Martial art classes are cancelled tonight (Monday March 3rd) at Augusta and Conway. Stay warm and stay safe!!
Competition Class now meets on Saturdays 10:00AM – 12:15PM up to the May 3rd tournament in St. Louis, MO. The time for nationals training past the St. Louis tournament is likely to remain the same.
Not part of the Competition Team yet? You STILL HAVE TIME TO JOIN!! If you would like to join or even try out the class come Saturday to give it a try. Be part of this years gold medal team!
Who: Any student, white belt and up, 5 yrs old and up. AAU Competition puts you with other competitors the same age, rank, and weight.
When: Saturdays 10:00AM – 12:15PM
Where: Zion Climbing Center (our NEW Searcy location)
Cost: Class $150 – Additional costs will be added according to the tournament(s) you will be attending. See Master Ragsdale for more information.
Highly recommended for those red belt and above to help train for your black belt testing. No matter what rank you are you are GUARANTEED to get better! Don’t want to compete? That’s ok … you will greatly benefit from the class itself….GUARANTEED… and oh….did I say….GUARANTEED?!
We are very excited to welcome you to our new location at Zion Rock Climbing Center. If you are an existing student be sure to give a big thanks to Sean and Emily Hudkins, owners of Zion. We are excited about our partnership and very bright future!
A big thanks to all in the move and that made all this possible! Class hours are the same as they have been and are as posted on Our Locations and Times page. Mat Setups will be different and I will keep all Searcy students updated. I’ll see you Tuesday Searcy students!
MOVING DAY IS TODAY (Friday, February 21st)
We are excited about the move to our new location in Searcy, AR. We will now hold all classes at 118 N. Spruce, located in Zion Rock Climbing Gym.
Moving begins at 4:00PM … if you have a truck or trailer available for use in the move we may need it. If you cannot be there right at 4:00PM that’s OK, just come when you can. You can always text me to see where we are at in the move (501) 207-1300.
Competition Class will be our first class at the new location on Saturday, February 22nd @ 12:30PM – 2:45PM!!
I know exactly what I think. I’ve been around the block when it comes to martial arts and I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve seen some good things and unfortunately ….a lot of bad things. I have no doubt I could write a bestselling book on exactly what to look for in a martial arts school. While my focus is not going to be on that in this article I’m going to mention a few things that pertain to that.
#1: There is no “best” martial art.
• There are good fighters out there who will be good fighters no matter what art they practice. If you took Steven Lopez (an Olympic Gold Medalist in Taekwondo), and instead of Taekwondo you put him in boxing he would be an Olympic Gold Medalist in boxing. This is not true for every person but very gifted athletes.
• I do believe that some are more effective than others for particular body types. This doesn’t mean someone in an art not particularly geared for their body type won’t do exceptionally well at it. It just doesn’t happen that often.
In the past I would often get angry at the old arguments of “this” is better than “that”. The fad in the 90’s was ground is better than stand up and now in the 00’s its stand up is better than ground. Now I just laugh. Although I will say that I don’t know any fight that starts on the ground. And then there’s the distinction between self-defense (the real street defense… Krav Maga, etc) and sport (MMA, point fighting, grappling, judo, boxing, etc). The real street arts and even the sport arts lack the development of character needed with the acquisition of power and ability. The real Martial Arts develop the person over a lifetime. They stand up for what is right and are proponents of Justice, Strength for the weak, and develop an atmosphere of family and a brother/sisterhood to support one another.
Somewhere along the way it became commercialized…. McDojo’s popped up everywhere and money took the place of honor and sadly the true motive to help humanity. Then the MMA craze took hold. Creating a whole new genre of wanna be gangsters, cowboys, and punks that is now the new face for martial arts just like the Karate Kid was in the past. The truth is those things are entertainment. Through further research I discovered where MMA really got it’s face. The world of professional wrestling…. yes…that’s right… the world of Triple H, Hulk Hogan, and Randy ‘The Macho Man’ Savage. MMA got ‘cage matches’ from pro wrestling. Pro wrestling found that cage matches added a whole new entertainment level…not to mention the chances of getting their fighters extra hurt…but at least for now I haven’t seen any rolled barb wire or razors hidden in tape on fighter’s wrists.
There is one thing all martial art schools have in common…”The Cowboy Element”. MA schools draw it like a moth to a flame. The cowboys = the bullies, jerks, punks, delinquents, criminals, pigs, and sometimes those who boarder a buffet of mental disorders. There’s nothing wrong with drawing in the Cowboy Element but what you do with it when it comes your way does. Most Cowboys end up quitting. There’s several reasons for this but the most common is they find they don’t have the discipline to stick with anything long enough to achieve something. But there are a few who find something they never thought about. They can be humbled in many ways. Finding respect for those around them and themselves. In my time in the martial arts these people are few and far between but when they achieve this they don’t turn back. And it’s even better when they become teachers. Experience is the best teacher. Kids and adults who are Cowboys or exhibiting that trait relate quickest to that instructor.
But that’s not what I’m addressing here… The Truth Is… there are schools out there who promote bullying, being jerks, and even being abusive to wives. I wish I could make this stuff up… because it sounds like a movie…but unfortunately the following stories are a slap in the face truth as to what is out there:
(I will use no actual names)
“There’s something I’ve got to tell you”:
While just barely being a teen a young girl entered into a new school. The instructor, barely out of rehab. Things went well for several years with only minor occurrences until the instructor went of the deep end. He started drinking, smoking, and doing drugs again. One day the instructor calls up the student who is now a little older and says, “I’ve got something to tell you”. The instructor confesses that he’s been in love with the student for many years citing back to days of early teens (13, 14, 15 yrs old and up). Fortunately the student leaves…a very wise decision. As it turns out he had been coming on to other underage girls and requesting they come in for ‘private lessons’.
“He has such a great personality”
Several young children from a family join a local school. The teacher seems knowledgeable and is very charismatic. He keeps children and adults attention well. For the most part things seem relatively fine except when his true side begins to show. The instructor has the students (children as young as 7) jumping over foldout tables the long way in order to teach them break fall rolling. To no surprise there are a couple of broken bones to one child. The instructor periodically goes on tirades telling students not doing well in sparring they are sparring like girls. The instructor occasionally spars with students just to beat them up and sends older stronger students after smaller ones. The matches are uncontrolled and even biting and eye gouging are allowed. Some fights even spill over into the audience and several children and adults are hurt. Soon the family finds out the instructor is into drugs and have put his students and their families in severe danger. It is soon found out that he had lied about previous military training, educational degrees and certifications, and even his martial arts training. He begins to lose control getting deeper into drugs and steroids and even offers them to underage kids and even becomes best friends with a child molester to pay for his rent. He turned many students away from him and unfortunately from martial arts and has damaged many relationships.
“It’s just a formality”
Martial art organizations are notorious for price gouging. One in particular was attended by a man interested in taking a disciplined martial art. After several private lessons and developing a good relationship with the instructor he was asked to sign a contract. The class was about to begin shortly so it was presented hurriedly. “It’s just a formality,” he said, “everyone has to do it.” Even though a bit antsy he quickly skimmed the contract having trust in his instructor. After a few months he changed locations and no longer wanted to train there. Shortly after a notice he was being sued was sent to him. In the contract was a clause that you are paying for your black belt up front and the contract was for 5 years. Unreasonable…yes…but it’s out there.
“Something’s just not right here”
After visiting a school an instructor noticed several red flags. At first they seemed small, lax atmosphere (which in some cases is good), but soon disrespect of instructors and arts popped up. A 2nd in command student began to trash his instructor’s art that his instructor was a master in. He used a lot of profanity and often talked of beating up others in public. He liked to walk around with his shirt off and was constantly harassing and terrorizing others. Students in the school were often praised for bad behavior and shockingly for not doing what the instructor told them to do! The instructor seemed to be very technically knowledgeable but lacked control of his students and class. What kind of martial artists does this school produce?
The Truth Is….
When Scot and I set out to make this school we formed it in a particular way. We took profit motive out. And we did something ground breaking….we actually cared about the students in particular past moves and techniques. I say that somewhat sarcastically because I do believe there are some school owners and instructors out there that are making a difference and genuinely care. But the average martial arts school is nowhere near what we are. We went beyond actually caring and have made the development of the whole person an actual development of the whole person. We want good relationships with friends and family, good academics, respect for others and a respect for self, and helping others. The last one has to be truly one of the most unique characteristics of our school. We want people to be good citizens and when your fellow person falls down you help them up. If something needs done to help your community you do it. When someone is going through a very difficult situation you talk to them and offer the appropriate assistance needed.
It’s hard to find good martial arts instructors. It’s hard to find instructors not on drugs, are alcoholics, have criminal histories (not to mention present criminal activity), or have problems with in appropriateness with children, teens, and adults. Then finding a knowledgeable instructor who knows what they are doing. There are instructors out there who’ve won a lot of championships and are great martial artists in themselves…but it’s a diamond in the rough when you find a champion that can actually teach too. There are also ‘unaccomplished’ martial artists who are great teachers. It’s a great day when you are able to teach your students well enough that they get better than you (the teacher).
The martial arts is its own culture. If you have friends and family out of area and they are looking for a school be sure tell them they should educate themselves as much as possible or find someone you trust with a martial art back ground to help you locate a good school. Often it is about finding someone trustworthy.
First of all a word of congratulations to those who were in this testing cycle. We had a record breaking 90 who tested in this cycle! Impact 360 is 200 students strong and growing! A special note to those who tested in the Black Belt Testing on Friday December 7th:
4th Degree Black Belt in Karate
Dr. Gerald Scot Crenshaw
Nicholas Scot Crenshaw
Morgan Elyse Crenshaw
Jordan York Crenshaw
1st Degree Black Belt in Karate
Recommended Black Belt
J.D. Glenn – Karate
Ben Graul – Karate
Levi Minner – Olympic Taekwondo
I am humbled by both Friday night and Saturday. I look out from the table and I see people who have put their heart and soul in all that they do and it has paid off. Students, I am proud of you and your accomplishments and I’m here to say every bit of your work is worth it. To those who tested on Friday and received their black belt for the first time…welcome to the brotherhood and sisterhood of martial artists dating back hundreds and thousands of years. Your hard work and commitment is and has paid off and you make the school proud. Your journey is just beginning. For those who received their first degree black belt…keep up your good work… you will now begin to understand things you never have before and we will share with you our knowledge in depth…you are the leaders students look up to and strive to be where you stand right now. For those who tested for their fourth degree…you have entered a new world of martial arts…one that transcends the physical aspects (although that is still a very strong component). I never doubted for a minute your marital arts future from day one. A perfect blend of high level martial arts ability with high level teaching ability…truly a rare find.
I want to QUIT!!!!
How many times have you heard your child say “Mom & Dad I Want to QUIT?” This can happen whether it’s baseball, soccer, football, cheer-leading, dance, and yes even Martial Arts! As parents, we try to get our children involved and exposed to as many activities as possible. It’s good to have our children involved in traditional activities; it teaches team spirit and helps them to have some form of a release in otherwise pent up energy. In some sports your child will excel better than others, and in some sports your child will flat out want to quit. At Park’s Martial Arts, we hear so many parents who tell us that “my child tried this and that sport and always winds up quitting!” Even in Martial Arts, when your child reaches a certain belt level, they may go through the same scenario of wanting to quit.
Here’s the dilemma that Parents go through…
1. “I don’t want to force my child to do something they don’t want to do.”
2. “I don’t feel like arguing with them.”
3. “I remember when I was a kid and my parents made me stick to it.” (Which isn’t a bad idea at all!)
The problem is not your child wanting to quit something, it’s us as parents allowing or teaching our child to quit. I know we don’t do it purposely. Sometimes it’s easier just to give in to our child when they are arguing or screaming and crying about quitting something or not getting their way. When they are at that state there is no reasoning or perfectly logical answer that will inspire them. Sometimes talking with them and trying to reason with them or even to explain the logic about quitting does not work. After all, they are your pride and joy, and how can you say no when they look into your eyes with that puppy dog look. I’m sure it makes you feel terrible and makes you want to give in.
Parents, you have to understand that your children know you better than you know yourself at times. They are very smart and know already what buttons to push when it comes to getting what they want. As kids we did the same to our parents, we were master manipulators too. At the age your child is at they do not understand the true value of what affect it will have on them when they learn to “QUIT” something. It will have a domino effect later in their personal life.
1. Among their peers if they feel they are not winning a game, they simply just give up.
2. The moment they feel a challenge coming on or experience hard work, they quit.
3. Statistics show that more than 70% of students quit college way before graduating.
There is a major psychological impact when a child learns that they can quit anything at any time. This behavior will follow them through the critical years that really form your child’s developing mind.
My Parents treated Martial Arts like going to school. When my family came to America in the early 70’s I was 6 years old, and I remember my parents telling us that school & education was very important in America. They said without proper education you will not be successful when you’re an adult. My parents used Martial Arts as a vehicle to keep us on track. Of course at times I wanted to quit and it wasn’t fun. At one point I would tell them I didn’t like it! It is quite obvious to everyone that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Martial Arts, for many reasons.
Kids do not know the value of hard work or understand the importance of perseverance; it’s our job as Martial Arts Instructors and as parents to teach them. We are here to help and assist your child in learning the proper life skills. We understand it can be difficult at times but hang in there DO NOT GIVE UP! Speak to us and let us know exactly what’s going on in your child’s mind and we can help. Our Instructors are professional Black Belt Instructors and we have dealt with many situations where a child wants to quit. It’s just a matter of reconnecting with them with some inspiration and motivation.
Once again, thank you for supporting our Martial Arts school and please speak to us if this relates to your situation.
This article is written by:
I want to QUIT! Good read
When I was asked by our president on what the topic of my first post would be it didn’t take me long to answer. I have a great need, and it is of great importance, to share how and more importantly why we started Impact 360. Over the past five years I have seen and experienced a lifetime and in turn have applied that to our school.
We wanted something different. We wanted something that would be accessible to everyone. Our experience had showed us that the vast majority of schools (almost exclusively for profit) were out of the price range for most of those who truly need it. Even the cheapest places were $60-$70 (not including overpriced gear and uniforms and the dreaded CONTRACTS). Money, and making our school available to ALL, made going the non-profit route the best option for us.
While the non-profit status created the means to draw in those that needed help it was our past experience that gave us the drive to make our school one of the most unique and successful. I grew up in the small town of Mammoth Spring, Arkansas (with a blazing population of only 1,000 people). The demographics of Mammoth Spring is a poor one. I went to school and befriended those who were beaten and abused in every way you can imagine. I’ve always had a place in my heart for the underdog. I’ve always wanted to stand up for them, even if it meant being berated, criticized, or warned. Hearing them share their stories with me from my age of 11 years old on opened my eyes to those hurting around me. So many times I saw these people made fun of, bullied, ignored, and out casted. They were brutally mistreated. No one wanted to talk to them let alone befriend them. It was these people that gave the drive to find some way to help those who feel hopelessly lost and like they never had a chance. This is my reason for earning my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
I spent my internship for my Criminal Justice degree with the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division. They deserve all the help and support they can get. The people working as investigators there handle the worst 3% of child abuse cases in the state. I spent many hours sitting in on interviews with abused children who had slipped through the cracks. After being offered a position at the completion of my internship and my graduation I politely turned them down. Our school had already been going for a short while and I realized that I could do more in my position as Executive Director / Head Instructor than I could there. I used my training and experience I gained from that internship DAILY with our school.
It is true that experience is our best teacher. It’s also what can drive us to that passion that sticks with us for the rest of our lives, for me the drive to help those who are out casted, down trodden, ridiculed, bullied, illiterate, hungry, jobless, depressed, and abused. In our humble beginnings with 5 students to the 200 strong we have today, I can honestly say that all those who are apart of Impact 360 are making a true difference. What better way than martial arts (and in particular the way Impact 360 was designed) do you have the unique structure to help someone develop and grow in every aspect of their life. This school was created to make a difference. It was not created to make a profit. This school was created to give confidence, not needlessly beat down others. It’s a place we help and mentor one another. Not to mention the incredible community we have with in the school. It is simply not like any other.
Our school also has a literally winning team of teachers. Don’t be fooled by training areas and locations. Our martial arts technical focus is on application of techniques. You will be able to use everything you are trained. Our self defense philosophy is that no fight should last longer than ten seconds. You do what you need to do to get safe and you get out. Nothing fancy, just practical effective self defense.
On the sport side of our school we have 2 JUNIOR OLYMPIC Championships, 7 NATIONAL Championships, 2 REGIONAL Championships, 14 STATE Championships, and countless invitational and open tournaments. While our school doesn’t focus on sport we will train those interested for tournaments. Our winners from this year (2010) had only attended one prior qualifying tournament before they competed in the AAU Nationals (a 2,000 competitor tournament). I believe it’s a true testament to the quality of our teachers and the level of instruction they are getting.
It is our goal to have a strong community presence. Part of our training includes leadership training. We want to train all of our students to take active parts in our community and truly make a difference. We actively promote social justice and practice it daily in our classrooms.
Our school is moving forward very fast. We have great things planned. Every year we grow stronger and strive to help more and more people from our communities. We are and will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of our students, their families, and our communities.