So what is the real secret that many martial art school have to increasing the self esteem of a child, or an adult for that matter? It is very simply the belt system. Now just about every martial art has a belt system, but its effectiveness is in how it is used.
The problem we have today with children is partly based in our school system. This idea of “no child left behind.” destroys achievement. Without achievement development is destroyed. When I was a kid you could fail a grade. There is nothing wrong with failure, all success comes from it. Having things handed to you without earning them causes the ultimate failure.
With are belt system there develops a drive, and inspiration to achieve. Plus they must EARN their promotions. They can fail tests! Each month a “tip” is add to a belt if they have progressed enough, following the tenets and the 3 A’s of training.
After 4 or more years, when each step is completed they are eligible to test for Black Belt. This becomes a driving force for improvement and a sense of pride in their lives!
The keys? Constant progress, measurable progress, with the fact that there are requirement that must be met. Failure is a good thing, it is a self esteem builder because it teaches to never give up!
The problem with our youth today is everything is given to them. They have no drive, no ambition, but a sense of entitlement. What kid needs a cell phone? Go out and play!
Great success in life come from overcoming hardships, failures and obstacles. Giving things without earning them destroys self esteem. A kid who shows up at school and passes, not doing the work is being dis-serviced. Psychology is wrong in the believe failure hurts self esteem. It help to develop it!
I once had a parent tell me she never wanted her child to do anything he did not want to do. I wonder what she was going to say when he wants to quit school?
Failure is part of life, I have failed at the things I am the most successful in. It builds strength, character and self esteem!