Martial Arts and Conflict Resolution

SDSS Conflict Resolution, National

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The martial arts help children learn conflict resolution. Conflict is an unavoidable part of life. While we can’t control the conflict itself, we can control how we react to it. Martial arts training will teach your child healthy, non-aggressive ways to respond to conflict.

Sometimes parents hesitate to enroll their child in martial arts classes because they are afraid it will make them more aggressive.  Others worry it may even encourage violence in school. The opposite is true. Martial arts training teaches children the importance of nonviolent conflict resolution.

With our unique semi-private instruction, we tailor your child’s martial arts instruction to their strengths and weaknesses. Some kids need to learn how to deal with aggression and anger constructively.  Others lack the confidence to stand up for themselves.  Our instructors will ensure your child is getting the most out of their martial arts education.

The Origins of Martial Arts and Conflict

The martial arts were developed at the Shaolin Temple in China around 350 B.C. as a way to learn self-control, discipline, and gain a sense of enlightenment. Shaolin monks spend their days studying these qualities and practicing kung fu all in the pursuit of becoming a better monk. Shaolin monks live a simple life, but even they become angry at times. Grandmaster explains this in his book, The Shaolin Way:

“Monks get angry at times–they are human–but the difference between most of them and us is that they are better at choosing what they do with the negative energy anger creates. They don’t allow hate and rage to control them because they have learned that allowing anger to take over in any situation is a form of weakness that should be replaced with understanding and compassion. Why weakness? Because anger is a lack of control that serves no purpose in life. All it does is cause misery that can lead to hatred–which is even worse”
The Shaolin Way, p. 125

Kung Fu is the way of peace. In all of our SDSS dojos, students learn that they do not need to use violence to solve their problems.  They learn the skills to manage their aggression. Using Grandmaster Demasco’s techniques, we teach children the values of self-control, self-discipline, patience, respect, and honesty. Not only do we teach martial arts techniques, but we also teach children verbal responses and encourage them to use their resources at home and school. Children learn to stand up for themselves without resorting to violence.

Resolving Interpersonal Conflict

One of the most common sources of conflict for people is interpersonal conflict or conflict between two people. For children, it may be a disagreement over a game or toy, or conflicts arising from sharing. Kids who learn the martial arts develop a strong sense of confidence, accompanied by tremendous compassion. In other words, kids can handle the conflict while it is happening, and they learn how to avoid it in the first place.

Overcoming Intrapersonal Conflict

Intrapersonal conflict is when the conflict is within the self. Parents see this all the time in kids who are super tired and don’t want to go to bed, or in times when kids have to make tough decisions. A cornerstone of our life skills program is Self Discipline. Students learn to make the right choices, even when nobody else is looking. We reward good decisions and obvious signs of respect and obedience to parents and teachers.

Working in groups

Any time students work in groups, there is, at some point, bound to be some conflict. It is inevitable. Students learn to work through conflict in constructive, non-aggressive ways. We teach conflict resolution skills in class, through our life skills program, and most of all through the long-term relationships that happen between students, their instructors, and parents.

Verbal Jiu-Jitsu

In Kung Fu, students learn to use their opponent’s weight against them. It is best known as Jiu-Jitsu, (although we call it Chin-Na) In Chin-Na, we redirect the opponent’s energy. Size and weight no longer matter. The “fight” is, quite literally, reversed, and the larger opponent becomes weightless. These same principles apply to interpersonal conflict, as students learn to use words, self-control, respect, and discipline to turn harsh conflict around. We practice these techniques in class, so students use their words long before their fists get involved.  In other words, we give kids a form of “Verbal Jiu-Jitsu” that helps them resolve conflict peacefully.

In Kung Fu, students learn to use their opponent’s weight against them. It is best known as Jiu-Jitsu, (although we call it Chin-Na) In Chin-Na, we redirect the opponent’s energy. Size and weight no longer matter as the “fight” is, quite literally, reversed, and the larger opponent becomes weightless. These same principles apply to interpersonal conflict, as students learn to use words, self-control, respect, and discipline to turn harsh conflict around. We practice these techniques in class and help students use their words long before their fists get involved.  In other words, we give kids a form of “Verbal Jiu-Jitsu” that helps them resolve conflict before the other person realizes it.

Bullies

Silhouette taekwondo man at morning.

Bullies are most often the source of conflict for kids. Grandmaster DeMasco has dedicated the better part of his adult life helping children overcome bullies. He even toured the country on behalf of the Clinton White House, bringing his message to families all over America. In our program, students will learn to stand up to bullies with confidence, and respond effectively.We teach kids to speak up, go to the adults in their lives for help, and stand up for themselves.Most of the time, this is enough.

We teach the most efficient self-defense system on the planet, for those rare times when physical self-defense becomes necessary. Because it is rooted in a 2000-year-old tradition of peace, it is rare that students have to engage in physical conflict. But if and when they do, they usually can handle themselves with remarkable maturity. In fact, the journey to a Black Belt is as much about a person’s strength of character as it is about their physical abilities on the dojo floor.

Conflict is inevitable. How we respond makes all the difference. A solid foundation in the martial arts can prepare your child to overcome conflict in every area of their life.