This question isn’t all that bad and in fact, I love it when a parent asks me if martial arts will make their child violent because it gives me an opportunity to educate them on all the amazing and wonderful benefits of kids learning martial arts.
Now, I’m not all that surprised at the question. I mean with the rise of violent games, violent shows and movies, and the UFC (which at times can get bloody) it’s no wonder that parents who are not fans of those things may have some apprehension about getting their child involved in martial arts.
5 CHARACTER TRAITS MARTIAL ARTS REINFORCES
Respect is probably the most common thing people think of when they think of martial arts. They picture the old kung-fu movies where the student is showing respect and loyalty to his master, his teacher, and yes – as true as this depiction is the idea of respect goes much deeper.
When we discuss respect in our kids’ martial arts classes, we’re not just talking about showing respect in the dojo (our school), but we also discuss how important it is to show respect to your peers and elders outside of the dojo and out in your everyday world.
But, there is an aspect of respect that most don’t think about that is very much a part of what we teach and that is – self-respect. Our goal is to have all the kids have a healthy level of self-respect that leads to confidence which I’ll talk about later. This is a very important part of a child’s mindset.
So, as you can see, this one character trait alone is enough to keep kids from ever becoming violent because of their training.
KINDNESS DOESN’T MEAN WEAKNESS
One of the core character traits that we teach in our kids’ character development curriculum is kindness. Some may think of kindness as a bit like weakness but on the contrary. If anything it shows a tremendous sign of patience and consideration towards others.
When you’re kind to another person it just feels good. However, we teach our kids to never expect anything in return and that an act of kindness should be genuine and come from the heart. When they are able to think of kindness in this way they are also practicing the ability to be self-aware. Aware of their environment, of others, of their own feelings, and the feelings of others. Which in turn leads me to the third character trait…empathy.
EMPATHY, CAN YOU FEEL IT?
It’s nearly impossible to not mention empathy along with kindness. The two go hand in hand in my opinion. But empathy is a very powerful character trait that greatly utilizes an individual’s ability to be fully locked into their own awareness and ability to feel what another person is feeling or understand what they are feeling.
Empathy seems almost like a lost character trait among people in general. Not only kids but adults as well. Empathy is so important that we feel it’s at the foundation of making the world around us a little better to live in. That why we stress it so much.
Again, with the combination of the first three traits, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that martial arts doesn’t create a more violent child but rather creates a more caring child.
TO BE HONORABLE
Honor is another trait you’ll oftentimes see associated with martial arts but in this particular case, I mean it as in the following: a keen sense of ethical conduct: INTEGRITY.
When you read that definition you can see how it complements the others quite well. It’s like taking your integrity up a few notches and when you have that “keen sense” of ethical conduct you will act according to your moral compass. There’s not much that needs to be said after this one but we are going to go into our last character trait that makes it near impossible for any child to become “violent” from learning martial arts.
WHERE IS CONFIDENCE GOING TO GET YOU?
Our last character trait that I’d like to discuss is, confidence. Now, you’re probably thinking, “how does this keep a child from becoming violent?”. Allow me to explain. Most people, including kids, when they reach a level of confidence in themselves and their abilities to handle certain stressful or dangerous situations there is no need for them to randomly demonstrate their “superior” abilities over another person.
It literally has no purpose and is not rooted in the other character traits that truly make one a complete martial artist and protector. You see, people don’t get into martial arts to hurt others, they do it to improve themselves and eventually learn to help others in need.
That’s the goal.
I hope I have dispelled this belief that martial arts can make a child violent. Because when you’re in the right program, with the right instructors, and the right community…it’s a near impossibility.
If you want to give your child the opportunity to learn and become the best version of themselves then click that red button at the top of the page to get started.
See you there!