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Title [ICM's Pick] Participants' Voice / The 5th Martial Arts Research Initiatives for Experts (MARIE)
- Renhui Feng(Participant of the 5th MARIE) -
1. Please introduce yourself
My name is Renhui Feng, female, 27 years old from China. Currently, I am a martial arts teacher at Huaibei Normal University. I am responsible for the undergraduate students’’ martial arts courses and the school martial arts club. After my graduation from undergraduate stage, I went to Philippines as a volunteer martial arts (Wushu) teacher for two years. After that I went back to China to study for my master’s degree and graduated from Chengdu Sport University in 2021. It has been 13 years since I practiced martial arts for the first time, during which I have changed my role from practitioner to instructor and researcher. Martial arts means a lot to me. It is not just a major when I was student or job when I am instructor and researcher, it is more like a teacher that helps shape my personalities and teach me life philosophies. I am so grateful that I have benefited so much from martial arts and that I am doing something meaningful to get more people participate in and benefit from it.
2. What made you participate in MARIE Programme?
The organization of ICM is truly well-known in the field of martial arts, no matter you are practitioner, instructor or researcher. Before I was selected as the participant of the 5th MARIE Programme, I have already read some of its publications as references when I was studying for my master’s degree. Therefore, it has always been my wish to participate in its academic research programme. As a female martial arts teacher, I hope to share my own experience of practicing and teaching martial arts to encourage more participation from women and girls in martial arts; As a young researcher, I hope to equip myself with professionalism through the training session and to make contributions to the research on martial arts education. Thus, I submitted my application, which was the start of the valuable experience.
3. What are the biggest change you found after the MARIE programme?
First off, the programme has deepened my cognition of martial arts, which helped me break some stereotypes which has existed for a long time. The section of “Evaluation for Youth Martial Arts Programme” has taught me how to evaluate a martial arts programme from overall and scientific dimensions so as to maximize the improvement. Besides, I have also benefited greatly from the section of “Teaching Plans for Youth Personalities Development”, which provided us several comprehensive but also detailed issues to be considered when designing the teaching plan to realize the goals of youth personality development. In addition, my academic literacy has improved. During the programme, we were so lucky that ICM has invited authoritative scholars who have great academic achievements in the research of martial arts to deliver online theory classes for us. The speeches have covered hot topics which are at the leading edge of scientific research at present such as “Sport in Global Era”, “Non-Violent Martial Arts”, “Physical Development of Youth and Gender Equality”, etc. What’s more, the arrangement of “one-on-one mentoring” also helped profoundly. Every procedure to accomplish the research report such as selection of the topic and research methodologies to be applied and design of the framework were under guidance of our mentors who are definitely professional and kind. We truly appreciate all the scholars and ICM’s arrangement.
Renhui Feng, having a zoom meeting with her mentor, Professor Hyunchul JUNG(College of Physical Education at Kyung Hee University)
4. What do you think are the benefits of learning martial arts for young girls and women?
The benefits of practicing martial arts have been extensively studied. But there is special significance when the practitioners are women and girls. Firstly, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, safety needs are the most fundamental needs. As the disadvantaged group, it is necessary for women and girls to safeguard themselves when exposed to unsafe situations like violence and sexual harassment. As one of the most popular sport in the world, there are diverse contents in martial arts which could provide them with a rich and all-round way of physical practice. Secondly, engagement in martial arts can be set up to achieve social and emotional outcomes for women and girls, e.g., establish positive relationships, improve social inclusion and acceptance, develop qualities like constitutional resilience, sociability, intelligence, attitudes and values. Take myself for example, as a female practitioner, the most impressive quality I have developed through practicing martial arts is resilience. Having experienced various of cheerful or distressing situations during years of daily drills and competitions, I have developed resilient personality to counteract the effects of anything unsatisfactory occurs in everyday life, which enables me to keep a long-term perspective and not to consider the current negative things as unbearable problems, maintaining a hopeful look always. Thirdly, such practice helps form a network of voices of, and for, the support of women and girls. It is the fundamental components of sport policy to guarantee the gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in and through martial arts and other sport. It is expected to see the increasing female participation in martial arts and other sports.
5. Why are instructors important? What do you think is the most important quality of an instructor?
Instructors are important because they play a central role in both enhancing athlete performance and personal development. Instructors are the one who creates the vision and strategy based on the needs, goals and stages of development (both biological and educational) of the athletes and the organizational as well as social contexts of the programme to maximize the performance and to inspire the potential of each individual. In order to meet athletes’ needs and to guarantee the sustained improvement, instructors are suggested to develop several qualities, among which, from my own perspective, responsibility and innovation are the most important one. As the core role in the organization or programme, the instructor must be responsible because he/she ought to undertake the due obligations of overseeing and contributing the delivery, review and evaluation of programme. Besides, being innovative is undoubtedly the quality to better adapt to the fast-changing world. Instructors are suggested to consider how to combine these new things like AI with physical training to maximize the effectiveness.
Please click here(The 5th MARIE Final Report) to learn more about the 5th MARIE