THE EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF THE MARTIAL ARTS
The function of education is to create behavioural changes in a student. If an educative effort does not cause behavioural changes to occur in a student, then it does not have educational value. The results of ongoing education must be concrete and have continual changes. Most importantly, the changes must be moving in a positive direction. They should be constructive, clear, permanent, healthy changes that help the student progress towards his or her ultimate goal.
In this respect, the Martial Arts have a high education value. Martial art training has a great potential to change a person physically, psychologically and emotionally, in a very positive way. Since martial art training methods are based on natural law, the body can easily adapt to the fundamental techniques and help students reach their top condition.
Once these physical changes begin taking place, they soon lead to the mental and emotional improvements that many people seek through the martial arts. Increased strength, loss of body fat, improved self – image. As the student sees physical abilities improving, they begin to feel more confident and certain that they can be successful. This leads the student to have self believe, not only in terms of martial arts, but in other areas of life as well.
This process is especially valuable for children and teenagers. Because young people are beginners at life, they often get lost or confused along the way. This can cause them to feel that they have failed. If they have not learned to deal with failure, they can become involved in a whole variety of self – destructive activities. If they have experienced and dealt with challenges, such as those presented in learning a martial art, they know that no problem is so great that it cannot be solved. They will take charge of a crisis and dedicate themselves to solving it.
This, of course is only one of the many valuable lessons children and adults can learn through martial arts training. I have seen may of my Students who have improved grades, given up bad habits, found better friends, or in some way changed themselves dramatically because of the martial arts. These changes are all directly linked to improved self – image, and the confidence and maturity that come with it.
Once you have a positive self – image, you no longer need artificial image boosters like drugs, alcohol, gang involvement, criminal activity, or the many others vices available in society today. When you feel good about yourself, you can have self – respect. This allows you to accept yourself as you are and to move forward in life even life – threatening situations. Good self-confidence is the best energizer for self – improvements. When you honestly recognize who you are, and you set your goals, you are on the road to self – growth, success and happiness.
While this process sounds very logical and progressive, it is actually a difficult road to take. Progress requires hard work, determination and patience. Through martial arts, children and adults can learn to handle challenges and how to go forward when they would rather give up. This is the greatest value of martial arts and an education that will last a lifetime.