American writer Richard Bach once said: “Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you.” Teaching is more than just a job. It is a noble act that can help change lives.
In a martial arts academy, it is not uncommon for instructors to engage senior students to help teach beginners or children. After all, part of the martial arts journey is having the ability to pass on the knowledge, techniques and philosophy to the next generation.
This is how martial arts has survived and grown for thousands of years. These students, known as senpai, hone their skills as teachers by helping white belts or novice find their footing. Back in the day, these students were also sent all over the world to spread the word. Mitsuyo Maeda - one of the most influential people in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) - was one such student.
At Fitness and Martial Arts (FaMA), Assistant Instructor Candy Heng is one of the most senior students at the academy. She makes an effort to help out with the Kids Martial Arts program on the weekend.
Candy started training BJJ in 2011 when she was working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She received her blue belt there before moving back to Singapore in 2014. Dubai is one of the main melting pots for BJJ in the Middle East and has a tremendous program in place to help kids learn the art.
“I started after watching several BJJ classes and back then there were only one or two girls in a class. Today I am very happy to see more females in almost every class at FaMA,” said Candy.
BJJ at its core is one of the most effective self defence programs in the world. It was developed for the smaller, weaker person to protect themselves against a much larger assailant by using leverage.
Candy continued her BJJ journey in Singapore where she started helping out with the kids program at FaMA. Teaching kids has helped Candy advance her BJJ knowledge both as a practitioner and a competitor.
“At FaMA, sometimes there can be up to 30 kids on the mats. I feel like I have to pay more attention because they will be asking me questions. I am learning more with them as I teach,” said Candy.
Besides helping out with the kids program, Candy also helps BJJ prodigy and FaMA Teaching Assistant, Kinaree Adkins, as a training partner on Sunday. Both of them work on techniques under the tutelage of Professor Robyn Goudy.
Candy is one of the highest ranked female BJJ practitioners in Singapore and is seen as a role model for young girls who are involved in the sport. And in her role as an assistant instructor, she strives to give back the benefits she has gained from the sport.
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts training facility located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from the Clarke Quay MRT station, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Each program is led by experts in their respective fields. Whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for everyone.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ as it is commonly known around the world, is a self-defence martial art that enables a smaller, weaker person to protect themselves against a much larger attacker using leverage and pressure. Formed from Kodokan Judo in Japan, Jiu Jitsu found its way to Brazil in the 1910s through Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judoka and no-holds-barred prize fighter. During his time in Brazil, Maeda accepted a young Carlos Gracie as his student. Carlos would later pass on his knowledge to his brothers, most notably Helio Gracie - the father of modern Brazilian Jiujitsu. The Gracie family would go on to spread BJJ through The Gracie Challenge and eventually the creation of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Today, BJJ has grown to be more than just an effective unarmed fighting system. It helps young children deal with bullies and adults live a healthy lifestyle. BJJ classes are offered daily at FaMA under the tutelage of Black Belts Zoro Moreira, Robyn Goudy and Thiago Gaspary.
Kids Martial Arts
Our Kids Martial Arts classes offer a choice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and/or Muay Thai programmes which have been specially designed for Children of all skills levels. Several studies have suggested that Children who participate in a sport experience positive development in their self-esteem and confidence, which supports our belief that the skills Children learn through our Martial Arts programmes here in Singapore will benefit them beyond their time in the academy.