Bully Proofing Kids Martial Arts Build Self-Esteem

This article appeared in the “Summer Fun” pages on Sunday 05/20, 2018.
Special Publication of Gatehouse Media / Times Record

Joshua White offers Korean Martial Art training for adults, children and families.

At Mu Sool Won of Fort Smith, “bully proofing” kids extends beyond physical training to preparing students in every way. “A lot of parents want to put their kids (in martial arts training) for self-esteem,” said Joshua White, owner and chief instructor of the Fort Smith Martial Arts Center. “Kids learn not only are you worth something, you can walk away from a fight.”

White started the martial arts school 10 years ago to create a safe, traditional and affordable environment for boys and girls of all ages to learn Korean martial arts and the underlying culture in a family-style setting. White comes from a family of martial artists and began his own training at age 5. Now 28, he is a degree 5th Black Belt and was inducted into the United State Martial Arts Hall of Fame July 2011.

Students assist with demonstrations, but White teaches each class of usually 15 to 20 students. The group size means students receive individualized attention. The focus is on the quality of training, not on the maximum number of student that can be enrolled.

Our Beginner Youth Program is designed to introduce our children (ages 6-12) to martial arts and help build coordination, confidence, and respect and teach self defense. The curriculum includes interactive drills to teach martial arts techniques to ensure a strong foundation for future education in our Advanced Youth programs well as having a greater understanding of martial arts. Our Instructor Team also promotes and reinforces strong core values to our students in both group “mat chats” as well as in one on one training sessions.

Children come into his classes with self-esteem issues, but by testing for new ranks, learning to break boards and sparring with instructors, they grow in confidence. Sparring also teaches restraint. “I’ll throw a punch and stop it in front of your face or stomach. If I can stop it, I learn restraint.” White said. I’m not training them how to fight; I’m training them to defend themselves. I don’t want them to go to school and start fights.” If a student does start a fight, White sits the student down to discuss the situation and analyze how to handle things differently in the future.

” I believe that martial arts, if done properly, transforms to a way of life,” White said. “Instructors impart a bit of themselves in their students. Protect the people you can protect. Take the values, and enjoy it, understand it.”

Students need to attend lessons 2-3 days week; however, scheduling is flexible.

Parents who have questions are encouraged to call 479-434-3212 or drop by Fort Smith Martial Arts Center at 2118 Rogers Ave.

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