In this edition of TMA Role Models we meet Jess Millard, and find out more about why she took up martial arts and how it has helped her defeat bullying and build confidence. Jess Millard is an active member of the TMA and holds the record for the number of training sessions in one week at an amazing 11. She is also training to be a TMA instructor. At this time of year it is easy to consider quitting martial arts because you are worried about moving to a new school and the legendary amounts of extra home-work that you’ll be getting, but really this couldn’t be further from the truth. So take a moment to meet our TMA Role Models. These students all continued to train in the martial arts throughout their school life and have achieved amazing things. Jess Millard 1. How old were you when you started training and why did you choose martial arts? I started training when I was 17 after a recommendation from a teacher at school that martial arts might improve my confidence and mental health, whilst also providing me with a social circle outside of school and therefore be a way of combating the bullies. 2. How has martial arts training helped you at school (better concentration, grades, confidence etc)? The feeling of exhaustion but also motivation after a hard training session have certainly contributed to the efficiency of my work at school. Now my routine is going to class at TMA and then completing my school work. This does not mean I am prioritising my Kickboxing above my school work but it means I simply understand had one contributes to the success of the other. Your school work and martial arts do not have to be viewed as either one or the other, both is definitely best! 3. How do you balance homework against your training, has training helped you be more organised or helped you cope with the stress of moving up to a new school? Training in martial arts has helped my performance at school drastically. Not only does the discipline you gain through training enable you to be self motivated in studying and allows you to take a level of responsibility in your work, but also the outlet for built up stress equally contributes to school not only being more manageable, but also an increase in confidence and performance at school. 4. Did you ever feel like quitting training? Yes, primarily due to new commitments at home it felt as if I did not have the time and it could not be considered a priority to continue training in martial arts. However, with the support of the instructors at TMA, I was able to realise that to be able to support and care for my family I need time to remain healthy, have fun and laugh. The feeling you have after giving a class your all, in my mind is irreplaceable and therefore, quitting is and never will be an option. 5. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about balancing home/school/work and martial arts what would it be? My piece of advice would to remember however much you want to succeed at school/work, you can only do it if you are healthy, happy and motivated and therefore your training in martial arts should be just as valued and respected. By doing this not only shall you be successful in your work, but you will also be one amazing ninja! If you are considering quitting training or are a parent who is concerned about the extra homework or time constraints your child will face please speak with us, over the last 10 years we have experienced this time and again, in truth the reality is often worse than you might be led to believe. School – Eat – Sleep – Repeat is not healthy. Sure, they’ll get more sports to try out, but no sport teaches respect, discipline, manners and self confidence like Martial Arts.