View Full Version : National Martial Arts Program

Jason Carrier
26th February 2002, 21:59
I was wondering if the member of e-budo believe that the United States should have a national Martial Arts program in our public school system. We teach everything from football to tennis, and I know other countries have done this. I would think that with the amount of martial artist in the United States that it would already have been done. I just wanted some ideas for or against.

Jason Chambers
26th February 2002, 22:45
It is indeed a pretty good idea. Chuck Norris has a program in Texas that has been successful (Kick Drugs Out Of America).

It all boils down to budgeting within your school system.

Jason Carrier
27th February 2002, 10:19
I have heard of it the only problem, is I think it is for just inter city kids. I would think that there would be some study done somewhere that could show that Martial Arts make better people. Plus, I think many Sensei would do in at a minnor cost, because there dojo's are closed during the day. Which is I remember correctly the Kick drugs program will not allow some one to have a dojo on the side.


28th February 2002, 11:28
Since there already is a fighting syle in some schools, I.E., wrestling, some other types of one on one training should be able to fit the budgets. The so-called "inner city (actually, "inner-city" is the PC manner of refering to Black and Latino kids)" would probably take to something like judo (it has already been tested in public schools, mostly in Japan, but schools in the US also have MA programs as another choice from the usual Phys. Ed. programs). Not enough, though.

Grappling is grappling, even when a weapon is involved, so kendo could meet the requirements as well here as in Japan. If you have a wrestling program, too, there are plenty of would-be instructors who would take on all such challenges. The cost is really minimal compared to swimming and wresting.

My dojo is in a Middle school, one which may be called an "inner-city" middle school, but classes are not attached to the schools (they are held at night). But the school board was very helpful in regard to letting me use the gym since the Y programs were mostly filled, but the 'Y' helps in the financial and insurance for it. We do have school security at night also, and the APD stepped up the passes it makes on nights classes are held. Last year was the first time I had students of that particular school participate in the Judo Club.

This wouldn't be the first time if it is attempted by a certain number of schools, as a test of attendence. Teachers/coaches would do so for nothing, though a stipend is necessary to run a judo or kendo school, within public schools.

It is a good idea.


Bob Blackburn
28th February 2002, 14:11
Here is an article on how one school finally got approval as a letter sport. However, it singles out TKD because it is an Olympic sport. But, you have to start somewhere.


28th February 2002, 14:37
a question would be, which martial art?
would individual schools be able to choose and contract a teacher?
would there be state-wide standards and regulations on teaching and testing?
also, some MA would be pretty expensive to begin. Kendo seems a good example.

just some idle thoughts.

28th February 2002, 20:24
I think wushu would work out nicely. It can be done no contact, good cardio, flexibility, looks nifty, etc.

Judo might result in a thinning out of the potential pool of wrestlers if a school has that program. Although, if it were offered during non-wrestling season it might help keep the wrestlers in shape and whathaveyou.

How 'bout Capeoira? (no idea on the spelling)

1st March 2002, 06:42
It would have to be something along the lines of wrestling so judo is a natural. The most common martial arts in those schools who provide them are judo, kendo, and karate.

The original expense of kendogi only needs to be made once, and then only as it grows. Same with judo. The dogi stays in the school, and each semsester/year students sign up, the first order of business would be to clean them up so they don't smell too badly. Or it could be done by each year's new students. There is a lot of physical movement and some grappling "could" be done on a limited basis. Ask those who do/did kendo with the police department[s] dojo kendoka in Japan and you will see what I mean.

I do not think a choice of judo or wrestling would be a problem. Both are grappling arts, both are based in wrestling style manuvers. In the LA 'burbs, both judo/jujutsu were available at the local community two year college. Yes, the judo class was huge, when offered for Phys. Ed credit, but shrunk a lot when it became strictly extracurricular, IE, no credit.

I think what would be seen more than anything would be as stated above, wrestlers taking judo to improve balance and take down ability, and judoists would take wrestling for the groundwork. I don't necessarily mean this would be for team competition, only for the Phys.Ed credit the boys/girls would need. Joining a team for extracurricular reasons are decided on by a coach. People would still have to fight their way onto a team.


Jason Carrier
1st March 2002, 10:37
I believe that we are getting wrapped around the axel on styles. The problem on the national level would be that not every school will have one type of Martial arts. I know some private schools have judo which is an ideal sport. However I think that in order to build a program on the national level there has to be a fundamental change to the way Americans perceive Martial Arts. I think any one who has trained in any Martial Art will say that he has benefited from it, and at least it has taught him more discipline, and to respect his seniors.


Jason Carrier
1st March 2002, 10:42

I just read that article. It was awesome at least I have an place to start. Although I have mixed feelings about TKD I think they made a good case that many schools could follow.

Thanks Jason

Mike Williams
1st March 2002, 13:43
Originally posted by Bob Blackburn
it singles out TKD because it is an Olympic sport.

There y'go. That's definitely the best approach to getting MA into schools, IMO.

Promote Judo and TKD, and push the olympic angle very heavily - at this point they are put on the same level as track & field (& other sports), and you remove a lot of the moral objections (i.e. "teaching kids to fight").

Plus you boost your country's haul of medals in the long run.

(no, I don't study Judo or TKD. Yes, I have some issues with arts that concentrate purely on sport. But kids would still be able to study anything they like outside school. And Judo and TKD would both provide a solid base from which to move on to other styles).

Overall - a good idea, but promote the SPORT above all else.



Barry Southam
2nd March 2002, 03:10

Like Mark I have a dojo located in a Middle School and had to have the school board appoval prior to its beginning...After giving my speech to them on the benefits of Judo to students.They approved my program before I even got back to my seat at the meeting..However I had to provide my own liability insurance or I should say that I told them that I had it and they didn't say anything about providing it if I didn't have insurance...I've had this program going since Spring of 1996...I also had another after school free Judo and selfdefense program at another high school from 1993-1999...I always had good relationships with the wrestling coaches due to using their wrestling rooms..
My classes are for anyone living within the school district from children through adult..However, my classes are very small..Maybe because there are two big commercial Isshinryu Karate and Taekwondo schools in town...

Judo is excellent for students because it gives them a wide variety of responses to an attack from mild to severe...Instead of just punching and kicking when that appoach might not be required in a selfdefense situation..Using the principles and techniques of Judo in a selfdefense situation..A student dosen't have to inflict injury upon the attacker if it isn't required based on the students ability...In other words with Judo there are many options...
Of course Judo includes punching and kicking as well as blocking techniques( basic karate)....I suggest when pushing a Judo program..Try to explain it is the first martial art to become an Olympic sport as well as an excellent means of selfdefense...Some of you might start a competitive Judo club..I'm not interested in that area of Judo but it might help you sell the program...Whatever you do" Don't nickle and dime the students to death like alot of commercial schools do"...Be reasonable with costs..

Hope this helps.

Take Care

Barry E. Southam