As adults, we face constant challenges in our life that must be overcome in order for us to find success. Our jobs place great demand on our time, effort, and mental energy. Our families and friends require our attention. The problem is that very often we become so consumed by providing for others that we lose sight of our own personal goals, we are too tired to take care of our own needs at the end of the day, and our health can sometimes even begin to deteriorate.
The solution we have come up with is to develop a unique program that targets the needs of adults while providing skill-based training that goes beyond the punches and kicks and helps create a lifestyle that makes success (however that is defined for each student) a bit easier to see… and attain.
With that said a structured program introducing physical, intellectual, emotional, and social skill-based training in Martial Arts has proven to be very successful.
Here’s an overview of the most common factors affecting our adult students:
- Physically– After high school, many adults experience a slow down in activity. This is in part caused by the increasing demands of work-life, and the lack of structured physical activities such as physical education classes and team sports. Even more challenging, beyond the age of 25 our bodies begin to change; it takes more effort to see the same results. While we may still enjoy physical activity, we tend to relegate it to the ever-decreasing free time category instead of making it a priority.
- We expect our adult students to sometimes need extra help and encouragement when facing tough physical challenges.
- The goal for our program is to get them to understand their potential if they remain consistent in training and mindful of the way their bodies feel at any given time. We spend a little more time warming up, and a lot more time learning how to work not just harder, but smarter, with an emphasis on increasing health and overall fitness.
- Intellectually– Adults can grasp every concept taught in a martial arts class, and have the benefit of their own experiences to measure by. Their critical thinking skills are top-notch, but their decision-making skills are sometimes tempered by their mindset; life is no longer a game, and sometimes fears of failure can hold us back.
- We expect our adult students to require proof, and to sometimes need to have things explained before they’ll believe it. We expect to encounter self-defeating thoughts, even in those with the keenest minds.
- The goal of our program is to help our students see the bigger picture and apply their intellect in order to find solutions to problems in and out of the training environment.
- Emotionally– We all come into the martial arts school with a particular set of life experiences. We have been hurt, we have felt joy, we have known fear. These things can hinder our growth, or they can give us the foundation on which to craft a world-view full of wisdom and compassion.
- We expect the efforts of our adult martial arts students to be based on the emotional moments of impact that have been experienced in their lives, even as far back as childhood. This is true for emotions of both positive and negative impacts.
- The goal for our program is to help them apply more powerful mindset tools to help see each aspect of themselves in a way that helps them to achieve new goals; using past joys and fears in a way that spurs growth rather than hinders it.
- Socially– Confidence in the adult world is one of the key drivers of success. Too little confidence and that promotion at work slips through your fingers, too much confidence and people you off-putting and your social life soon lacks depth.
- We expect our adult martial arts students to initially hold back if they are uncomfortable as a defense mechanism, or to push too hard trying to prove to themselves (or others) that they are capable.
- The goal for our program is to help them excel at developing positive relationships, while also learning to step into leadership with ease.
By understanding the stages of development and the needs of adults, we were able to select 8 skills that make up the Warrior SKILLZ Program:
We cover one of the above skills per class (in order.) During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a mat chat about the skill; run two or three skill-building drills, and then we apply the skill to earn skill-stripes.
Students must earn all 8 skill-stripes in order to graduate to the next belt level, thus developing the ability to set goals, and learning how to break those goals into manageable action steps.
Once students earn their next belt they will continue to run through all 8 skills earning their skill-stripes with a more challenging curriculum as they advance to each rank. Our adult students can work towards earning their 1st Degree Black Belt after they have successfully completed all 9 belt ranks of the Warrior SKILLZ program.
Here is an example of what types of content will be learned for each of the 8 skills above:
- PHYSICALITY – Use it or lose it. Our bodies need to be strong enough to perform the techniques we have learned, our cardiovascular system robust enough to continue beyond what we thought we could do, our resolved hardened to see every effort through, even when the little voice inside says to rest. The Physicality skill helps us develop our bodies and minds to have the strength needed to face any task. At a White Belt level, students will assess their current level of physical fitness, while also setting basic calisthenic goals.
- FOUNDATION – Having strong basic technique is key when training martial arts. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. By taking the time to learn how each technique is executed without the fear of getting hurt, students are able to perform at higher levels while maintaining greater levels of safety for themselves and others. At a White Belt level, students will learn the basic punching, kicking, and stance work techniques.
- THEORY – Once a student knows some moves, it becomes important to learn how and when to apply them, how to link them together, and how to control space, distance, and timing. The Theory skill helps teach these concepts through the use of forms, which are choreographed patterns of movement, both solo and with partners. Forms are nothing more (or less) than the textbooks of our study. At a White Belt level, students will learn the first set of 18 moves from the first form.
- APPLICATION – Learning to apply without the guidance of forms or instructors leads to competence, and competence breeds confidence. In a self-defense situation, you may be all alone. The Application skill leads students from classical choreographed movement to freestyle tactical self-defense, allowing the student to gain the skills necessary to protect themselves and others at a pace that is right for each individual. At the White Belt Level, students will learn a simple takedown, how to fall correctly to avoid injury, and a few basic self-defense techniques.
- DYNAMISM – Success is attracted to speed. Knowing how to execute a technique is not enough. We must apply intent, power, and commit to seeing things through. Dynamism helps us put plans into motion, imparting maximum effort to drive those plans to success. Whether it is breaking boards, throwing a partner, or making that sale at work, we must be ready to execute at the very moment that conditions align. At a White Belt Level, students will learn several powerful kicks.
- PROOF – It is one thing to take the word of a trusted instructor that you are improving, but measuring oneself against the skills of others helps the martial artist gains both insight and experience. During the practice of the Proof skill, students will start off working on pads, bags, and mitts to learn how to adapt to the ever-changing flow of combat, eventually joining in sparring exercises with fellow students. At the White Belt level, students will learn some basic sparring combinations and concepts while working with an instructor who is holding pads.
- MINDSET – Martial Arts is about far more than the physical. In fact, without the proper mindset, success is all but impossible. The Mindset skill helps us develop the tools to see things in a new way, to see a world of possibility and opportunity rather than obstacle and defeat. No outside change can ever become powerful enough to overcome a misguided view of the world. By changing the inside, however, the outside cannot help but grow. At the White Belt level, students will learn about Vision, what it means, and how to apply it to both their martial arts and personal life goals.
- EXPLORATORY – This is where the real fun happens. During the Exploratory classes, each instructor shares something of their own martial arts knowledge and experience. These lessons may span a single class or an entire testing cycle. They may cover exotic weapons, unique self-defense concepts, or even take you outside the school completely as the instructors guide your exploration of the world of martial arts. At a White Belt level, students will be guided by the instructors with personal attention to help each student feel comfortable with the knowledge being shared.
As you can see we take Martial Arts training to a whole new level! More than just “Adult Karate Classes,” we use elements of assorted traditional Martial Arts curricula to build skills that are important for success in the adult world. This means that you will learn and grow at a pace that is not too easy, nor too challenging. The best part is that, in addition to powerful self-defense techniques, the Warrior SKILLZ program will equip you with skills that you will utilize in every area of your life!
If you’re interested in martial arts, why not check out our adult Warrior Skillz program:
4GK Martial Arts
380 East Main St
Patchogue, NY 11772