"Showing respect means maintaining self-control and not being rude to others. If nobody showed respect, then what would belt rank mean? Rank shows respect, and without it, rank would just mean another color. Rank shows what you have earned and how good you are at Bushintai-Do. It also shows how much respect and self-control you have learned."
Dylan, age 12
"In Bushintai-Do, doing your best is trying your hardest and never giving up no matter how difficult it is. This will get you on to the next belt color and that will make you feel proud."
Amna, age 12
"Respect means saying good things and showing self-control. This year I learned about respect in Bushintai-Do and how to control myself. It helped me to move my body and to use my mind as hard as I could. Bushintai-Do helped me know how to stop a person if she or he did something that was dangerous. In my life, I plan to be a respectful person by being nice and showing self-control. Bushintai-Do is helping me learn how to do this."
Riziki, age 12
"I always have to be highly aware of controlling myself. It's tough at times, but the more I practice with it, the better I handle frustrating moments. Bushintai-Do taught me that taking a deep breathe is a major calming sensation. It's nice to take a deep breath and try to relax."
Cheyenne, age 13
"Doing your best means trying and never giving up. It means not saying you can't do something without trying. I do this in Bushintai-Do by working my way up to a new belt and higher ranking. I stay focused and use self-control."
Shaun, age 12
"Self-control requires practice. To gain self-control, you must be able to sense yourself and know your limits. Inner strength is key. I had to control myself when we first began Bushintai-Do, for I, personally, was extremely excited to start."
Marie, age 14
"There are going to be some things in your life that you just aren't good at. The only thing you can do is try as hard as you can, and do your best. As long as you are trying, you are succeeding. Bushintai-Do has helped me realize this. When we first started learning Yellow Belt Form, I was really confused. My teacher told me to just do my best. After a couple of days of my hardest, I started to understand it more. Bushintai-Do teaches you to always do your best and to never give up, no matter how hard things get."
Mariah, age 14
"Sensei Quinlan made up Bushintai-Do for a good cause. He wanted to teach us kids about self-control and respect for yourself and others. The techniques we do in Bushintai-Do calm us down and get us more focused. Bushintai-Do is a great way to practice and learn self-control, and this self-control can lead to success in our lives."
Hibaq, age 13
"In Bushintai-Do, if you don't do your best, then you will never be great at it. That's why the sensei is really good at martial arts. He worked harder and harder until he became a master. When people do their best in Bushintai-Do, they work really hard and give their time to learn more and more and more about it. If you don't do your best at anything, then what's the point of even doing it?"
Abdirizak, age 14
"Doing your best is the most important rule because it shows the warrior inside you. If you keep on whining, it shows you are just pretending to be a warrior. In the future, I will always do the best in classes and my job. I will show the best attitude. This way you'll always see me following the "Way of the Warrior"."
Alex, age 13
Similar to most martial arts, students typically progress through a series of guided lessons that, step by step, develop the physical skills found in the formal routines (called "forms") and self-defense techniques. Bushintai-Do students also develop the mental skills related to its philosophy: Do your best, show respect, and practice self-control.
In Bushintai-Do for the Classroom, the lessons are:
structured to be used in a classroom, with only minor adjustments. Students will need enough space to move freely a few steps in each direction. (Individual half-sized yoga mats are an option for some of the exercise portions of the lesson (pushups, for example), but are not mandatory.)
- 25-minutes in length, plus an additional five-minute review session (1/24 Brain Break). However, the lessons can be adapted to anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, given schedule and space needs.
- in a playlist format and broken down into shorter segments of 2 and 8 minutes long. The segments include:
Bushintai-Do has a belt-ranking system that is similar to other martial arts, and is broken down into 8 different levels designated by color in an ascending order of white, yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, brown, and black. These colors correspond to movement requirements that include one new form and 4 to 7 new self-defense techniques per belt color.
These belt color expectations are further broken down into three additional sub-levels called Stripe 1, Stripe 2 and Stripe 3. This means that students can set short-term goals towards a belt-color promotion, and as they achieve success, are recognized for their accomplishments by earning a stripe. After earning three stripes, a student is ready to earn the next belt color.
Bushintai-Do for the Classroom makes the pathway towards mastery clear, purposeful, and attainable which motivates students. Students learn how to set goals, work toward them, and achieve the proficiency needed to advance in belt rank. This is accomplished by practicing each online lesson 2 times each and by demonstrating the movement requirements for each belt level promotion.
The following table shows how a student would earn his or her yellow belt.
Read more about how a student progresses from a White Belt to a Yellow Belt.
|White Belt Lessons||Class Credits *||Belt Rank Earned|
|Lessons 1, 2, 3||6 class credits||White Belt - Stripe 1|
|Lessons 4, 5, 6||12 class credits||White Belt - Stripe 2|
|Lessons 7, 8, 9||18 class credits||White Belt - Stripe 3|
|Lessons 10, 11, 12||24 class credits||Yellow Belt|
* Each lesson is practiced 2 times. A student earns a class credit for each successful practice. While successful completion for class credit is determined by the classroom teacher, please refer to our promotion and class credit recommendations to guide this decision.
1. Students begin as a White Belt. Belts are important milestones for students of the martial arts and a White Belt symbolizes (and celebrates) the beginning of this journey. Teachers may decide to purchase white belts for each of their students, to be worn for each practice session or for special occasions, or they may choose to recognize the White Belt Level by downloading and printing (or emailing) a White Belt Certificate to each student.
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2. Once students have completed a series of three 25-minute lessons (practiced 2 times each for a total of 6 class credits), they will have learned a segment of the White Belt Form, one or two of White Belt Self-Defense Techniques, and will then be ready for a 'stripe' promotion.
3. To earn a stripe promotion, students need to demonstrate proficiency of a segment of the White Belt Form and one or two of the White Belt Self-Defense Techniques, along with a minimum participation requirement (three 25-minute lessons practiced 2 times which totals 6 class credits). If students earn a promotion and have an actual white belt, yellow electrical tape is placed around the end of the belt to recognize this achievement. If students do not have a white belt, a student earns a Stripe 1 promotion card.
4. The next series of three lessons (practiced 2 times each for 6 class credits) builds on the previous lessons. Students still practice movements from earlier sessions, but begin to learn more segments of the White Belt Form and more White Belt Self-Defense Techniques. After 6 practices sessions or class credits, a student can earn a second stripe on his or her white belt or a Stripe 2 promotion card.
5. A promotion to Stripe 3 is achieved just as described in steps 3 and 4.
6. After completing three stripe levels of the White Belt Curriculum (Lessons 1 through 9) plus 3 more 25-minute lessons (Lessons 10 through 12) practiced 2 times each for 2 class credits (i.e. a total of 6 class credits), students will have learned the entire White Belt Form and four White Belt Self-Defense Techniques. By using the online demonstration video, the classroom teacher then compares the skill of his or her students to the testing video, determines promotions, and celebrates this progression by awarding students the rank of Yellow Belt. Again, teachers may decide to purchase and award an actual yellow belt for this accomplishment or may recognize this achievement with Bushintai-Do for the Classroom's Yellow Belt Certificate.
7. Lessons in Bushintai-Do include lessons in Bushintai-Do's philosophy of doing your best, showing respect and practicing self-control. Teachers can require a Reflective Essay about one of these rules as a promotion requirement. This gives students the opportunity to think more deeply about the intangible experiences related to learning this martial art and to learning, in general. Throughout the online lessons, the concepts of perseverance, respect, and self-control are revisited frequently. Reflections from current and former Bushintai-Do martial artists, published on this website and found on our blog, provide exemplars for these writings, and Bushintai-Do for the Classroom's Teacher's Guide provides guidance and support for this writing activity. While an optional component to this program, it is highly recommended that educators consider integrating this element.
Bushintai-Do's Movement Preparation is mostly neuro-motor activation and range of movement exercises. It is important because it leads to more functional movement. For example, students (or adults) sitting at a desk for long periods will tend to develop shortened hip flexors and poorly-functioning gluteals and lumbar peri-spinal muscles. If they engage in exercise without first breaking these disfunctional movement patterns, they will merely strengthen them, leading to diminished athletic performance and possibly injury.
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Conditioning exercises are repetitive movements designed to strengthen the neuro-motor function of the body's primary power movements and strengthen the body's anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. The conditioning exercises performed in Bushintai-Do for the Classroom's lessons support the most important movements involved in the martial arts and other sports, as well as the activities of daily living.
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Forms are pre-arranged sequences of body movements that build the foundational skills required to perform the martial arts. Brain-based research shows that by moving in coordinated ways, such as in the practice of forms, students can achieve a ready-state for learning. While students may be practicing the choreographed movements of self-defense, they are building and strengthening their sequencing skills. Findings also suggest that students who have been diagnosed with ADHD can relieve their symptoms by purposeful movement, such as those found in the martial arts, gymnastics and dance.
When forms are repeatedly practiced, students learn to move with more power and speed. In this way, the forms also become a method for vigorous cardio-vascular exercise. This not only builds muscular strength and endurance, but stimulates the brain by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen and by releasing neurotransmitters that positively affect a student's emotional well-being.
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The self-defense techniques of Bushintai-Do are purely defensive, non-violent counters to common physical attacks. Students learn the techniques sequentially, and how to apply them in a safe, controlled practice with other students. Unlike traditional martial arts, in which the approach is to defend and counter-attack, in Bushintai-Do, the approach is to defend and escape.
Learning self-defense techniques engages students with the action and excitement of the martial arts, but in a responsible manner that emphasizes respect, self-control, and the development of a work ethic. Students can see the potential applications of these skills in their own lives, helping them connect emotionally with the training and stimulating their desire to practice. This physical activity not only helps students learn the skills to protect themselves, but they experience physical, social, and emotional gains as well. The coordinated movements of self-defense techniques build sequencing skills and body awareness, and can become a moderate to vigorous form of exercise.
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Martial arts can be taught as a means of self-defense, a sport, a health practice, or an awareness discipline. Meditation supports each of these efforts. Optional mediation segments are included in Bushintai-Do for the Classroom lessons for those who wish to help their students make a connection with any of these pursuits. Recent advances in the neurosciences have found a positive correlation between meditation and brain function, and recommend that schools include mindfulness practices to boost academic performance and emotion regulation.
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Bushintai-Do's philosophy is expressed in three simple rules: Do your best, show respect, and practice self-control. These rules are presented in the lessons in the form of short stories, anecdotes, and discussions, and referenced in the other video segments, as well.
Life involves conflict, often with others, but primarily with the self. Avoiding conflict with others is usually the best option. The perseverance, respect, and self-control that are practiced in Bushintai-Do help students work through conflicts in a positive way. If the conflict is in the form of a physical attack, the self-defense training helps students deal with this successfully. If the conflict is with the self, it often comes down to decision-making. The warrior qualities described in Bushintai-Do for the Classroom give students a framework for positive and healthy decision- making.
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Neuroscientists have determined that optimal learning occurs under certain conditions. Among these are the need for physical movement and the importance of repetition. The typical school day involves long periods of sitting, and limited opportunities for extended movement breaks. The 1/24 Brain Breaks in Bushintai-Do for the Classroom provide 5-minute movement routines coordinated with specific lessons that can be done at the students' desks. These short breaks give students the physical activity that can bring them to a ready-state for learning, and, at the same time, provide a review of key movements in Bushintai-Do.
John Medina in Brain Rules states, 'Repeat to remember.' If students practice new learning 1 hour later and then, again, 24 hours later, there is a greater chance that they will retain this new knowledge. The 1/24 Brain Breaks are simple routines, physically energizing, and a needed break in a student's day.