We can tell you all about how great Merpati Putih (MP) is for developing youth, but sometimes the best explanations are no match for a real-life example. So, today, we are going to introduce you to an outstanding young man named Jaxon. In the process, you will learn a little something about youth leadership development at MP USA Martial Arts Academy in Ogden Utah.
What Mas Nate and Mas Mike Have to Say about Jaxon
Before we get into the interview with Jaxon, here is what Mas Nate and Mas Mike, the owners and certified trainers at MP USA, had to say about Jaxon:
“When Jaxon began his training at MP USA, we could immediately see his natural talent for martial arts, but we had no idea at the time just what an amazing young person we had training in our academy. During the years of hard work on his journey to become an MP USA Youth Instructor, Jaxon performed nearly all of his belt tests alone. He didn’t have to rely on anyone but himself.”
“His strength of character and will were only surpassed by his outstanding martial arts skills. And, we consider ourselves incredibly blessed to have witnessed and been part of his growth into one of the hardest-working, most respectful, and amazing young men we’ve ever seen.”
Our Interview with Dek Jaxon
There are a few things you should know about MP before we share our interview with you. First of all, Dek is the title used for junior trainers. The Baju is the official uniform shirt worn by MP members. In the adult program, the Baju is earned once a student reaches the third rank, Balik 1. And, in the adult program, the red belt is earned once a student reaches the second rank, Dasar 2. Now, meet Dek Jaxon:
How long have you been a student at MP USA?
Jaxon: I have been a student for 7 years, and I’m 14 now. So, half of my life!
What is your favorite part of training in Merpati Putih Martial Arts at MP USA and how has it helped you?
My favorite part is learning how to use my martial arts movements, and I am confident I am able to defend myself if I ever need to. MP helps me mentally and physically. Physically, I am stronger and I know how to control my movement. MP is hard work, and mentally, it has helped me see I can do anything I put my mind to. The character development part of the program has helped me from a young age understand how to be respectful, handle bullying, and be responsible. I like that the program emphasizes harmony and respect for self, others, and nature.
Have you trained in other types of martial arts?
Yes. I trained in Taekwondo for two years.
How would you compare your Taekwondo training to Merpati Putih training?
I think MP is 110% better because it challenges you way more. In the Taekwondo program, it was easy to get to the next belt level. You could reach black belt fast. In MP, I’ve had to work hard to earn belts and reach MP’s highest level belt (red) and the Baju. Compared to Taekwondo, Merpati Putih movement is really intricate, and there are several moves you need to master to earn your next belt.
Taekwondo taught me several great kicks, but not many ways to use them for self-defense in real-life situations. The MP USA Youth Program includes partner drills (called Gandas), movement sets (known as Jurus), takedowns, and sparring. Also, in the upper levels, we learn proper use of martial arts weapons. In my experience, MP training offers so much more than Taekwondo.
Can you explain the MP USA Youth Program belt levels?
There are nine belt levels to master in the MP USA Youth Martial Arts Program. It took me five-and-a-half years to get through all of the belt levels and earn a Baju. Each belt level is challenging, and you learn more movements, increase your stamina, improve sparring, learn different weapons, and you get a chance to make up creative movements as you progress. Earning a Baju is the final rank in the youth program, but the learning and development continue.
Do you automatically become an MP USA Youth Instructor once you earn a Baju?
No, you must be selected by the Mas’ and let them know if you are willing to make that commitment. Before becoming a junior trainer, I was invited to be a part of the demo team so I knew early on I wanted to be an instructor because it would be so rewarding!
What do you like most about being an MP USA Youth Instructor?
I enjoy contributing to the school by mentoring new students. It feels great to help others and have a positive impact on someone else’s life. Also, teaching improves my practice since teaching is the best way to learn! I am grateful to have the opportunity for employment at something I love at a young age.
What is one piece of advice you want to share with new students?
Keep going, and don’t give up! The further you climb the ranks the more fun it becomes!
If you are interested in trying out our Youth Martial Arts Program in Ogden, Utah, check out our deal on Groupon for 55% off our intro classes.