'Martial Arts - More than just Kicks and Punches'
TheDojo.Org.UK is participating in an Erasmus+ Sport - Small Collaborative Partnership [613468-EPP-1-2019-1-IT-SPO-SSCP ] titled; Sport Power: Promoting Sport for Women Empowerment, and as such we are interested in identifying what is meant by empowerment through sports as well as which aspects or key activities in sport empowers. To this end we decided to interview Sensei Nwofor, a Principal Instructor at the Trodai Martial Arts Academy; who are one of our major stakeholders.
Some questions that we would like responses to, are thus: does sport empower? Can sport empower? Which aspect of sports empowers? Where does the empowering take place? When does the empowering occur?
So Sensei, Does sports empower?
The participation in sporting activity over a prolonged period of time has the ability to engender an empowered individual. However, the transformational processes towards empowerment is not an extrinsic observation, rather a deep rooted internal working and reworking of the Self; which consists of assessing, correcting and letting go of deep rooted belief systems, strongholds, imagination, wrong cognitive programming, and acquiring new thoughts, values, pictures of self, creating new learning blocks and an anchoring their Identity to Truth. This transformational process is much like in the training of the Martial Arts.
For example, the ability to execute a correct technique, such a basic punch, is a complex balancing of bringing together many parts of a person into a coordinated whole. Making the correct fist and wrist, properly twisting the arm as the fist moves towards the target, keeping the head steady and upright, chest out, shoulders back, having the correct stance, making eye contact, having good balance and stability, bending at the knees correctly, twisting the hips at the proper moment, having the proper timing and coordination, being flexible, moving from the lower abdomen, having the correct balance of tension and relaxation, having proper breath control, correct moving and changing, being ready (alert and attentive for anything), having a clear and concentrated mind, having a resolute spirit, the inner person entanglement and oneness, the in-body communication, all this and more goes into one single punch (technique).
All these components work in a blended fashion, bringing in to play self
development, self awareness, self understanding, self reflection and self knowledge to develop the whole person (a well rounded and educated individual). The expected outcome of this type of learning by movement is that the student begins to gain insight into their character, personality and natural abilities (physically, mentally, and emotionally (Spiritually too if they open themselves to it)), the continuous reinforcement of these new learning will eventually give them a strong mental constitution, emotional stability, strong body, which will in turn emboldened them and thus empower them.
As I said earlier, if a person participates in sports over a prolonged period of time as well as undergoes the transformational process, then, they will be emboldened and thus empowered as a result of them participating in sport. Yet, this is one side of the coin, so to say; the other side is The Coach.
Part 2 of this will explore the impact of The Coach - The Trainer - The Personal Trainer - The Sensei (The Principal Person).