Martial arts are deeply rooted in discipline. The successful study of martial arts involves an incredible amount of self-discipline to accomplish. Additionally, many martial arts come from traditional Eastern philosophies that emphasize respect and self-control. The pursuit of a black belt - which should never be the ultimate goal - is an ambitious one and self-discipline is required to achieve it.
Here we break down different forms of discipline and how you can go about instilling a culture of martial arts discipline at your school:
The Forms of Discipline
Of course the different forms of martial arts discipline will vary, depending on the martial art and the instructor, but we wanted to break down three for you: general discipline, self-discipline, and a discipline. General discipline is how you behave with others around and how you relate to others. Self-discipline relates to the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses and is closely related to self-control. Lastly, a discipline, in general, is the focus of study, practice or a way of life.
The discipline is the martial art. General discipline is practiced at all times in martial arts. There are many expected mannerisms, rules and matters of etiquette in martial arts to be followed. For instance, self-discipline is necessary to excel and reach one’s potential in their practice. It takes a lot of practice and hard work to obtain a black belt and a student must understand the amount of martial arts discipline needed before they can be ready to attempt the challenge.
Teaching martial arts discipline is easier said than done. Firstly, it is the instructor’s responsibility to show their students the way of their respective martial art. Expectations, rules, and guidelines must be set and adhered to, with the appropriate consequences maintained when these rules are broken. All instructors and senior members should be setting an example for the rest of the school: the most important factor in successfully creating a culture where discipline and respect is honored. Humor and wit are important to keep the mood happy at the school but it is important to show assertiveness and discipline, when things get serious.
Having a rulebook is handy for new members. Make sure you have two copies: one for them to keep for reference and study and one for you to keep with their signature on it. This way, they have a physical commitment to obey the rules and the consequences that follow. Some of the more flagrant penalties can include demotion or expulsion. As bad as this can be, it is important that your students understand that practicing martial arts is a serious practice they must stay disciplined in, in order to succeed.
Instilling discipline in kids will definitely be a bigger challenge but one that will pay off greatly, as it will instill habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. As you know, a child’s development can be greatly aided by martial arts discipline. Developing the ability to use self-discipline and the willpower to delay gratification will be very beneficial for any young student. Patience will be very useful here and finding the balance between being firm and kind is necessary.
What are some interesting ways you’ve set a tradition of martial arts discipline at your school? Let us know on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.