Last Updated on September 7, 2012.
Martial Arts: The Secret Ingredient for Kid’s to Succeed
By: TSMMA Abington
Every institution of leaning from grade school to high school, college to grad school will require a student to have the self discipline to give their best effort and to not give up when things get tough. But none of them actually teach a child how to have self discipline. It’s just expected that they will have it.
Human beings are naturally very lazy creatures, we are not born with self discipline, it has to be taught. If a child has a choice between doing something that is easy and doing something that is hard, they will most likely chose the easy road. This normal in children, and if not corrected early will be a trait they will have as a teen and eventually as an adult.
So how do you instill self discipline in a child? The answer is martial arts training. The most important thing I teach to my kids is self discipline, the first step is to get them to understand what that is, and what it means. This concept of never giving up, and always trying your best is woven into every minute of every class. It is also spoken about in end of class discussions where kids get to participate and ask questions.
Once a child understands what self discipline is, then its my job to help them to use it in class. When they make a mistake or have a hard time with learning something, we stay on and keep working it until they finally get it. Once they finally get it, they feel proud of themselves. This feeling of pride reinforces that they will be successful as long as they work hard and don’t quit.
After a while, this encouragement they get from me is not needed anymore. They start to have self discipline, and no longer need someone to help them to persevere when things get tough. At this point, this “non quitting spirit’ will carry over to their school work, chores at home, and even sports. A child that always tries their best and doesn’t give up when things get tough, will always be successful at whatever it is they are doing.
The best time to teach this to a child is early on in life. I start training my kids at 5 years old and teach them up until 14 when they move into our adult class. The kids that have been with me for years, not only are great martial artists and can defend themselves if needed, but excel in all other areas of their life. Kids that succeed in many area’s of their life feel good about themselves and are happier then kids that don’t succeed. If you would like you child to excel like so many of my student’s do, and build the self discipline necessary to grow into successful adults, then there is no time like the present to get them started training.