In class, do you put a lot of energy into what you do? Do you follow the lesson plan as assigned? So you follow the commands given?
Now, all of this work done by a serious student will help lead to developing discipline. The student should begin to understand that discipline within etiquette, techniques, patterns and, even. sparring leads to the fuller understanding of the art and themselves as a person.
This development is very noticeable to the teacher and most senior students. The other students will be recognized for their “fake” discipline. The students who do as told because it is expected of them but never truly try are very easily seen. These are also the students who spend more time standing around than training, more time discussing what it should be than doing until understanding.
For parents of students, this false discipline can be seen at home as well. While your child may be advancing in their martial arts class, it does not indicate the development of discipline. Unfortunately, many martial arts schools don’t promote students based on knowledge but rather performance. If the student dances around enough, they will be promoted.
The false discipline is illustrated at home by the failure to develop of self initiated performance of expected duties such as chores and personal responsibilities. Common versions also include blaming others for things not getting done and asking others to do what is their responsibility. My personal favorite is “It’s too far away”.
This makes me wonder about all those wearing pajama pants and slippers during daily activities. maybe the “but they’re comfortable” comment really means “I’m lazy and undisciplined”. But that’s for another discussion.
It is important to develop true discipline. The martial arts is a great tool to help with that but it is a topic that only the student can truly have an affect on. If they are not willing to do the work for growth, there is nothing that anyone can do beyond being a role model. Until they see that there is a benefit in doing ANY work, they won’t put the effort into developing it. The only way to achieve anything that you truly desire is through discipline.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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