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.


How Karate Develops Courtesy in Kids

Although a fair amount of mayhem and lack of unity might be apparent in some karate class segments – particularly with very young children – the practice of karate is far more than fighting, shouting, and jumping around! Martial arts gradually make kids self-disciplined and self- confident. Consistent training in a quality karate for kids program makes a habit of respect and courtesy for their teachers, classmates, and elders. During the training children are taught to address their seniors respectfully. They are taught a positive attitude towards life which increases their sense of responsibility. Karate training makes children confident as it teaches the self- control and self-esteem which increases their sense of self-worth – and affects how others view them as individuals.

Karate and discipline

The rigorous training and practice that is involved in various martial art styles instills values
of honesty and hard work among children, adolescents, and teens. As children interact in close quarters, they steadily learn from classmates how to improve their moves along with their speech and behavior. They learn the necessity of rules and importance of making loyal, honorable choices in every sphere of life, which helps with their self-discipline too.

In free sparring practice, students develop the power to concentrate, anticipate, and even influence their opponents’ moves to avoid being “hit” or “scored upon” – then respond with a swift, well-rehearsed counter-attack. A quality karate for kids program helps students of all ages develop the power to think quickly to achieve victory, to shut out distractions, and to concentrate on work at hand for longer periods of time.

Karate and courtesy

By learning to show courtesy and respect for their teachers and classmates, children learn
to appreciate abilities of each other and hone their personal skills. This develops a sense of cooperative learning and kind consideration for each other. The simple acts of bowing to teachers and training partners, raising a hand to speak, holding a particular stance until instructed to move, and so on develops an awareness that spawns courteous and respectful behavior, which oftentimes is returned. Respect, gratitude, humility, and duty are moral concepts and values central to the philosophies of certain traditional martial art forms.
Karate and personality

Children and adults learning karate are advised to follow a healthy, balanced diet to help them meet personal physical goals for health and well-being. The training programs are a mix of fun and learning, with a seemingly endless supply knowledge and proficiency to acquire, which keeps the interest and motivation for progress thriving. With a little practice, most students become accomplished both physically and mentally in diverse ways and “personal victories.” Karate enhances balance and control over posture, body language, and body movements. It has the capability of improving the self-image, the outlook, and the personality of an individual which often leads to new paths of opportunity and growth.

Children who learn karate from a young age become leaders over a period of time as their self- confidence and proficiency grows. In time they show readiness to take on responsibility and their off to the races! A firm foundation in respect and courtesy is a magnificent starting point and touchstone for all people everywhere.