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Director - UCLA Martial Arts Program, Inosanto International Martial Arts Instructors Association

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Developing martial arts programs for not just schools, but for educational systems across the world.

After watching many of Sir Ken Robinson's talks on education and the decline of creative educational experiences in schools, I want to express my views on how to 'kill many birds with one stone' using martial arts as a tool to educate our children.

Many forms of martial arts can provide not only great physical activity, which is much needed for todays chubby youth. But also the ability to play, to learn from peers, develop focus/discipline & respect and work towards incremental goals that inspire them and teach them that working hard is the way to achieve success in this world.

Martial arts can teach you about culture, history, society, friendship, loyalty, dedication and so much more. Millions of individuals have been lucky enough to be inspired by their martial arts teachers and schools and if we can instill this inspiration back into children in school we could create a cross collaborative effort in making school about learning again and not about reaching standards dictated by numbers on a test.

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  • Jul 23 2013: Thank you Viking! An excellent point of view that mirrors my own but is just written better! :) I agree that giving building blocks to overcome the barriers that many have to putting a child into martial arts training is essential in getting it out there more. The stigma of UFC and cage fighting is a major one, the lack of knowledge from teachers or having to hire a "black belt" at high cost as is another. I know there is a way to make it happen and I think starting in cities that have an abundance of highly qualified instructors who sometimes struggle to teach but are amazing at it is the way forward. My example as you know is from Los Angeles where everyone is a martial arts instructor!!! Lots of great people doing great things in this town and I want to connect that to the bubbling hub of the future which are the children in schools right now!
    • Jul 23 2013: One thing I've been thinking about lately is how to get college students more involved in connecting with the bubbling hub. I'm a big proponent of people taking on small leadership roles to help bridge the gap between "leaders" and "followers", so that people who are just starting out can see in the shoes of these intermediate leaders.

      One thing I'd love to try would be an internship program for collegiate martial arts students in which the college kids engage in the community to help bring martial arts to younger children. This could be through a recreation setting, such as a Boys and Girls Club, or through the local schools' PE or after school programs. The younger students would get exposure to martial arts training with people who are closer to their own age, people that they will want to emulate. The college students would get a chance to try out the teaching skills that they've learned, as well as getting exposure to a younger audience that they don't usually see on campus. I'm hoping to start working with the intern program at ISU in the next year, or so, so I'll let you know if anything develops

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