Who wears uniforms, does great deeds, helps those in need and does heroic feats? We do — AKTion Heroes!
We may not leap tall buildings, but we jump into action to lend a helping hand. An AKTion Hero isn’t faster than a speeding bullet, but they are quick to stand up for those in need. AKTion Heroes are not more powerful than a locomotive, yet they have the power to change their world. They are not strange visitors from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. AKTion Heroes are everyday people doing the right thing; sometimes in difficult, challenging or even dangerous situations.
Being an AKTion Hero doesn’t require superhuman powers, animal-keen senses, or to be a descendant of an all-female Amazon tribe. An AKTion Hero simply possesses the desire to do the right thing and has the courage to act. AKTion Heroes come in all ages, sizes and skill levels.
The birth of AKTion Heroes: Being a Black Belt in the martial art system of AKT Combatives is more than just being proficient in the physical techniques of personal protection; it is also about developing leaders who have the desire and ability to change lives. One of the requirements to obtain a Black Belt in AKT Combatives is for the Black Belt candidate to lead a community service project. The candidate must identify a specific need in the community and propose a project that will fulfill the perceived need. They must detail how they will obtain volunteers to accomplish the proposed project. Once the project is approved, the Black Belt candidate must develop, lead and execute the community service project to have a direct benefit to the local community. Upon completion of the project, they must submit an After AKTion Report (AAR) detailing the process in which the project was implemented and what benefit was achieved. The AAR also includes “Sustains and Changes”; those things that were effective in executing the project and those things that should be changed in the future to make a similar project more effective.
One of the most difficult obstacles for most community service project leaders is obtaining volunteers who are willing to give up their most valuable commodity — time. This is accomplished at our academies by instilling a culture of serving others. We stress that leaders are not only those in positions of authority, but that true leaders are those who inspire others to do great things. By volunteering, color belt students are participating and experiencing the rewards of community service by assisting the Black Belt candidates before they must actually lead their own project.
Our AKTion Heroes (Instructors and students of AKT Combatives ) have scraped and painted the historic buildings at the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame in Belfast, NY; we’ve hosted a board break-a-thon and donated all proceeds to a local military support group; we’ve participated in several drives to pack care-packages for deployed military personnel; we have painted dog kennels at the local SPCA; and have even performed disaster relief by traveling to Long Island and Rockaway Beach, NY to aid in relief efforts immediately after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This month AKT Combatives Instructors are hosting a Push Up Challenge to raise funds for a local family who recently lost their home and belongings in a devastating house fire. To stress the value of taking action in our communities, AKT Combatives Academy in Olean, NY recently hosted an AKTion Hero Night that was open to the community. Participants not only learned fun flying techniques that any superhero would be envious of, we also discussed the importance of taking AKTion in making a positive change our schools and communities.
AKTion vs. Action: In martial arts and in life we need to take action in order to see effective sustained positive results. AKT Combatives is a modern comprehensive reality-based personal protection system. AKT is an acronym for American Karate Tactics. “AKT” is an intentional pun for Act – To take action. One of the tenets for the AKT Student Creed is “Action before reaction”. As martial artists, if we wait for an assailant to physically attack us before we begin to do something we are at a significant disadvantage. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always execute a preemptive strike, only that you must take action in order to remove yourself from the situation or prepare to engage. You need to be an active participant in life. Merely reacting to what is occurring to you makes you a passive spectator in your own life.
AKTion Heroes take action and do the right thing, even in the face of adversity. An AKTion Hero not only has the ability to see a need or injustice, they also have the ability to develop a solution and do something about it. They don’t sit back and complain or wait for someone else to handle things, they take AKTion and are the agent for positive change in their communities.
By encouraging our students to step out of their comfort zone, to work with and assist others who may be in need, especially those from different cultures or backgrounds, our AKTion Heroes build relationships with people they may have never had the opportunity to meet and befriend otherwise.
Another tenet of our AKT Student Creed states that "Respect brings Peace, Comradery and Tranquility". As leaders in the martial arts community we need to lead by example and show the rest of the world that is it not just about “acceptance” and “tolerance” but rather that we need to embrace each other’s differences. We need to be willing to stand in the gap for those who do not have the strength, courage or ability to do so for themselves. Let’s stand up for those of different creeds or beliefs. Do not be an isolationist. Let us stand together and be the change!
AKTion Heroes stand united in their goal to make the world a better place.
Martial Arts leaders and Instructors have the ability on a daily basis to train their students to be agents for change. As martial artists we have a prime opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the world what respect, understanding, unity and compassion really looks like.
Because every community on our planet has a need, whether it is man-made or inflicted by mother nature, there is always an opportunity to serve others. To better meet the needs in our global community, we are in the process of forming the non-profit organization of AKTion International Mission (AIM). Our goal is to unite martial artists to work together in community service projects and humanitarian and relief efforts, as individual missions or by partnering with other charitable organizations to make a positive impact in our local and global communities.
If you would like more information on how you can be an AKTion Hero in your community, or get an AKTion Hero shirt, feel free to contact me at (716) 373-1050 or at info@AKTcombatives.com Become The Hero You Were Born to Be!
##### Bestselling author of Beyond Self-Defense, Grandmaster Barry A. Broughton, PhD is the Founder of AKT Combatives. Featured in The Martial Directory, he has been inducted into multiple Martial Arts Halls of Fame and is currently the Northeast Director for the United States Sport Jujitsu Association.
Become The Hero You Were Born To Be — Become an AKTion Hero! By Grandmaster Barry A. Broughton, PhD