Young People are more Stressed than Ever

Category : FC Youth News


For starters, young people are excessively stressed out these days. A study published in December in the journal Psychological Bulletin found that there was a 33 percent spike in two types of perfectionism among college students in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.

In its most acute forms, the researchers say, the stress of perfectionism can lead to eating disorders, high blood pressure, depression and thoughts of suicide.

The younger generation feels a lot more 

stress today than they did in the past,”

There are worries about being educated and not being able to find a job; concerns about the cost of living and debt that’s causing them to live with their parents longer. All this translates to more stress. And we know that 70 percent of mental health problems are onset in younger years.

The advent of technology adds another layer to young people’s stress, experts say. For one thing, it makes them more susceptible to cyberbullying, and for another, it is affecting their ability to focus and relax.

“A lot of young people are having difficulty maintaining their attention span because they’re always looking to see what’s coming through on social media”

There’s research that talks about how [kids] who are constantly looking at their phones and who are being bombarded with this information are structurally changing their brain. It’s creating a background noise that prevents them from relaxing and being more mindful. And that, in turn, makes them feel stressed.

The Systema training at FightClub gets kids in touch with the minds and bodies in ways most people can not imagine. Not just obesity and bullies! We cover topics that helps kids deal with all the stresses they may face.

Get your kids training in Systema – I guarantee your kids will thank you for it!


FightClub Classroom Rules

Category : FC Youth News


1. Be ready to learn

2. Eyes forward and listen

3. Do your best

4. Raise your hand to ask questions

5. Be Respectful 

6. Say please and thank you

7. Be responsible for your actions

8. Follow Instructions

9. Try new things

10 Work Hard and have fun



Reward the Efforts

Category : FC Youth News


Hey FC Parents and Kids, 

This week I will be presenting the medals for the March Madness Challenge. The main focus of this was to reward ‘hard work’ (not Systema/martial art skills). As a general rule, I always recommend parents focus on rewarding efforts, not outcomes. Outcomes in life are hard to repeat because luck is in part of the equation. Working hard, however, is repeatable!

Here are a few things to think about …. for adults and kids alike. 

Does doing your very best bring you joy? Do you generally put forth your best effort, or is there something in the way of striving for excellence?

When we watch most small children learning to walk, they are very diligent about it. The fact that they fall over and over doesn’t seem to faze them at all. But what would happen if, every time the child fell, the parent became angry and yelled at them for falling down, shaming them for failing? It is likely that the child would become fearful of trying to walk, and their walking would be greatly delayed.

I’ve never seen a parent do this to a child, but I have seen many people do it to themselves. Think about what you say to yourself when you think about doing something new — like going back to school to change careers, learning to fly, moving to a new city or contemplating marriage.

Is this you?

  • What if I fail?
  • What if I make a fool of myself?
  • What will people think of me if I don’t do well?

Or is this you?

  • How exciting — a new challenge!
  • I’m going to enjoy putting my all into this!
  • I just love trying new things and learning new things!

There is one huge difference between these two: The first is about the outcome and the second is about the process.

“Read More”

Be an Artist of Life

Category : FC Youth News

Hey FC Parents and Kids,

Happy Easter Monday! 

Behind pop culture and the punches and kicks, there is a lot more to the martial arts than meets the eye. More than sport, fighting, or self-defense, the martial arts are first and foremost about life. About finding what is at the essence of your own being and expressing it. 

The martial arts are also about art. ”To be a martial artist means to be an artist of life,” Next to my family and my faith, I have learned more about life from the martial arts than through any other endeavour.

I really want the kids at FightClub to ‘be artists of life’. If they breathe and slow down this happens much easier.

Breathing Is Everything

How you breathe will dictate everything from the type of athlete you are, to how you sleep, to how your body feels and looks. It’s a wonder why we in fitness so seldom focus on this very essence of life. I can tell how effective a fighter is at one glance by how he or she breathes.

Our breath does not originate in our lungs or in our chests, but from deep within. But as simple as breathing seems, effective and efficient breathing can take years of practice. I can think of no better place to learn the essence of breath than in the martial arts. The martial arts are both internal and external. That is, the external knees, elbows, and kicks are most effective when truly connected with the internal essentiality of breath.

Slow It Down

Everything seems to move at warp speed these days. From how we communicate to how we travel, in the blink of an eye, the world is at your fingertips. With this hectic pace comes a rushed focus on fitness, our physicality, and our athletic endeavours.

But being proficient at anything at full speed takes the willingness and patience to first go slowly, literally and figuratively. Any professional athlete will tell you that the ritualistic nature of slowing down your craft is the key to success in that craft. You have to walk before you can run.

The golfer takes his practice swing at a quarter speed, as does the batter in the batter’s box. Boxer shadow boxes. This is far more than simply warming up. Slowing the movement down helps us get that movement into our body as to perfect it. Going slow is something a martial artist does as a part of their practice day in and day out.

Breath & Slow Down,



Critical Thinking Skills Are Necessary 

Category : FC Youth News

Hey FC Parents,

Came across this article on the weekend and thought you might find it interesting. 




Critical Thinking Skills Are Necessary 

(In These Not-So-Innocent Times)


Fake news, conspiracy theories and world leaders that lie on a daily basis are just a few of the reasons why it is important.

Fake news, conspiracy theories, online bullying of youthful innocents involved in catastrophes and world lenders that lie on a daily basis are just a few of the reasons why it is more important than ever to help your child develop critical thinking skills. Our world is changing at a rapid pace and the only way to deal with it is to prepare for it. There are many reasons why parents and educators should embed the teaching of critical thinking in their every day and there are many simple ways to achieve the goal.

Why critical thinking skills?

Critical thinking is an important aspect of the deep learning strategies. It is yet another way to help your child learn how to learn, as outlined in a TED talk by Marc Chun, Program Officer in Education for the Hewlett Foundation.

The Global Partnership New Pedagogies For Deep Learning states that critical thinking teaches children to evaluate information and arguments, determine patterns and make connections, all of which have real-world application. Training your child to be curious, challenge the obvious and question opinions will have lifelong benefits. The world is not going back to more innocent times. The genie is out of the bottle. Your child will grow up in this world.

Curiosity will help your child develop flexible thinking and look beyond the obvious.

How to encourage critical thinking

Begin with Fostering curiosity.The link provides relatively simple ways to encourage curiosity. Open-ended play and allowing them to explore a toy instead of explaining how it works are just two examples. It is a key element of critical thinking. Curiosity will help your child develop flexible thinking and look beyond the obvious.

A starting point with teens — ask them about the “fake news” and famous people supposedly “gone too soon” that appear on their social media sites. Encourage them to question assumptions and evaluate the credibility of information they see. Pique their curiosity by drawing attention to the plethora of fake news. Ask them why it is given space on social media.

Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web, sounded an alarm recently. There are just a few platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter controlling which ideas are seen and shared. It is an unregulated Wild West of sometimes dubious information. Critical thinking skills are needed to decipher fact from fake. This world wide web is the world of your child.

Have some fun with lively debate

Another simple way to develop critical thinking is through debate. A mealtime conversation can be found in any topic. Perhaps your town wants to build a new skating rink, and your child supports the idea. Have them take the opposite point of view and defend the people who do not want a new ice rink. This type of oppositional thinking can be a lively way to encourage deep learning. You can readily pick from the everyday. Your child’s first cellphone would be another great family debate topic.

Draw attention to generalizations

Common reasoning fallacies such as hasty generalizations are another subset of critical thinking. An example could be the notion of arming one million teachers to solve violence in schools. Who decided that number, and why was it offered as a possible solution? Are there any consequences? Critical thinking requires you to think all the way around the information presented, and not take anything at face value.

If someone offers an opinion, then consider their motives.

Headlines that provoke and biases that distort opinion

Inflammatory headlines colour the description of a situation and try to colour the reader’s thinking. Help your child learn to identify that type of language. They want to cut through the hype to the facts. What informs a discussion and what is superfluous? Critical thinking requires independent assessments of situations.

Look at Biases. If someone offers an opinion, then consider their motives. The hypothetical family debate about the town skating rink might be an opportunity to teach about biases. If your child plays hockey or figure skates then they have a reason to be biased. It plays into their opinion about the need for the new skating rink in town. This is a simple, real-life example.


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