Martial Arts is about Education not Recreation
Posted: August 03, 2017
Martial art is about education not recreation! It is not just a sport, or a game or an activity to fill up some time, but an established (5000+ years old) system that teaches life skills. Many times we look at the martial arts as recreation and something that we can quit if it gets too hard. What are we teaching our children? It’s easy to do thing right, or do things in general if it is fun, or not challenging but where integrity will kick in is when it gets a little tough or when it becomes work.
As adults, we are responsible for our lifestyle choices and in many cases, our children’s lifestyle. Whether or not our children get enough exercise and eat healthy foods has a lot to do with the example we set for them and the choices we provide them with.
According to recent studies, the percentage of children who are overweight has doubled in the last 20 years! However, do not blame the kids. Keith Ayoob, an associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine says, "I never see a child who has better eating habits than his parents." Children eat the foods that are served to them or what is easily available at school or home. Family rules and routines can compromise exercise and eating habits. An adult can exercise any time they like, but an eight-year-old more than likely requires supervision. Children have obstacles to overcome when it comes to lifestyle choices.
Success for children begins with success for parents. Families need to begin establishing lifestyle goals together. Leonard Epstein, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Buffalo, says, "Most of the kids who are overweight have at least one overweight parent."
Is martial arts the answer? When you make martial arts training part of your family lifestyle you make a commitment to a healthy mind, body and spirit for you and your children.
Mind: Children may seek refuge from stressful situations by over-eating. The Martial arts teaches students how to deal with stress and maintain self-control and discipline. Stress is a good thing, we put stress on our physical muscles and they grow, the same principal applies to our emotional muscle, when we experience stress it helps the student become emotionally stronger.
Body: Dieting is not recommended for children. While parents should pay attention to food selections and serving sizes and teach their children to do the same, exercise improves health quicker than anything. When you train in the martial arts, you commit to exercise in class and practice at home. You are saying exercise is important and your children get the message. Knowing how to control your movements and kicks, and knowing how hard you have to hit to break a board, and knowing that you have the ability to keep your self safe creates a self-confidence that can not be found in any other activity.
Spirit: Confidence and self-esteem are critical character assets. When children feel good about themselves they are more likely to be successful. Martial arts training provide an environment to develop personal strengths and can help your children and yourself achieve a healthier lifestyle. Being able to define what a “black belt” acts like and will or will not do creates internal discipline.
Families that train together help each other stay motivated and on track to goal achievement. I challenge each of you who are not currently training with your child to take the adult classes at the academy for free, challenge yourself and experience the fun your children have in learning martial arts. I teach the adult classes along with my husband and would love to see each of you take some classes. A wise man once said you can never truly appreciate another mans journey until you walk a mile in their shoes. Start the new year out right and walk a mile in your child’s shoes.
It is time to take action not only for yourself, but also for your children: they are counting on you!