Martial Arts and Men's Ministry

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ynnad

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Well, tonight is our first night. I can't believe how many have expressed interest. I have everyone from teenagers to some elders coming. I'll update you tomorrow on how it goes.

As a side note, if you were doing something like this, what might you spend the hour doing? I know some are interested in the traditional martial art, some want to learn some basic self defense, and others just want to try and get in shape. What do you think would be a good balance for a class?
 
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ynnad

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In light of the gender conversation we have had in this post, it is interesting to note that several ladies have asked about joining us, mainly those who are doing the ladies exercise class. We'll see where that goes. If there is enough interest I may actually start some kind of club.
 

Carol

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In light of the gender conversation we have had in this post, it is interesting to note that several ladies have asked about joining us, mainly those who are doing the ladies exercise class. We'll see where that goes. If there is enough interest I may actually start some kind of club.

So what is happening to the ladies? Are they being allowed to join the class?
 

Brian King

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Ynnad wrote
“As a side note, if you were doing something like this, what might you spend the hour doing? I know some are interested in the traditional martial art, some want to learn some basic self defense, and others just want to try and get in shape. What do you think would be a good balance for a class? “

I assume that you will be starting off with a group prayer since this is a ministry, I also assume that you will be praying before during and after class on your own. I would highly suggest that before you begin class right after the group prayer that you have everyone say what they are hoping to get out of the class. Have a brief discussion with them. Get them in their minds to have a goal for the class and articulate where they want to be at the end of class. You will find out much useful information if you both listen and observe these folks. Have in your mind a road map on how the different goals can be achieved. It is easiest and luckily most productive if you can have multiple travelers (different destinations/goals) on the same road. For instance warming up can be the same for all whether self defense minded, fitness minded or fellowship minded. Have some of the warm-ups be team or partner exercises, have some of it be group exercises. Keep it simple challenging and fun. This brief discussion period and the warm up period will let you observe your group and see what they what they want as well as see what the need LOL not always the same thing in my opinion. Falling and rolling can be a part of the warm up. Many have a fear of falling and this is a chance to both discover fear and learn how to address the fears that we face in our lives. It is a skill that can be useful even if never ‘mugged’. It will also start to build the mindset of success. Watch the students breathing while falling (before during and after) and start them working on at least breathing and not holding their breaths. Breath and spirit are interesting words…look up the definitions and then see how they are used in scripture. If you are going to teach Kata’s demonstrate them, if you have a helper or somebody else that has experience show an application or two from the beginning of the Kata then have them start the Kata. No one to help then pick the biggest baddest of the lot and work them. No matter the work you show point out the benefits to all no matter their goals. Start them learning on how to find the benefits on their own.

You did not say how long your class was going to be. No matter how long the time that you have the students, the absolute hardest thing in planning a session or seminar is deciding what not to teach. There is so much and you will be excited and full of information that you want to give them. Calm yourself and slow down. They will have to discover some on their own, it is part of the learning process and a very valuable part. Giving someone too much information at the start is a sure way to insure that they learn nothing.

At the end of class I might suggest have them circle up (sitting might be best) and go around one by one and discuss class. They can and should be encouraged to be free in their discussion while being brief LOL. Something that they liked, something that they learned, which drill they most enjoyed or least enjoyed, a chance to thank their training partners whatever they wish. Some may just say thank you and that is OK. You can either address them after each talks or wait until the end as your style and the time dictate. This talking does a few things. It allows them to calm themselves, it allows them to one more time visualize the days training reinforcing the lessons, it allows them to see the exercises through others eyes and experiences. You will be pleasantly surprised at some of the articulations and the deepness of understanding some of the students will share. This is a tradition in the martial art I practice and one that proves valuable time and time again. This of course then is a great chance to end with prayer of praise and thanks.

Good luck sir
Most of all have fun
Regards
Brian King
 
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Tez3

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Brian, had to smile when you said about breathing, people look at you strangely when you first tell them to keep breathing - as if you could ever forget to breath! They also find it odd that they've stopped breathing and didn't realise until they practically pass out!
 
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ynnad

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The class has been a great success so far. We had 11 the first week and 15 the second week. These are all men who would never have signed up for an exercise class, much less a martial arts class. I have a very diverse group from teens to seniors, those in some shape to the completely out of shape. All are beginners when it comes to martial arts. I am trying to balance the cardio/flexibility/strength, the traditional martial arts curriculum and the practical self-defense. I'm finding I am running out of time. I need to try and blend these a little more. Our big challenge right now is mats. Anyone have a good suggestion about inexpensive, portable flooring? We aren't going to do any throws, but it is nice to have something "cushiony" when we are stretching and doing pushups, etc and we do fall every once in a while doing target drills, etc.
 

David43515

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Well, I think most Home Centers and Do-It-Yourself hardware stores have foam floor pads that link together like puzzle peices. Or maybe they just have them here in Japan. Anyway, most of them are about 18 inches square and could be put together quickly to give you a small padded area for your target drills and then taken apart quickly for storage in a closet (unless you find you want to leave them out for the nursery)

Work transferrs me often, so I get to attend churches in alot of communities. I went to a church here in Kushiro years ago that had Kyokusin-kai karate for a youngmen`s group activity , probably age 13-20. Another church had a Kyokushin-kai class that was open to all and had alot of interest among young girls. I wish you luck.

I`ve tried to start a similar program for women`s self defense at our current church, but there seemed to be no interest.
 

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