Weapons for my kid…seems counter intuitive.
After all, aren’t we as parents interested in promoting cooperation, non-violence, and happy days?
Yes, we are. Still, we live in a scary world, and the more we shine light on things that might be frightening within the safe circle of our adult presences, the better equipped our kids will be when faced with the inevitable negative parts of life.
When I worked through my color belts on my path to black belt what seems like a century ago, (everyone knows I am ancient) we did not have weapons or chestguards or faceshields. (Thank insurance companies for the additional gear.) Back then, weapons training was reserved for the black belt. So, when I achieved my black belt, my instructor, Chief Master Patti Barnum handed me a Ssahng Jeol Bong (nunchuk) with a broad smile. I asked her if I had to do weapons. (Hear the whine?) She grinned and said, “yes, ma’am!” Grudgingly, I proceeded to drop my weapon over and over as I tried to master a 360 during that class. Geeze, I thought. What a pain.
I am so glad she pushed me to do weapons and here’s why:
- I learned more about personal space and how a weapon extends my reach. (Think, self defense)
- I grew in perseverance through something I did not initially enjoy. (Bearing with uncomfortable situations)
- Training with weapons helped me face my fear, gain control of my aggression, and respect my power.
- Weapons work improved my martial arts practice.
- I eventually achieved a district championship in Ssahng Nat (kamas)!!!!! Who would’ve thought!!! Certainly not me.
- I grew to love weapons, and have become very proficient in them.
I am so glad we teach weapons to color belts! It only makes our students better martial artists, and more respectful human beings. Which is exactly what our purpose is for our students. I expect that each student has a special place at home for their weapons, belts earned, and equipment. I expect that each student must ask permission of their parent to work with their weapons. In this way, we teach our kids respect for authority, a reverence for things that can harm others, and a measure of self-control that is lacking in many people today!
Parents, please comment on your experience with our weapons training!
Fifth degree black belt owner
Full Life Martial Arts