Kid in martial arts
There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles and advertisements, all touting the myriad of benefits children receive from studying martial arts. Let's assume the reader is already sold on the idea of having their child study martial arts, and now it's just a matter of finding the right school. As a former school owner myself, I thought I would share three things to consider when choosing a martial arts school for your child.

The Teacher

his is the most important thing to consider. The culture of the school flows from the teacher both by their example and conduct. What are they like? Are they similar to John Kreese or Mr. Miyagi? Somewhere in between? Both styles can be effective, but you will need to determine which one is best for your child.

Is the class fun? Although it's a fine line between entertainment and engagement, for children, I believe a teacher should have high energy and a positive attitude. You have to ask yourself, "Is my child going to learn here?" Of course, if they can try the class, that is a great way to tell


Most of the time when we think of safety, we think of the risk of injury. However, if the pandemic taught us anything, it was that keeping things clean keeps disease from spreading. Is the school clean? Once, I had a parent sign up their child and tell me, "This is the first place that didn't stink."

What kind of supervision do they have? Is the class small enough for one teacher to manage, or is it so large they need an extra hand? Keeping that in mind, parents must remember that martial arts are a combat sport. There are going to be bumps and, bruises. The thing to look out for is a culture of recklessness or lack of supervision.


The behavior of the students and teachers, and the conduct of the classes will tell a lot about the kind of culture the school is fostering. Is there a pleasant, happy, constructive vibe that you can feel? Or is it a heavy atmosphere that puts you off? What was your first impression when you walked in the door? First impressions tell a lot. Although anyone can have a bad day, for the most part, it should be a positive experience.

Trying to tick all the boxes and cover all the bases will not guarantee that things won't change later, but it is a good way to make the best choice you can in the beginning.

There is no season for martial arts and no age limit. Instilling martial arts in a young person can be the beginning of a lifetime of healthy activity, learning, and peace of mind. Plus, it's a lot of fun. Oh, and all the great benefits for kids are great for adults too, so check out a class yourself. It's never too late to start.

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
Keep Reading Show less
Apologies in advance for the title if it gives impressions that this is going to be all that poetic. It's not this presentation that is all that literary, but something else. Haikus and pentameter aside, MMA has moments that are nothing less than poetic on a pretty astral level. Not long ago, irony at the nauseating level (unless you are a psychopath) happened when former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman broke his leg on Uriah Hall's leg in an eerily similar way as the other former champ Anderson Silva did on Chris's in their title rematch. If you know anything at all about MMA and did not know this story, you have to have been living under a rock. Save your energy and do not go look at pictures of either event as it is nightmare material.
Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

Keep Reading Show less