Calling all superheroes It was superhero day this Saturday 22nd here at MAC and so many superheroes turned up to learn how to scare off super villains and keep the streets safe for civilians of the midlands.What does a superhero have to do with martial arts?You rarely see a superhero with no confidence, so whether it’s the mask or just the fact that you can pretend to be someone else for a short while, it gives anyone a huge boost of confidence, especially children that may not be so comfortable to speak up or have the confidence to say ‘NO’ . This coupled with the self protection skills gives them a great advantage for later on in life when they can realise they don’t need to be a superhero from the comic books but can instead find the hero within.Batman teaches us that ANYONE CAN BE A HERO, as long as you’re willing to put the effort in and work at it. On top of the confidence boost it’s also a fun day for children, adults, and parents. The Batman EffectDressing up and thinking of themselves as superheroes helps children persevere with a task at hand. Studies have shown that in today’s world of distraction, where many forms of entertainment are at hand almost immediately, children struggle to concentrate on a single task therefore rarely accomplishing anything to a higher standard. These studies also show that if they think of themselves as superheroes and get to dress up sometimes, they persevere with a task as they think that the superhero always works hard at the task set them. This was termed the ‘Batman effect’. This allows the children to know that not only superheroes can have those positive character traits, and that with all these traits taught in the martial arts that they too can be much like the heroes they like to dress up as. The rights and wrongsMartial arts is very much about respect and doing the right thing, sometimes children struggle with this concept and so with superheroes in mind it helps to remind them. Martial arts reinforce this with every lesson, but it’s good to think fantasy too.The Hulk teaches that you should control your temper. Helping those in needOK so it may be slightly different, superheroes fly or run around to help the weak or needy. Training at MAC however lets children realise that helping others is a good thing, giving assistance to others that may not be able to understand a drill or technique gives a good feeling when they get to help them. Superman works alone but this can be seen as one person can make a difference. ControlLearning a new technique and gaining that sense of achievement gives children a form of control that they may lack elsewhere. Children lack much control of their own lives and it can become frustrating or even scary when they don’t have someone to control a decision. Martial arts as well as superhero fun gives them the confidence to make decisions and know they can make the right decision, and as Peter Parkers uncle has taught us ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ The bonus of all this is that a scientist has actually stated with hard work and learning martial arts anyone could become a superhero like Batman. It would not be an easy task in becoming a superhero like Batman. You would need to work really hard to get in shape and learn various martial arts. E.Paul Zehr – Professor of neuroscience and kinesiology So train hard and share the blog to help others be superheroes too.