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Published October 16th 2012
Your kids will thank you for this if for nothing else
[ADVERT]There's something incredibly vulnerable about little kids, which is why I was amazed to see them kick and punch like feisty little kittens the other day at the Lion Hear Academy of Mixed Martial Arts. The minute the instructions ceased they reverted to their playful, cheeky selves as they waited their turn.
I mentally applauded those smart parents who had the vision to enroll their kids in such a useful art form instead of having them loll around in an electronic daze all weekend long before trudging off to school the next week.
I walked in on a pee wee grading session which had me rooted to the spot. Kids of all ages from four to, well, twenty something, were giving it all they got in order to get their grading. It was amazing to see how well they followed instructions and how seriously they took their training. The instructors went through the various routines with unflagging determination and a precision that left no doubt in my mind as regards their expertise and devotion to martial arts.
Herve pointed out to me that the instructors at the Lion Heart Academy didn't believe in just standing there and belting out orders. Rather, they got fully involved in the learning process and practiced every kick and throw alongside their little proteges. I saw Herve, Sue, and Craig go around and personally attend to every child till they all got it right. It was all done calmly and in a very matter of fact manner.
Their natural aggression brought on by growing bodies and wayward hormones had been channelled perfectly in a harmonious healthy manner that had me thinking that all Math lessons in schools should be replaced with martial arts for a happy, healthy community.
As I stood in the sidelines and listened to their inspiring cries of ichi, ni, san, I had to literally stop my leg from involuntarily shooting up in a flamboyant karate kick. I came away impressed with the dojo etiquette, discipline, and respect that martial arts seems to have inspired in these kids.