Saturday, May 03, 2008


Martial Arts is not about learning dance routines

Today, my six year old son visited Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy and was very disappointed...

I remember trying out for the local high school football team. Previously, I never played football but had the right mindset in order to be successful. I learned the three point stance, four point stance, dive rolls, etc. We even periodically hit the sleds as well. Learning football techniques wasn't the same as learning football until the first time a senior (I was a sophomore) but me on my butt.

Getting tackled by folks bigger than you is real. Coming home with the absolute worst headache that no amount of Tylenol could cure is real. Going through the routines in ceremony and that is what many martial arts schools are teaching today. In this school, you don't even do full sparing until you become a black belt. What a joke!

My son is a Yellow Belt with three stripes in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. He is six years old and very underweight for his age. The first time he walked into class, a nine year old slapped him to the mat. This was a deciding moment when my wife and I watch my son in pain, while also getting up, dusting himself off and deciding that it was fun. He liked it and it unearthed something primodial.

Martial arts in America is watered down. This particular class was filled with pigeon head women watching their children go through routines that were more analogous to dancing than to martial arts. Kids knew lots of routines but did very few of them correctly. In a real confrontation, those who think they know martial arts have a bigger chance of hurting themselves over those who simply know nothing and react instintively. The sensei (jeanene Violante) seemed to be pretentious in terms of her Gi and knows something about martial arts. She is a forth degree in terms of American watered-down rankings and is motivational for misbehaved kids but otherwise is very liberal (liberalism is a mental disorder) in teaching what it takes to be a good martial artist.

On the way out, one of the parents commented to me that the instructor was a good one. He also detected that my son knew another style where I mentioned to him that he has been taking Jiu-Jitsu for a year. He mentioned that Jiu-Jitsu is a real martial art and they don't do that here. Enough said...

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