So Your Kid Wants to Quit Training?
Your kids are going to love martial arts!
And then they are going to hate it.
It’s no secret that learning a martial art offers many benefits for adults and children alike. It is also no secret that martial arts classes range from very easy to very (very) difficult. The difference is how long a student stays in training. While beginners start out with very easy techniques, eventually the moves get more advanced and this is where true martial artists are born.
Progressing in a fighting style is just like learning to ride a bike. It’s exciting for a while, and then, inevitably, you will fall down and skin your knee or encounter a hill that just seems too steep to climb.
Many martial arts schools “sell belts” and offer “babysitting” in lieu of training. Some of their ads are so audacious as to say it outright: Buy a year of classes, get a guaranteed red belt! Buy two years, congratulations! You are guaranteed a black belt.
That is not how Sacred Sword Martial Arts runs.
The point of teaching a child a martial art is to teach them self-discipline. You might find yourself asking, “But, isn’t the point to teach them to defend themselves? Isn’t that why you call it ‘self-defense’ class?”
You would not be entirely wrong in asking this question. However, also ask yourself this: How successfully can a child defend themselves from an adult kidnapper or a schoolyard bully without a sense of awareness and know-how? How able is a child without practice and confidence to slow down their panicking mind, assess their surroundings, and make rational choices?
None of these things, not awareness, know-how, practice, or confidence, comes without consistent effort. (Not even to an adult!) These are not always fun lessons. This is where self-discipline comes in, and it could literally be the difference between winning and losing a fight when it matters most.
If you never learned to ride a bike, you might only remember the bruises and scrapes and failures. However, if you had a teacher who made you get back up and keep trying, when you think of riding now, you will probably recall the exhilaration, the freedom, and the thrill of speeding down a path or roadside without fear or worry.
The reward for learning to do a thing well
is the feeling of doing (and having done) a thing well!
That isn’t to say your child won't have fun learning martial arts. On the contrary, it is among the most beloved and diverse physical activities available. Every country in the world has had, at one point, its own version of a martial art or fighting style. All those fun parts you signed up for will happen alongside and in-between the learning, but the nature of martial arts is that the learning can be difficult at times.
What matters is that once your child has moved passed the newness and excitement, you keep them consistent. Then when they understand the importance of the determination and grit that their classes are instilling in them, their love for learning will return ad stay forever. Such practice follows a child into adulthood and helps build strong-minded, goal-driven people of integrity and character.
A disciplined person does what they know is right
and that which they have committed to even when it is hard.
That means you, Mom and Dad. When you and your child commit to this training, understand that you are giving them a gift they will try to throw away when the lessons get tough. This is that “brush yourself off and try again” moment, like with the bike. The real question is, would you let them abandon the bike forever? Or will you teach them to persevere?
When your child gets a belt from Sacred Sword, they will truly have earned it, and unlike the participation trophies of “babysitter” dojos, it will bring them a true and abiding sense of accomplishment. Alongside this feeling will be those solid, practiced techniques that will offer them the safety and self-defense know-how you wanted them to learn in the first place.
Stick with it!