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Explain, explain, explain

Category : FC Youth News

Youth Systema Training at FightClub
by Emmanuel Manolakakis

This is a topic that has generated significant attention and questions lately, so I thought I would share with everyone my thoughts and experiences.

I’ve been teaching youth (ages 8 to 15) at my school for over 10 year now. Repeated requests from enthusiastic parents convinced me to venture down this path. I will admit initially the thought of teaching such a deadly art worried me.

What to show youth?
Everything – just take the edge off it a little. I try to cover all the topics that we do in the adult class. I have found that the youth really enjoy the variety from class to class. In the very beginning, I tried to avoid scary or fearful topics, but I found it difficult, it was like I was lying to my students. I was assuming that they were not ready to understand. The reality is youth are born ready to understand.

Their understanding is phenomenal!

Over the next three weeks I will be sharing some of the key points that have helped me develop this great program.

Here is the first one…Explain, explain, explain!

Youth are naturally curious and can really absorb information, so spend time talking about why you’re doing things the way you’re doing them. Be patient – they are listening, it just doesn’t look like it! In many cases kids are just tired of listening to their parents so another voice such as mine can really resonate, even though I’m sure you have said the same thing. Such was the care for me when I was a young kid. My daddy told me everything the way it was I heard it but was not listening. Influential teachers played a big part in developing my character and making me listen to what my father already told me. This is what I try to do with each child that trains at FightClub.

Thank you for your dedication to this program. I am constantly developing it and looking for ways to give your kids the very best. If you know of other parents looking for something special to get their kids involved please feel free to forward them this email.

See you at FC this week,


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Mindfulness Education

Category : FC Youth News

Hey FC Kids and Parents,

** FightClub will be closed for the Victoria Day long weekend from Saturday, May 20th till Monday, May 22nd **

One big attribute that all parents want their kids to develop is the ability to be mindful. Systema training at FightClub teaches mindfulness is many ways – over the next several weeks I will share with you simple but effective ways of doing this….

Mindfulness education has proven benefits that include; increasing optimism and happiness, decreasing bullying and aggression, increasing compassion and empathy for others and helps kids resolve conflicts.

The dictionary’s definition of mindfulness is – “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”.

-Try this at home with the kids (or even yourselves!)

Breathing into the hands
Have the kids place their hands on various parts of their bodies and breath into them. They should notice how their hands moves rise (fill) and lower (deflate), as they inhale and exhale. If you can visualize the air ‘traveling’ in & out from the spot they are located it will really help you.

Let me know how it’s working for you the next time you come to class.

Have a FUN and SAFE long weekend everyone.


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Youth Outdoor Seminar

Category : FC Youth News

Hey FC Parents and Kids,

A lot of you have been asking me about conducting an Outdoor Training Seminar for theYouth Program. I usually do one for just the Adults Systema Training Program and its a big hit. I believe the kids would love it as well.

Training in the Outdoors is such a different feeling then being in a class room. The open space an fresh air tend to open students up more and allow for great creativity and understanding. Not to mention the joy of just being in the great outdoors.

I’m currently working on the details but wanted to get a quick idea of how many of you would be interested.

General Information:
Date: Saturday June 17th, 2017
Time: 1-4:30pm
Cost: $75

Please let me know if you would be interested in attending via email to: systema@fight-club.ca  before May 17th.

Hope you all can make it!



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Benefits of deep practice

Category : FC Youth News

Hey FC Parents and Youth,

I often get asked … How I have reached such high levels of understanding and application in Systema, Archery and Teaching. The answer is short and simple – I thought I would share my answer with everyone (including the parents of the kids in the youth program). When kids are young it’s good to expose them to lots of activities, but keep in mind your child will only be getting 20% of the benefits of that activity!

Let me explain my perspective …

            80% of the benefits of an activity come from deep practice…
“You will never feel fulfilled and will never access your potential by dabbling. You’re much more susceptible to injury and are statistically most likely to quit and fail when you lack deep practice”

This statement is more of a fact when I look back onto my sport and martial arts journeys. Even for my own kids this holds true and they are 10 and 13! SYSTEMA training at FightClub can do a lot for your kids. Something to think about…

See you all at FC,


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How do children learn to build character

Category : FC Youth News

Our children learn valuable lessons each and every day from the world around them. They learn from us, as parents, from family, from friends, teachers, and from the experiences they live. Knowing that these lessons present themselves in many ways, Systema Training at FightClub focuses on the importance of character development for each student.

A new character attribute is highlighted and students work towards achieving a new competency and understanding each month in class. Here are three examples of character words that are focused on and why they are so important:

Giving back to others, in our home, school and community, is a priority. Being of service, being helpful, and being happy to give doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and that’s okay, but together, we can all learn to offer a little more of ourselves to those who need help. How do we encourage this of our children? By asking them ways they see daily opportunities to help someone else. Maybe it’s their sibling or fellow student, but being able to recognize the opportunity, and following through, is part of the lesson.

When activities in our life get hard, we may feel the easiest thing to do is quit. But perseverance is being able to set our goals, believe that we can accomplish those goals, and not giving up on them, even when it seems difficult to push through. If our children choose goals that are special and important to them, then they will want to work hard to obtain them. Believing in ones self is a big part of perseverance. We can help encourage our kids to try hard, even when difficulties arise. Sometimes, talking about what their original goal was may help them to see why they started working on it in the first place.

Kids should be mindful about choosing activities that will not only help obtain their goals but also help them make wise decisions each day. Should they play video games or practice for their next class? Should they watch television or finish their homework? Being able to stay focused and on track is crucial for kids at school, at home and in their extra-curricular endeavors.

How can you help your children build character? Keep brining them to FC! As a family, have an open dialogue about not only the words, but the actions that follow.

See you all at FC this week,


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