Changing Lives Martial Arts - Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!

Learning life skills with martial arts

May 24, 2023

Life skills are things that everyone needs to have, and some people have needs for different skills. But in some form or fashion, so many of them can be learned through the practice of the martial arts. The methodology, or way of teaching the martial arts suits itself to teaching life skills because people often aren’t aware they’re learning them, because they’re focused on the most immediate lessons in front of them. I have to learn how to illustrate or demonstrate this particular punch or kick today, I have to learn how to do this or that. But buried within the consistency, the ritual of attending regular classes, other life skills are being instituted and learned, they’re being practiced. And everyone who enrolls discovers that those particular life skills they needed, can be learned through the process.
For instance young kids who need to learn basic things like being punctual and on time, on managing their time well, on doing their chores and so on. They learn them because they learn the mentality that drives it. A child learns that they must be respectful of the instructor, and other students, in order to receive respect. And they have friends in class. So they begin managing their time well to make sure they’re always ready for class and aren’t late. They don’t want to disappoint their instructor, nor miss out on time for their friends. So they unconsciously start altering the way they do things so that they’re always ready. They’re practicing punctuality and they aren’t consciously aware of it. They’re just adopting the proper mindset to engage in it and use it.
A student who wants to lose weight, and manage their eating habits will find that when they eat well, and remain active they feel better. And sometimes when they slip up and eat bad things, they don’t feel so good. So they start altering their habits and getting rid of bad habits, and creating good ones that support the lifestyle they want to enjoy. They ultimately come to the realization that when they’re eating right, engaging in positive habits, and remaining active they’re having a lot of fun with their friends, but when they’re not, they’re missing out. And so they naturally start gravitating toward those new habits that support that better life. And they start making those decisions on their own. And that’s a very important aspect of change.
That’s the key aspect of beauty in the way the martial arts work. People start adopting positive and productive habits on their own, because they were taught to through the design of the martial arts. Young people learn valuable life skills first hand, fresh. Older students might find themselves needing to relearn things they didn’t along the way. And that’s perfectly fine too, the martial arts is well equipped to help them. Maybe they’ve found themselves in a place of depression, beaten up by the world and so on. The martial arts teaches them they don’t have to live that way, that there are ways and means by which they can change the dynamic operating in their life. People that are elderly discover that they don’t have to settle for less than quality of life, they can be active, and they can enjoy community and the company of others. They don’t have to be alone all the time. There is quality of life yet to be had.
What we’re getting at here is that quality of life and learning life skills is a thing we’re all going to do all the time. Nobody is ever going to have it all straightened out. Everyone is searching for something to help improve their lot, or improve their lives in some way.
And the martial arts can help. It can make a profound difference.
Now some people may ask, what if the martial arts can’t solve my particular problem?
We’d like to offer that the martial arts stands a pretty good chance of it. And here’s an illustration of what we mean.
Ok, so there’s plenty of life skills that are taught through the process of attending classes and training. But there might be some problems people don’t see that can be solved so easily. Take finances for instance. Maybe there’s a person who just has a problem managing their money, and things like that. At first glance the martial arts wouldn’t seem to be a viable place to go to learn that skill. But the martial arts is also a place of community, and communities help each other. So maybe there’s another member of the community in that class who has that particular skill and knows it well. Because those two people are the same class, the same community they can meet, and talk, and find ways to help each other. Because community is the basis upon which the martial arts rests.
In such a community, you never know where the help may come that you need. But there’s always help to be found. The bonds and friendships that people make often last a lifetime, and they only grow stronger. And it’s a place that’s open to everyone who wants to make the commitment to become something better than they are.
Indeed, that’s the first lesson you learn when you join up, is that you are making a commitment to become a better person. But as you go along, you discover that becoming a better person means getting rid of bad habits, forming new ones, and opening yourself up to overcoming challenges you may or even may not be aware you’re facing.
In the process of training you learn that you’re beginning as a white belt, and advancing through a succession of ranks to become a black belt. And within that course you discover that it requires planning, management, knowledge retention, discipline, and more.
But it offers a greater sense of self worth, one that is based on very real and very tangible accomplishments. Indeed, you wear a mark of your accomplishment in the form of the belt you wear. And that signifies to all that you’ve worked hard, you’ve put in the effort and commitment, and that you’re progressing toward even greater accomplishments to come.
The martial arts sets people up for success. Simple as that.

Article reposted with permission from