Setting Goals For What You Want From Martial Arts Training

A Guide To Choosing The Right Martial Arts School

A Detailed Look – Post 2

This post is a continuation of the previous post:

Reason 3: “Character Building”

One reason people want to train martial arts is for personal character development. Character developments are the advancements students make in their mental and emotional development while training. This is where martial arts training becomes personal. Each student comes to a class with their own specific personalities. These personality traits are largely shaped by the individual’s mental and emotional development. For example, some students come to martial arts with low self esteem, while others may be a little cocky. Two students can workout side by side in the same class. One may develop the confidence they need, while the other learns to be a little more humble. This is the wonder of martial arts training. It targets each student personally, helping to improve any short comings that student may have. Character development is an aspect of non-physical training that is part of a great martial arts program. In the following I will discuss a few of the character building traits of martial arts training. 

Karate stance


Discipline may be the most recognized of the character building traits. A style of martial arts is sometimes referred to as a “discipline of study.” To many children, discipline means “punishment.” Discipline also has a more positive definition. One definition is “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” (from I view discipline in these positive terms. I tell young students that, “If you can develop self discipline it will keep you from external discipline enforced upon you by others.”

tai chi sword on beach

Martial arts training can discipline the body and discipline the mind. Through repetitive physical practice, the student can discipline the body to perform complex movements and techniques. If students remain disciplined in their practice, they can achieve a level of accuracy and power that seems almost superhuman. You can see the same discipline in the top stars of other sports.

Martial arts karate discipline

To achieve high levels of physical discipline requires high levels of mental discipline. The mental discipline to force one’s body to practice when it doesn’t feel like it, or to push on past fatigue and pain is what separates the average from the great. The same is true for other activities, not just physical endeavors. Many of the top successful business professionals exhibit the same mental discipline.

Mental and physical discipline can help to keep you safe. When confronted with high stress or dangerous situations, the body’s fight or flight response kicks in. You begin to act on instinct. A disciplined body can begin to react in ways it has been programmed to respond. A disciplined mind can cut through the fog of adrenaline and make appropriate decisions. A quality martial arts program will help the student become more disciplined.

I have decided to break up my post on “Character Building” into several smaller post. Please come back for the my next post on building “Focus” through martial arts training.

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