Every day, parents around the globe enroll their kids into martial arts. There are various reasons they do this, but one of them at the top of the list is “My kid needs discipline.” While I’m sure there will be many that don’t agree with me here, but it’s my belief that if that’s the reason for doing so, then immediately I feel that it won’t work. I don’t have some ancient secret to this, so here’s my simple reasoning behind this belief: it’s the parent’s job to teach discipline to their children.
Before I go further, I’m not saying that children can’t learn discipline from the martial arts. I’ve seen it happen in many cases, but even then it’s more so because the kids are learning discipline at home and what they’re learning there is being reinforced in class. In my experience, children that haven’t learned proper discipline at home will 9 times out of 10 display that lack of discipline outside of home as well.
Another thing that I’ve observed is that parents that have kids who lack discipline will notice that their kid somehow learns how to exercise that discipline while in class but tends to throw it out the window once they leave the dojo.
While I’m not exactly what one would call an expert in discipline (my children are 2 years old…they haven’t exactly cracked the surface on discipline just yet…LOL), I believe that the martial arts actually increases self-discipline more than discipline itself. The one thing about the martial arts, especially those styles with a ranking system, is that the ability to regulate one’s self is what contributes most to success. Assuming that the instructor isn’t simply promoting students just because, each student has to look inside himself and do whatever is necessary to move to the next level.