Answering the Question of How the Martial Arts Builds Confidence

IN answer to a question at The mentality behind martial arts

Firstly, you tear down all false sense of confidence. Then you push the poor bastard past all pre-conceived notions of his abilities. Then you throw hell at him, and then some. The bloke eats all of this up and starts to show gains in skill level. Teach him good principles. Show him wisdom. Teach him discipline. Show him how to survive, to thrive. Share with him your lineage. Entrust him to be the guardian of the syllabus. Teach him how to nurture beginners in the path. Then groom him as your successor.

Most people however, give up just at the time when they're starting to learn the basics ... that's not even anywhere near the starting line.

Can You Discipline Children Behaviour?

Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Technique Workshop


supergroup7 said…
Sorry Colin, I do not agree that this is how Martial Arts training builds confidence.

In my opinion, the confidence happens through the build up of small successes. First you cannot achieve even 1 push up properly, but as you struggle, and continue in spite of your embarrassment, you find that you can do 2 of them, then 10 of them, then 40 of them. Then people start to look at you and ask "How do you do a proper push up?" and you realize that through your experience you have the answer to offer to them.

I do not believe that there is a need to tear anything down. The position of white belt places you in the proper environment, one only needs to have the humility to accept that opportunity.
Colin Wee said…
When I refer to tearing down ... I'm referring to showing a person how pre-conceptions limit the person. Nothing destructive in that. I'd agree that little successes are part of the building blocks. However, this is not how I see overall student-beginner progress. Most people tend to soak it up and after a period of consolidation, go through growth spurts, showing a leap of performance on several fronts. Little successes like pushups? This can be done at the gym. No need for martial arts. Martial arts growth is way beyond this sort of physical conditioning.

supergroup7 said…
I used push ups as an example. And yes, I believe that any training such as going to the gym, learning basketball, even learning how to use a computer can help build self confidence. It is in succeeding in small goals that we start to believe that we can achieve greater ones. Martial arts is a tool in our efforts to grow as a person, but it isn't the only one that works.

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