Respecting Spaces

Category : FC Youth News


Martial arts training space are considered sacred – from the mats to the walls. Most martial artist (old school ones like me) will bow when they enter a training hall (called a ‘dojo’) as a sign of respect to all that goes on there – the learning, the sweat, the blood, the tears, and the laughter. It’s so special and our kids need to understand this more. 

Kids are kids, without a doubt, but it’s our job as parents and teachers alike to teach them places are not theirs to rule. They belong to everyone, and we need to be considerate and keep them clean, follow the rules and do our part so that they, and others, can enjoy the privilege of using them. 

Libraries are not for trying out tap dancing or gymnastics, and we don’t start a game of tag in the grocery store. You leave a place the way you found it — or better. You must respect your surroundings.

At FightClub kids that come early to class should be warming up, or practicing things they learned before or even walking and talking with their friends. The same holds true for after class. I always encourage the kids to practice the things they learned – play time not some much. Remember the adult Systema class starts just after the youth and we need to respect there training time. 

If we don’t teach our kids how to do this, who will? We all need to lead by example and show them how important respecting shared spaces, and it needs to start at a young age. Hopefully, this will make it a habit sooner than later, although these teachings are not a one-shot deal. Children are the ultimate testers, even very well-behaved kids. They are always pushing the limits

We teach, then reteach, then reteach again. And it takes way more than a few times — it is constant. It is hard work, but it is worth it and necessary.

With much respect,



Essential to Success

Category : FC Youth News


Of the many things I have learned in martial arts and sports, breathing is near the top. I can tell the level of martial arts at just by observing how he or she breathes.

Indeed, nothing is more essential to the success of how we move our body than tapping into the life force of our essence – our breath. Ask a professional athlete, or an actor, dancer, or signer, and they will tell you that to succeed in any physical craft is to access your breath correctly.

I am shocked at times working with kids and adults who never learned to breathe properly when under physical exertion. At FightClub your kids will learn the essence of how to breathe and even relax under pressure. This skill can literally save your life.


Here is a good example of Owen facing the physical pressure of a thick rope is being swung at his mid-section (don’t as why okay!!)  Look at the pictures closely – he is relaxed beforehand and after all you see is the same calmness but with a clear exhale.  Tomorrow, when Owen is faced with a big test or a school worry he will have the framework to understand to remove this pressure with his breathing.

Well done Owen!


Fighting the Stillness

Category : FC Youth News


Of the many challenges that parents face today, one is that we are constantly plugged in. While there are a great many benefits to the Internet and electronic devices, there are many more benefits in stillness and silence.

Unfortunately, stillness and silence seem to be rare to find. At some juncture in life, every one of us comes to learn that the greatest obstacle we face in this lifetime is ourselves. That battle is fought in the stillness of our hearts and the willingness to confront ourselves. As Bruce Lee pointed out, behind the punches, kicks, and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are.

In years of martial arts classes, I remember many challenges, breakthroughs, and setbacks. What I do not remember are distractions or gimmicks like you often see at your local health club. At the martial arts studios, wrestling and boxing gyms where I trained, there was no loud music or flat-screen TVs, just hard work and sweat equity. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged, and focused.


Martial Arts Training far Exceeds

Category : FC Youth News

Hey FC Parents,

I have been an athlete all my life playing countless team sports. In conjunction with this, I have done over 35 years of martial arts training. The benefits I have received from martial arts training has far exceeded that of team sports.

Here are a few reasons to consider Martial Arts for your Child or Adolescent over or in addition to Team Sports. So when you talking to other parents about why you have chosen FightClub you can explain that it is much more than just an anti-bullying thing. So much more!


This is the number one reason why most people decide to study martial arts, and pretty much any style is a great way to learn how to defend yourself. Martial arts teach you the techniques to defend yourself, but also the way to think about defending yourself – anticipate and avoid potential dangers. Training also helps build up the reflexes you need if you’re ever in a dangerous situation, and give you the confidence to stand up for yourself and fight back if needed.


Martial Arts training is a physical expression of ‘practice makes perfect’.  In a class, a student may execute a single movement or series of related movements. This teaches the student that the progress that always happens during small improvements in stamina, flexibility or power – will come through lots of practice. It also teaches them to commit, to go to practice even when they don’t feel like it.

Individual Achievement: No one sits on the Bench

Many kids have the chance to experience the benefits of Martial Arts early on, however, a big number of children abandon their martial arts training when reaching the teen years in order to participate in school sports.

Although there are many lessons to be learned from the team and individual varsity sports, the ‘make the team’ model often favors the more physically developed players while alienating the late bloomers.

Coaches have access to an endless supply of players that renews itself each year, the big and strong get picked and get to play while the less physically developed watch from the bench, this leads to an even greater disparity in skill development as the season goes by.

Naturally, some kids develop their skills and physical abilities earlier than others but we personally find that many kids who start out with underdeveloped athletic attributes such as strength, speed, and size, end up blooming onto some of the finest technicians we have in all of our programs.

If your child is an athletic wonder who is able to stay ahead of the game with his natural talents, athletics may very well bring out the best in him or her. But if want your child’s full potential to be nurtured through years of disciplined and diligent training – martial art is the way to go!

Gender Equality

I am sure that while many parents would consider martial arts for their sons, not nearly as many would consider it for their daughters. However, the martial arts are one of the few sports where both boys and girls can play together.

Martial Artist also gives brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn from one another as well (not to mention the convenience of having all of your kids in one place at a time).

Weight Control

Childhood obesity is a global epidemic and rising trends in overweight and obesity are apparent in both developed and developing countries.

The typical martial arts class will often be comprised of warm-up calisthenics, teaching, and practicing of moves and as well as some active games. The warm-up and practice comprise the bulk of the time, and for that time your child will be constantly on the go – stretching, crunches, takedowns, grappling, punches and kicks. The workout each child gets will not only assist in the natural development of his or her muscles but also help them build stronger

You can do it with them

Most martial arts schools offer classes for both adults and children. While classes do not run simultaneously, they are usually one right after the other. This means that you can watch your children workout, and then they can watch you.

If you have the proper space for it, you can practice with each other at home, and learn from one another. This will give you a special activity to use as a bonding tool with your kids. You can also become physically fit together.

The Never-Ending Season

Many team sports, especially those primarily played outdoors, or in specific weather (think Soccer, Baseball, and hockey) are seasonal. In Martial Arts, we have classes year round. This consistency and availability also helps build upon discipline and allows children to progress at a much quicker pace in the Martial Arts than in Team Sports.

See you on the mats,



Do you want to give your child everything in life you never had?

Category : FC Youth News

Do you want to give your child everything in life you never had? Of course, you do; you want to give your child all of the opportunities that you didn’t have. That’s what every responsible parent wants for his or her children. However, it’s hard to keep up with all the new and expensive toys available today.

Can you imagine giving your child a gift that has twelve valuable life skills and one more benefit – on top of those twelve skills? As you already know, it’s not the latest iPod or Xbox, but your child will be very successful in life, as a result. You may have heard all this talk about life skills before, but the explanations were vague, so let’s make the explanations and results clear.

Life Skills are the self-improvement skills that we, as adults, need in order to be more successful in life; but children and adults can acquire them in a martial arts class. Adults usually visit the self-improvement section of a library, bookstore, or shop on the Internet, to reprogram their minds for success. Sometimes, adults stay with a self-improvement program, and many times – they don’t.

For children in their formative years, martial arts classes have a very positive impact and shape their lives toward a path of continuous achievement.

Positive Thinking

Within a typical martial arts class, children learn to think about the next hurdle in life. The only hurdle to focus on is the lesson plan that their instructor presents for the day. A child can walk away from his or her class with a very positive feeling of gratification.

It is this repetition of focusing, learning, solving, and accomplishing that contributes to the positive mindset in all martial artist. When a parent reinforces these same habits at home, the young student learns that staying positive, in the face of adversity, will yield many benefits and solutions in life.

Stress Management

Children are no different than adults, and they are

subjected to more everyday stress than we were as children. This is why the studio is a haven for children and a place to leave stress behind and focus on simple tasks. For children, the class is quality time spent living in the moment, enjoying life right now, without worrying about the past or future.

Through steady Systema practice, children at FightClub learn to put stress aside and focus on getting the most out of life. They also learn that when stress comes their way, it’s time to work on solutions rather than become depressed about them. Young students accept stress for what it is and rise to the opportunity to become successful in life.


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