Running Krav Maga got me working mostly with adults however the launch of the Taekwondo classes has once again got me working with kids. The last couple of weeks I have been working with the school kids of Rotorua Intermediate School promoting my school, and teaching basic Taekwondo and self defence moves. The energy and enthusiasm of the youngsters was tangible and to nurture and cultivate ability in people of an apt age to start martial arts training is one of the most rewarding experiences for any instructor in my opinion.
My training culminated with a martial arts demonstration at the school assembly where my select group of protégés demonstrated some pad kicking and self defence moves and myself breaking pinewood boards with spinning hook kick and reverse punch afterwards. One student captured the breaks on her cell phone; here is the link to the spinning hook kick speed break http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzPNftnwUdw and the reverse punch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kzkh-qeugs. I think for the punch break I should have got two people to hold the boards. It does not matter too much when breaking one board but with two boards, it is important that the boards do not move. In the clip I could see the boards moving back with the impact of my punches and not breaking. As a result I got some serious contusions on my fist; hopefully I did not chip any bones.
It was obvious how much the assembly enjoyed the demonstration, watching the cell phone clips I could hear the gasps and cheers. At the end the whole assembly started performing the haka. I have got to say that I will miss working with the kids of Rotorua Intermediate, during the short period we trained together we bonded well and most of them loved the opportunity to train in a martial art. Hopefully Taekwondo will be incorporated into the school’s PE curriculum.
Some people think that what I teach is all about violence and beating people up. Of course there is the fighting and self defence aspect, but that is just one facet. Martial arts are about growth and personal development as much as they are about combat. We learn to think better every day, to improve a little every day. To face an assailant in combat is something that only happens occasionally, but we often struggle day to day with our own minds and internal conflicts. By thinking better we focus on things that empower us, by pushing and challenging ourselves we remind ourselves to take action and live to our potential. This in turn builds confidence and helps us handle the challenges and emotions in the problems of daily life which can be just as frightening if not more so than a physical opponent. The philosophy of the martial arts therefore is a philosophy for life itself.