Dave Kovar's Living Lessons: The Benefits of Martial Arts TrainingWith Instructor Colleges and Business Boot Camps scheduled all over the country, I am doing a lot of traveling again this year. I love visiting schools and meeting instructors. For the most part, there seems to be a real sense of comradery at these events…. and a sense of congruency about our professional mission. We are uniquely situated to impact the world in a positive way like nothing else that I know of can. Our goal with these events is to help improve the quality and professionalism of the modern-day martial arts school. I am happy to say that this next generation of school owners and instructors is way ahead of where my generation was when we were just starting out.

23 years ago, when I really started doing formal business and instructor training, the concept of presenting yourself and your school in a professional manner and teaching in a structured, empowering way was foreign to most. However, nowadays it seems to be second nature for most of the people with whom I work. Because of this fact, we can now really focus our energy on fine tuning….and concentrate on researched, proven, tried and true tools, techniques and tactics designed to take school owners and instructors skills to another level.

One of the things that we are focusing most on is helping school owners and instructors be able to discuss the benefits of martial arts training, both with current students and potential students. Here is an outline of some of the things we talk about:

Stress – With everything that is happening in this country and around the world; the stress level of the average person is dramatically higher than in the past. Stress that isn’t managed scan be extremely detrimental to our health, our relationships and even our job productivity. As you all know, there aren’t many things that can reduce stress better than an intense martial arts class. How many of you have come to the dojo stressed from the activities of the day and then left with a completely different mindset? At the end of a good class, remind your students that the next time they consider skipping class, they should remember how good it feels to train, and always anchor in the good feelings they have when class is over, because that memory will make it easier for them to stay in the routine.

Stay-cations. – We know many families who are curbing their travel plans this year and who consider their martial arts training as mini, twice–a–week getaways without leaving town.

Obesity – Martial arts is fitness with a purpose. As you know, there are few activities that offer the fitness benefits of a good martial arts class. Fitness has three components: strength, flexibility and endurance. Martial arts training demands a balance between the three. Therefore, a person who trains in martial arts will find their weakest areas greatly improved. And, because they develop greater balance of strength, flexibility and endurance, children will be less likely to injure themselves while participating in other athletic activities.

Athletic Enhancement – There is a reason why every professional sports team in every major sport supplements their training with martial arts. Martial arts training offers several advantages. It is amazingly effective at enhancing general coordination because it uses every part of the body in a balanced way. Upper body, lower body, right side, left side, forward movement, lateral movement and rotational movement are all included in martial arts training.

Relationships – Human interaction counter-balances technology. In these days of working at home, 500 cable channels, Instagram and Facebook, many modern Americans need more live social interaction. At the dojo, students find themselves surrounded by positive, high quality, encouraging people (instructors and co-students alike) who help to bring out their best and keep them focused on the prize.