When instructors hear ‘I NEED A BREAK’ from martial arts students, what does that really mean? Instructors accept students will leave from time to time for a variety of reasons but ‘I NEED A BREAK’ coming from long time students is a little hard to fathom for any instructor. Kids don’t have a mortgage or second job so they really need to come up with a better excuse.
In particular for young people this is sadly the first step to say ‘it is OK to give up’. If the martial arts were the most important thing they wanted to do when they first took up training with the goal of achieving a black belt one day then I would think that positive energy and drive will now be lost which will eventually filter in other areas. I’ve seen it many times over.
It is not a matter of why some people quit and others do not. It is really about those who strive to achieve and others who will make a decision based on a few badly chosen words. I like telling parents do not let children rule the roost. There are many times as parents we do not let children make decisions in many situations because we may regret it later but some of us may overlook that when it comes to the martial arts.
Too many parents come running to me after a few months of their child quitting (sometimes years) to say what a terrible mistake they had made because their child had developed a bad attitude or were losing confidence. I remember one parent coming to me a year later asking to help him with his son who was hanging around with the wrong crowd and had become a graffiti vandal. All I can do is listen because I was no longer in a position to do something about it.
If you think the kids need a break then I would ask parents to monitor that spare time and not waste it with social media and electronic games or even hanging around with people you do not know.
When any student leaves the martial arts they lose valuable skills, knowledge, self defence, fitness, positive mentoring, and good friends in a positive social circle they have come to respect and enjoy each others company.
Just something to think about.