Nothing great was ever achieved without commitment. Commitment can be a challenge for some children. Children live in the now. They are not always thinking about the future. So when the going gets tough, their initial response may be to give up. Our job as parents and martial arts instructors is to help prepare them for that future they can’t yet see.
The Tipping Point
Often, people of all ages feel the urge to quit right when they are on the verge of accomplishing something magnificent. The biggest goals are reached when we push through that final phase of difficulty.
In Martial Arts class, we motivate and encourage our students to keep going. We do this, by pushing them past their fears.
When kids are afraid, we get to the bottom of it and keep them pushing forward. What is the worst that can happen? You fail an attempt? So? You get back up and try again!
When kids think it is too hard, we encourage them to see for themselves that with practice and dedication, they can reach their goals. Individualized goal-setting and progress at your own pace is a foundation for keeping students motivated in children’s martial arts.
When children just want to quit, because they have quit other things and that is just what they do — we keep them going strong! Instilling a stick-to-it-iveness in children is just the beginning of helping them achieve lifelong success in whatever they decide to do.
How Do We Encourage Commitment At the Outset?
Almost everyone is familiar with the belt/sash system in martial arts. In Karate it is a belt, in Kung Fu, it is a sash – but the concept is the same. A black sash is a long-term goal for Kung Fu students, while each color from white to black is a short-term achievement.
If you think of it like school, the black sash is like getting your diploma. Each school year is a new colored sash. The life skills gained in the progress towards the black sash take time and practice. This perseverance prepares children mentally and emotionally with the life skills needed for adulthood.
For children, the method is critical as they create habits of focus and follow-through allowing them to discipline their minds. As they succeed in earning the next color sash, they feel rewarded enough to keep going, but still, maintain focus on that long-term goal of the black sash.
“A black sash is a white sash who never gave up.“Anonymous
If you’re eager to teach your child commitment – consider martial arts classes as a fun way to sneakily instill the skill. To get started, sign up for a free semi-private class. Call today to schedule!
Owings Mills: (443) 394-9222
Marriottsville: (443) 545-5566