Martial arts ministry offers resilience

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Physical strength prompts dialogue of spiritual strength

Gold Standard Acting Editor
The Xtreme Team, a martial arts based youth ministry, will perform at Prichard Chapel this Sunday at 9 a.m. The public is invited to the event, which uses strength feats to capture the attention of young people.
According to Chaplain (Col.) Bryan Simmons, the special event was an opportunity too good to pass up.
“This team uses physical feats of strength as a springboard to talk about spiritual strength,” Simmons said. “And spiritual strength is one of the elements of resilience.”
Simmons explained that while spiritual strength is a component of resilience, the Religious Services Office has struggled to offer youth-oriented programs while watching the purse strings.
“We had an opportunity to partner with a local ministry and that allowed us to stretch our resources,” he said. “We could not have afforded the team on our own; we’re always looking for ways to extend our resource dollars.”
The chaplains’ mission is to provide the military community with opportunities that are similar to civilian communities and since this one is identical to the civilian program, no one can argue the point.
“Especially if we’re serious about resilience, we must provide opportunities to develop community,” Simmons said. “A Rand study published a couple of years ago said community is especially critical to developing resilience.”
The austere budget included programs for married couples (Strong Bonds) and single Soldiers, but there was little available for youth resilience on post and Simmons said he couldn’t have asked for a better youth-oriented opportunity.
“Let’s face it,” Simmons acknowledged, “most teens sleep through chapel services. This is a program that should capture and hold the attention of young people.”
The Xtreme Team describes its presentation as all the fun of Nickledeon entertainment combined with martial arts excitement. The ministry offers programs to combat bullying, celebrate Upward Sports ceremonies and special camp events. On the ministry web site, the program says it is aimed at breaking barriers while it breaks bricks.
“The public is invited; it should be fun for everybody,” Simmons said.