Discipline: What All Parents REALLY Want in Martial Arts!
Posted: March 25, 2017
This cycle, we are focusing on a new theme for our students: discipline. Whenever you ask a kid, “why do you train in martial arts?” or “what do you learn in Taekwondo?” they will most likely answer with things like “how to punch! How to kick! How to defend myself!” They will tell you about the fun and cool drills that they do, the awesome forms they learn, or the sweet sparring that they do. Parents will most likely see past that. What does it all boil down to? Discipline.
So what is discipline, anyway? When you hear discipline, you might think of the military. Full of structure; people who won’t move, act, or respond unless instructed to. It is structure, it is a mindset that must be trained and utilized. The Merriam-Webster dictionary literally translates it as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discipline). So discipline is not necessarily an automatic response from people: it is a skill that has to be trained! I refer to discipline as being able to ignore that little voice in your head telling you to say something out of turn, or do something uncalled for. For some kids, that means choosing not to speak out and disrupt the class. For others, it is choosing to follow directions the first time without arguing. In almost every case though, discipline is a choice. Some people have a stronger-trained sense of discipline than others, and therefore are able to control themselves and their actions better.
Discipline is more than just the attitude students have in class though. It takes discipline to train every day and to improve our lives every day. Discipline therefore, is a way of life. For a child to have discipline in their life is an amazing thing. With it, a student can keep themselves on task for school by making sure they are getting their homework done on time and staying on track with their grades. Discipline can improve their lives at home by keeping their rooms clean and their belongings picked up regularly. It can even improve their health, by practicing and training themselves to eat right and going to bed at a regular and decent hour. All of these actions and behaviors that we need in our lives, and want our children to have in their lives, require a good amount of discipline! Our lives revolve around structure, and without structure, without discipline, we may find ourselves in chaos!
Without disciplining ourselves, we may never achieve our biggest goals and dreams. Jim Rohn, an American Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker once said “discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” What he means is that we need to discipline ourselves in our goals in order to actually reach them. How will we ever improve ourselves if we don’t first create new, good habits? If a student wants to get straight A’s in school, they need to discipline themselves by studying more and focusing in class more. Therefore, it requires constantly making new habits.
We need discipline in our lives. Every day, we discipline ourselves to wake up on time, do things that may not be the most enjoyable, but will benefit us in the long-run. As students of martial arts, as parents, and as people in general, if we focus more on disciplining ourselves, we may find that our lives our more structured, flow more naturally, and ultimately have happier and better results from our actions! Kids probably want to learn martial arts to do cool kicks, but parents are often times after it for other reasons too!