How Martial Arts Gives Kids (and Parents) Direction

When you’re young, how do you know where to go? That’s in literal terms—where’s home? Which way is school? When I leave my friend’s house, how do I know which way to turn to get home for dinner?

Parents are constantly picking up and turning their toddlers in a different direction. Karate instructors do the same thing.

Kids in karate are constantly losing their way—think about the moves of Chon Ji (Heaven and Earth): Which way to turn first? Which way to turn next? It’s a very potent exercise in direction. It’s a grounding in feeling confident in which way to turn.

In life, parents want their kids to head in a direction that will do them well. Whether that’s toward college, toward business, toward the military, or toward independent, creative pursuits, parents want kids to head toward success and happiness.

Black belt training is effectively a precursor toward future success. Kids are put under pressure, but they’re also encouraged along the way. There’s a clear, if tough, direction mapped out: learn these techniques, which are physical, mental and social; apply them in practice, in front of others, and in competition; and take the confidence and strength you’ve gained into the world and your future life.

The experience of earning a black belt over four or six years builds independence in kids, no matter if they’re inclined toward hyperactivity or the opposite. If you’re curious about the black belt journey, click here to get started.

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