By now, most parents and some of the students understand that our group was moved due to the school owners buying into a franchise called Ninja Kids.
There are two thoughts that are my responsibility to share.
Firstly, Ninja Kids does, first and foremost, get kids away from the TV and on their feet. Anything that inspires healthy movement and exercise can not be wholly evil.
That being said…
Ninja Kids does leave out a critical part of the education. The Ninja part. These students will not be learning martial arts, and sadly, most will go through the program without any idea what Ninjutsu actually is. They will never learn to kick, punch, or spar. They will never know the kanji for Ninja.
I think the worst part of this, is that the move was clearly designed not with the kids’ self-defense in mind, but in order to make money.
Due to some legal constraints, I can’t name our previous school, or confirm directly some details. But what I can do is describe a hypothetical.
Hypothetically, the kids will be charged around $70 a month for only (possibly) 4 hours. That is (presumably) $17.5 an hour per kid. Compared to $3.75 for us. It is also possible that certain documents may have, probably, hypothetically, used phrases such as “feed off” and “target” when referring to the kids.
I wish I could say it was rare that it happens, but one of the reasons I started VMA was to fight the commercialization of martial arts, and the exploitation of the families who participate. It is becoming more and more common.
While Velocity doesn’t cover EVERYTHING, we are one of the only schools that tries to cover MOST things. Every instructor bears the responsibility that, should one of our students be attacked, it is MY training that will hopefully protect them. If it doesn’t, that moral culpability is mine. That responsibility will not be echoed in Ninja Kids. Likewise, their financial entanglements will make escaping this paradigm almost impossible.
My students and their families understand this, I feel. Your train with me because you or your kid are impossible to defeat. You train with me because you wanted discipline, and strength. All of my kids and their families make it abundantly clear that our tenets of Honor, Commitment, Respect, and Courage are more important than money.
In an act of direct defiance to their scheme, I’ll be presenting my students with a choice of several charities to choose from. The one they pick will join the list of 7 that your tuition already supports. The charities will be selected from Charity Watch.
“Feed off…” That isn’t what martial arts is about.