Tina Takahashi and family

The Vital Importance of The Martial Arts School in the time of Covid-19

The Vital Importance of The Martial Arts School in the time of Covid-19  

By Sean MacFadyen, 7th Degree Black Belt


One could speak endlessly about the benefits of martial arts training, from health, fitness, and confidence, while earning a sense of accomplishment, developing strength, power and toughness, and a sharper mind and focus. This often translates on and off the mats to improved school grades and increased earning power, as well as the feeling of being able to protect oneself and one’s family.


Covid-19 swept across the world in a flash. Pushing close to a year now, much has come out regarding who is most largely affected. Mass unemployment, anxiety, and social isolation are suspected to be the main drivers for the surge of suicides across the country. Two-thirds of these deaths are among people under the age of 44. Canada has witnessed a sharp surge in this mental health tragedy and the Covid-19 Pandemic is predicted to result in between 3,235 to 8,164 excess suicides between 2020 and 2021in the United States, representing up to an 8.4 percent increase in unnecessary deaths (McIntyre and Lee,2020). According to research carried out by the CDC, a considerable number of adults suffered mental health problems associated with Covid-19 in June. However, “younger adults, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance abuse, and elevated suicidal ideation,” researchers wrote.


When the first lockdown came, Tina Takahashi Martial Arts switched to online learning. What they found was that the children were starved for interaction and the chance to see their friends even though it was only on a computer screen. We have seen many children suffering from depression, isolation and loneliness on top of feelings of guilt for fear that they could spread this illness to a grandparent or loved one. Elderly people in particular have suffered additional loneliness and neglect and even death because of not being able to see their loved ones.

Children need to interact and get back to training. We have hope that students will be able to begin living their lives to the fullest, optimizing their physical and, especially, mental well-being. It has been an isolating time. There is immediate connection and benefit that can be gained from even online sessions. One way or another, we can’t wait to see you again soon.


Setting and Achieving Goals

We all have dreams in life, and most realize that in order to achieve those dreams, we must set goals, a road map, and a time frame to get them. This reality isn’t just true for grown-ups; it’s true for children as well. The dictionary defines a goal as an “observable and measurable end result with one or more objectives to be achieved within a fixed time frame.” It is a known fact that children with specific goals to achieve fare much better in life than their direction-less counterparts. Setting goals for children allows them to think, plan, and take action in order to earn a positive change or reward. They will understand the importance of patience, hard work, and experience the pure satisfaction of seeing the fruits of their labor. Since children are basically beginners in this area, the focus should lie on the process rather than the result.

Values of goal-setting

Setting goals for your children helps them focus on the task at hand. Since children can be easily distracted, it is necessary to set small goals for them that are achievable. The intention here is to keep them focused. Motivation is also important in goal setting and children will lose interest in their goals if it not relevant to them. Motivation in the form of small rewards can be great when it comes to getting your child to achieve his or her goals, but the focus must be on completing the task and not just the reward. Fixing goals for your children in multiple areas allows them to explore their strengths and interests, and simultaneously trains them to be well rounded individuals.

Setting goals for your children allows them to develop self-confidence. Every time your children achieve a set goal, it gives them the reassuring knowledge and trust that they are capable of doing things. It gives them a sense of control and boosts their self-esteem.

Goal-setting with karate

Allowing your children to participate in goal-oriented activities is an excellent way to teach them the importance and value of the so-called “master skill of success.” Like most martial arts, karate is built on the idea of self-improvement through practice. It is an activity that is centered on the idea of goal-setting, and requires high levels of discipline to learn. There are various stages through which to progress when learning karate (proficiency in certain moves or skill sets, symbolized by advancing rank and belt color). The requirements will teach your child to be patient and focused, a noble and possible goal for young people and adults as well.