Athol Daily News – BirdsNest for teaching character building / self-confidence as well as martial arts

ATHOL – It’s hard to find a suitable label for BirdsNest Ministry & Martial Arts, which recently opened at 358 Main Street. Is it a business or a self-help program?

On the one hand, it provides training in martial arts to victims of rape and / or domestic violence and to those who have been the target of bullying. On the other hand, it teaches the building of character and confidence in young people.

“I classify this part as my ministry,” said BirdsNest founder Scott Britt. “But I also regularly teach martial arts under this umbrella.

“My TNT (Today Not Tomorrow) program was established by a martial artist, Melody Johnson, who was the creator of Little Ninjas. After graduating in psychology, she wanted to find a better way to teach children. This program goes beyond the character development part because what she has done is put in place curricula that say these are the skills that children of (different age groups) should have.

Britt said he had just started offering the program about two months ago.

“As a child development type program, the curriculum works on the physical, intellectual, emotional and social attributes of a child. So, one of the great things with any type of sport is competition. And one of the things emotionally, even socially, is teaching a graceful loser. To do this, you emphasize the priority of just having fun over competing. “

As for the ministry part of his program, said Britt, “I’m more of an interfaith type person. One of my ministers called me a “student of the word” because I just dig, dig, dig, dig.

“In my ministry, I don’t focus much on being a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew. In the ministry itself, I seek to build character. I use a philosophy of Ji Do Kwan, which is a Korean term for “the right way” or “the way of wisdom”, and they use the eightfold path of Buddhist philosophy. I use this, not in a religious sense, but as a philosophy. The Eightfold Path says that I need to have right thought, right speech, right action. I must have a good thought, a good concentration, a good livelihood.

Britt said he employed Ji Do Kwan especially in teaching teenagers.

Although his efforts are focused on adolescents, however, he said he is also keen to work with organizations that support victims of rape and domestic violence, as well as harassment.

“Bullying prevention is, of course, applicable to teens and adults because, unfortunately, there is bullying everywhere,” Britt said. “We want to empower women to be sure that they can take care of themselves. “

Britt explained that her overall goal is to reach middle and high school students who intend to pursue careers in behavioral sciences, psychology, preschool, elementary and secondary education, health and education. fitness and youth ministry. He hopes to eventually partner with local school districts, community organizations and organizations working with at-risk youth.

The goal, he said, is to equip them with the skills they need to impart to other young people and young adults the skills to become stronger physically and mentally, to be successful by setting goals, and to lead by example and build a strong community.

Britt is from Athol who, at age 11, moved to Virginia to live with his father. As fate would have it, his father’s marriage to a Korean woman led Britt to learn martial arts, which ultimately led to his life changing.

“That’s when I started learning more about character and behavior,” he said. “They instill integrity, persistence and self-control. “Discipline” is my favorite word. “

After high school, he entered the US Air Force, following in his father’s footsteps.

He said he wanted to give young people the integrity to “do the right thing when no one is watching, and to do the right thing when it’s hard”.

Anyone interested in enrolling in BirdsNest Ministry and Martial Arts training can apply online at or call (540) 391-0662. Course prices vary and there are discounts for families.

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