Teaching The Power of Practice Through Martial Arts

Teaching The Power of Practice Through Martial Arts

Practice, a repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.  in our fast paced world of technology, it's quite easy to acquire information.  Anything you want to know is just a Google question away.  Having on the spot information has made life so much easier in so many ways, however, in many ways, it has also caused our children a bit of harm.  While waiting for a Celine Dion concert to begin, my daughter and I took note of the number of people on their cell phones.  We laughed as we observed the two schools, those that used their thumbs vs. those that used their index finger to type.  Can you guess who used their index finger, that's right, the older people.  Why?  Most older people have spent countless hours practicing on a typewriter.  It still amazes my kids that I don't need to look at the keyboard when I type.  

As parents and educators, our goal it to equip our children to be able to lead successful, productive lives.  It's awesome to be able to obtain information quickly but what's even better is to obtain information and know how to make it work for you.  People learn in different ways.  Many learn by seeing information, others by hearing the information, while others learn best by actually doing the task. Studies show, however, that if you'll combine all three, you'll obtain the best results.  When we're working on information in our Martial Arts setting, we do the following:

  1. Demonstrate the move in a variety of ways for the student to see it from all angles.
  2. Speak aloud the moves that are being demonstrated.
  3. Have the student speak the move while performing it.


This is great right?  Inevitably, though, we'll always have a child tell us just before testing, that they don't know their form and we'll ask the question, have you been practicing?  You see, you can go through all the right steps but if you don't "practice" what you have learned, you will not retain it.  We only retain what is repeatedly before us.  Children excel in the areas that they spend time in practice.  How is it that you know all the words to the songs on the radio (even the ones you don't like) but have trouble with math?  It's not because you just love music that much, it's because you hear the same song played in multiple places, everyday, several times a day.  Take advantage of your computers and all of the technology available but don't forget, proficiency only comes through repetition.  By simply giving 30 minutes of time to a task each day, you'll see remarkable progress.  Everybody has 30 minutes in a  day to spare.  Your kids may not like practicing spelling words or math facts but you can help them by turning it into a fun game.  The same goes for athletics, practice drills with your kids to help them become better at their sport.  You can be a famous athlete for the day and turn your practice into a fun video shoot and post it on Instagram.  Whatever you do, be creative, be supportive and be the coach that your child needs you to be.  

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