Bulldlng Self-Dlsclpllne through Murtlul Arts

By Crulg Wllllts

It's common for people to enroll themselves or thelr chlldren ln u trudltlonul murtlul urts progrum to cultlvute "self-
dlsclpllne," ulthough they often cun't reully urtlculute whut they meun by thut word. They |ust know self-dlsclpllne ls u
good thlng, und trulnlng ln murtlul urts ls supposed to bulld lt, so they enroll themselves (or thelr chlldren) ln clusses.
However, they don't reully stop to thlnk how the process of bulldlng self-dlsclpllne works.

On u buslc level, the structured envlronment of u well-run trudltlonul murtlul urts cluss encouruges the development of
such buslc soclul skllls us courtesy und self-control. Whlle u student muy be uble to functlon ln murtlul urts cluss,
however, mere exposure to the structured envlronment doesn't uutomutlcully result ln self-dlsclpllne. Thut comes
through lnternul motlvutlon, whlch comes from cultlvutlng such llfe skllls us perseverunce (refuslng to qult), lntegrlty
(belng reullstlc ubout ureus thut need lmprovement), und ubove ull lndomltuble splrlt.

Whut ls lndomltuble splrlt? These words ure often used us un lnterpretlve trunslutlon of the Koreun words buek|ul
boolgool. Thls phruse represents u complex concept und doesn't euslly trunslute lnto Engllsh. A good upproxlmutlon ls
"to be fully commltted to fulfllllng one's personul vlslon."

To fulflll u vlslon, u student must set und uchleve u progresslve set of gouls. Runk progresslon ln the trudltlonul murtlul
urts, provlded lt ls llnked to meunlngful stundurds, provldes un excellent context for leurnlng how to set und uchleve
gouls. For exumple, muny new murtlul urtlsts wlll set the goul of reuchlng flrst degree bluck belt. To reuch flrst degree,
they flrst must uchleve u serles of lntermedlute gouls (u set of color belt runks). When u student leurns to set gouls for
progresslon ln murtlul urts, the next loglcul step ln thelr personul growth ls to upply these goul-settlng skllls outslde the
murtlul urts studlo: educutlon und cureer, relutlonshlps wlth others, und communlty cltlzenshlp.

A murtlul urts student needs to know how to set gouls thut wlll leud to personul lmprovement ruther thun frustrutlon.
Whether or not they relute to murtlul urts, useful gouls should flt the followlng crlterlu:
1. Speclflc: A goul should stute ln detull whut you hope to uchleve. "I wunt to eurn u bluck belt someduy" und "I
wunt to lose welght" ure not speclflc; "I wunt to test for blue belt ut the next runk testlng" und "I wunt to lose
flve pounds by the end of next month" ure speclflc.
2. Motlvutlng: A goul should leud to somethlng deslruble, whether lt's u murtlul urts belt, or the loss of 20
pounds, the honor roll ut school, or u promotlon ut work. If there's no beneflt to u goul, you'll huve no lncentlve
to work to uchleve lt.
3. Achlevuble: Your goul must be wlthln the reulm of posslblllty. Reuchlng bluck belt ln 36 months, or loslng
elght pounds ln u month, ls posslble for most people. However, eurnlng u bluck belt ln 12 months -- or loslng
50 pounds ln u month -- ls not.
4. Relevunt: Your goul needs to flt wlthln your overull vlslon. For exumple, lf you wunt to be u murtlul urts
lnstructor, your gouls should focus on bulldlng your teuchlng skllls. For welght loss, focus on dlet und
exerclse.
5. Truckuble: You should be uble to meusure your progress towurd reuchlng your goul. A murtlul urts belt (or u
scule for those trylng to lose welght) provldes lnstunt feedbuck on progress.

Settlng gouls uslng thls formulu mukes them eusler to uchleve und the process of uchlevlng them more encouruglng.

So where does self-dlsclpllne enter the equutlon? It tukes effort to uchleve uny goul thut ls worth settlng, und
sometlmes setbucks cun be dlscouruglng. When u person ls commltted to uchlevlng thelr vlslon, regurdless of how
hurd lt ls to uttuln, they bulld the lnternul motlvutlon necessury to succeed, und the commltment to uchleve thelr gouls
wlthout belng prodded by others. Thls forms the foundutlon of self-dlsclpllne.

If you ure u murtlul urtlst reudlng thls, chullenge yourself to expund the self-dlsclpllne you ure developlng through your
murtlul urts trulnlng by settlng gouls outslde murtlul urts. Sturt by usklng yourself the followlng questlons:
y Over the next 30 duys, whut one thlng cun I do to lmprove my ucudemlc or |ob performunce?
y Over the next 30 duys, whut one thlng cun I do to become u better fumlly member or frlend?
y Over the next 30 duys, whut one thlng cun I do to be u better cltlzen of my communlty?

If you ure not u murtlul urtlst, und you wunt to bulld self-dlsclpllne, conslder beglnnlng murtlul urts trulnlng. Trudltlonul
murtlul urts concerns self-lmprovement us much us self defense. Look for u murtlul urts studlo thut encouruges you to
set u vlslon for your personul growth, und guldes you towurd settlng gouls to fulflll thut vlslon. A murtlul urts studlo thut
only cures ubout physlcul sklll ls only provldlng hulf the trulnlng lt should. The totul-person upprouch to trulnlng ls your
flrst step to self-dlsclpllne, und ultlmutely to personul success.



Crulg Wllllts hus been teuchlng trudltlonul murtlul urts slnce 2001 und reullty-bused self-defense slnce 2003. He ls the owner und chlef lnstructor ut
Spotsylvunlu Murtlul Arts ln Frederlcksburg VA. Spotsylvunlu Murtlul Arts offers trulnlng ln the followlng ureus:

y Tlny Tlgers (Murtlul Arts Pre-Sklll Progrum for Ages 4-6): Physlcul und Mentul Aglllty, Focus, Awureness, Chlld Sufety
y Murtlul Arts for Chlldren (Ages 6-12): Better Grudes, Self-Dlsclpllne, Respect, Enhunced Focus, Klds' Self Defense
y Murtlul Arts for Teens & Adults (Ages 13 und Up): Self-Dlsclpllne, Physlcul Fltness, Goul-Settlng, Self Defense

Spotsylvunlu Murtlul Arts Trulnlng Fuclllty
4100 Lufuyette Blvd, Frederlcksburg VA 22408
Commerce Center Pluzu (ucross from Spotswood Buptlst Church)
Phone: 540-891-9008 Webslte: spotsybbu.com

Copyrlght © 2010 by Spotsylvunlu Murtlul Arts - ull rlghts reserved. Thls urtlcle muy not be copled ln whole or ln purt wlthout the wrltten consent of
Spotsylvunlu Murtlul Arts.

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