Want your child to be a leader? Martial arts classes for kids are about so much more than just punches and kicks. We say it all the time, but it’s completely true. Martial arts has a myriad of benefits to offer kids of all ages, but in today’s blog post we’re going to hone in on just one particular benefit- leadership.
Kids Martial Arts Classes Foster Discipline
Perhaps the most important skill needed to be a leader is discipline. Think of some of the greatest athletes of all time- their best advice is always “never give up”, “stay with it,” “don’t quit.”
That perseverance that they’re talking about doesn’t come naturally to us as humans, otherwise known as “master procrastinators.” Often in life, we want to give something up after a while, especially when it’s hard, and find something new.
But the best leaders that have changed the world and their communities have the discipline to do things they don’t want to do in order to get results no one else can. That discipline is what makes them the greatest of all time.
So how do we teach our students discipline? Simple. Every time your child comes to their martial arts classes with Cornerstone Martial Arts & Leadership Academy, they’re not just learning punch and kick combos.
They’re also playing games and doing different activities that sneakily teach them life skills and build character, courtesy of our awesome instructors. Even better, we use positive reinforcement to make sure those good habits stick and stay effective.
For discipline, for example, we’ll positively reward them for staying still and quiet and listening to their instructor. As you’ve surely noticed with your own children, kids nowadays have pretty short attention spans and get bored quickly … So we also use disguised repetition to keep students focused and excited all class. We’ll play games where they have to repeat different moves a bunch of times, and over time this format helps them develop their discipline muscle to succeed to their fullest potential.
One of the coolest things about martial arts is that these habits that we teach them every class, actually stick. There comes a time when we don’t have to discipline our students, and they naturally discipline themselves. They absorb that self-discipline and strive for excellence, pushing through tough or frustrating times, going the extra mile to reach their full potential, using positive self talk… It’s seriously amazing to see, and it’s how lasting leadership is fostered in our classes.
Better Grades for a Better Future
It’s not too hard to connect the dots between better discipline and better grades, right? Think of it this way- if your child is struggling to keep high grades, it could be because they’re just not focusing.
They’re not motivated to sit down and do their work, they’re fidgety, they’d much rather be on their devices… That discipline they learn in martial arts class is going to keep them focused on their schoolwork until it’s done, even when they would soooo rather be doing something else.
Once discipline is down pat, another tool we use in martial arts to help with better grades is focus. Just like with discipline, we’ll play different games that positively reward students when their attention is in the right place – on the instructor and on the task at hand. Because we have rules in our studio, and those rules are reinforced by the environment (uniform, instructors, etc.), your child is more likely to listen up and respect those rules here in our studio.
One of these rules is that they pay attention to their instructor or a peer when he or she is talking, just as a simple form of respect. No phones or electronic devices are allowed during class – it’s only your child, their instructor, and their fellow students, all having fun as they learn these awesome skills.
Once your child has learned that focus and released some of that desire for instant gratification, they’ll mentally link focus with positive emotions (I learned how to kick the paddle by focusing really hard! That was awesome!) and then apply it to all aspects of their life, including their grades. That positive association will help them wield their attention in the proper direction- their homework. And then focusing on their homework means better homework scores, higher absorption of the material, and voila- better grades!
How Better Grades Makes Your Child a Leader
It’s also easy to see the connection between better grades and leadership. Even if your child improves their grades just a bit, it’s because of THEIR actions and initiatives. That’s a sign of a natural leader- self ownership. When your child is making progress thanks to their own efforts, their teachers will start to notice. They’ll receive more positive attention and praise, which will just motivate them even further to lead themselves and build those habits of success. The rest just comes naturally!
Whether they’re leading on a sports team, their school choir, student council, or in the community, your child’s discipline skills (and all the other skills they learn in martial arts, like respect, perseverance, and focus) will help them become the absolute best version of themselves. The confidence they feel from being awesome is just the cherry on top!
Martial Arts Classes Help Kids with Their Mindset
So now that we understand how discipline and focus can create the perfect environment for leadership, let’s talk about mindset. Mindset is basically how you talk to yourself, so it’s also known as self-talk. When you’re a child, everyone around you is influencing the way that you talk to yourself. If you constantly hear that you’re dumb, you’re going to believe that you’re dumb and then grow up telling yourself that you’re dumb.
If you constantly hear that you can truly do anything you put your mind to, which is what we teach in our martial arts classes, you’re going to go on to do amazing things. Our instructors are totally on the ball when it comes to mindset, and they make sure that each child knows exactly what they’re capable of- which is anything that they’re willing to work hard for!
So much of leadership is about keeping that perseverant mindset, and that’s what we teach in martial arts. Think back to the last ninja movie you saw, and you’ll recognize that martial arts is NOT easy. Ask any student, new or old- moving your body in a new way and getting the moves down pat can be pretty tricky.
When a student isn’t getting something, it’s the difference in their mindset that will determine their outcome. The student who tells themselves that they’re dumb and can’t do it, won’t get it. The student who tells themselves to keep going and never give up, will.
And that’s what makes martial arts classes for kids so different from any other sport- it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so they have the space to learn these life skills. We make sure our students know that they’re capable of success on and off the mat, and this fosters true leadership in every one of them.
Help Your Child Be Their Best- Join Us!
Discipline, focus, perseverance, mindset- these are just a handful of life lessons that kids learn in martial arts classes to help them become true leaders. If you want your child to be the best version of themselves they can possibly be for years to come, join our Arlington martial arts classes for kids risk-free and see for yourself what our Cornerstone Martial Arts & Leadership Academy Child Greatness program can do! Your child will LOVE it!