Discipline, Respect, Focus, and Confidence are a few traits that martial arts can help develop. In this post we will explore how you can build confidence with martial arts training.
Take Training Personal
Martial Arts is a personal journey even though you have a community of students to help you, and an instructor to mentor you. Despite all the support, you are the one to put in the work to develop and progress as an individual. Confidence cannot be built without getting uncomfortable and challenging yourself. Martial Arts typically incorporates a belt ranking system that requires students to pass a test each time they advance to the next belt. The student can learn more advance techniques as they move up in ranks. Moving up in belt ranks requires a lot of hard work which comes with rewards and development of confidence. Each belt ranks gets more difficult and requires perseverance. You will have to demonstrate forms and techniques by yourself in front of the rest of the students and instructors to show that you are confidently able to perform alone and in front of a group. Take ownership of your training. You will see the benefits of increased confidence, wellness, and focus as soon as you are willing to take ownership of your training.
Participate in Sparring, Tournaments, and Demonstrations!
You cannot expect to build confidence with ease. Sparring, tournaments, and demonstrations are a few ways to build confidence with martial arts. When sparring you are against one or more opponents and you get to practice what you learn in what is the closest thing to real fighting. You will learn that there will be times you will lose and times you will win. There will also always be people better than you. Practicing with these people will allow you to develop your skills much quicker because you are surrounding yourself with people who have already gone through what you are learning. Ever heard of the term, “You are the average of who you surround yourself with?”, that also applies to martial arts. Although it is difficult, you will see yourself progress much quicker, which in turn will help develop more confidence. Demonstrations are challenging but also fun! Some dojos will create a specific team to do demonstrations at local state fairs and shows. For example, your dojo could do a Holiday nut cracker show that incorporates martial arts at a local high school to not only support the community through entertainment, but also to showcase the benefits of learning martial arts. Demonstrations allow students to face their fears of stage freight and practice when they learned.
Lead Others when Given Opportunities
As you move up in belt ranks and increase in knowledge and skill, martial arts typically requires you to help a lower rank student progress. Helping could mean mentoring other students, leading a class through warm ups and activities, and even teaching your own class! There will always be people better than you, but also people who could learn from you. Even as a Yellow Belt, you could teach what you learned to a White Belt student. The practice of helping others will not only help you to validate learns, but also help you to build confidence. Some martial arts programs require you to accumulate assisting hours to show that you have contributed to the dojo and another student’s development.
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