“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.”
― Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty
We believe each child is unique and they need a unique approach. We like to work on their strengths and develop their breakthrough areas. In essence martial arts is an individual sport with the benefit of being part of a like minded, supportive team.
“For years, schools have put a huge emphasis on team sports. Football, rugby, hockey and netball are taught to boys and girls as standard practice. Some children simply don’t suit these team sports – the one lesson in the timetable they dread; the one where their lack of skill stands out; their confidence gets knocked; they feel humiliated, upset or out of place.
Ask a bunch of adults their memories of PE and you’ll probably find the majority hated it and, as a result, continue to fear ‘sport’ for the rest of their lives, then you have the handful who loved it and were picked to play for every team, the apple of the PE teachers eye.
Thankfully clubs like the Warrior Academy are coming to our schools and bringing this to an end. It introduces children to a whole new kind of sport – one where they can work alone, but within a group of like minded friends, and progress at their own rate. Not to say it doesn’t involve team-work, but it allows kids to take themselves on their own journey without the pressure of an overbearing team-mate or frightening performance against mismatched opponents. My son loves his Martial Arts class, he looks forward to a grading knowing that he’s there because he’s earned the right to be there, not to make up numbers in the 5-aside.
He respects the Instructors whilst having so much fun that he can’t wait to show me his ‘ninja moves’ after each class. It’s given him a quiet confidence that he can do sport as well as the classmate who captains the A team in Football. This kind of experience is invaluable and I’m determined to spread the word about the huge benefits of Martial Arts and other individual sports that haven’t made it into the school timetable…yet!”
– Liddy Davies,
We teach our students that “Black Belts” are all unique, we all have different strengths and weaknesses but must have a strong sense of self worth. Discovering who we are and what we are brilliant at can fill us positivity and develop our sense of self, this can provide us with the inspiration to achieve greatness.
Young students are so motivated to conform and be like one another, so as to not be different and a potential target for bullying or social rejection and yet so much power is unleashed from being individual and unique.
As students develop within our programme, technically from a skill based point of view we encourage individuality, especially within sparring or patterns where students are encouraged to “develop” their style. This is common amongst many arts and I have found martial arts to truly develop the individual’s unique character from the process of developing their style.
We’ve included a little exercise below that we use to encourage our students to highlight their differences and unique gifts and talents, If done correctly it can be a powerful exercise. We find that students who understand their own uniqueness find inspiration intrinsically.
Please note: This worksheet (please download below) should be done in a supportive environment with a small group and adult supervision. Enjoy!