Over the years of teaching Martial Arts there have been many children who have started martial arts classes wanting to be Kung-fu Pandas, Ninja Turtles, colourful Power Rangers and even the next Jackie Chan. It doesn’t take long for them to realise it isn’t all cool uniforms, Karate chops and aerial somersault kicks – it’s hard work & even Kung-fu Panda started as a White Belt.
As with many sports you have to learn the basics, the ABC’s in order to progress and the training can be very repetitive, difficult, frustrating at times and most of all tiring. The student learns they have to focus and maintain a respectful and positive attitude to themselves, the other Students, their Instructors and the School. They learn that hard work brings reward and that they are the only ones accountable for their own training. The only way to get better at anything is to practise, practise, practise and the only person that can do that is YOU. They learn they can go beyond their perceived limits and truly achieve great things.
Martial Arts is not only about mastering punches, blocks & kicks but more importantly about mastering yourself. Some children will want to give up at the first hurdle, because it has got “too hard” and this is not an attitude you want them to adopt through life, because at times life gets hard and giving up is not an option. Instead of allowing your child to give-up, encourage them to keep moving, no matter how small the step, applaud it and reward it. Encourage them to keep pushing at the barriers and eventually they give way and you progress leaving your child with an awesome sense of achievement.
The really neat thing is, that through this process of physical and learning of self, they stop trying to emulate their martial arts superhero and start seeing themselves as Martial artists. They see their potential, and realise that they have the Power within them. Their confidence and self-esteem is their Super Power, their shield against the ‘forces of evil’. The ability to defend yourself in hard situations is valuable but the ability to know your self-worth is priceless.
And there comes a time when the student stops wanting to be a manufactured martial arts superhero, they want to be the best version of themselves, their own Superhero.