UPDATE: Nathan Skoufis has received congratulations for his achievements from the Government of Canada and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer. Skoufis also receive congratulations for sharing martial arts with so many young Canadians through his studio.
With a positive role model, Nathan Skoufis turned a hobby into his life work and passion. Well, they say the apple does not fall far from the tree. Nathan’s mother, Sophie walked the walk, and decided to take up martial arts to keep the family interested. What a story of dedication, motivation and a life lived right.
He had wanted to hang up his uniform at the age of ten, yet Sophie, his mother, told him not to quit just because something gets too hard. It brought the competitor out in him, as he was not going to give up and see his mom get a black belt and not him.
Skoufis has proved his skill all over North America, and Europe in competitions, and is a thirteen times World Champion 5th Degree Black Belt being the first martial artist to hold both major and World Titles in the same year.
His journey started at age six, when his parents enrolled he and his brother in martial arts. Skoufis is a former member of Team Canada and holds several international gold medals. He trains in several styles which include Kickboxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, Boxing and Sport Karate. Named as the top 40 under 40, and awarded the top 20 under 40, Nathan heavily supports the Guelph community serving as Youth Ambassador and Young Inspirational Leader at the Guelph District Multicultural Festival.
While a student at the University of Guelph Nathan founded Guelph Family Martial Arts. The dojo is the number one Martial Arts School for the last several years and has won both national and international business awards. This Saturday, November —– the GFMA own annual Christmas Gala is happening. Several charities including the Children’s Foundation and the Guelph General Hospital are benefactors of funds raised. Nathan does this annually to help kids, which is his life’s work.
Skoufis states “nothing is more rewarding then seeing someone develop and be properly equipped to combat anxiety, fear and bullying. Being the world’s best fighter is an amazing achievement but helping someone in their life is number one.” The growth of human potential and personal development Nathan sees in his students over the years at the dojo inspires Nathan to do what he does.
Martial arts training is life altering, and all for the good. It is an effective tool to tackle bullying by building a solid foundation in a child by strengthening them with confidence. Self-esteem is a big weapon against bullies, and martial arts give that to youth. Dramatic shifts occur in the way a person handles and carries themselves.
Lessons learned in the dojo dramatically impact lives positively. Discipline and confidence are taught. You learn to know your own personal limits and learn to respect boundaries. Humility is taught, for knowing there are others faster and stronger than you.
A student learns to focus, and to focus energy on the task at hand in the dojo. This is the same skill applied to reading a book or completing a work or school assignment.
Katas (specific techniques in a specific order) teach memorization. Karate needs students to remember series of self-defense moves that they must perform. The memory skills developed in martial arts can help children prepare for exams in school.
Most dojos are strict and teach discipline. Karate classes dictate behavior and will not tolerate excessive talking or not being attentive around the dojo. It is a place respected, as are other students and the instructor. Improved behavior in the dojo translates into improved behavior at school, and improved grades.
Goal setting is a key skill taught, with a belt ranking system with white belt being the lowest rank and black belt being the highest. The ranking system encourages students to strive to reach the next level, and they learn to work toward the achievement of a goal. This habit of goal setting develops, and spills over to other life goals.
Martial arts teach the effort is 100 percent, consistently. Sensei (teacher) encourage students to kick higher or spar a little stronger at each class. This encourages a mindset to not accept less from themselves and it makes them realize their unique potential. Karate instructs a person they can be far more than average and achieve much more than average life goals.
Becoming stronger physically exudes confidence as students realize they can handle themselves in demanding situations, becoming more confident individuals, overall. This confidence will help children throughout their lives.
One of the most important words in martial arts is respect; to respect their instructors, each other, and themselves. Respect is often missing in many sides of today’s society and when children are taught lessons about respect it can have a major impact on the future of our world.
Guelph Family Martial Arts won best business in: martial arts school, training facility, fitness club, summer camp, weight control service, family activities and children’s entertainment. Nathan is a world class competitor and the Head Instructor, native of Guelph and supporter of our community and our community’s children.
You owe it to yourself, your family, and your children to introduce yourself to martial arts, to Nathan and his team at GFMA. Their annual Christmas Gala is sold out for this Saturday, November 17th. Proceeds go to the Guelph General Hospital.
Nathan started the event because he knows “what organized sports did for me in developing life skills including modesty, focus, perseverance, discipline, courtesy, self-control and stress coping strategies. That for financial reasons alone no child should be unable to take part in organized sports. We want to show that collectively we can make a difference in the community that has been so amazing over the years”.
As the words Nathan lives by, he has a goal for everyone – to try to help as many people as you can. We are here to make this world a better place.