Martial arts has been one of the most influential things I have ever participated in, period. Many of the lessons I learned as a teenager are still with me today, and I am still passing them down to the next generations in each and every class I teach!
Here are a few of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned over the years and my goals for how my students will use them:
Leading by example
One of the most powerful forms of leadership is leading by example.
I’ve heard that ‘if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.’ I have a different idea….’if you want something done right, show how it’s done!’ This is pretty much me right at this moment as I work to lose weight that slowly crept up on me over the years. If I am to talk about real life self-defense and how we can defend against actual threats like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, then I better well be living that example!!
Well, in the spirit of leading by example, I can tell you that I am living a much more active lifestyle and focusing on how my dietary habits, like what I eat and when, affect the results I seek. I am proud to say that I am down 70 pounds, and there are a number of students and families that have been here at Dynamic Martial Arts to see it happening!
So how does this apply to the kids in class? They are encouraged to take lessons about leading by example and use it in school by demonstrating high levels of focus and cooperation. I also hope they’ll take the lesson home by understanding that their actions and choices actually teach their younger siblings how to act and interact with others. And sometimes, just maybe, they'll have something to teach us parents!
1st time listening
Seriously parents, wouldn’t this make life with the kiddos so much easier?! My goal is to have a classroom environment that promotes this behavior so that kids can take this lesson home and to school.
Just to be clear, this is not simply following orders unquestioningly. This is about following directions. Being able to follow directions will one day help them be better at giving direction. Being a 1st time listener is also vital in safety situations where a parent may need their attention immediately. It is also a useful skill when operating in a team environment where one would need to react or respond quickly, such as a sport or a job.
Here’s something I wish I had a better understanding of when I was younger! Where does confidence actually come from? It comes from facing and overcoming challenges!
How many times have we heard of a child, maybe our own, that wan’t ‘challenged enough?’ Well, gaining confidence is an important product of making sure we challenge ourselves and our kids! Challenges don’t have to be life-altering and earth-shattering in scale, they just need to get us to go BEYOND OUR LIMITS.
Physical challenges might include losing weight, gaining strength or flexibility, or doing something difficult like learning a new sport or striving to compete well. Mentally, you could challenge yourself by reading a book or learning a new skill. Emotionally, you could volunteer at the food bank or shelter or work to strengthen a relationship.
These are all ways we could lead by example for our children or even guide them through a challenge of their own! Whatever you choose, the goal is to do something that forces you or your child outside of the comfort zone. That’s where growth happens!
Martial Arts has so many benefits that go so far beyond kicking and punching and we, at Dynamic Martial Arts, are dedicated to imparting these lessons to students of all ages!
Located in Gresham, Oregon, Dynamic Martial Arts is a family based martial arts studio that is dedicated to inspiring students to recognize their potential, educate students to tap into their inner strength, and empower students to be leaders who inspire others. Taekwondo, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Karate, Escrima, and more are combined to help kids, teens, and adults improve strength, flexibility, and stamina and learn self-defense in a safe and enjoyable classroom.