Helping Kids Make a Positive Impact with Martial Arts

A couple weeks ago, we took a team to the Tian Shan Pai Legacy Tournament in Hunt Valley, Maryland, to compete in Chinese boxing.  One of our youngest was 7 years old, and this was her first competition ever.  After several months of training, she did a great job of moving and throwing punch and kicks, but unfortunately did not win her initial match, and was eliminated from the further competition.  She ended up taking 5th place.

Losing her first match was positive because it gave her an opportunity to learn and grow.  At Maryland Jeet Kune Do in Millersville, when it comes to sport competition, especially in our kid’s martial arts classes, we do not take the mindset of “win or lose”.  We work to adopt the mindset of “win or learn”.  A loss only happens when you fail to seize the opportunity to learn.  In this case, our young martial artist learned that she moves well, but she needs to take the opportunity to seize the moment to score.

Les Brown was born in an abandoned building in Miami, Florida, adopted, and declared “mentally retarded” by the educational system.  He went on to represent the 29th District in the Ohio House of Representatives, among many other accomplishments.  He said, “In every day, there are 1,440 minutes.  That means we have 1,440 opportunities to make a positive impact.”

Our young martial artist is learning this lesson in her training each day. Opportunities present themselves while sparring, and you must take decisive action to successfully take full advantage of them.  Her goal is to win her next match, and so in her training sessions, we focus on helping her recognize when her opponent is open and teach her to move decisively and strike.

It is very easy to let so many of those 1,440 opportunities get filled with things that do not move us toward achieving our goals. Sometimes we only have small window in which to act, so we must act decisively and seize that opportunity.  By learning how to seize the moment in sparring, our young martial artist is learning how to seize the moment in her daily life to help her achieve her goals.  She is learning how to take opportunities each day to work on her physical fitness in order to help her get ready for her next match, practice her techniques before class, and eat well in order to fuel her body.

In taking the moment at the end of class to sit, breathe, and calm her mind, she learns how to meditate and focus on seeing the opportunities she has each day to strike and achieve her goals in her daily life.

In working with her sparring partners and classmates and helping them get ready for their next match, she is learning how to take opportunities to have a positive impact on the people around her.

By learning how to take these opportunities in her kung fu class, she is also learning how to take the opportunities she needs to be successful in her schoolwork.  To be success if in any endevour requires time, and time is opportunity.

Learning to seize opportunities each day is the difference between making a positive impact in your life and your world or being a negative impact on your world.

What opportunity with you take this week to make a positive impact?



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