How many of us can say we have learned the keys to living a great life? How many of the parents reading this article can cay their children are learning how to live a great life in school? The study of a traditional martial art offers the opportunity to round out one’s education, to fill in those gaps with solid life skills. There is far more to living a great life, one that can truly be enjoyed, than reading, writing, math, and learning how to get “one up” on the guy next to you. Here are the first three of nine martial art competencies that can be found in any traditional martial arts school and lead you and your children to a great life.
A desire to follow Positive Influences
This competency begins with the atmosphere of the school. A good martial arts school will be comprised of great leaders and instructors demonstrating the benefits of following positive influences. All students will feel a natural desire to seek out positive role models and reject those who bring negative ideas and behaviors build. Great instructors use “healthy peer pressure” and positive reinforcement to guide a student to achieve their full potential. The combination of a supportive atmosphere, good people, and great leadership can set a student, of any age, back on the path towards a great life through following positive influences.
A reverence for Learning
Martial arts training can rekindle the desire to really learn a subject. In our society today the “quick fix”, internet driven “learning”, and a superficial level of understanding are encouraged in most forms of education. It is this quantity over quality approach to learning that has made real learning and deep understanding on the endangered species list. When a student begins studying the martial arts it is no different, they expect rapid promotion and a continuous stream of new techniques to be thrown their way. However, as they continue to train, they realize that there is so much more to their art than the next belt, next trick kick, or next certificate. They begin to dig deeper, taking more time in study and practice. They begin to enjoy the journey of learning. The student then begins to transfer this “joy of learning” to other areas of interest and required learning, turning a “chore” into a “celebration” of learning.
An understanding of how to listen
Many of us do not know how to really listen. We try to multi-task, supposedly listening with our ears while our hands and eyes are doing something else. The problem with this scenario is that we do not really give our full attention to any of the activities we are multi-tasking. We fail to hear everything at a level that leads to full understanding while making easily avoidable mistakes in our manual activity and overlooking important detail in what we observe. Studying a martial art can teach you how to be an “active listener”. The physical practice of a martial art and the time spent in class train the mind and body in more efficient and effective ways to listen. Learn how to engage your eyes, ears, and whole body in the art of listening and understanding.
These are just the first three core competencies of a great life that can be found in a traditional martial arts school. There is so much more that can be learned in the martial arts, concepts and patterns of behavior that can transform your life!