SON OF A JUDO LEGEND BECOMES A LEADER FOR YOUTH
It’s always gratifying to see martial artists take an active role in the battle against bullyingK lne of the most inspiring is a relative newcomer to the war, a man named Arthur ChivichyanK ff that surname sounds familiar I it’s because he’s the son of Black Belt eall of camer and judo legend Gokor Chivichyan.
Two years ago, Arthur Chivichyan started a leadership institute for kids, the nonprofit side of which is devoted to helping victims of bullying K Chivichyan arranges to have former bullies and the people they picked on speak about prevention, but that’s just part of the comprehensive program he’s devised.
´For leadership development, I’ve taken elements from old scriptures and from military cultures like the Vikings,” he said. ´I use those lessons to help kids. These days, kids are on their phones all the time and don’t want to be physically or socially active. That causes them to have a lot of issues in business relationships and social situations I in addition to making them less capable of handling bulliesK then f meet the kids If take on the leadership mantle and try to become a role model for them.”
Using the methods he learned while earning a degree in management and leadership at Pepperdine University, Chivichyan — who also has a consulting license — tailors his approach to each child’s emotional intelligence. ´I sit them down like a consultant would and do a SWOT analysis, which looks for strengths, weaknessesI opportunities and threatsI” he said. ´I try to break down the barriers the kids are facing to help them improve their lives.”
In essence, Chivichyan acts as a big brother for the kids — more than 150 have been helped so far, he said. Knowing the familial roots from which he comes, it’s not surprising that a substantial portion of that help involves the martial artsK
´I train them here at my father’s Hayastan Academy two to three times a week, and we focus on fitness and health, as well as self-defense,” Chivichyan said. ´Martial arts training gives them discipline and morals. Some people think it’s only physical, but it’s not. Training can make big differences mentally and emotionally. That’s why we focus on martial arts about 30 to 40 percent of the timeK
´These benefits are what have kept my dad going for so many years — that and the fact that he’s doing something he loves. He always says martial arts training gives you that baseline for a lifestyle that’s beneficial to you and others.”
Chivichyan said his main mission is ingraining preventative self-defense — how to avoid certain situations and leave certain environments. However, he said, if the children find themselves confronted by a bully and have no way out, they have their judo, jujitsu and boxing skillsK
To keep the youngsters interested and engaged, Chivichyan occasionally rents an archery rangeK “f get it for three or four hours, and we have coaches work with them,” he said. ´Then we might go out and do survival skills — camping, fishing, learning how to build a fire and that kind of stuff. I’ve taken 25 kids camping for three to four days. We try to catch our own food and cook it. We practice martial arts at the same time.”
Chivichyan’s innovative Los Angeles–based program is called V3 Project. ´That’s also our slogan,” he said. ´It stands for vision, value and vigor. It’s a concept that is derived from not only primal aspects of living and thriving but also from business. Vision is similar to setting goalsI establishing a vision for the future that helps the individual or group succeed. Values are the set of beliefs and core principles every person in the program needs to abide by. It is not only a form of discipline but a way of living a successful life and making dreams a realityK
´Vigor applies to the fighter in all of us and just how important it is for a person to be able to overcome challenges and always come out on topK Being vigorous means you are strong and healthy. Those are two important concepts of being a reliable leaderK
´My dad influenced so many kids who went on to become successful adults, not only in fighting but also in business, real estate and managementK jy goal is to get state licensing to turn this into a school and continue to do what he’s been doing by helping kids become leaders in their field, no matter what they choose to do.”
Chivichyan’s website (v3project.com) is scheduled to launch in aecember OM1UK