Martial Arts training is one of the most effective methods for a child, teen or adult to work on resilience. Whether it is being able to physically take a hit in a sparring class or a mental hit in failing to achieve a goal. This is arguably one of the most important life lessons a child should learn in a constructive way.
This lesson gets lost in a bid to try and protect and shield children from “negative” situations in life. As much as we agree that there are some situations better handled by adults, many situations that a child needs to face are completely avoided, thus stunting that child’s ability to develop resilience.
My father taught me one of my biggest lessons at age 18. As a high achieving student, I was never privy to the experiences of failing. I worked hard and succeeded in all of my academic and extracurricular endeavours. It wasn’t until I ‘failed’ to achieve a goal I had worked towards for over 10 months that this lesson was brought to my attention. An absolutely obliterated 18 year old me was left in a complete panic and depressed state at the hands of what seemed like a broken dream, to find the wise words of my father echo in my ear, ‘I’m glad you didn’t get it…because now you finally know how you can improve. If you keep doing well, you will never know how to become better.’
Have you ever just suddenly understood a song lyric you’d been singing forever in a new light? ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down’?
Martial Arts teaches children just that. How to take a hit and how to get up and build from it. Whether it’s taking a punch to the guts and coming back with an epic counter, or not making the grading, only to exceed the requirements for the next grading. Yes, it is important to feel the repercussions and experience those sad emotions, but once they have subsided, how you develop your next plan of attack is the most important part to ensure success in becoming the best version of you.
Remember, ‘when life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’, say ‘try me!’