Martial Arts training and academic training have a common goal. That goal is to create a transformation in attitude and action within a student, leading to a successful, productive member of the community. In school, achievement is rewarded with higher scores or good grades. Training develops those qualities and habits necessary to meet the rigorous challenges of academic life that lead to those good grades. Key among those qualities learned in Martial Arts training are discipline and self-control, a sense of self-worth and self-esteem, and courtesy and respect for others.
Traditional Martial Arts students develop a discipline, respect, and courtesy through a curriculum and culture that focuses on fitness, self-defense, and self-confidence within the context of home, school and community. Often parents are asked to be involved in activities, in and out of class, to help reinforce the life skill lessons much further.
Discipline and self-control are qualities necessary both in school and in Martial Arts. In school, a student must learn to pay attention to the teacher and not be distracted in order to learn the day’s lesson. Likewise, focus and concentration is necessary to succeed in Martial Arts. Students practice shutting out distractions, working under pressure, and concentrating on the immediate activity. The benefits of this Martial Arts practice and experience carries over into the schoolroom and results in better focused, attentive for longer students who generally see improvements in their grades.
Self-worth and self-esteem develop from accomplishing goals is one of the key benefits Martial Arts students obtain. In school, this could be completing a book on time or receiving a good grade on a test. In Martial Arts, this can come from receiving an award, winning a trophy, or moving up in rank and belt color. In some schools, students receive victory stars for outstanding performance in activities or tournament competition, and for doing well in school or at home.
Martial Arts students learn how to achieve big, long-term goals by setting smaller goals and working toward them in succession. This process of mapping a path and hitting benchmarks on the way to long-term ambitions is critical to success – in Martial Arts, academic, professional, and personal achievement.
Courtesy and respect for others shows a sense of cooperation, appreciation of others, modesty, and community. In school, courtesy and respect can be shown by helping a struggling classmate or by not ridiculing fellow students when they answer questions incorrectly. Martial Arts students learn to be considerate, show courtesy and respect to others by bowing to greet, recognizing the achievements of others, being quiet and attentive during lectures, giving sincere effort in workouts, or by simply saying “thank you” at the end of the round or class.
Martial Arts students learn to become good leaders as their training progresses by showing respect to their instructors, by learning to listen, and by being open to learning new things. This not only applies to leadership in the Martial Arts, but also in the schoolroom and in communities and social circles everywhere.