The modern-day mum has a lot to take on. The days of the stay at home mum is an out dated model as more and more mothers are continuing to contribute to and remain in the work force as best as they can. Supported by their partners and a healthy dose of sheer will, mums are making the transition to working mum a reality. But it is not easy. The stresses and strain of juggling so many balls in the air can take its toll.
A group of mums have found a quite unexpected way to take the pressure off and even amongst the maelstrom of working and being a mum, still manage to make time for themselves. They have found an overall sense of well being and health by taking classes at their local martial arts school.
“I started martial arts shortly after enrolling my 4-year-old son in the children’s classes. After watching a few of his sessions I realised there where many fundamentals of self-defence he was being taught that I would benefit from too, for example focus and confidence.” Says Kirsty.
The martial arts school is Northstar. With the Head Quarters in Balmain, Northstar has affiliate branches throughout Sydney and Perth, with more than 2000 students training regularly.
When thinking about martial arts, there is a tendency to Pidgeon hole it as an aggressive, masculine domain, where you learn how to break boards, thump someone in the head or pull some one’s arm into a painful submission. “But, says Suz, “There are so many benefits of learning Northstar Martial Arts. For me, firstly it’s so great for confidence, knowing I could potentially protect myself and my family in a worst-case scenario is so comforting, my fitness has gone to another level and no matter how bad I feel before a class I always feel amazing afterwards mentally and physically. Finally, the sense of achievement after doing a belt testing knowing you have put yourself out of your comfort zone and come through the other side is incredible.
The main thing that separates Northstar Martial Arts is the systematic approach to how the classes are taught. All of the traditional elements that make a martial art a martial art are retained but are given a new slant making it easier to understand and integrate the essence of the teaching into everyday life.
Recently promoted to Recently promoted to Yellow belt Kirsty says It’s a fantastic full body workout. There’s a fantastic support network, everyone wants to help you achieve your goals (that next belt!) It helped me be more present in my life in general. Since becoming a mum my focus and concentration has been poor, my mind wanders and I start thinking ‘do we have any nappies’, ‘have we enough milk’, what are we eating for dinner’…….in the dojo you have to be focussed, you don’t have time to think about other things. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, I get a whole hour to myself, to focus just on me!
The time that mums spend at Northstar has become their sacred space. They now understand that taking this time out for themselves replenishes them body, mind and spirit. It gives them peace of mind knowing their awareness is sharpened, their focus refined, and they exude a relaxed and calm demeaner. They can then re-enter their family, work and lives refreshed and ready.
For mums who have never considered taking part in a structured well thought out class, now is a perfect time to just do it.
It’s really not as scary as it looks, and you don’t have to do anything you are uncomfortable with. It’s not all about violence, kicking and punching. I think that is the most common misconception. I love the technical aspects of it– the slightest turn of the wrist and movement of the body can take an attacker to the ground. From your first class you will learn some techniques that you could use in a self-defence situation. It’s really not all about strength. The fitness aspect of the classes is better than any gym and the fact that its goal driven really helps with the motivation. My advice would be just give it a try. What have you got to lose? Alex
Northstar Ju Jitsu is also taught by senior Black Belts at their own studios'.
These are independently run from the Headquarters .Andy Dickinson Sensei is the head of and founder of Northstar Ju Jitsu and oversees the teaching of his program.
All Black Belts are graded by Andy Dickinson Sensei.