That is a question that seems to be coming up more and more in today’s social climate.  Living in an affluent suburban Philadelphia area it is often assumed that our children are going to be just fine.  They are going to learn how to behave, how to succeed, how to contribute positively and they are going to be mature, well mannered citizens.  Though when you ask a parent when was the last time they actually discussed something like self-esteem with their child they often can’t tell you.  Usually, the reason is that we as parents are not actually teaching our children life skills.  They simply pick up our habits, both good and bad, from watching us interact with each other.  This is the reason some adults chew with their mouths open, talk and curse on their phones in public, let the door close on others, cut people off on the road, and on, and on, and on.  They simply were not taught as children what the proper behavior was.  We learn our conscience from following our parent’s instructions and habits.

As martial arts school operators we often find that adults can’t put a solid definition on life skills like discipline, self-esteem, respect, belief, communication or honesty.  When both each parent has a different definition of a life skill and what it entails then how are we going to make sure they end up as the type of man or women we want them to be?  One of the very best ways is to get your child in a well structured, professional, martial arts school.  If it is a school like those found in Always Take Action Martial Arts (  then they will definitely instill these valuable life skills in all children.  The very best schools don’t just do this by osmosis.  That is when you train over the years and just pick up the inherent good habits involved in martial arts training.  Rather, they have a well crafted life skills curriculum that teaches students about the life skills and how they work at home, in society and the martial arts school.  That is what we implement at Arrow Martial Arts (

How can you work on life skills at home?  Well, the best way is to look for teachable moments.  It could be when you see trash on the ground at the soccer field or baseball field.  That is a great time to discuss Respect (It’s not what you know it’s what you do!) for their environment.  Explain how the person that left this here did not respect their environment or the people in it by leaving their trash here.  Then go about helping them pick up some of or all of the trash if there is time.  Before you know it they will start picking up trash they see on the ground and throwing it away!  My daughter cleans up water bottles left at SPARK fields and other local fields that she plays soccer at.  This came out of teaching the concept of respecting our environment.  If you do attend a martial arts school, like Arrow Martial Arts, then you can reference what they learned at class.  Linking what you are telling them to one of their mentors is a great way to make life skills stick.  When it comes to Discipline (to obey what is right) we always relate that to something Alex Morgan from the USWNT is doing.  She is one of my daughters’ idols and has great work ethic.  If we think she should be outside practicing we relate it to a video of Alex Morgan training hard or a line about out working others from her books.

I hope that you can use some of the tips we listed here and that you are teaching or start to actively teach these life skills to your children.  Better yet.  I hope they start martial arts training!

Published: June 22, 2021

Categories: Benefits of Martial Arts