Martial Art and Confidence
Our Juniors’ classes stress a different core value weekly. We call it “the theme of the week.” Last week, our theme was Confidence, which we defined as “believing in yourself.” That self belief – that confidence – is hugely important to developing youth, and has a profound affect on their lives. School, sports, friendships and even family life are shaped by the level of confidence a young person possesses.
It’s no secret that confidence is a core value of martial art strength and success. One of the primary reasons people enroll themselves or children into a martial art program is to build confidence. And it’s no wonder why; martial art training isn’t like team sports. There’s no winning or losing when you’re training, only self improvement. Sure, it’s difficult, and not every day will be your best, but there’s no score board, and nobody in a class gets voted MVP. Martial Art encourages building yourself, not competition with your classmates.
This focus on self puts students in a tricky position: you don’t have team mates to rely on so every success and failure is solely on you. There is massive accountability. There’s no easy way to keep score on your progress either. Determining growth requires a lot of self exploration and reflection. Sure, in many Martial Arts there are belts or sashes, or some other kind of promotion. But what about all the hundreds of training hours when a student is not receiving a promotion?
All of this can be scary. But each time we as humans face our fears, we gain strength and confidence in doing so. If accomplishment and improvement are solely the responsibility of the individual, and the individual pushes through the inherent fear of accountability to work towards improvement, the only person to blame for beating that fear is oneself. In other words, we as humans build self confidence by working through our fears and pushing through difficult situations. Martial art training teaches students to handle anything that comes your way by exposing yourself to challenging situations and helping you perform at your best. In short, you are “conditioning” your confidence with every class.
This confidence building is extremely beneficial to developing children, especially in this day and age with the prominence of bullying and cyber bullying. It is very difficult to bully someone who believes in him or herself, who has the self confidence to know who and what they are. The self confidence that we aim to build here at The Welch Martial Art Experience – Fitness Concepts Empowering Life follows our Junior students off the training floor, out of the studio and benefits them in their academic and social lives. We aim to make our students not just stronger physically, but mentally, emotionally and socially as well.