Martial Arts and Self Control
Learning Self Control is one of the most important skills we can teach our children and continue to work on ourselves. It affects all aspects of life. Practicing Self Control with what we eat helps our bodies stay healthy and strong. Self Control over our emotions helps keep our relationships healthy and our interactions with other people positive. Martial Arts is a fantastic way to learn to have control over your body, mind, and emotions.
For many people, their Martial Arts journey begins when they are young. They are often uncoordinated, need work on focus and self-discipline, and their parents are searching for an outlet for their energy. Self Control is one of the first things they will work on in class. Through races, learning to punch, working on kicks, and memorizing forms, they learn to control their bodies and develop coordination and fine motor skills. This becomes more evident as they continue to progress and their skills become fine-tuned.
Even exercises as simple as “do 5 jumping jacks” helps develop self control. It can be very difficult for a young child to stop after only 5 jumping jacks. Setting the expectation of keeping track and controlling our bodies to stop after only 5 reps will help children develop that sense of control over their bodies. You can help your child work on their self control at home by playing games with them. Ask them to run to a certain point in the yard, challenging them to stop at that exact spot and not go any farther. Have them do 5 jumping jacks, then 5 tuck jumps, and then stand perfectly still. This is a fantastic way to reinforce this skill while having fun.
Sparring is an integral part of Martial Arts training. It helps children and adults learn to have control over their actions and emotions. In a typical sparring match, points are scored when contact is made by either hitting or kicking your opponent. It is important have absolute control over your strikes and kicks so as not to injure your opponent. Connecting with the proper target is also necessary. However, sometimes a match can get a little out of control. Emotions can run high, and it can be very tempting to get angry when you feel your opponent is being too aggressive. This is where having control over your emotions comes in to play. As with any skill, this takes practice. As students continue to train in Martial Arts, they gain more Self Control in all aspects of their lives.
We all wish Self Control could be learned in a day. But as with any skill worth having, it takes time and patience to develop. Consider enrolling your child or yourself in Martial Arts and over time you will see an improvement in all areas of life that require exercising control.