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What Disney World can teach about martial arts training

Recently, the family and I took a vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. It was a great time to get away and make memories. But being a Kenpoist, I was always looking around to see how my training affected my daily perceptions. One of the many things that impressed me was the efficiency of the whole atmosphere. So I asked, What can Disney World teach us about training for martial arts?

Disney World, organized and always fun

Disney World, organized and always fun

Expansive – With four major theme parks, each having rides and shows of their own, it’s easy to always find something new to do. Training in Kenpo or any martial arts should be viewed the same. Techniques, drills, katas (forms), sparring are all methods of improving your skill level. There are so many variations on each, you should never let yourself get into a bored rut. Keep practice fresh while also pushing forward.

Organized – Our entire experience at Disney ran like clockwork. Everywhere we went there were plenty of “cast members” available to help from check-in, to bag checks, to bus schedules, to helping on and off rides. Proper karate training should have the same dedication to organization. Plan to attend class regularly, set time in your day to do your homework, try to develop proper nutrition, and focus on mental relaxation. These elements will allow your training to become more ingrained and effective.

Positive attitude – Every Cast Member we met was extremely helpful and had a smile on their face. They all seemed to enjoy their job and made the most to help us enjoy our experience there. A positive attitude like that will work wonders for you in and out of the dojo. Yes, you’re going to take a punch (or few) and yes it can be stressful. But you’re in class for a bigger goal. At Disney the goal was to get us to come back again and also tell everyone we knew. In the dojo your goals might be to better yourself, learn to stand up to bullies, exercise, or find a sense of family. None of these can develop properly without a good attitude and positive spirit.

Have fun – Above all else, we were there to have a great time. When the cliche says it’s for kids of all ages, it’s incredibly true. Walking the martial arts path should also be fun. You have to find the enjoyment in training, in class, or in sparring. Otherwise you will burn out very quickly and not achieve the goals you set. Who wants to continue to do something over and over that isn’t fun anyway?

The Disney experience was amazing, and I recommend it for anyone. But there’s also so much to learn from them about how to create an experience and try to translate it to life in a dojo or a personal martial arts journey. Disney helps you to have the time of your life. Picking up a few of their tricks can make your martial arts life even better.

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Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX


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  • emalee

    good thinking

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