What do you do if your child wants to quit or take a break?

Whether you have a Tiny Tiger, Junior or you are an adult.  At some point during your training you WILL experience difficulties in getting your training in.  It can be scheduling conflicts, entering into a new grade level at school, taking vacations, illness/injury, playing sports, work schedules, or just plain burnout.  The list goes on and on. But what do you do if you or your child wants to quit or maybe take a break?

Although Martial Arts is a sport like soccer, baseball, or football, it is also very different. Unlike these sports, we are not seasonal.  We train year round.  Training in Martial Arts becomes a “Way of Life” an “Education”.  We do help with endurance, coordination, balance, muscle development, and general exercise like other sports.  But we are so much more.  We develop the Mind and Spirit, as well as the Body.  The body is just one part of our training. We train our body through the use of forms, self defense, sparring, weapon training, warm ups, and general workouts.  Training in Martial Arts develops many other things as well.  Through our continual training we learn to Focus, have Self Control, better Discipline, build Confidence, learn to Respect others, learn to set long term goals, understand Perseverance,  Loyalty and Courtesy. These things are almost extinct in organized sports.

Studies have shown that kids that are fully involved in a Martial Arts program have better grades, better behavior, better confidence and have a better understanding of long term goal setting.  These kids go on to do better in school, continue their college educations, are able to resist peer pressure as they get older and are able to handle the stresses of life much better than a child that is not involved in Martial Arts.  Martial Arts teaches our children to understand how to be patient and that through hard work and commitment we can achieve any goal that we set for ourselves.

I am a mother of four.  My children have done all the organized sports at some point or another, from soccer, football, select baseball, cheerleading, choir, and competed in Taekwondo. They were all involved in Pre-AP and AP courses through middle school and high school.  Their father traveled quite extensively for his job.  So I was basically a single mom. Getting them to all their activities was very taxing at points, but we knew from our Instructors that “quitting or taking a break from our Martial Arts training was never an option”.  When we were color belts we didn’t always make it each week to classes, so we would get extra classes in the following week or we would get a private lesson to get us caught up.  We would talk to our Instructor and let him know that we were having difficulty coming in and he would always figure out a way to keep us involved and motivated to continue.  We did not want to miss our next belt testing or get behind our fellow students.  So we made it work.  Once they became Black Belts some of the kids wanted to “take a break”.  We did allow this for some and others we kept motivated to continue their training by getting them more involved in competitions or by enrolling them into the Leadership program.  This took their training to a whole new level and helped to keep them training.  Before allowing them to quit or take a break though we would always have them speak with their Instructor to figure out the true reason for them wanting to quit or take a break.  I have to say that I contribute the fact that all my kids are confident, goal oriented and well balanced because of their continued Martial Arts training.

Another thing to think of is we teach self defense.  Coming and learning for a short time and a few self defense moves WILL NOT protect your child in case they were ever attacked or if they should be bullied.  It is learned through continual practice and expanding on the basics to more advanced techniques that they can be truly prepared to protect themselves.  If they are in a bully situation,  it is only through having the confidence that comes from their continued training they will have what it takes to stand up to the bully.

In conclusion.  If your child wants to quit or take a break, evaluate what the true reason is. Sit down with Ms. Jackson and discuss what are some of the issues you are experiencing. It is our experience that students who take a break of two weeks or more have a harder time coming back to training.  They may get discouraged seeing their fellow students ahead of them in rank. Maybe taking a week off will help to re-motivate them.  Try only coming two days a week instead of the 3-4 that you have been coming.  Try coming to just one curriculum class and take a weapon class or sparring class if that is something they are interested in. If they are feeling like they are not getting the material, schedule a private lesson, this usually helps a great deal of kids feel like they are more prepared.  If boredom is setting in get them involved in tournaments or sign them up for the Leadership Team.  This will help to push their training to new levels. Just remember that consistency in your training is key to the success in Martial Arts Training.  Quitting or taking a break should always be the last resort.

We hope this helps.  Please see the Instructors for more information.