How does martial arts develop rock solid concentration in its participants?
Martial arts has been a mainstay for people to learn about character traits like.
However, after talking with thousands of parents of the last 20 years of teaching professionally the one character that comes up most often in our conversations is the idea of focus/concentration.
There are three ways that martial arts helps to develop better concentration through our training.
The mind body connection
People understand easily how an activity like yoga can work to bring the mind and body into harmony through the practice of working into postures and positions. However, I think as well that we should consider martial arts in the same category. With our your students learning how to perform a move solo does build this same mind-body connection as yoga. However add the other element of partner who doing skills against us. Then we have to take into consideration our mind-body connection and my partners intentions as well.
Martial arts a never ending series of technical skills that helps you to understand your body in unique ways. Its a set of skills that takes dedication and forced concentration. Learning how to kick, punch, do a form all takes “deliberate practice”. This type of practice is applicable in many other activities including their academic lives. The “power of practice” is a skill that we teach our students to become better in their lives outside the school. Talent is practice and practice is talent. A book that I absolutely love and forms the basis of our skils training is “The Talent Code” by Dan Coyle. Here is a video that outlines the research behind this book.
In our school we have certain routines and structure that help us to keep and maintain the curve of excitement and enthusiasm of our students. Our instructors are masters at taking the pulse of the class. Our job is to stretch the students abilities with various structures like
- Energy Breaks..when the focus or effort of the students start to wane we do a little “pump up” exercise to re-ignite the class to rock solid focus.
- Focus Anchors: If we see the class maybe getting a little too silly you can hear the instructor ask the question “Eyes on who?” all the students respond in unision “Eyes on your sir/maam!”.
This is just a couple of the examples of the classroom management skills that we employ to keep learning, passion and most importantly focus at a high level at our school.
We honestly believe that we are “best at what we practice the most” and by learning these skills of focus and concentration we can assist our students to help them on their path to leading their best life.