On this episode of the MaArtial podcast, we speak with Jaime Freeman, a Taekwondo black belt and the founder of Martial Arts Academy, to learn about how she teaches leadership skills to empower her students for their professional lives.
Jaime also tells us what’s it like to be a business owner and a head coach as a woman in the male-dominated martial arts industry.
“You overcome challenges through difficult techniques,” Jaime says of the martial arts process. “Goal-setting is built in to the martial arts program with belt advancements and that sort of thing.”
“And then the older [the students] get, the more we get into leadership skills and that sort of thing. It’s like martial arts is this mold, already set, where if we can just keep them having fun and engaged in the community and reaching those goals every few months, we’re teaching them all the skills that they need to then go out and be productive members of society.”
Seeing the results of progress in martial arts programs can be especially satisfying.
“One student in particular i can think of, he started with me when he was nine i think and now he’s at university in the us and I got to write one of his recommendation letters. He went through our instructor development program learning that those leadership skills and confidence, public speaking, all of those things.”
“He had very many of those traits yes that would make him successful anyway, and i don’t want to take credit where credit is not due, but to be able to see him [and other kids] develop through my program, it’s it’s a pleasure to see their their growth it’s almost like a proud mother.”
While Jaime doesn’t specifically focus on leadership skills, they’re a natural development for students within her classes.
“We try to build leaders within each class, students who are confident with the technique. We highlight them or we let, them lead a drill, we sometimes ask for students to count. We ask them to interact with their partner, giving giving tips and encouragement and just that first step, the ability to even just speak up.”
“And then we move into our instructor development, where we’re really talking more about public speaking, class management, structuring courses and seminars that give you the qualities that make you an attractive and interactive and exciting leader or instructor.”
“With public speaking, you encourage them to do that and you train it. I wouldn’t say that we train someone to go speak in front of 200 people, but running a class of thirty 8-10 year olds you’re making little senses all the time.”
What does it mean to be a warrior in this day and age? What traits and qualities do warriors possess, and how can you cultivate or develop them to improve your life?
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