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How Martial Arts Help Develop Honesty

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By Christopher Allen, Chief Instructor

When your child starts to learn martial arts, alongside physical development such as improved co-ordination they also learn important mental approaches to the sport, which will help them to develop the skills needed to lead successful and happy lives. One of the most useful of these life skills your child will learn is the importance of being honest. But what do we really mean when we talk about honesty?

Telling the Truth

Research carried out by the University of Essex has found that dishonesty is becoming increasing tolerated in modern society. The bond of trust that builds between a student and instructor will only be successful if both are completely truthful with each other. Dishonesty will always undermine trust. From the very first lesson, your child will begin to learn about and appreciate the importance of being honest and telling the truth. Martial arts also teaches your child to be honest with themselves. Self deception is perhaps the easiest type to practice, and the hardest to detect. If your child fails an assessment when being graded for a belt, it is vital they are honest with themselves about the reason why; once they have identified areas and skills that need working on, they can start to improve.

Developing Integrity

The belt system within martial arts can greatly aid the development of integrity. When students begin their training, the focus is often fixed on what rank they are, and what colour belt they are wearing. However, as your child progresses, they will come to learn that rank is not as important as skill and knowledge. Students will often turn down the chance to be promoted in rank if they feel they need to devote more time to practice before being worthy, showing their integrity by refusing the easy way and valuing what is truly important. A sense of integrity will help your child to learn to see themselves as they truly are, which is the foundation for developing a strong sense of self worth and confidence. Integrity is a personality trait that will carry over into other areas of life, such as education. With widespread cheating being reported in schools and universities, this has never been more important.

Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

The quest for honesty also includes a focus on how we act. The discipline of learning a martial art will teach your child the importance of taking control of our actions. Making excuses or blaming other people means we are failing to take responsibility for our actions. This is a character trait which is very often found in those that fail to succeed at anything. Martial arts involvement demonstrates a students responsibility towards training and practice. Part of the process of growth that occurs as a student progresses through the belts, is learning that while an instructor can offer guidance and support, they cannot do the hard work for you. If you choose to do something else with your time when you should be training, then you cannot blame anyone else if you fail to succeed. Once we begin to accept total responsibility for our actions, we will often find we can more easily overcome the difficulties life throws at us. Parental guidance plays a key role in ensuring children succeed. At Tring Martial Arts we will work with you to help educate and motivate your child, so they can reach their goals in all areas of life.

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