What is Team Chip?
Confession. We own a lot of Team Chip apparel. I mean, A LOT. As in with the exception of church, we wear it every day. And, on any given day, we are asked, “What is Team Chip?” How do we answer that? Seems simple, right? We are a professional martial arts organization. But, is that it? I think there’s more to Team Chip.
One of the first things our students learn is courtesy. Whether it’s in our Little Dragons Classes (3-6 year olds), where they learn to repeat “BE NICE!”, after an instructor says, “COURTESY.”, this core tenet of Tae Kwon Do is at the forefront of our classes. Students bow as a show of respect to their training partners. Moreover, respectful communication is a part of the culture. “Yes, sir” or “No, ma’am” are part of the class, and are outward ways to again, show regard for our training partners, and fellow students.
On the mat, everyone is in uniform, and a belt to designate their rank. Beyond that, there’s no label. The fry guy can be training with the millionaire-entrepreneur, and the stay-at-home-mom can be partners with the college student. You’re not brown, red, left, or right… you’re a martial artist, training alongside one another to grow personally. Period.
Team Chip is fun. Think about the top grossing, most entertaining superhero movie you’ve ever watched. Now, insert yourself in that “cape” (unless Edna Mode designed your costume… if you get this reference, SHARE this blog). That’s seriously how it feels to kick, punch, and break boards! Throw in foam swords, and the plethora of other training gear we use, and well, FUN! Our instructors are experts at hiding repetition in fun ways to build solid technical skill.
There are two ingredients to excellence: a challenge and unwavering support. The challenge is learning something new (which happens everyday when you are a martial artist). In the TEAM CHIP acronym, the T represents Teachable. We explain this as maintaining a “beginner’s mind”. With an approach of “what can I learn from this, today?”, our students rock socks at work, at home, in the community, and in their careers. To help conquer the challenge, the second piece of excellence is unwavering support. Having your own personal cheerleaders pushes you when you might otherwise quit, or give up.
We recently read a study where participants were asked to gauge the steepness of a hill. When participants faced the hill alone, they perceived it as 20-25% steeper, than when they had someone to attack it with. Listen to more on the power of a community of support in this podcast with Shawn Achor.