Interesting reads...

Tracy WarrenerThe Dojo
By Tracy Warrener, 4th Dan

The Karate Dojo for so many people is a place of sanctuary. It’s a place where you can let the events going on in and around your life behind and just train. Filled with stories, the Karate dojo is a place where your classmates become friends and in some cases, your family. Your Sensei  is your trusted confidant ,someone who offers you advice,  listens to you and helps you to reach your personal best.

Having grown up and spent the better part of the last 40 years of my life in a dojo, I have seen and learned so much about people. As my dad, who is also my Sensei, always said to me it is the best  type of university on life.  Many, many people come and go within a dojo. However every person who comes into the dojo, leaves their imprint there. Lessons taught on the dojo floor include everything from learning how to fight, to defend yourself, becoming a champion, getting into shape, to developing self discipline, confidence, and a strong character. After awhile, the faces that come in and out of the dojo have impact on your life.  The names and faces change, but a person’s character remains forever. They teach you strong life lessons about compassion, gratitude, respect, humility to name some big ones. From  the blood and sweat that falls on the floor, to the unique smell only a dojo with history can provide, all shape us into Martial Artists.
Over the years, you see and experience everything. From babies being born, to people dying, people falling in love, marriages, divorces, graduations, injuries, personal trials and tribulations to success stories and so much more. You see kids coming in and grow up right before your eyes  into  some amazing adults. Teaching generations is always really neat. Over the years, many child- parent- grandparent families have come through a dojo. People come and people go, but no matter what they all leave footprints on our hearts. Some good, some not so good. The Dojo itself is like  a big life onto its own.  As someone once said a giant Eco System.

If you are fortunate enough to have a DOJO in your life cherish it. Take care of it. Nurture and respect it. Remember that everyone who comes into your dojo has a story and how you interact with them is important. They are as much your teacher as you are theirs. We can all learn so many valuable lessons from being part of such a unique place.

The benefits of training in a Karate Dojo are as endless as the techniques and skills you will learn.  It is one of the best gifts you can give your child and yourself, as these lessons will last for a lifetime.

Tracy WarrenerHow to protect yourself against a bully
By Tracy Warrener, 4th Dan

Bullying affects many children, young adults and even adults. It can really affect a child's self esteem and confidence. A study at Guelph University reported that 50% of local school children reported being bullied at one point.

There are a few ways to help prevent being a target of a bully. The first step is to understand what bullying is and how to recognize it.

There are 4 types of bullying. Physical, verbal, relational (i.e. starting rumours about someone), and cyber bullying (using internet to send unwanted messages or to mock). People who bully do it to get attention, feel important and gain power. They often have low self esteem themselves and feel this is the only way to gain control. Once you understand who and why someone bullies, protecting yourself against it involves two parts.

Mind self defense is protecting and avoiding a situation using body language, distance and tone. Common sense is also a factor. It can be used in a bullying situation, street proofing against strangers and even assault situations. It's about looking strong, acting strong and being strong. Walk and talk with confidence. People of all ages who look and act like sheep tend to be targets of a bully. The bully sees them as a potential target whom they can control. By carrying yourself strongly, making eye contact with people, having positive body language that clearly sends the message you are strong and makes you less of a target in a bully's eyes. Be aware of your personal space.

Teach your kids to keep 5 feet away from a bully, vocalizing to the bully to back away. In our children's classes, we teach our kids how to use footwork and other body language techniques to prevent a physical confrontation with a bully. Of course, learning how to protect ourselves physically against a bully may be needed. At our school, we teach our students that the highest level of self defense is not being there.

Avoiding a physical situation is the goal. However, occasions may arise where protecting ourselves physically may be needed. We teach our students how to block, deflect an attack, use pressure points and self defense skills should they need to release a hold from a bully. Protecting yourself physically is never about starting it; it's about doing what you need to do release the hold and make it to a safe zone (to a teacher, another adult, or run away).

If you are being bullied or know someone who is, telling someone such as a parent, a teacher, or another adult is the key to helping it stop. Stand up for yourself and each other. Getting involved in martial arts will really help to increase a child's self confidence and self esteem, while at the same time teaching them life skills to deal with all types of social pressures, including bullying.

At Don Warrener's Martial Arts Academy, we pride ourselves in being recognized as Brantford's Anti Bullying Centre. We teach Bullying Prevention within our children's karate program and hold courses on this subject for various organizations as well as schools in the Brantford area.


Anti-Bullying article in Brantford Expositor

Click to view the article in the Brantford Expositor (Nov. 26, 2011) about the anti-bullying program at Don Warrener's Martial Arts.


Jennifer Calhoun testimonial"My daughter Morghan has been with the Don Warrener's Martial Arts Academy since August 2011. Back in March 2011, she had a lobectomy on the left hemisphere of her brain. This surgery caused some residual weakness in her right leg causing her to wear a brace for support and endure weekly physical therapy. Once we joined Don Warrener's, Morghan has strengthened her leg so much through Martial Arts that we see her physical therapist once every three months. Martial Arts training has made her recovery happen much quicker than her doctors thought it would take. Thanks Don Warrener's Martial Arts Academy."
~ Jennifer Calhoun, Sean O'Reilly and Morghan






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