The PRIDE program is an educational program for teaching the youth of our communities an alternative method to developing the mental, emotional, and physical skills necessary to be a productive member of society. Using methods dating back hundreds of years PRIDE will use mixed martial arts to enhance, or in many cases instill, positive attributes that will help kids achieve their goals, their hopes and dreams.
PRIDE is targeted at children that are showing signs of “heading down the wrong path.” The wrong path may be social or health and fitness related. Both health and socially impaired kids lack self-esteem causing them to act out or isolate themselves causing depression. The PRIDE program wants to begin by focusing on young adults that are just beginning to show signs of getting “off path”. Signs may be: decreased grades, increased acting out, skipping school, rapid increases or decreases in weight, self-imposed isolation, lack of participation in a school offered fitness program, signs of bullying or being bullied (these signs are meant to be examples they are no means an exhaustive list). The PRIDE program will take a preventative approach to helping our youth.
The era we are living in is one of entitlement and inactivity. Maybe this has always been the case but the difference is we can make a difference today that will impact the future of all of our communities. There are many children lacking mentorship, direction, support, pride. This is at the high level, drill a little deeper you will find insecurity and a lack of self-discipline, self-respect, self-confidence, and self-esteem. If you don’t have these things for yourself how can you have them for other individuals.
Some will say that MMA teaches violence, it does not. Like any other martial arts form, if taught properly, MMA is a tool that can be used to teach respect for the physical, mental, and emotional impact a person can have on themselves and on others. Often times to gain a healthy respect for something you need to perform it yourself. It does not happen by simply being told.
Some may argue that the economic times won’t allow it due to financial constraints. I ask, if not now then when? During a time of economic crisis the pressures put on individual families is often times very substantial. This pressure results in a breakdown of the family structure causing many of our youth to find consoling in non-productive, harmful ways. These less than desirable actions both directly and indirectly affect our kids, our neighborhoods, our communities and ultimately our country. The time is now to make a positive change by positively influencing the very fabric of our society, our youth. What they learn as children, good or bad, will carry over into adulthood and the cycle will continue unless individuals like those associated with PRIDE get involved.
The PRIDE program will show kids how to find their dreams again, to have hope. Once it has helped them identify their dreams, hopes, and ambitions the program will teach through MMA how to plan and set goals to achieve them; how to implement their plan and keep themselves self-motivated and self-disciplined enough to work the plan. The health and social benefits gained throughout this process are far reaching and long lasting.