You have seen it a million times, on TV, Movies, Plays, in your neighborhood….at Halloween. A cute little kid all decked out in his karate uniform, white belt tied around his waist, punching, kicking and jumping in the air at some invisible person with a big smile on their face.
It reinforces just how popular martial arts are. In fact martial arts can now be seen on television weekly in the form of Mixed Martial Arts Competition, and even the addition of Karate to the Olympics in 2020.
All this popularity begs the question. Why should anyone, especially a child study martial arts?
Here are 5 reasons that help to answer that question:
- “There is no confidence, like self defense confidence” Knowing how to defend yourself not just physically, but verbally is an essential skill for children. Especially, with 1 in 4 children being bullied in America, and an estimated 160,000 kids that skip school to avoid being bullied every single day in the United States. Kids who know how to defend themselves are much more likely to stand up for themselves, and much less likely to be targeted by bullies.
- “No One Sits on the Bench at the Dojo” Martial Arts is unique in the sense that kids are a part of a group, but they still get to progress at their own rate. The stress and demands to preform and deliver for a team is eliminated. A child is free to make mistakes, and to learn from them without being singled out. Also, they get to play every “down”, with no time spent on the bench watching everyone else play.
- “Chivalry is Not Dead” Manners, Self-Respect, and Respect for others may seem like a lost art with children, and adults these days. That is not the case on the mats at the dojo. There is an emphasis on self-respect, they way you are dressed, how you keep your uniform and yourself clean, how you present yourself at the dojo, the respect you show others in your words, and in your actions towards them. Yes Sir, Yes Mam, Please, and Thank You, are all alive and well in the hearts, minds, and voices of children taking martial arts.
- “There are no Keyboards at the Dojo” Children are ever increasingly talking to each other from behind screens. From texting, to FaceTime, to Snapchat, to tweets, the list goes on and on. Martial Arts Classes are a great place for face to face interaction. For children to work together directly. To learn the art of communication, to see face to face how to work with another person.
- “It Takes a Village” Parenting is every bit as difficult now as it ever was. Raising Happy, Safe, Respectful, Helpful, Leaders of tomorrow is too much for even the best parents to do alone. Family, Friends, Teachers, Mentors, and Martial Arts instructors are vital in helping reinforce the values that you are instilling at home. A Martial Arts Teacher or “Sensei” influences not just the way students defend themselves, but he or she is imparting lessons on self-confidence, leadership, kindness, and motivation every single class.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg about why martial arts for children is an amazing resource, about why every child should learn these lesson, but all these words don’t mean much until you see it in action.
We urge you to take your child to a class, but not just any class. Find a Facility that is clean, and instructor that is knowledgeable, that is a Blackbelt of Skill and Character. Someone who you trust to teach your child more than just how to fight, but how to live.
We play a game at the end of class with this big red cube. It has exercises and challenges for the students on each side, except one……one said is for the Teacher. It boldly states Teacher does 25.
Our students love it, they love to see the Teachers drop down and give 25 pushups. Its a great chance for the Teacher/Sensei/Professor/Coach to lead by example, to humble themselves, and remind themselves and their students that Blackbelt is a Verb, and not a Noun. That it is a state of action, not a state of stagnation.
I have seen this cube at a few martial arts schools, and even saw a few with the Teacher Does 25 taped over…….It breaks my heart as an instructor, a student, and as someone who loves martial arts.
Teacher does 25 is a mindset, and a culture that is sorely needed in the martial arts community, in our communities, and our country.
Leadership is defined by action, by holding to not just the same standard you hold those you lead to, but exceeding that expectation, in the hopes that those you lead might do the same.
What opportunities for growth and leadership have you “taped over”?
My challenge to you is to rip that tape of today, that sting is much less than that of keeping it on.
A friend of mine shared a though worth repeating. “Cheap is expensive! The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetnes of a low price is Forgotten.”
So often in our high speed world we seek faster, cheaper, and more convenient. Why pay for the movie/music when I can just download it for free? Why ask an expert, I can just YouTube it myself. Why pay the extra money for a little better quality fabric, or buy from a manufacture that operates in this country?
Too often we forget we are not paying for just the materials, we are paying for the quality, for the experience, for the craftsmanship that is behind a quality service, or good. We are paying for the service, for the care, and for the quality that we expect.
Saving short term, means just that. You will always end up paying more in the long run. When it comes to quality, to buying things that matter, that make a difference in the quality of your life……Spend now, save later!
Hickory Academy of Martial Arts
We all say the right things most of the time, speak the truth, give good advice…..most of which is overlooked.
In large part this is the case when our actions don’t sink up with our words.
Our actions have a way of leading from the front, giving the visceral example that put meaning to our words, that create the spark to fire action.
What you say will fall on deaf ears, will be forgotten, will be misunderstood. What you do will followed, and emulated….even by those who you don’t know are watching.
Lead from the front, carry the flag where you want others to follow.
Just in case you were thinking about slacking, laying low, skipping out on your goals this week.
Remember this, “winning” and succeeding is not a one time thing, it is not a big event, not one pivotal moment. It is an every day thing, it is a habit, it is in the decisions and actions we make from moment to moment.
Champions are “winning” one second at a time, through continued effort, continuous discipline, through continuing to strive past our own limitations, or own negative self talk, past our doubt, and fears, and the judgments of others.
DEDICATION is not a personality trait, it IS A VERB….something that is breathed into life by being put into ACTION……
Your time, my time,…..out time is constantly moving forward. Racing into the future and an ever increasing pace, robbing us of our abilities, of our health, even those we love……and the worst part is that we can do nothing about it.
Our time will tick by regardless of how we use it, how much we value it, or how much we enjoy it.
Take back your time, enjoy all the minutes and seconds of your day. Squeeze all the love, and life out of each day.
Soak up all the sun you can, while you can. Dance in the rain, don’t let it ruin your day, take that time back. Dance through that storm, grateful to be a part of it.
Love openly, and honestly, we don’t have time for unsaid words, and unheld hands.
Live, Live, Live while there is still LIFE to be had.
Joshua Page, http://www.hickorymartialarts.com
Inspiration, should lead to motivation, and hopefully to perspiration!
However the whole process is useless, without dedication.
Dedication is the piece that takes you from dreaming, from bouncing from idea and dream to idea and drean, from one gym to the next, one goal to another.
Dedication is part of the price of innovation. Part of your “Success dues”.
Anyone can do a hard workout, pull an all nighter, get excited for a week or a month, but all those are done in vain without a sustained, consistent, and dedicated effort.
Keep getting inspired, keep getting motivated, keep making perspiration…..and above all tie them all together with dedication and harvest the fruits of your labor!
Joshua Page, http://www.hickorymartialarts.com
We have been doing talks on kindness, and bullying over the past few years. We have it down to a science, student involvement, impactful stories, ideas, and strategies to become mindfully kind, to deal with any kind of bullying situation. What I am trying to say is we are motivated and prepared for each opportunity to change lives, but in spite of all this I have to say I was completely caught of guard from our last school talk.
We have a young student that came to help with our last talk, he told me he would like to share a story about kindness. I said of course, and we put him into our schedule for that day. I thought he was going to share a story he had read, or heard somewhere, but when he spoke he started speaking about a girl in his class, and the impact that this simple hello would have on both their lives I was awestruck.
Watch his story below and see the impact that we can all make everyday, by simply being kind…..