However, I’ve been thinking a lot about that question (“Why should I enroll my son?”) since then, and I think I would give a slightly different answer now. I believe there are many, many reasons why people of all ages should study martial arts. Training to kick a bag or block an attack at a precise time has profound effects on the students’ ability to focus. Learning how to defend one’s self and even how to fall properly can save a person from serious harm. As students make progress through the ranks, they learn the value of goal-setting, and they start to realize that with hard work, dreams that once seemed impossible become very realistic goals.
Nevertheless, if I had to give just one reason why someone should study at our school, it would be this:
When we ask the students to partner up, and a student is having trouble finding a group to work with, either because they are new to the class, arrived late, or simply can’t find any more people without partners, several students will always go up to them and say something like, “We would like for you to work with us.”
When I have children, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather have them than at a place where everyone understands the meanings of teamwork, respect, and compassion. I think that kind of attitude is rare to see at any age, but amongst our youth students I find it particularly moving.
When evaluating a martial arts school, I think there is a real tendency to want to judge said school based on the instructors. Do the instructors care about their students? Are they capable martial artists, and perhaps more importantly, can they effectively pass those benefits on to their students?
However, I think an equally important question to ask when evaluating a martial arts school should be: What are the other students like? What are their attitudes toward their classmates?
In that regard, it’s very easy to see why so many people start and continue to train at Maryland Martial Arts: We have amazing students. If you don’t believe me, watch closely the next time we ask the students to partner up.