Discipline is Not Punishment

Martial Arts Discipline Reinforces Good Grades and Good Manners


The Martial Arts are legendary for the development of self-discipline, especially in children.

While most understand the methodology of martial arts instruction, some parents confuse the discipline in martial arts for punishment. However, it is not punishment at all, rather it is the secret to the key of developing self discipline and empathy.

There was a movement in the martial arts in recent years to eliminate push ups, board breaking and failing students on belt tests. Some instructors felt it was bad business. The consequence is that many martial arts schools today have earned the reputation as belt factories or McDojos. Unfortunately, some people have generalized that all traditional or classical martial arts schools are the same. This is not the case.

Many instructors chose to stay the course and risk the business to stay true to the disciplined style of teaching without watering down standards. It is this group that understands the profound impact that discipline and the tools such as push ups, board breaking and sparring have on their students.

Yes, these can be scary to the overly protective parent. However, the world we live in is not as nice as we hope. Even the parent with the best intentions and highest hopes cannot protect their child from every challenge, obstacle or risk. Life is risk. In my experience, rather than trying to change all 5+ billion people on the planet, it is better to work on preparing ourselves and our children to properly face those realities.

Martial Arts discipline is one method of preparing children for todays world, and perhaps more importantly tomorrows. I would encourage parents to seek out an instructor that encourages excellence in your child, has high expectations and holds them accountable. They should also use encouragement and lead by example. The instructors life should be evidence of this discipline from their physical conditioning, technical ability, attitude, social skills to achievements.

While there are no perfect people, therefore no perfect instructors, I would encourage you to keep looking for one that is perfect for your child, goals and aims. There are some truly great instructors out there if you take the time to look. Just keep in mind that their methods may seem tough at times but good communication and patience will usually help you see the profound benefit of discipline in a child’s life.

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