Recently, we have been looking at some of the unwritten dojo rules at East Valley Martial Arts. One of these expectations is having a good attitude. We explain to our kids that a positive attitude means that even if you have a bad day, you do your best to put a smile on your face and still do your best. Here are five ways we develop a positive attitude through karate:
5) POSITIVE ATTITUDE THROUGH KARATE PARTICIPATION
I used to move around in life, avoiding people, sitting at the back of the room, and doing as little as I could get away with. Then I started participating in karate. At the dojo, you are involved in a positive group. Additionally, the instructor and the group expect you to participate with your best effort. They treat you as an important human being and teach you to do the same with others. First, you build a habit of taking part in life’s activities along with other people. Then, this cultivates a positive attitude through karate participation.
4) POSITIVE ATTITUDE THROUGH KARATE MENTORS
We have been fortunate to have more than one helpful, experienced, positive karate mentor. Sometimes they talk about having a positive attitude. But mostly, they just do it, leading with their optimistic example. Even if we’re in a slump, they just focus on a constructive outlook. Martial arts help build a positive attitude through karate mentors who have optimism.
3) POSITIVE ATTITUDE THROUGH KARATE EXERCISE
Karate is a physical activity. When you train in martial arts, you get exercise and a reason to get up and move every day. That’s needed to stay on top of your game and practice your moves. When you exercise, you feel better physically in the short run. And over time, the physical activity improves your fitness so you feel better about your body too. This exercise and physical fitness naturally builds a positive attitude through karate.
2) POSITIVE ATTITUDE THROUGH KARATE’S FIGHTING SPIRIT
I have heard it called a fighting spirit. Dojo Kun number three emphasizes perseverance and a will for striving. Similarly, Guiding Principle number three encourages having strength of mind. Basically, what I’ve found is that a long term of training helps you feel stronger mentally. That’s a side effect of putting regular weekly time and effort into making yourself stronger, faster, smarter and better able to protect yourself. This proves that you are open to learning and that you persevere. With those two qualities, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. You build a positive attitude through karate’s mental strength.
1) POSITIVE ATTITUDE THROUGH KARATE STRIPES
The stripe system is the most tangible proof of how our dojo values a positive attitude. This system allows kids to earn a green stripe on their belt for showing good attitude and good behavior at the dojo, at home and at school. Adult students already have a “virtual green stripe.” We tell child students from day one that the green stripe is the most important. It takes precedence over your hand techniques, kicks, kata and sparring skills. Students in our Adults Program are expected to role models to those kids. Thus we build positive attitudes through karate expectations.
The dojo was the first place I got involved where people valued and purposefully modeled a positive attitude. Here I have covered many of the ways that we develop positive attitudes through karate. So, we discussed the how. What about the why? Here’s an article by Dr. Sanjay Prem about why attitude is important.