Why Padded Weapons?
Padded Weaponry Builds Self-Confidence, Teaches Self-Defence and Empowers Students to Stand Up to Bullies
As Martial Arts Instructors, we are challenged to provide our younger Students with effective self-defence techniques in a safe manner.
Too many times, Instructors are forced to sacrifice effectiveness in favour of safety or to sacrifice safety in favour of effectiveness. Full Contact HARD training can be very effective, but it is hardly appropriate for a seven-year-old child. There is a “safe vs effective” continuum that Instructors must negotiate.
In the context of youth bullying, it is important for Martial Arts Instructors to maximise both safe and effective training for three reasons:
1. to develop true self-confidence in our Students,
2. to avoid the pitfalls of false confidence, and
3. to provide effective self-defence training.
Although these are presented in a linear fashion, please realise that they are inextricably intertwined. Training with quality padded weaponry allows the Instructor to create challenging yet achievable goals while providing immediate feedback.
There is a simple formula for instilling self-confidence in a child:
a. encountering an obstacle,
b. overcoming the obstacle, and
c. obtaining a reward.
Relatively minor accomplishments that are quickly learned become the building blocks both for self-confidence and for applying intermediate and advanced techniques. Through effective training (Point #3, above), Instructors will instil self-confidence because the Students know that they are striking with full speed, strength and power.
Quality padded weaponry is safer than most other kids’ sports like basketball, soccer or football. It allows the children to safely hit each other effectively, i.e. at full speed and with full strength. Currently, this is the only way that allows children to practice full contact, at full speed, and in a safe manner. This fierce, fighting mindset avoids false confidence and develops true self-confidence, which is the best weapon to stand up to a bully.
In a self-defence or bullying situation, the two biggest assets that we can give our Students are self-confidence and a calm and composed mindset. The actual technique is a distant third. As discussed above, padded weaponry can help to instil confidence, avoid false confidence, and cultivate the proper mindset.
How can training with weapons improve a Student’s technique? Training with weaponry directly translates into punches, elbows, palm-hand strikes, takedowns and innumerable other open-hand techniques. Proper training with quality padded weaponry offers Students the feel of full speed, full strength and full contact fighting. In the process, this cultivates true self-confidence, avoids false confidence, and develops an effective self-defence mindset.
As a result, our Students are physically and mentally able to deal with a bullying scenario and its psychological aftermath.