That is something my wife taught me many years ago when my children were growing up whilst doing the martial arts with me. She said, ‘what better way to keep everybody together in the family and share the same interest’. She also believes kids should not be readily afforded free choices when parents know they are onto a good thing (martial arts). Kids sometimes don’t know what they want but parents do so parents need to be parents.
What better way to train together as a family. Nothing worse than a parent having to say, ‘on Monday 5pm I have to drop my daughter to dancing, at 6pm I drop my son off to tennis, on Tuesday my son has soccer training’ etc, etc. Family becomes disjointed.
When kids become bored that is a normal reaction because that’s how some kids are. They will even get bored watching TV given enough time. So is that a good enough reason to pull them out of the martial arts?
So this is what you do as a parent. Be strict and be consistent with focusing children’s attention. The kids will be happy when they grow up because you have kept them in a discipline and are now reaping the rewards of continuing a lifelong interest and keep healthy and fit for the rest of their lives.
The martial arts is the best way to spend time with your kids. A family that trains together stays together.
How often do students switch off when the instructor shows a technique they have seen many times before? It’s because the student has a mental blue print of what is about to be shown and some of them have a tendency to switch off. The end result being no improvement or being worse off.
When the instructor takes the time to show anything students need to be extra alert. Is there something they have missed before, is the instructor going to say something different, is it going to be presented differently? You can only improve by picking up new detail and and then continuously practising. Improvement requires attention not assumption.
Both pictures of the Mona Lisa look exactly the same except for one small detail. When something is showed to me I enjoy seeing the same thing over and over again to see if I can spot the difference, this is what you makes you improve. You will only find this if you concentrate and look carefully. Remember this when the instructor is teaching.
There are many things you need to do to be an effective martial artist. If you are a karate athlete you better know a little about boxing. If you are a boxer you better know a little about wrestling and so on. Welcome to the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) or Mixed up Martial Arts (MMA). The good news is there are schools that will provide cross training under the one roof whilst still maintaining aspects of the chosen martial art.
The point being if you want to be able to handle a variety of street situations or deal with a person of another martial art then do what the plumbers and electricians do because an electrician knows how to change a tap and a plumber knows how to change a light switch. They are in the business of knowing what the other knows and does. As an Instructor this is what I was doing in the ‘90’s when I took up Muay Thai and a number of Jiu Jitsu sessions and seminars which kind of felt weird back then because I thought of it as sacrilege to my karate which I had been training religiously for such a long time.
But this is not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with just specialising in the one art. These are the people we go to learn from. Master Jean Jacques Machado (one of world’s greatest jiu jitsu athletes) once said to Professor Richard Norton, words to the effect, “People come to me when they want to learn jiu jitsu because that is my specialty.”
Martial Arts are what they are today because of daring to crossing the borders.