Children, Life Skills, & Martial Arts

A good martial arts program for kids encompasses the techniques of the martial art, as well as other aspects of life.  Yin & Yang.  If you are going to teach a child the art of combat, there has to be a component of negotiation or peace.  The old adage “If all you have is a hammer, you treat every problem as a nail” holds true.  Abraham Kaplan (author of The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science, 1964) called this “The law of instrument, formulated as follows:  Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding”.

If the art teaches combat, there must be a healing aspect such as first aid.  Confrontation paired with confrontation avoidance.  There has to be a balance to make them not only well rounded martial artists, but well rounded people.  The more tools your child has, the better prepared they will be for life.  The martial arts will create confidence and teach how to stand up for/protect themselves, but without the “arts” of compromise, negotiation, and kindness; you’ve potentially created a bully.

I’m not putting the responsibility teaching these things on the martial arts school, but it is a good place to experience the integration of all these life skills.  There aren’t many safe places where your child can experience combat and confrontation while seeing compromise, negotiation, and kindness all in the same place.