What Kind of Karate or Martial Art Do We Teach?

CTS-Google
This is the official crest of the Counterpoint Tactical System.

I had a nice conversation with parents about what type of Karate or Martial Art we teach at Ryer Academy. It’s a common question from people and as a member you might be asked by curious friends, so I thought I would explain what it is that we are teaching.

We teach the Counterpoint Tactical System. It’s a martial art founded by my teacher, Zach Whitson, and is taught in thirteen affiliated groups throughout the east coast and mid-west of the United States. The Counterpoint Tactical System is an integrated martial art for self-defense. The system’s largest traditional influence is Filipino Martial Arts, however, being an integrated martial art means we use elements of various arts based on range and strategy to have a balanced curriculum.

Our children’s curriculum is a minimized version of our Adult Counterpoint curriculum, organized in a tangible way for kids to learn. It is organized in five sections which are represented by our belt striping sequence: empty-hand techniques (blue), stand-up grappling techniques (green), grappling/ wrestling techniques (red), weapon techniques (brown), and verbal de-escalation techniques (black). This curriculum has proven itself successful in that we are able to teach a broad range and high level of martial arts skills. We are also seeing “martial arts kids” turn into “martial arts teens” and now becoming members of our adult program!

In a broad sense I say we teach martial arts, but hopefully next time you are asked what martial art or style of karate you take or your child takes, you’ll knowingly say, “…the Counterpoint Tactical System”.

Want to read more about the Counterpoint Tactical System? Visit the official website at www.tacticalmartialarts.com.

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What Kind of Karate or Martial Art Do We Teach?

Teaching “A Whole Lot More”!

Earlier this week I sent out an e-mail about what martial art we teach and I received nice feedback. One parent responded with some insightful feedback that I loved;

Hi Josh! It’s funny, when people ask me about Ryer and why we love it, I actually don’t say any of these things! I say things like “it’s martial arts for kids as a vehicle for character development and learning about discipline,” and “in addition to martial arts kids learn how to handle bullying, to defend themselves and each other, to gain confidence, and to feel in control of their physical selves.” So, really, you are teaching CTS but you’re also teaching *a whole lot more.* ~ Very Best Regards, Laura

Laura is absolutely right and this was again reinforced this morning when I received more feedback from a parent. This parent had also asked about the descriptions of some of the “black stripe” concepts that I think make up what Laura meant by “a whole lot more.” These concepts are my interpretations of the Verbal Judo for Martial Arts schools that we have integrated into our curriculum. Here’s three of them…

Mushin = “a calm, cool mind and body”

Mushin is a Japanese term that directly translates to “no mind”. However in our academy we refer to it as meaning “a calm, cool mind and body”.

The idea we convey is that your Mushin is always on. You are trying to go through your day being calm all day long.

E-Guard = “emotional guard”

We have a saying the kids remember, “When I don’t get want I want, I stay calm.” The idea is that you are going through your day with your Mushin always on and there will be things that will mess with your calm mind such as not getting what you want, which could result in getting mad or sad. It could also be an activity that gets you super excited and you lose a little control. In those moments when your Mushin is being tested, we want our students to use E-Guard to remain calm and make decisions from a place of calmness… not emotion.

I recently had a mat chat where I compared “E-Guard” to the idea of protecting a castle. All kids love castles! We talked about one group being in the castle protecting it and then there’s another group trying to get in and take it over. The outside group is looking for the weaknesses of the castle “an easy way in”. The inside group is guarding the castle, but they too must know the weaknesses of the caste and look for ways to strengthen these weaknesses. Once the kids were intrigued by this description, I then said, “You are your own castle. We must know our weaknesses and then learn to strengthen them when someone outside of us is trying to attack; whether this is verbally or physically.”

L.E.A.P.S. = “Listening, Empathy, Ask, Paraphrase, Summarize/ Solution”

We want the students to think of LEAPS as a tool in their “mental toolbox” much like a hammer in a real toolbox. When you need to place a nail in a piece of wood, you go to your toolbox and get the hammer. When you have a misunderstanding or argument with someone like your parents, a sibling, friend, etc; then we go to our mental toolbox and use LEAPS. First we need to listen to the other person. We try to understand what they are feeling. If we can’t figure out what the problem is then we ask nicely. As the kids get older in the academy, we teach them to paraphrase and put the problem into their own words. You then reflect it back to the person in order to get them to confirm our understanding of the problem and from that we can hopefully solve the problem.

Another idea from LEAPS is to teach the kids the idea of “Active Listening” using both our ears and our eyes to listen when someone is speaking to us or when they speak to others. This will improve listening skills as well as show respect.

Teaching “A Whole Lot More”!