You always thought you had raised a perfectly normal, responsible child, but there they are, leaping over the furniture, chopping their hands in the air, yelling and kicking… What’s going on?! Well, maybe they saw a martial arts demonstration at school or they’ve gotten a heavy dose of Saturday morning cartoons. In any event, the end result is pretty much always the same: “Mom! Can I take karate lessons?” “Oh brother,” you say to yourself, right?
Well, why should you entertain the idea of martial arts lessons? Let’s see:
I’m not going to deal with the subject of self defense here – suffice it to say that the Bible gives us very good answers on that issue and it’s up to you dig in and decide if that’s another of many good reasons for your kids, (or yourself!) to learn the martial arts.
There are obviously many physical benefits of training which develop coordination and motor skills tremendously, but personally I have found the greatest benefit to students, whether young or old, is character development. Here’s why:
Because the student wants to learn the physical things, (to punch, kick, etc.), they’re willing to enter a completely different world in our classes and submit to a completely different set of rules too. Everyone wears exactly the same uniform and nobody wears shoes, so immediately all the fashion and peer pressure is peeled away leaving only a group of equals, ready and eager to learn. Everyone is required to bow to each other all the time and answer “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” to the guy with the Black Belt. They submit to a strict rule of discipline and almost militaristic regimen of training with punishment for disobedience being endless push-ups at the word of the instructor. No one is allowed to talk unless spoken to, and the ultimate respect of everyone else is required at all times.
Isn’t that amazing? Your kids, who usually freak-out when you ask them to do anything, standing perfectly at attention, silent, listening intently to every word and following every command of the instructor – without question! And they want to do this!
And what’s even more amazing is that as they continue their training in our Bible centered format, little by little, those Godly character qualities of respect, humility, self-discipline, self-control and so much more will slowly start to leave the classroom with them. And someday it won’t matter anymore if they have their uniform on or not. They’ll have developed and internalized those qualities to become a part of their own character that will help them and bless others for the rest of their lives.
Martial arts lessons can be a fabulous learning environment where things can happen to kids, (and adults) that can happen nowhere else. And when you center it all in the study of God’s Word and the modeling of lives dependent on Christ, it’s a very good thing for all of us!
Hope that helps! If you have any questions to feel free to contact me anytime.
Mr. Ron Hagelganz – Senior Instructor