With the first three core compentencies for a great life under our proverbial belt let’s move on. The next martial arts competencies speak to how we act on what we have learned. These are all life skills that are taught in powerful and positive ways within all great martial arts schools.
(If you haven’t already done so, please read: Nine martial arts competencies for a great life – Learning it)
A pattern of Integrity
Integrity is the act of doing the right thing, even when you think nobody is looking. It is an active life skill; to have integrity requires that you act on it. Student of martial arts learn that this concept is key to their success in their art. They see and feel the results of trying to get by with minimal effort, little or no practice on their own, and relying on others to “carry them”. When they see that these integrity-lacking actions lead to failure and disappointment a new pattern is quickly developed. Training in martial arts fosters a pattern of integrity in the student’s life. Instead of “testing the limits” and “just getting by” the student applies the lessons of integrity they have learned, making the concept of “always doing the right thing” their basic pattern of behavior.
Perseverance that conquers the trials of Life
Nothing teaches perseverance better than failure in a safe and supportive environment. When a person is given the tools to succeed and allowed to fail in a safe manner they quickly develop a sense of what perseverance really means. They know they can pick up, get focused, and try again; they can keep trying until they succeed. Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee, Founder of the American Taekwondo Association, said it best, “Today not possible, Tomorrow possible.” Once a student of the arts learns that failure is not the end, but an opportunity to excel in the future, they apply this lesson to their entire life. A seasoned martial artist can persevere against all odds and setbacks in their life.
A Forgiving Heart
Our world is often an unforgiving place. Most people are only interested in their own well-being and respond in a harsh manner to anyone who accidently says or does something that “hurts” them. A martial arts student “lives” in a special world when they enter a good school. This world is filled with people who understand that accidents happen and that not all words and actions are intentional. As they practice and develop their physical skills they are also honing their ability to forgive the “small stuff” and focus on building a stronger future. The martial arts can teach you to forgive when appropriate and move forward building strong and lasting relationships. Have you ever found yourself wishing you could let go of the anger you feel towards someone? Through the study of martial arts you can develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be human and the power of forgiveness.
Now you have six of the nine core competencies to a great life. All are available in the same place, your local martial arts school! Choose carefully and you will find that you haven’t just selected a good school for learning the physical skills of the martial arts, instead you have found a great reasource for building a better life.