Martial Arts

The Martial Arts should not be thought of as an after school sport, somewhere where you drop your child off to fill a void in their day or gain a moment of peace in yours, yet should be thought as a means of self discovery and growth. Although after schools sports are a fun way of exercising and learning team values, as well as gaining confidence with the right coach, the Martial Arts goes a lot deeper. With the right instructor kids are pushed beyond their natural capabilities or past that which comes easy for them.

In my opinion, kids today need that extra push whether it be physically, mentally or disciplinarily. For instance, if you ask a child to do as many pushups as they are capable of, they would most likely stop right when they felt tired or when it became hard. At this point a child must be pushed, in a positive way, past that natural capability. This is the true foundation that can and will begin the process of self esteem and confidence. Self esteem and confidence are not taught yet discovered through specific teachings methods. If we think about were a child might need these attributes, we need not look any further than they’re schooling. When a child gives up at the first moment of struggle they begin to set standards and patterns in their learning process which can lead to poor grades and behavior. This will soon carry over into many facets of there every day lives. There will always be someone pushing them to give more or to do better whether it be mom and dad at home, their teachers at school or their employer later in life. When going that extra mile or giving that extra push in all that they do, a child will do much better and more importantly will have less frustrations later in life as struggles won’t seem nearly as impossible to conquer. 

In a modern society, the Martial Arts is sometimes looked upon a as means of destruction or a way of causing injury or harm, when in fact it is a means of self discovery and self discipline. One does not learn to harm or cause pain on another person out of anger and frustration. When a Martial skill is used in this manner it’s most likely that the student came in to his or her Martial studies with this state of mind and wasn’t taught correctly by his or her instructor (sensei). At the Spirit Wild Kempo Dojo our focus is on self discipline, self control, self reliance, focus and good decisions making skills. 

At our Dojo kids are taught that achievements are succeeded through self reliance. This is done through our goal achievement program. As I teach our students their prescribed material for their next stripe or rank they are expected to practice at home the same as they would be expected to do with their school home work. When a child achieves that next stripe or rank level through self reliance and making that good decision to practice, they begin to feel the sense of confidence and the ability that they can do for themselves. If the child chooses not to practice, whether it be for a stripe or rank, that next level can’t be achieved, leaving them with the consequence of having made a bad decision. Although the program is tailored to each individual student, the foundation remains the same. I recognize that each child has a different skill level and therefore look to only push that child past the point of their own natural capability or that which comes natural for them. 

“Focus and Self Control are the Foundations of Learning”
Ron Paine, Sensei