Kids can learn many valuable life lessons and gain a set of traits from training in martial arts, from confidence to self-defense. In addition, martial arts helps kids develop a sense of respect, both for authority figures and their peers. Showing respect for people is a skill children need to learn early, as they'll use it their whole lives. Here's how martial arts training can promote respect:
A disciplined environment
Martial arts dojos are typically formal environments where students and instructors alike are expected to maintain discipline. When students come into the room, they often bow to their instructor and peers, signaling that they're ready to focus on training. Such exercises show respect for the space and the lesson. Agreeing to pause outside life while training is a sign that the practitioner respects the dojo, and that's something kids can pick up.
Aside from the ways in which entering the dojo teach respect, martial arts in general promote discipline. Controlling movements, holding back force, continuing to train despite being tired: All of these things require discipline. Being able to show respect also necessitates discipline. When kids are mad or frustrated during a lesson, they must still behave respectfully toward their instructors and peers.
Engaging with others
Getting along with others in a social space can be challenging, and being respectful is necessary for harmony. In martial arts classes, kids interact with instructors and their peers, some of whom they may not see eye to eye with all the time. What's more, because training a skill can be frustrating, lacking discipline and respect can result in outbursts. For this reason, developing respect and discipline is necessary. Instructors won't tolerate poor behavior in class.
Through training, children can learn to stay calm despite making mistakes and work with others to improve their skills. Being knocked down and then helped up by the same person can promote mutual respect.
Everyone makes mistakes and loses matches in martial arts training. There's always someone with greater skills, so humility is a major part of training. Kids who learn humility by seeing they have a lot of work to do will come to respect others, especially those who are talented. In fact, being humble is an integral part of being respectful.
Discipline and humility taught in martial arts classrooms can help kids learn valuable lessons about respect. The more respectful they are, the more likely they are to succeed in the dojo and life.