Back to School

Getting ready for the school year
Martial arts and education

It is true, summer may not be over but back to school time is approaching rapidly.  For some, back to school means school supplies, uniforms and schedules.  Others are looking for activities where they can enroll their kids and few don’t’ even want to think about it.

For me as a parent I simply thought about the safety of my kids and how I could protect them while allowing them to enjoy new experiences and develop their potential.  We had them playing baseball, basketball and soccer.  We also supported them when they learned how to play a musical instrument and joined the school band.  Yet the best decision was to have them learn martial arts and encompass the spirit of the martial arts in everything they did.

Both of my sons are now grown-up and occasionally we talked about their experiences and what they truly learned and these are some of the things they have mentioned:

  1. Self-confidence.  Ability to stand up in front of any group to do presentations or handle tasks at a moment’s notice.  Whether they need to sell an idea or a concept or simply make a presentation the thought of doing it is nothing that worries or scares them.
  2. Leadership.  It took them a while to realize that all their friends and now their co-workers normally come to them for guidance.  Regardless of title or circumstances they always end up being the ones that tell people what to do.
  3. Patience and wisdom.  They understand hard work versus inefficiency.  They also learned how to deal with difficult people in stressful situations and how to groom others when needed.
  4. Communication Skills.  Talking to others is fairly easy; communicating so that the message comes across is not so much.  They know the difference and to a point have honed this skill to the point of been able to manipulate its strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Resource Utilization, goal execution.  What needs to be done and what resources are available to achieve the desired results.

Funny thing is that, with over forty years experienced teaching martial arts, I now have the attestation of many other students that have become my kids and always remember fondly the lessons they learned and how they have been able to apply them in their professional lives.  So as you look into the “Back to School” season and the different options for after school activities don’t forget to consider martial arts as one of these.  It will change their lives!