded not to look at the person next to us, as what they can do doesn’t matter. Just do what you can do and do your best at it. This is always a welcome reminder for me who has an 8 year old who can do a wicked spinning hook kick that I haven’t even attempted yet even though we both started a year ago!
I hope you’ll consider martial arts for your children and yourself. My whole family takes lessons at Cross Martial Arts on Bond Road.