“Martial Arts helps develop our students’ confidence.” That’s a pretty big claim, isn’t it?
Many parents have asked us what exactly we do to develop confidence in their children.
A lot of people think that students develop confidence because they are learning self-defense skills. But that’s only a small part of it. If you’ve been watching, you may have noticed that one of the first things we teach
our students is how to have a good sense of balance. Balance is at the root of developing
confidence. It’s also one of the main reasons why kids are sometimes more reserved, and
hold back. After all… who wants stumble in front of their peers? The only time anyone really pays attention to balance in children is in that awkward, learning
how to ride a bike stage. Few activities in a child’s life will actively teach the skills of
In my experience, I’ve found that most coaches,
without exception, assumed that the kids on his team already had balance and coordination
– and focused only on the skills necessary to make the team win (kicking the ball, passing,
In Martial Arts, however, balance is an important part of what we do, particularly when
learning how to kick. Just watch any beginners in class, and you’ll see how important balance
is. Many beginning students “touch down” when they’re kicking… placing a foot on the
ground to regain balance before executing their kick. Balance is like a muscle – the more
you work it, the stronger it becomes. This is why we spend so much time working
on both fine and gross motor skills. In fact, we strive for our students, by the time they reach
Black Belt, to be equally as coordinated with their right foot as their left foot!
As the students learn more advanced routines, their confidence grows. They begin to feel like
“I can do this,” “I can block a punch,” or “Wow, I’m getting better all the time!” We teach the
martial arts moves in small amounts… and when the students grow confident with them, we teach
During the week before their belt promotion, we review all of the things they have
learned so that they will be confident and look their best at their promotion.
In fact, their belt promotion is one of our “secret weapons” in developing confidence.
Speaking or performing in public is one of the biggest fears that many people have. And in
order for a student to receive a belt promotion, they must pass their “belt test” by performing
in front of their teachers, families, and friends. They have to face their fear… and conquer it!
BUT… we set the kids up for success. We don’t believe in failing anyone publicly… so during
each “pre-test,” we quiz the students and make sure that their skills are up to par. If a student
needs help, we provide lessons to help them. So by the time they get their belt promotion, it’s
an automatic win. All the student needs to do is show up at the ceremony and do their moves.
Few things can boost self-confidence like facing a fear and coming out successful. That’s
why our belt promotions are so important to developing confidence.
And, of course, being able to “take care of business” – by knowing physical Martial Arts
skills – helps confidence as well.
To Raising Successful Kids