Myth. Teaching children Martial Arts makes them more violent. 🤦‍♂️

Do Martial Arts encourage challenging behaviour?

The Media likes to make you think so.

We’re told that our children shouldn’t be exposed to any kind of violence

You almost get the impression that the minute your child watches a single clip of a Boxing bout or MMA fight, they’ll immediately be tearing off to copy the ‘moves’ they’ve seen. 

And so, most British school-kids do not learn any form of Martial Art. 

Most parents in the Midlands don’t send their children to after-school Boxing gyms or Wrestling clubs. 

As for schools, since the efforts to ban Boxing from PE classes in the 60’s, only a handful have reintroduced the sport to the curriculum (albeit, successfully).

But is the current approach really working?

With spiraling gang violence across the Midlands, alongside worsening challenging behaviour rates in schools; kids & young adults are certainly learning about violence. 

Worse; they are actively acting it out. And you can bet that the kids behind gang-land stabbings and classroom bullying, aren’t the ones kept busy training in Wolverhampton Wrestling clubs or Walsall Boxing gyms…

Most children receive ZERO, formal Martial Arts training, and yet challenging behaviour continues to skyrocket across streets, schools and homes throughout the Midlands.

❔ So… are we missing the point here❔ 

We stop our children learning about self-defense to stop them learning about violence…But does that really stop them searching for it? Can you really monitor your child’s every move? (You’d be the first!)

The stats clearly show our youth are learning about violence from somewhere. And if it’s not from MMA programs, then where?

Video Games, Youtube, Social Media. 

Is that healthy?

At best, these ‘resources’ desensitise kids from the real impact of violence – kids rack up kill-counts on Call of Duty without any kind of appreciation of the horrors of war. 

At worst, many of these sources actively glorify it. Gangs post Snapchats of their latest crimes, and Youtube clips to taunt their rivals or lionize their crimes. Kids are definitely learning about violence, but from a single, and usually toxic source. 

🚫 I think we need to make an important difference 🚫

The truth is, we’re not really talking about violence itself here. We are talking about the FRAMEWORK it is presented in.

Attempts to somehow hide our youths from it, or deny its existence, are doomed to fail. It’s not about whether or not kids in the Midlands will learn about violence. They will. 

It’s about HOW they learn about it.  

At InPower, this is where we see the true value in teaching Martial Arts to children and adolescents. 

Our programs provide an ethical framework in which to understand aggression & violence. A moral code to be respected. A structure and space to channel anger & challenging behaviour. 

Here’s a list of some of the InPower “Warrior Values” 🥋:

✅ Respect.
Beyond respect for their Coach, we nurture a healthy respect for each other. Beyond their own development, kids are encouraged to appreciate the development of their training partners. To cultivate a sense of connection and community. 

✅ Hierarchy.
Our kids are taught to respect the process of self-improvement, and an enjoyment of the challenge of progressing up the ranks. 

✅ Ethics
We put great emphasis on the ethical code of Martial Arts, as a context for how to engage properly within society and local community, or family. 

✅ Discipline
Through Martial Arts, our kids grow to appreciate the benefits of discipline. Not as something forced on them by authority, but as a powerful way to improve themselves. To create better lives for themselves. To understand the (slightly ironic), freedom of discipline. 

The fact is, many of our students face difficulties in their personal lives. Many resort to challenging behaviour as a coping mechanism. 

Our goal is to create a sacred space for kids to channel their negative emotions and challenging behaviours 🥊

We understand that their challenging behaviours are often reactions to difficulties they face. Bullying, challenging behaviour, truancy; these are frequently symptoms of deeper problems. Impulsive coping mechanisms for deeply-rooted emotional disturbances.

So, we focus on the problem at the root cause. To help them learn how to process these emotional difficulties. 

After all, at its core, learning a Martial Art is learning the art of self-regulation 🧘‍♂️

At InPower, we teach our youths about violence, so that they choose to be less violent.

We offer a range of after-school programs, offering lessons in non-combat Boxing, Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu. These physical elements of Mixed Martial Arts are balanced alongside reflective journaling and group discussion.

This means our students not only learn to channel their negative emotions physically, but also learn how to emotionally process the challenges they face in their lives. 

And this is not just idealistic fluff. 

We methodically track key success metrics to monitor the success of our programs 📈

We assess our students’ reports of challenging behaviour in the classroom before and after attending an InPower program. Their attendance of, and performance in, the classroom is similarly recorded.

We employ the clinical Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale to monitor our attendees resilience levels and “capacity to thrive in the face of adversity”. 

As a Community Interest Company, these reports are our true KPI’s. Not Shareholder profits. 

At InPower, we ensure the skills learned in our programs translate into real life benefits for our students. In turn, we hope this translates into benefits for their schools, families, and local communities.

Who knows, perhaps even for our society in general… 

I know… I said I wouldn’t be idealistic 🙂 

But I believe it’s a goal worth striving for. In fact, it’s a goal we MUST strive for. 

To learn more about our range of programs for in-school and after-school activities, head over to our website or follow us on InstagramLinkedin & Facebook.

Thanks for reading.