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Training in Daqingshan, the home of Chen Style Tai Chi Practical Method, Shandong China

How to grow expert martial arts kids

I find myself often challenged and triggered by the things I cannot control nor understand.

Do you?

My default response often is to form a judgment and then take some action that mostly looks like that I’m in control.

It seems like a good idea, however what happens when it’s in a confrontational situation.

Maybe even bullying situation?

Often I hear parents saying to me that they want their children to learn self-defence so that their transition from primary school to middle school is safer. The latest being that the school they’re moving to has a reputation to be a little rough.

I feel for the parents. My little girl (8 year old) also has been the victim of another sort of violence. The one that results in insolation and separation at her school. By other girls I might add. So distressing for her and our whole family.

So is it ok to teach martial arts as a means of self defence to our children? Is it ok for us adults to learn a martial art so that we can teach the other guy a ‘REAL’ lesson when he picks on us?

I say NO.

It’s not ok to use violence to appease violence.

This action doesn’t change anything long term. Only short term, very short term.

All we are doing is saying to the bully, go pick on somebody else. Sure, there’s a part of me that wants my daughter to teach those other girls and boys a lesson or too if she was to be pushed around.

But there’s a problem with that. Can you see the problem too?

Hurting another using the reasoning that we had no other choice is not ok. I say as a responsible martial artist we must aim to be highly skilled, so that we are able to maintain our safety without unnecessary harm or violence. The more skilled the less violence.

We are to aim to train ourselves to be present to our emotions and the part of us that is so scared that we want to lash out just so that we don’t need to feel that uncomfortable feeling.

This ability only comes from tens of thousands of hours of practice. Conscious, purposeful and intended training. Constant, consistent and mindful training. The sort of training that clarifies the nature of our own vulnerability and imperfection. The sort of training that is centred on hard work, diligence and reflection.

The sort of training that leaves us feeling at peace and profoundly satisfied.

I say that we need to teach our children the way of Martial Arts (Wushu Dao 武术道) so that they are peaceful and compassionate human beings.

But it doesn’t start with finding the closest martial arts club.

Nor the biggest club neither.

It starts with us, the adults and parents finding a master and teacher whom which we connect with and respect. The teacher who shares paralleled values and who’s values reflect those of our own family.

Then start one’s own journey to travel with the ones of our children.

This is one way to keep our children safe.

On target 20 yilus today.

Thanks for sharing.

What’s a Yilu?

Talk to me on: gawain.siu@gingmo.com.au