Instructor Tip How Martial Arts Builds Confidence –
Hakan: Hi, I’m Hakan.
Sarah: And I’m Sarah.
Hakan: And we’re both head instructors and managers here at the Australian Martial Arts Academy. Today we’re going to be talking about a very important area in which we address, through our content and our delivery, and that’s addressing the area of confidence. One of the major reasons why people want to start martial arts is to gain more self-confidence. And what are some of the signs we see with these people who walk in through the Academy doors?
Sarah: You’ll have noticed them yourself. There are things like not being able to stand straight, they just don’t show their confidence in their body, they’re not necessarily able to grab eye contact with people, maybe they’re not very vocal, so even if they’re thinking something or want to ask something, they don’t have that confidence to actually go out and ask, “What is that person? What is responsible? How do I get help?” So I’m really keen. I’m so passionate at the Academy about making sure that people build this confidence, that it oozes out of their body so that they are able to achieve those things. They want to feel happy within themselves.
Hakan: Definitely. I’m a firm believer that martial arts is just a vehicle, like the physical elements, the kicking and the punching, is just a tool to develop this confidence so that they are strong, they stand up for themselves and like Sarah said, they have this level of confidence and positivity oozing from their body. And what’s a shame is that often it’s these type of people who don’t have that self-belief, that are victims of the bullying, not only at school but in the workplace as well.
Hakan: So, first day, how do we address this here at the Academy?
Sarah: This is one of the great things about learning martial arts here is that from the moment they come in, the first thing we teach someone is how to stand strong. And I believe that if you can come in and practice confidence, it’s something physical that you’re doing with your body, it’s going to become a habit, it’s just something innate in your body. So we teach them to stand strong, teach them to have eye contact, and we show them that mutual respect and that it’s an expectation for us to be confident in ourselves at the Academy.
Hakan: So what Sarah is saying is from day one, we’re teaching them how to stand, how to look confident, how to have that presence. The first thing we show them is charyot. What’s charyot, Miss Sarah?
Sarah: Charyot is feet together, hands by your side, and our chins up with eye contact, looking at the person who is talking to us.
Hakan: Now, what might a person who isn’t so confident, a child who isn’t confident, what kind of stance do we often get?
Sarah: They’re hugging their mom’s legs, they maybe not looking at us, they maybe a little bit nervous or holding on to something, looking at the ground.
Hakan: Just trying to avoid any kind of confrontation, even if it’s a simple confrontation in conversation with family members, or with people that they’re familiar with. So we’ve got a certain stance and we call this charyot and the students who respond, respond with attention. So they’re automatically standing strong, having that eye contact, and getting that vocal command out there as well. And this, all of a sudden, just takes them to a whole new level. This is from day one.
Sarah: And this is so empowering for them to realise, especially if they haven’t had that confidence, “Wow, I’m doing things that confident people do. I’m standing like that person I looked up to before and wanted to be like. And the values that I saw in them, I have in myself.”
Hakan: And what’s amazing is once that student has started their journey, again, regardless of what age they are, the feedback we get 3 months in, 6 months in, often from parents who come and say, “My child all of a sudden is feeling so much more confident at school with their presentations. They’re standing nice and firm. And it just has a flow and effect to all aspects of their life.” Now, every 3 months, we also have a specific challenge. What will these be, Sarah?
Sarah: These are our belt promotions. What I really love about this is it clearly shows what you couldn’t do before and what you can do now. And this is amazing because physically it’s showing you things that you couldn’t do and how much all of your work and persistence helped you achieve those goals. And you recognise that if you keep on going, you’re going to be able to do whatever you want to do, if you can put your mind to it. And it also helps overcome those mental barriers of standing up in front of people or presenting to someone else. And let’s face it, that’s a fact of life, if you want to have a job, you want to go for a job interview, we need to be able to talk to other people and it’s quite amazing for us to see all of these people get out of their comfort zone and be so happy and so proud of themselves for achieving things. It’s great they get the presents, the belt, the certificate, the medal at the end, but ultimately the best thing is them having fun because they’re seeing how much they’ve improved and they’re showing confidence.
Hakan: Absolutely. It’s that consistent scheme of new belt, new challenge, that fear, “Am I going to okay?,” training towards it, ticking that box off, getting that new level, and then moving onto another challenge. Consistently getting comfortable being uncomfortable and then looking back and seeing how far they’ve come. We’re a firm believer of creating future leaders in the community and we have our instructor development program and we have kids as young as seven, eight, developing and demonstrating leadership abilities right the way through to adults as well.
Sarah: And of course it needs to be within their range of what they’re capable of doing for that age group, but it’s amazing, one of the best things, I think, about our Academy is being able to see some of those people who get up after doing martial arts for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, and having other people come into the Academy, meet them for maybe one or two minutes, and say to me, “I want my child to be like them,” or “I literally want to be like that person there.” Because they demonstrate all of those abilities that we recognise as special and as confidence in other people. And I think that’s one of the most rewarding—it’s just being able to stick at something and recognise that I’m good at something because I can apply myself to it.
Hakan: Yeah, absolutely. To wrap it up, I think that the beauty of martial arts is that it is an individual sport. So we have a fantastic team, the reason why the confidence element is addressed so well, is that they are essentially doing it on their own.
Sarah: It’s about you. It’s not about anyone else. It’s social, it’s fun, but it’s about you.
Hakan: So that’s how martial arts, at the Academy here, we address the confidence element. Anything you want to add to that, Miss Sarah?
Sarah: No. I’m just really hoping that all of you out there have that confidence enough to achieve goal that you put your mind to and that we’re creating these amazing, great leaders. We do it through martial arts and I love the fact that these young people, they don’t even recognise they’re special. It’s just normal for them. I can’t wait to see some our 18-month children who are training at the Academy now, when they’re 18-years-old and still training at the Academy. I think that’s just an amazing experience to witness.
Hakan: To have in all aspects at all stages of their lives. So hopefully that clarified how confidence is entrenched in martial arts training and if that’s an element you would like to go down, please feel free to contact one of us here at the Academy. We’ll be happy to help you out.
Sarah: Have a great day.
Hakan: Thank you.