How Martial Arts Training Develops Discipline
Discipline often gets a bad reputation as being a military quality that requires untold hours of exhaustive work and focus to develop. Some parents worry that attempting to cultivate discipline in their children can backfire, causing emotional issues rather than building character. While there are certainly various levels of discipline, developing this quality is always an asset that only helps one achieve even more in all aspects of life, such as academics and work. For children, helping them build a strong foundation of discipline does wonders. Far from causing emotional difficulties, a healthy dose of discipline gives children the tools they need to better handle the challenging situations life will inevitably bring. Discipline is ultimately the skill of commitment and achievement — a skill that any person on earth can benefit from.
One of the major challenges that people find when attempting to cultivate discipline is the method through which to accomplish this goal. Developing discipline is not an overnight project; the very core of what discipline is requires it be cultivated through a slow and steady practice. While joining a military service may be too intensive and simply making your bed every day may be too simplistic, one of the most effective methods for developing discipline falls in the middle — the study of the martial arts. People have turned to the martial arts for centuries upon centuries when seeking to cultivate discipline. While martial arts movies may have cast the pursuit of discipline through these ancient fighting styles as cliche, adults and children alike still turn to the martial arts for building discipline today due to its efficiency.
It’s often said that “Good things take time.” This phrase may seem like a call for patience, but it can just as easily highlight the value of discipline. As when training in the martial arts, building up discipline takes time before the rewards are reaped. Developing discipline means developing impulse control, whether for emotions or desires. When we can better reign in our impulses, we’re able to delay our desire for instant gratification, a bad habit that’s only becoming more ingrained within our fast-paced, convenience-minded society. By learning to better control our desire for quick rewards, the door opens up for a nearly infinite list of benefits. From avoiding unhealthy food to curbing procrastination and exercising consistently, if you can name a positive quality or achievement, you’ll find that discipline is behind it.
Training in martial arts requires the delay of instant gratification, leading to healthier, happier lives. Learning new techniques requires practice and dedication to a consistent training schedule before a single reward is within reach. Training at Premier Martial Arts studios offers a particularly excellent opportunity for children to learn about the way discipline leads to positive outcomes, a lesson that easily transfers to school achievement and at-home behavior as well.
When it comes to defining the most successful people in our world and identifying what qualities they hold that differ from the average person, the answer may surprise you. While most people think of the highly successful as being uniquely intelligent or talented, the truth is that successful people are vastly overrepresented when it comes to a single, learnable quality: perseverance. Whether it’s Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, Madonna, or Oprah Winfrey, all these wildly successful figures share a common backstory — they all faced major rejections along the way. The difference lies in how they dealt with that rejection; rather than give up, the most successful people have an increased ability to persevere in the face of rejection, a hallmark of discipline.
Those seeking to develop their own sense of perseverance can find the perfect opportunity to practice that skill by training in the martial arts. This practice allows students to experience failure in a safe and lower stakes environment; children especially gain a clear understanding of the value in repeated efforts to perfect a new technique despite the errors they make in training. Learning to tolerate frustration and failure without giving up is another valuable aspect of discipline that carries over into all areas of life, whether completing schoolwork, pursuing a new hobby, or starting a business.
In today’s culture of convenience where any food can be delivered to your home within the hour and temptation to distract ourselves from work is as near as the phone in our pocket, discipline has never been more valuable. Cultivating discipline, whether in an adult or child, is no quick-fix, but through rewarding efforts like martial arts training, anyone can build up their discipline to keep ahead and succeed in life. At Premier Martial Arts, we know that martial arts training doesn’t just provide us with a healthy body, but with something just as vital — a healthy life.