Traditional Training For The Modern Athlete

Traditional Training For The Modern Athlete

The why, of how traditional martial arts training helps individuals become successful athletes.

Long term quality traditional martial arts training can lead to huge benefits to our youth now, and through the longevity of their life.  Students develop the skills necessary to become teachable along with becoming self-learners.  Students of traditional martial arts develop self-discipline, body awareness and self-control that is unsurpassed by many other youth. These students also develop the ability to explore what they may feel to be the outer limits of their abilities, with the knowledge through repeated practice that their boundaries can be pushed out.  As a student trains they begin to learn that with repetition and a mindset towards improvement just about every obstacle can be overcome, and that improvement is promised with hard work and dedication.  This also leads to developing patience with both oneself, and others.  A good martial arts facility will also teach students to support and develop each other in a kind manner in a way that also fosters a reminded expectation of hard work and excellence.  Helping to develop patience in students while learning how to be leaders in setting high expectations, and helping others to perform at high levels. This makes for great team players, and great team leaders as well individuals who have the ability to both give and receive feedback.  These qualities along with others leads youth (and adults) to become extremely dynamic, coach-able, and quick developing individuals.  These attributes also guide martial artists who participate in activities outside of their martial arts training to demonstrate these skills in a manner in which other individuals certainly take note.  These and the many skills which they develop during the longevity of their traditional martial arts training helps them to become highly successful in life, and the main focus of this article, in athletics.

I have had the joy through my own martial arts career both as a student and as a teacher watching children grow through and concurrent with their training.  Many of these kids starting at age five to ten are now well into high school and college.  For years many of these students’ primary activity was their martial arts training, but as they continued training they subsequently begin to explore athletics as well, often in middle school.  As they continued their martial arts training I watched them quickly become successful athletes in their chosen sport, football, wrestling, baseball, dance, pole vaulting, cross country, triathlons etc.  At times, these martial artists venture a bit later into these activities then other of their peers due to their martial arts training. However, despite their later start compared to their peers in athletics, what I have observed is that it takes very little time for these kids to catch up to, and quite often pass up their athletic peers. Including other athletes who have been exploring the same activity for 5 or more years.

It is interesting talking with coaches of my students.  With my own children involved in activities in both the local high school and middle schools, I often get the opportunity to introduce myself to my students’ coaches.  The unsolicited feedback I get from these coaches is quite telling.  I often hear comments like, this student is a coach’s dream, and he listens to and takes direction from coaches quickly.  He is very coach-able.  Coaches will also tell me that my students are patient, disciplined and capable team leaders.  I frequently learn from my students that they receive most improved first year athlete, make it to a varsity spot their freshman year of high school, make it to state as a first or second year athlete, and in some cases go on to college with an athletic scholarship.  The skills gained through martial arts training, and their continued training concurrent to their athletics gives many students an edge that is necessary to succeed in athletics.

I reached out to some of my students’ coaches for feedback regarding the differences they noted in my martial arts students in comparison to other athletes.  Here is what they had to share.

Coach Jones, (Elite Performance Coach) “They have the calm focus necessary to pay attention to detail while possessing energy ready to manifest elite level routines with training. Good mental fortitude will lead to greater productivity in athletes.”

Miss Loy (Dance Instructor) “I think it’s helped her focus more than my other students. She is more disciplined than any other student I have taught who hasn’t grown up doing Dance. I also found she is more aware of how her body moves.”

Coach Matarelli (Wrestling Coach) “What I have noticed ….. is the ability to be very locked in on their coaches during the teaching of technique which is very hard for a lot of young athletes. So the discipline from martial arts is a big carry over for those that participate in martial arts which we all know is important in all aspects of life especially wrestling. I also see great body awareness, core strength and can be very explosive in attacks.”

Coach Ciccarelli (Wrestling Coach) “He never panics and seems comfortable in scramble situations. He also never stops no matter how the match is going. He had to wrestle, every day, an athlete who is a 2 time state champion. Most of the kids would get frustrated and quit trying but he always keeps coming and would often frustrate the other wrestler.”

Coach Kalish (Baseball)  “My first observation is that he is just a flat out tough kid.  He doesn’t complain, doesn’t give up and always gives 100%.  As our main catcher, he is always getting beaten up blocking pitches in the dirt.  He shakes off any balls that sting him and he carries on.  His hand eye coordination and body control is essential behind the plate.  In my opinion, he plays the most difficult and the most important position on the field.  He has to call pitches and also give the pitcher the location.  Our pitchers trust that he will always give 100% to keep the ball in front of him and most of the time, he does. As a teammate, he has a strong desire to win and compete.  He takes instruction very well and executes properly in a short amount of time.  He then takes what he learns and helps others execute the same way.  He has high expectations for himself and his teammates.  He understands the details it takes to perform at a high level and really enjoys the details. He is able to understand what he may be struggling with and looks to improve those areas.  He does not let any faults in one area effect the other parts of his game.  A bad at bat does not stop him from executing in the field. Lastly, he is able to be calm in stressful situations.  He controls his body well and is able to execute on the field when it matters.  The repetition we work on in practice is exactly how he performs on the field.  He possess strong core strength and explosiveness.  I believe these physical skills help him to perform consistently and especially when under pressure.”

It was interesting to discover that many of the comments provided by these coaches and instructors fall perfectly in line with the major ideas behind our traditional training.

Train our spirits and bodies according the strict code.

United in mutual friendship.

Will comply with regulations and obey instructors.

In addition to our oath, two major key points in our training focus are centered on effort and perseverance.

There is no question that the skills learned by my students martial arts training transfers into all aspects of their lives creating highly successful individuals.  Their coaches’ comments echo the skills learned through their training at Blue Wave.  The longevity and continued training of a students’ martial arts career magnifies these abilities as their years in training progress. Our style of training allows a student to train a lifetime! Allowing martial arts students to enjoy the rewards of training as a result of accelerating success as an athlete, and success through the duration of their entire life.

Join us, and learn the difference traditional martial arts training can make in your, or your child’s life!

  • Blue Wave Martial Arts Instructor – Tammy Bauer

Individual and team discipline ultimately come down to practicing a small set of principles over a long period of time. Success is not a matter of mastering subtle, sophisticated theory, but rather embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence. Said in yet another way, discipline is to an athlete what scales are to a musician. Mastering the scales is what allows the musician to perform music. Mastering the skills of self-discipline is what enables a person to become an accomplished elite athlete.” – Mike Hebert

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