At some point, those of us who train in martial arts have all experienced working with someone who has that certain sparring stance – they hold the training pads in just the right way, or they have that unbeatable technique down to a science. In martial arts team training, this happens quite often. We all tend to gravitate towards partners we feel relaxed or comfortable with for one reason or another. The reality is, it is important to continually switch up your training partners in order to maximize your growth and potential. Changing up your training partners is just as equally important as working on a new technique or combination.
While sparring in regular team classes is a respectable way to develop and improve skills, introducing cross-learning experiences provides the opportunity for students to go beyond the norm – to venture outside of their comfort zone, test new skills, build confidence, gain new experiences, and even be open to critique from new perspectives.
The Family Karate Competition Team has been doing exactly that. Early in the season, the team took part in a cross-learning experience by hosting the Sealy Karate School from Guelph at Family Karate Centres. Recently, both schools were able to reciprocate this learning experience in Guelph. Meanwhile, a few of our veteran team members have had the opportunity to train with United Family Martial Arts in Hamilton, and in late August the whole team traveled to Hamilton to continue our cross-learning experiences with Team United.
With these new perspectives, new techniques and new experiences, the Family Karate Competition Team members are looking forward to the upcoming tournament season to put their newfound confidence and skills to work, starting with the Ontario Grand Nationals on September 28.
A special thanks to the Elite Strike Team and Team United for the great experiences, the sportsmanship and the comradery!
By Michelle Keeri-Szanto for Family Karate Centres