Although we teach martial arts are main focus is to make sure that our students are developing confidence, discipline, and focus as well as getting in fantastic shape, but today I mostly want to share with you some concepts we use to develop confidence in our students so they can speak up for themselves, be less susceptible to bullying and they can learn to make bigger steps out of their comfort zones so they can achieve more academically, athletically, and in all other areas of life as well.
Parents often bring their kids in for this trial because their little ones are lacking confidence in themselves. This makes it difficult for them to try new things, meet new people, and set goals for themselves. Although parents recognize that confidence is a important trait for their kids to have, they get frustrated that this trait isn’t always developed in school by default.
They feel their kids would get better results if they would stop saying things like “I can’t” and just try their best, but many of them have trouble just looking at others in the eye.
The first thing we teach them in our program is the importance of eye contact, which nowadays is a simple skill that we take for granted, but every generation has a harder and harder time with this, especially when we constantly have a phone or tablet in front of us that we can easily escape into rather than face the reality in front of us. This creates a pattern of isolation that becomes harder and harder to break free from. We teach that the mind follows the body and the body follows the mind. Meaning that a confidence person will look you in the eye when speaking to you. As terrifying as that sounds for young people, most would agree that if we make a habit of it we would appear more confident, and if we appear more confident then others will respond in kind, treat us like we’re confident, and we would in turn become more confident.
If we feel more confident in ourselves we are more likely to make eye contact with people as a result. This will again, reinforce confidence in ourselves, so it’s a cycle of mind effecting the body, and body effecting the mind. With only a little bit of training, this habit of eye contact for kids is what we call a little hinge that swings a big door. Most overlook it because it’s so simple. Many parents intuitively know this but have a hard time getting their kids to do it without nagging about it. In Kung Fu there are many fun activities to motivate and inspire kids to do this on a regular basis to the point where it becomes habitual. After a short time their eye contact improves with their friends and teachers at school, which leads to more focus and better grades…that’s what I mean by a little hinge that swings a big door.
Often parents will bring kids in to learn martial arts because they’re getting bullied, somewhat assuming they’ll learn how to to defend themselves, and although they will learn to defend themselves to a high degree, it doesn’t happen overnight, but the transformation in confidence actually can happen a lot quicker, and they find that when a child is perceived as being more confidence in themselves, most of their bully issues subside without any physical violence at all.
The first step to developing a higher sense of self confidence is almost always having good eye contact.
The main point here is we can’t let our kids get by with sloppy eye contact or even worse, no eye contact. They can’t develop that on their own, they need our help to make it a habit. Our help can simply come through the form of expectation. When a child is asking a question, simply by reminding them, “hey, eyes on me” we can make the expectation clear and they’ll gradually make it a habit, but not if we let them get away with staring at a tablet while in the middle of a conversation.
If this is an issue with your child, and you’d like to boost their confidence, we’d be happy to help out with our 2 week trial, where you’ll see a boost in confidence in just a few classes, and although we can’t guarantee ongoing enrollment, if it’s a good fit they might qualify for ongoing training in our martial arts and character development program. There’s only about 12 openings on the floor right now, so click the link below to claim your spot.