Martial Arts and Self-Esteem

December 8, 2012
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Martial arts and self-esteem

Better self-esteem – Image by Summer Skyes 11, Flickr.com

Many of our students in the fighting arts discover over time that there’s a definite, and positive, connection between martial arts and self-esteem.

We have been fortunate over and over again to witness how insecure, shy and timid martial arts students transform themselves into someone far more outspoken and self-confident.

You may perhaps believe that this raise in perceived self-worth and confidence in ones own abilities goes for children and younger students only. Not so; it is something which definitely can occur in adult students of the combative arts as well.

That said, it is far more often you see martial arts training raises self-esteem in the younger age groups - something which even has been demonstrated through scientific studies.

It is plain and simple beautiful to watch an introvert and really shy preteen child blossom to a much more confident individual right in front of your eyes.

Just one such example is enough to make it more than worthwhile to be a martial arts teacher. And you know what? We get to see it over and over again. When that child is able to stand straight, shake your hand and look you straight and firm in the eyes … now that’s a feeling like few others! :-)

Martial arts and self-esteem

Here’s a great article from nwasianweekly.com about 13-year-old Thomas Cassidy – a piece that shows how the martial art of taekwondo helped him break out of his shell.

Nearly three years ago, before I started studying Taekwondo, I was alarmingly insecure, unsure of myself, and had very poor self-image. I had, since the second grade, been under the impression that I was overweight. I was also a very angry person. Without Taekwondo, I was probably headed down a path to an eating disorder.
But I started training and gradually became stronger and grew. I also learned to show my elders the respect they deserved — which probably saved my relationship with my mother, and certainly made this phase of my life more pleasant for us both.
Now, how could one thing have accomplished that much?
Well, Taekwondo is founded upon respect and discipline. These concepts are practiced every lesson.

Raised self-esteem through martial arts training

Although it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly how martial arts studies can benefit your self-esteem, there are some things we are pretty sure contributes.

-> A highly structured learning environment
-> Confidence is raised by mastering clearly defined goals
-> Everyone is qualified and “on the team”
-> The belt system makes it easier to set and achieve goals
-> Less fear of failure by reduced pressure to perform and succeed
-> Students succeed succeed individually and move at their own pace
-> Mutual and collective respect is a vital part of the process
-> You are also taught self-defense skills

Martial arts and self-esteem in children (video)

Here’s a brief video that shows some of the benefits of proper and well structured martial arts training for kids.

YouTube Preview Image

As usual, we’re curious to hear your views on martial arts and self-esteem. The comment field is always open below. Any first or second-hand experiences with the positive effects of doing martial arts?

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