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3 Ways Karate Develops Discipline!

People often ask me about the ways karate develops discipline. Having taught martial arts for nearly 20 years I’ve spoken with thousands of people about why they’re beginning to train. What I’ve learned from that is that confidence, focus, discipline, and fitness are EASILY the four most popular reasons why people start.

Now, before I go any further, I have a couple of disclaimers. First, I don’t think that the style matters. You can get any and all of these benefits from Karate, Judo, Kung-fu, Tae Kwon Do, boxing or any other style that you study. The key to getting the benefits comes from enjoying your training and doing it for a long time. That can only happen if you like your school and teachers. If you can find a school that you enjoy training at, over time, you will definitely gain benefit from your training.

Second, team sports will also teach you these traits. I just think that they will teach them to you in a different way. Some people are team players and some are not. It’s all about the fit between the sport and the person.

That all being said, here are the three ways that I think…

First, there is a built-in goal system. In Karate, it’s belts and in different systems, they’re called different things, but no matter what you call it, there is something that you are working towards. When you have something that you are working towards, you begin to learn the importance of putting in time and effort and when you do that, you are learning DISCIPLINE.

At our school, we take the goal of achieving a belt and break it up into smaller goals of stripes. In order for our students to achieve a new belt, they must meet certain requirements and earn stripes. This teaches students that no matter how big or small a goal is, it can always be broken up into smaller pieces which makes it more achievable.

The second way that the martial arts help teach discipline is through the rules, rituals and procedures that must be followed. I’m going to imagine that at all schools, there are certain things that you need to do on a regular basis including how you refer to a fellow student or teacher, how you enter the training area how you complete basic tasks such as tying your belt. Respecting and following these rules inevitably develops DISCIPLINE.

Lastly, the martial arts, as an individual sport, allows you to focus on YOU. It allows you to analyze what you need to work on and focus on that. Developing the ability to reflect and correct requires DISCIPLINE because it requires you to move outside your comfort zone.

So, if you were ever wondering about the ways karate develops discipline, those are the three ways. If you have any questions about these or anything else related to training, feel free to ask.

See you on the mats,

Michael

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