Friday, April 24, 2015

Tae Kwon Do: Parma Family Martial Arts: Columbus, OH

Background: Tae Kwon Do is one of the most popular Martial Arts in the North America and it is easy to see why. They produce some amazing athletes with some absolutely phenomenal techniques. In the early days of MMA we watched Tae Kwon Do fighters get taken down and dominated on the ground. Today, with the evaluation of Mixed Martial Arts, Tae Kwon Do fighters are producing some of the most spectacular knockouts in combat sports.

Tae Kwon Do has amazing kicks!

I got talking to the fine folks at Parma Family Martial Arts about school ideas and sharing stories about our experiences. They invited me out to attend one of their classes if I was ever in the area and I assured them I would. Almost a year later I ended up in Columbus, Ohio and reached out. Without any hesitation they welcomed me in.

As I was arriving I was terrified that the classes would be cancelled due to the driving snow storm. Yet when I pulled into the parking lot the lights were on and the black belts were all there and ready to train. The other thing that delighted me was how many kids showed up to the class. It is incredible to see the so many members of the next generation of Martial Arts and it highlighted the importance that family orientated Martial Arts play in the community.
This kick is both a demonstration of amazing skill and trust. 

What did I learn: Whenever you get together with specialists you get to see just how much polishing your techniques could use. Parma Family Martial Arts is a Tae Kwon Do school and as such they concentrate a lot on their kicks. I was expecting their kicks to be awesome, however, what blew me away was what how they attained their flexibility and what it highlighted about my own flexibility or lack thereof.

This kick is an imitation of how I was bending wrongly during my techniques. 

Based off a couple of kicks they were able to determine where I wasn't flexible and what I could do to improve it. The thing was I could actually kick high so I had never thought it. The folks at Parma showed me that although I could do the moves I was cheating to accomplish it. Sometimes I would take a step to accelerate my leg so I could kick higher instead of being able to kick from a standing position. At other times. I would bend over in order to get the height I needed. There is a big difference between doing a technique and doing it right. With a lot of expert help I started to sand off some of the rough edges to my technique.

What was Awesome: I am always inspired by instructors that can change their instructional style to fit different scenarios and people. Normally, you will find an easy going coach teaches all his classes in the same easy going manner and a strict coach will do the opposite. However, really great coaches alter their teaching styles not only with each class but with each student, adapting as necessary to individual learners and learning styles.
A crescent kick blows past my face. 

Getting to spend the evening with Parma Family Martial Arts, I got to hang out with both their Black Belts and take part in their kids class. The difference between the two was night and day. In the Black Belt class we laughed but mistakes didn’t slide and I was called out each and every time I cheated. As an adult appreciated the mix of humour with the blunt assessments of my weaknesses. However, when the kids class started they shifted effortlessly into a more disciplined fun and along with encouragement and positive reinforcement to achieve the desired behaviours. Mistakes weren’t allow to slide but they were certainly corrected differently.

Conclusion: I love working with community leaders that are concentrating on developing Martial Artists of all levels and all ages. Getting to see the potential of youth just embarking into the world of Martial Arts to seeing what they could become is phenomenal. I was really grateful to Parma Family Martial Arts from allowing me to participate in this amazing evening. 
The kids watch a wicked wheel kick crash into the pad.

Best regards and keep training,

Martin "Travelling Ronin" Fransham 
It was great night of training with a fantastic school.

If you are interested in training together I would love to get together with you. Drop me a line on facebook and we can connect. I would love to learn from you. 

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