How Martial Arts Encourages Kids to Be Generous

Since its inception in Fort Collins, Colorado, Ripple Effect Martial Arts has collected Halloween candy for the U.S. troops overseas. It’s a small act (growing each year with more students and more schools). But it provides a taste of home for soldiers. It’s important.

It also gives kids a chance to test themselves. Do they give their favorite candy? Do they give a lot or a little? Do they give any candy away at all?

It all bears on the abstract idea of generosity. Kids work hard to get that candy. Why should they give it away?

There’s a sense of absence, of loss, for a kid who’s worked to gather treats all night, door to door. That can translate into a feeling of loss—of a sort of robbery, or theft, or deprivation.

That’s the paradox of giving. To give is to lose. To lose is to gain. Any sparrer knows this. When you land a punch or a kick, you gain the point. You also take away from your opponent. That’s a given. It’s part of what you’re in for, playing the game. Your opponent lands a punch on you— you know that you lost, in a way, but you’ve learned, you’ve gotten. That’s true. It’s what you take away.

Black belt training gives you the strength to give, and it comes from what you take (kicks, punches). If you’re curious about the black belt journey, click here to get started.

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