With the holiday season upon us, we are bombarded on every side with ideas for the next great gift. In today’s age of instant gratification, it can be difficult to find a gift that will be meaningful and last beyond the first few hours. I can’t even count how many toys we have at my house that my children just had to have only to toss them aside a short while later. One gift I have never regretted is Martial Arts. The skills and life lessons learned have been invaluable as I have watched my children grow. They have gained confidence, self-respect, improved discipline, had a safe outlet for frustration and energy, and learned to think beyond themselves.
Every day they come to class they have opportunities to build their confidence. They are not afraid to stand in front of a crowd and show what they have learned. When they demonstrate techniques, they are encouraged to do so with power and intent, and are given feedback that positively reinforces their self image.
Each class is structured with a focus on self-discipline. This has been invaluable to my children as they have navigated adolescence. Learning how to be focused and disciplined is a trait that can be difficult to teach, but is such a core foundation of Martial Arts.
We all have days where life gets in the way and things get frustrating. For our children, what may seem insignificant to us can be the whole world to them: a missed assignment, a friend who won’t play with them that day, not being able to find the shirt they really wanted to wear. Teaching them to find a healthy way to manage these frustrations and disappointments is key to helping them be productive members of society as they get older. For many of them, Martial Arts can give them those tools. Having a safe space to come to and something to put their focus and energy on can help them release any pent up anger and frustration.
Martial Arts has been the gift that keeps on giving. When we started our journey seven years ago, I had no idea how impactful it would be in our lives. As you consider the gifts that are under the tree this year, will they change your children’s lives?