Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I can't make karate class because of {insert name of activity}

Soccer practice, baseball practice, birthday party, swimming lessons, Cub Scouts, selling candy for the band trip, the band trip, football game, cheerleading, wrestling practice, washing cars for the band trip, rehearsal for the school play, Mathletics, track, band practice, soccer game, baseball game, travel baseball, dance class, gymnastics class, music lesson, Girl Scouts, shooting range (I’m not making this up), dad’s weekend, the school play, tennis lessons, bowling league, and on and on and on.

I too have a rich full life and my wife and I raised two active kids who played sports and participated in lots of extra curricular activities, while maintaining their commitments to family, community, and religion. They also earned 2nd and 3rd Degree Black Belts.

I get it.

You’re busy.

You and your kids do more than just karate. Fair enough.

But none of those activities provide the lifelong benefit of martial arts. None. Period. Nada.

I am not suggesting that these other activities are not beneficial, nor am I saying that Mathletics and swimming and music and sports don’t provide value throughout a person’s life. What I’m saying is that none of those will simultaneously improve your health, enable you to save yourself against aggressions, improve your self confidence and respect, and cause others to hold you in high esteem.

So why is it that martial arts classes always get skipped in lieu of these other activities?

Well, martial arts is repetitively boring. Moreso than swimming laps? More than ringing doorbells and being told, “No, I don't need more marching band candy.” Seriously?

“Well, my baseball coach said if I miss a practice I can’t play.” OK, then if you miss karate class, you can’t test. Checkmate. Have your coach give me a call.

I’ve been there and I understand the balancing act. A person cannot be playing the halftime show at the Gator Bowl and make Red Belt class at the same time. Some parts of the year may require that you reduce your martial arts training. It happens, I get it. It should never shrink to zero. Ever.

Appropriately, at other times of the year, your training should rise above all other commitments and those coaches should hear the excuses. It’s called balance.

I’m not asking that you skip all the other activities, but you should understand that the chances of Junior actually making it on to a college baseball team are more than remote. The chance that he’ll need self esteem and respect is a near guarantee.

Balance your child's commitments based on the actual life value they provide rather than just short term fun.

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