Are Martial Arts Lessons Right For You?
There are a wide variety of reasons that one might elect to train in the martial arts and making a determination of which style is best for you and your family can be a daunting task. Whether it’s your first foray into the world of martial arts or you’re a serial practitioner of a wide array of styles, the task is rarely easy. Finding the right “fit” to your personality and your own needs and expectations is challenging enough, throw the potential for the grandiose claims of practitioners and teachers into the mix and it can be very hard to see what is true and what is snake oil.
So selecting the right martial arts school for you and your family is an ever increasingly difficult action item to cross off your to do list! Therefore, analyzing why you want to train or why you want your child to train in the martial arts is a great first step. Of course the martial arts as an industry has made great use of particular buzzwords like “discipline, increased focus and concentration” and of course there is the currently in vogue “anti-bully.” Often such phrases are specifically geared towards appealing towards parents on a variety of levels for their children. Then again, there is an increasing frequency of ads for “women’s self-defense” so of course there is a wide array of phrases for a discerning consumer to key in on and attempt to analyze.
Let’s just begin with “discipline.” Too often this concept is confused with obedience. While obedience may well be a component of discipline the two concepts are fundamentally different. To be disciplined is to govern one’s own actions. While being obedient is simply to respond agreeably to directions. To put this in context, a child who is told to do their math homework and does it is obedient. A child who doesn’t need to be told by a parent to do any of their homework because it is already done is disciplined. I am frequently asked whether or not martial-arts training really will instill better discipline in a child. In short yes, of course it does. Practicing stance training in a martial arts class is but one example of the discipline required to advance in a student’s Kung Fu and that has a direct link to developing discipline rather than obedience in other endeavors.
Ultimately many of the buzzwords associated with the martial arts have strong foundations in that they are actually achievable. That is to say that the desired increase in performance or positive behaviors are often directly attributable to martial arts training. Whether it is practical self-defense, discipline, focus and concentration, heightened awareness, self-confidence or even obedience you can find that training in a traditional martial art such as Kung Fu will reap profound results. Of course, that barely scratches the surface and if you’re looking for a life-long fitness regimen with sustainable results, we’ve got that in spades too!