Martial Arts: More Than Just Exercise

April 9, 2007

This entry is cross-posted at Kids Martial Arts Center.

Lots of parents encourage their children to participate in team sports. And why not? We all know how important it is for our kids to get enough exercise. It’s discouraging, however, to read that building strong character and good sportsmanship – once the central components of youth sports – seem to have fallen by the wayside.

This is where I believe traditional martial arts can pick up the slack. not only is it good fun and fantastic exercise, but it explicitly instills good manners, discipline and respect. Consider the following “home rules” that children learn – and adhere to – in order to achieve advancement at my own school:

  1. Children must respect their parents and family members at all times.
  2. Children must greet their parents when they arrive and say good-bye when they leave.
  3. Children must be truthful at all times.
  4. Children must maintain a good relationship with their brothers and sisters at all times.
  5. Children must help with the household chores.
  6. Children must keep there rooms neat and clean.
  7. Children must keep their hair, body, and teeth clean every day.
  8. Children will not interrupt adult conversations.
  9. Children must do their school work at home and at school.
  10. Children must respect their teachers and peers at all times.

Children recite these rules together at the conclusion of each class, and (as age appropriate) must memorize them. This is common at other schools as well.

I am very proud of our younger students. From the way they greet people as they enter the school, to the way they respect their fellow students during class, they embody the positive attitude and good manners that we all strive for in our daily lives.

Scott D. Feldstein, MA, is a black belt student at J. K. Lee Black Belt Academy in Milwaukee, WI.


No comments yet

  1. Outstanding. Very cool, scott.
    Kinda like the MPS code, eh? 😉

  2. I WILL be looking into this TODAY. I’m spent.

  3. Why is rule number 4 forgotten during any vacation or break?

  4. Don’t let the ACLU find that list. Next thing you know, the school will be facing an armada of Ivy League lawyers representing some kid who felt the rules infringed on his or her “rights”.

  5. Don’t lit the Alliance Defense Fund find out about this list! Next thing you know we’ll all be dragged into court because not a single one of these rules mention Jesus.


  6. I think its a great way to instill discipline and a good sense of self esteem in young children that they can hopefully learn to carry with them for a lifetime. Great job!!!

    Contemporary Fighting Arts

  7. Scott, only you would find a way to sneak your atheist bias into a discussion of TKD Children’s Home Rules. Chill a little!

  8. What, no similar reprimand for David bringing the ACLU into it? My comment is no more absurd and no less called for than his. Besides, one need not be an atheist to roll one’s eyes at organizations like the ADF. Most of the people who think they’re nuts are Christians themselves, I would think.

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