When you Google terms like “skills of martial arts” or “things martial arts teaches children”, you’ll almost always find three traits in the mix.
1. Discipline: Classes follow a strict code of conduct which espouses a way of life that empowers the student to remain more focused on their ambitions.
2. Confidence: The ability to overcome fears when facing adversity or a physical threat is an important survival skill.
3. Respect: Saving the best for last, this is a hallmark of martial arts teachings. To respect others is to respect yourself, to honor the social contract, and to become a more integral part of your community.
If you’re a parent, you might be preoccupied with getting one kid to soccer and the other to dance practice when the schedules overlap on the calendar. So, let’s get down to some scenarios that strike closer to home, and directly address the needs of your family.
1. Kids with discipline get down to business on homework after they get off the bus. They give themselves time to think before acting — even when surrounded by distraction. It means they’re more likely to maintain composure in response to a bully. More importantly, they’ll be more focused on their own personal goals and less vulnerable to becoming bullies themselves.
2. Confidence provides a belief in one’s abilities. When confidence and discipline are combined, they deliver both a drive and a belief in oneself to overcome obstacles. It contributes to improved situational awareness. It means that they can formulate solutions to problems without being distracted by fear. It means (for example) that they’re more likely to evade dangerous situations in a busy parking lot at the moment you’re distracted.
3. When respect is taught from a martial arts instructor in an atmosphere of discipline, there are both rewards and penalties tied to what the student does during the lesson.
When the lessons are learned alongside classmates with whom they’ve become friends, the student also develops a sense of empathy. In other words, hurting one’s friend may feel worse than the 50 pushups he or she is told to do as retribution for a lack of respect.
This becomes more evident when the student realizes that they’ll likely be learning alongside the same classmates all the way through to their black belts. An understanding of mutual respect offers a better understanding of the things they hold dear. Mutual respect among siblings means (for example) that, when one is doing their homework, the other may help provide a quiet environment with which to concentrate.
Simply put, these three martial arts traits when applied in combination will contribute to harmony in one’s family and community.
When you visit Freedom Martial Arts, you will be welcomed, treated with respect, and be given honest answers to your questions.