If you are not familiar with martial arts you may think it’s all kicks and punches. Sure, martial arts involves many kicks and punches but a very important factor that you may have forgotten about is it sets you up on the road to success. I always tell my students, “please and thank you will get you much further in life.” Those two little words can really make a difference in your life! Martial arts teaches students a few important factors you will need outside of the studio as well such as confidence, discipline, respect, honesty and integrity. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many more values that martial arts teaches but these are some of the ones I wanted to cover to explain to you how students can be ready to take what they learn in martial arts class and apply them to be successful in their lives.
Confidence: How many of us martial arts instructors have seen a student walk in with their head down already super shy on the first day of class? It happens a lot! My goal by the end of that class is to put a smile on that students face wanting them to come back for more! Confidence is something that cannot be built in a day. It takes time to build confidence. If you teach a student how to be confident in their abilities they will take that with them and apply it to their life. In order to be successful no matter where you go you must have confidence otherwise you will always be last for everything. Another benefit about confidence is that you will see their grades improve, helping out more around the home and becoming a leader in and out of the studio.
Discipline: No matter the age of the student, they can always use a little discipline. You should always be okay with someone telling you what do to (to a certain extent). Your job will most likely have a boss giving you instructions at first. Like any part in life you must work your way up the ladder eventually giving others instructions. You need that instructor telling you when you’re right and when you’re wrong. Discipline doesn’t always have to come from above. You develop self discipline as well! You must be able to keep yourself in line to focus on whats more important in life.
Respect: Next time you are walking into a building and you see someone walking behind you, take the time to stop and hold the door for them. Sadly some people might not notice it and walk on by without saying thank you but that just shows you how much respect you have over them. Take the time out of your day, every day, to be respectful to others around you. People notice respect and it really shines bright within you.
Honesty: This one is definitely the hardest for anyone to maintain. It’s so easy to tell a lie and get away with something. As an instructor we are able to pick up more and more when a student is lying about something. Guess what? We are not the only ones who can pick up when someone is lying. Trust me, people will want to work with someone a lot more who is honest and straight forward. Honesty both in and out of the studio is a wonderful way to succeed in life.
Integrity: How easy is it to accidentally back into a car when no one is in it and take off knowing they will never know? Super easy! Is it right? No! I don’t know about you but I am a believer in karma. How easy is it to start goofing off when the instructor turns his or her back for a second? Easy! Although you may get push-ups. Integrity goes a very long way both in and out of the studio.
Martial arts really can set you up for success in life. People see the differences between someone with all these values and someone who is selfish about themselves and doesn’t care about others. Remember to always give without the intent to receive. When you make a mistake go ahead and do your best to fix it because showing that you really care is already a big step ahead of someone who attempts to squeak by not caring. If you apply the values of what martial arts can teach you I promise you that your life will have a much better success rate than others. You will shine real bright right through the negatives in this world.