Black Belt Attitude: When to use your Martial Arts

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“Martial Arts is not about fighting, it’s about building character.”  — Bo Bennett

Each week we discuss a Black Belt Attitude topic with the kids in our Warrior Talk. With our kid’s classes starting back this Saturday the first topic for Term 2 will be When to use your Martial Arts.

You don’t need a Black Belt to have a Black Belt Attitude. The colour of your belt doesn’t determine the colour of your attitude, even the newest White Belt can display a Black Belt Attitude inside and outside of the dojo.


Some thoughts from Sensei Andy Dickinson (founder of Northstar Ju Jitsu)
“As part of your martial arts training, you learn effective self defence skills. Just how readily you will use these skills is totally up to you. Within Northstar Ju Jitsu we build a framework of effective living that instills a moral framework around the self defence skills, enabling the student to disengage the ego and choose the path of avoidance, peace and tolerance towards others.

This can be a fine line as it can be also taken the other way whereby the student has needed to defend themselves but in effect has ended up getting hurt because they they mistakenly took turning the other cheek to mean that they should not defend themselves even if they are getting hurt. But again this can be a personal choice. Each one of us should have a personal code, or bottom line that is well thought out when it comes to defending ourselves, friends and family. So that when situations quickly escalate or we are taken by surprise, we have a pre thought out plan. This is very important otherwise you may well get caught out, and that has the propensity to be deadly …

Unless we work on night club doors or are in the protective services, how do we prepare for self defence when we are so rarely exposed to it? . Studying martial arts with an effective self defensive strategy that addresses the physical, mental and emotional aspects is only part of the equation. The main part comes down to you personally and how you feel morally about the prospect of actually hurting someone. Effective self defence will teach you how to tap into your killer instinct and re ignite the instinct to survive and at the same time give you the appropriate training manual by way of moral teachings so as to not dangerously use these potentially lethal moves.

Martial Arts and Children.
For children, self defence is a little more complicated. We have a basic bottom line – not to use your self defence skills unless you feel that you are in danger. So the skills are not to be used against family members or friends. They are not to be used to attack in any way, only defence. Parents need to reinforce this message and to also take into account their own thoughts and feelings on self defence. On the rare occasion we have a situation where a child starts kicking or punching their friends at kindy or school. This usually just needs a sit down with the child and reinforcing what is appropriate behaviour. This is not a time to remove the child from classes as this is a great opportunity to teach the other lessons of martial arts such as self control, self discipline and respect for others.

If learning martial arts was just about learning self defence we would be spending a great deal of time and personal resources training for a situation that may never occur. Learning martial arts that addresses the body/mind approach to life will inadvertently take care of the self defence aspect. By heightening your awareness and letting go of the need to be right all conflict will be easier to resolve, this is the true essence of the philosophy of Northstar Ju Jitsu.”

A reminder to parents that Term 2 classes resume this Saturday April 23.

Tuesday classes resume next week on April 26.


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