Sandy, UT (PressExposure) July 25, 2013 -- Last weekend the martial arts students of Personal Mastery Martial Arts became Samurai warriors as they participated in the school's biannual Accelerated Belt Challenge. The Accelerated Belt Challenge presents the students of Personal Mastery Martial Arts with an opportunity to earn their next belt rank over just one weekend of intense immersion training. Immersion training is exactly what it sounds like - the students were immersed in the material consistently over a space of 24 hours. Immersion training allows students to learn a lot of material in a relatively short amount of time, without cutting any corners. Most people actually learn more material and retain it longer through immersion training than they would in an equivalent number of hours spent in class.
At this Accelerated Belt Challenge event students learned about the ways of the Samurai warrior, including the different parts of the sword, traditional and non-traditional sword techniques, the art of the draw, the essence of combat, and the science of live cutting. For many students, this was the first time they had ever held a sword and every participant was given a shinai (a bamboo practice sword) as part of the event.
Personal Mastery Martial Arts often invites instructors from different parts of the country to work with their students, and this event was no exception. Two visiting instructors, Master John Nottingham and Master Will Mallmann, helped to run the event and taught the students a lot about the Samurai and the traditions of the sword. The students loved working with these incredible master instructors over the weekend. One student, Debbie Rohovit, said after the first night, "Super fun evening tonight. We all learned a lot! Can't wait until tomorrow!"
Another participant, Holly Stirling, said, "You know a seminar was good when you have dreams about it afterward! I was dreaming Samurai last night - Thanks again for such a fun and educational weekend! I'm ready to up my game with my sword and compete at a whole new level now! Thank you!"
For some students, like Holly Stirling, this was not the first time they had picked up a sword. But even so, all of the participants of this event learned new techniques and they also learned about themselves. At the end of the weekend, all of the students sat in a circle and discussed what they had learned. Although many people mentioned techniques and history of the Samurai that they had learned, just as many students included things that they had learned about themselves and ways that they had strengthened their self confidence and self esteem through their weekend of training.
This was a great event for boosting self confidence and self esteem. Part of the "test" at the end for each student was a short demonstration in front of everyone where they performed the techniques they had learned over the weekend. Each demonstration was different because every student had to create their own. This provided the students with an opportunity to both show off their new-found skills and also gain confidence through performing in front of a group.
The final event of the weekend was the giving out of belts and certificates. Normally when students earn a belt at Personal Mastery Martial Arts they are called up to stand in front of the group where they are presented their belt and certificate, but this time things were done a little differently. All of the students stood in two lines facing each other and made a tunnel with their bamboo swords. When each student's name was called out they ran through the tunnel of swords as everyone cheered them on. Many of the students found this experience to be very empowering on top of everything else they had done that weekend.
Many participants conquered fears and learned about themselves, developing confidence and self esteem over the weekend whether it was through learning how to actually cut with a sword, fight against each other with padded foam weapons, or in performing in front of a group. They also created new friends as they worked in teams with other students and got to know the visiting instructors Master Nottingham and Master Mallmann. In every way, this weekend was a huge success and all of the students left with more knowledge and empowerment than when they started.