Renegade Martial Arts…navigate beyond the mess
The reason someone begins anything is deeply personal. There’s maybe a goal, sure. There's a total benefit in identifying this first, we should always start with the end in mind. However, what contributed to the formation of that goal, those underlying motivations, influences and drives are deeply personal. Many times people don’t listen or fully appreciate these before embarking on that goal. Although it’s these factors which will ultimately contribute to the longevity, commitment and positive achievement of the goal.
So how does this fit to martial arts?
Before the person steps foot onto the mat or into the dojang, they have an idea. They have an internal perception of what they are about to do and what they are intending to get as a result of it. Predominantly they chose martial arts for one of three big reasons: to be fitter and healthier; to learn some personal defence; or find competitive success. This could be view as the goal. The “what” they want. However it’s only the surface layer, deeper under this rests the “whys”. These emotional and psychological needs are significantly more important to understand and sometimes the individual themselves hasn’t even begun to recognise they exist, let alone explore and understand them.
This is all important because it is these factors which will ultimately influence whether the practitioner stays the course for the long term or joins the big list of former practitioners. They more importantly should be the key determining factors in choosing not just the right martial art club, they should determine the choice of the martial art, striking or grappling, competition and sport based or self defence based.
This is where we should begin. A personal introspective investigation of our own values, beliefs and motivations. Having got this knowledge secured we should then look to find the best fit for us. Understanding your intrinsic “whys” gives you an opportunity to see if they align with the culture, values, principles and activities of a particular martial art and/or specific academy.
Not all academies are the same…
It goes without saying that given the depth and breadth of the martial arts there is a lot of variety to choose from. Some arts specialise, others attempt to keep it general. Understanding what the activity is and what it will require of you is a good next step in identifying if it’s right for you. For example, if you don’t fancy the idea of getting hit then maybe muay thai isn’t the right fit, maybe a grappling style like judo would be better. Once we have a picture of activity, then we can look at the basis for that art. For example, is the art focused on sport and competition, muay thai, bjj or WT taekwon-do are examples of arts which regard competitive success as their key priority. Understanding this point allows you to tick the boxes as to whether this art will provide you the kind of outcomes (whats) you have in mind.
The next consideration is the club or academy you are looking to train in. First question here is do they practice the art in the way you want to learn it? Again as a result of the depth, breadth and evolution of the martial arts there are sometimes very different approaches taken with the practice of a single art. Often we refer to these as styles. Some arts have such a multitude of different styles and approaches to it’s practice that it can become extremely confusing which to choose for the best. For example, a practitioner of Shotokan karate may approach their practice in a fundamentally different manner to a practitioner of Goju Ryu karate. Both styles are valid and indeed can be termed karate, however which is right or wrong is fundamentally down to the alignment of the values of that style and those of the individual. Again, it is really important to understand your personal values, beliefs and drives in order to navigate the issue of styles.
So in short it’s a mess.
First off there’s a heap of different martial arts…
Then we throw in the length of time these have been practiced, organisational politics and the influence of personal interpretations and we have an even bigger heap of styles of those martial arts…
At Renegade Martial Arts we aim to make it clear and simple. We aim to show who we are, what is important to us and the values we have, in as clear and recognisable way possible.
SO who are we…
We’re a Taekwon-do academy. Literally every activity, class or training session we provide is in some way related to Taekwon-do. We practice physically in all ranges striking, clinch and ground fighting.
We’re a traditional Taekwon-do academy. We train students to improve their personal health, wellbeing,self confidence and self esteem.
We’re not concerned with competitive success. Whilst we offer sessions in the sporting aspects of Taekwon-do (which are badged kickboxing and boxing), winning titles,medals and trophies isn’t a key driver for us.
We’re deeply focused on ensuring our students learn effective personal defence. All our Taekwon-do practice has this as it;s foundation. The training drills may be varied, but the goal of developing effective personal defence strategies remains constant throughout.
We’re focused on developing Taekwon-do practitioners, not athletes. We want our students to be healthier and fitter. We want our students to live long and healthy lives. We want all our students to progress and develop within the framework of their own potential and overcome their own personal obstacles. We don’t care how naturally gifted you are; if you can kick high, that’s great; if you’re naturally strong, fast, agile or athletic, that's awesome but it’s far from essential. We care that you continually develop and improve based on your potential, no one else.
Our aim is to provide a meaningful education and development in the martial arts that levels the playing field. One in which everyone can benefit and grow.
We’re 100% committed to developing our students within the moral culture of Taekwon-do. To ensure that we contribute positively to our local communities and uphold the tenets of Taekwon-do (Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, Indomitable Spirit, Modesty) in everything we do.
It’s that simple. If that fits with your personal values we would be happy to have you join us!