Why Great Way Martial Arts is Different

We are much different from your average Martial Arts Schools. This was no accident. There is a reason we do not compete or enter tournaments. We teach Kung Fu and it originated and is practiced from a place of peace born thousands of years ago and still practiced for the “self”, it was not created from conflict for the sole purpose of combat. The purpose of Kung Fu, besides all of the physical health benefits, is to connect our mind, body, and spirit in everything we think, say and do.

“Well that’s all great and dandy,” you might say, “but…it’s intimidating and even a bit scary to walk into a martial arts school for a child or an adult,” especially if you are picturing the Cobra Kai School from the original 1984 movie the Karate Kid. There is definitely a stigma attached. Have you ever heard this definition of fear, “forgetting everything about reality.” When you walk into our environment you will soon be wondering why you felt anything but excited to get started. We have been told for over 25 years that we have a very positive & safe family environment. Our team of people, the students and families are all incredibly supportive, encouraging, and nurture a very positive environment. You and/or your family will feel welcomed into a community of shared goals.

We get asked very often by parents if we have a class they can participate in with their child. Our answer sounds something like this, “you need to understand that you are not just in class with your child, you are also in class with 10 to 20 other children and you become a glorified pad holder, and do not get any real training your-self.” We have age-specific programs because the development stages for children are very different throughout the years. Our programs are grouped 4-6 yrs., 7-11 yrs., 11-15 yrs. and adults & older teens. We provide continuous training and education for all of our full-time professionals and part-time support team.

“Won’t learning martial arts make my child violent? I don’t want them using it on their brother or sister.” Here is another misconception of the Martial Arts fueled by media and entertainment. Martial Arts is actually one of the only activities/sports that teaches self-control.  Studies have shown that aggression, anger, and violence is reduced through the study of martial arts when these elements are consistent; repetitive movements, controlled behavior, and respect. At Great Way, we take their studies to a whole new level with our life skills for success program. We begin every children’s & teen’s class by discussing topics such as having a positive attitude. We elaborate on that topic and then how can we apply that at home, school and other activities like Kung Fu. To support and encourage new and healthy habits we introduce our students to our “Kung Fu Quest” Program. This program rewards students for home practice, home chores, random acts of kindness and good manners.

My wife, Esmeralda and I have 3 children and they have all learned and practiced martial arts. They also participated in many other sports and activities as well. One of the biggest challenges we faced was how busy our lives had become. As parents, we sometimes felt like chauffeurs, executive assistants, event planners, and life coaches. We get how difficult it can be when we have 2 or more activities on the go with our children. We spent years developing a schedule that is accommodating for busy families & lifestyles. Highlights include overlapping classes for siblings to come at the same time and the ability to change your class days when your new hockey or soccer schedule comes out. We also offer private lessons, and make-up classes to help when schedules conflict, the latest “bug” is going around or you just want to take a vacation.

If you live in the Okanagan you might have seen us performing somewhere like the Fat Cat Festival or on Canada Day. We are the ones in the blue and white uniforms delighting audiences with snapping swords, swinging nunchucks and high flashy kicks. We are highly active in the community with extensive outreach programs partnering with Kids Sport Canada, Pacific Sport Okanagan, Xplore Sports Camps, The  Rotary Centre for the Arts, public and private schools, daycares and specialty groups, local festivals and organizations. Our mission is simply to inspire others to be the very best versions of themselves. Our best versions come from making daily decisions, commanding ourselves towards what we want and then exercise our self-discipline to follow those commands with passion and purpose. This is what we do.  Mission; “to joyfully inspire the mental and physical well-being of our community.”

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy “Martial arts at midlife: how it changed my life” and the “Legendary Origins of Wing Chun Kung Fu”

Did you find anything useful in this article? If so please leave a comment on how. Next time we will look at the biggest reasons adults don’t try or continue with martial arts.

Check out greatwayma.ca for a Great Program for you and your friends and family.

With kindness,

Sifu James Heinrich

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