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The Philotimo Philosophy

The “PHILOTIMO” Philosophy

Our philosophy can be summed up in the word “Philotimo” and this informs our school in all aspects of behaviour, attitude & lifestyle. We seek to embody the spirit of “Philotimo” in everything we do.
Philotimo is a Greek word that has always been difficult, almost impossible to translate!
Philotimo is a noun and translates literally as “A friend of honour” or a “Lover of honour” Broken into two parts it is:”Philos”- Friend and “Timi”- Honour ; Φιλότιμο

Philotimo is not only a trait to be admired, It is expected, it is an ideal, a concept, a lifestyle
Philotimo is pride in oneself, family and the community.
Philotimo is respecting others, helping others, not because there might be something in it for you, but because you have a duty to do the right thing. Even when it is an inconvenience to yourself!

Philotimo is considered to be the highest of all Greek virtues ; an amalgam of Honor, Integrity, Duty, Pride, Dignity, Courage.
Philotimo sets the standards for family and social living; the core concept is that of respect and walking in right paths. In its simplest form, the term means “doing good”, actions that ensure that a person’s behavior be exemplary and demonstrate their personality and the manner in which they were raised.

The Apostle Paul used the word Philotimo to explain to believers how to life their lives ;  a life above reproach, well regarded by their community for their kindness

Children are said to display philotimo when they demonstrate unconditional love and respect towards their parents, grandparents and friends.

How do I know which Martial Art to Choose?

Everybody says martial arts are good for children. But there are so many martial arts schools and so many styles to choose from now, how do you pick which one?

There are sport styles, traditional styles, modern styles, hybrids, combat styles, mixed styles and more.
There are styles where you can get your black belt online, some where you can get it as quickly as one year, others where it takes more than six or seven. Styles that give black belts out to children. Styles where you can go as high as fifteen levels above black belt….
Then there are the special clubs, with special patches and meanings. You’ve got the black belt club. The swat team (special winning attitude team) You’ve got the competition squads. The demo teams. The future black belt clubs. Then you’ve got the free stuff. Free trial classes. A Free month of classes with a uniform. A free uniform when you join up. Free tshirts. But you have to pay every time you do a test to get your new belt. Why isn’t that free?
It is bewildering to the first timer.

What does it all mean? How do you know if the style you have chosen is any good? Is that child wearing a black belt REALLY able to stop a grown man and fight them off? What am I really learning?

I am an old fashioned instructor. That means I do not believe in giving out black belts unless the wearer can demonstrate they can defend themselves in a street – realistic attack situation. My students must defend themselves against three – four male adult attackers, with and without weapons, before they can attain black belt. I do not give them out before the age of 16, and in only exceptional circumstances will I give them to a 16 or 17 year old.
This is because I believe as an instructor, it is my duty to ensure my students faith both in their own achievements and my instruction can be backed up with the skills we promise will save their lives if needs be!  You do not get any “do-overs” in a fight.

So how can a parent know which style to choose for their child?

There are three things I think you need to take into account when choosing an instructor and style ;

1) your child’s personality & body type
2) the instructor
3) your wallet.

Personality & Body Type

A quiet child will not do well in a loud, noisy environment where everyone is shouting.

A child with OT issues needs an instructor who understands their needs and doesn’t have so many students that they cannot give them one-on-one coaching.

Children who have trouble concentrating cannot possibly concentrate in an environment where everything is chaos.

Super flexible kids will love Tae Kwon Do (TKD for short) and Hapkido, Kung Fu too.

Kids who are strong and study will enjoy Judo, Karate and BJJ

Kids who do not like being too close to others will hate grappling styles like Jujitsu (of any variety) so go for something like Karate. Karate has lots of strikes and kicks but you don’t *have* to be able to kick to the head – unlike TKD!

Do you have a super competitive child? then a sport martial art would be great for them.

Is your child very individual and likes to do things in their own time? then choose a traditional non-sport style.

Athletic kids who love throwing and rolling will love judo but will also love Hapkido, Kung Fu, Jujitsu, BJJ

Serious kids with great focus & maturity will adore Kendo, Aikido, Goju Karate styles.

The Instructor

If you really like the instructor then that’s important – because they are going to be teaching your child.
If you feel like they are not going to be a good fit, trust your instincts.

Look at the class sizes and the instructors and also the kids themselves. Is everyone pretty focused, or is there a lot of mucking about with a few star pupils at the front making everyone look great? These are the same questions you would ask yourself when going to a school.

Are all the instructors barely children themselves? Is every kids class being taught by teenagers? Very young children need to be taught by qualified, experienced adults. Assistants are great but I want my child taught by the most experienced instructors. What are you paying for?

What motivation is offered when my child hits a plateau and wants to drop out? Will the instructor work with the parent and support them and the child while the plateau is worked through? It is so normal for kids (particularly girls) to drop out once they get to high school – a good school will know this and do everything in their power to keep those students focussed and motivated. Of course it is also the work of parents to keep their kids going even when they do not want to go – but you need support from the instructor as well. A good one will already have spotted the rocks ahead and be preparing for it.

I am such a huge advocate of kids learning martial arts – particularly girls – that anything a parent can do to ensure a successful introduction and long relationship with the benefits of martial arts can only be a fantastic result.

Your Wallet.

The “Americanization” of the martial arts industry has meant that many commercial dojos have gone the way of the 12 month contract and the fortnightly billing model.  New members get pulled in with offers of a free uniform or a free month’s worth of training. The thing is, nothing is ever really for free, so families are paying that back somewhere!

Are you being asked to sign up to a contract that charges you for classes in the school holidays? Will you be likely to be using those classes or are you wasting money?

Will you being charged for every single belt-test, every patch and every belt on a regular basis? Perhaps you might like to be in a system that is less progress-focused and more skill focused. (and you’ll save a lot of money) Again, as an old fashioned instructor, I do not believe in paying for belt tests. I do not pay for my child to do exams at school, why would I pay someone I already pay monthly fees to, to test my child on the things I have been paying them to teach?  It can vary from $35 to $50 and does not even include the belt!

Motivation should come in the form of excellent teaching, measurable achievements (“I can do the splits, I can kick higher, I can defend myself effectively” – not “I got a new tshirt, I got to be in a new *exclusive* club with a fancy patch,  I pay higher fees for a new class”) and a clearly observable change in your child’s overall demeanor and confidence.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Philotimo Freestyle Jujitsu is a place where everyone is welcomed as a friend, a place where everyone can be themselves, a place where each person can feel safe and included.

The dojo is a place of happiness, learning and joy, with respect for all living things.

Because every person is different, we celebrate our diversity as a chance for everyone to learn and grow from each other.

We recognize that many students who come to Philotimo are experiencing bullying, loneliness, learning or self esteem issues of some kind.

As instructors we recognize it is our role to guide students and families to the best possible solutions to the difficulties they are experiencing.

We believe all students regardless of their circumstances are able to easily uphold the ideals of the dojo and we look for and believe in this capability in every single student.

Because we never know who could be having a hard time in their lives, we treat each other with extra kindness in the Dojo and we try to take this thought with us wherever we go.

Our highest goal is for Philotimo students to learn to stand up for themselves, take responsibility for their choices, speak their truth confidently and take their place as valuable and wanted members of the community.

Modern Warriors