Business leaders report that millennials and Generation Z cohorts are a new breed of workers that they are having trouble getting a handle on. They feel as though these latest two generations in the workforce have less tenacity, seem to believe they must become major successes in record time and are easily crushed by things that older generations just work through.
What Created the Problem? –
Cloistered Indoors and Media-Dependent –
Sadly, schools and parents are to blame but often in well-intentioned ways. Parents and teachers saw a world that is more dangerous than the one they grew up in. Kids were kept inside, playing video games and consuming media. They were not outside playing and skinning a knee or an elbow. They were not riding their bikes to friend’s houses. Their views of the world, and sometimes their views of their own self-worth, are highly dependent upon media and “friends” on social media.
Everybody Got a Gold Star –
Also, there has been the “gold star” phenomena. In a poorly-conceived means of propping up kid’s self-esteem, everyone received a gold star or some other prize, even when they did not do their best. It is one thing to find the good and the gem in every kid. It is there if you look. It is another thing entirely to give every kid a gold star or prize every time. This actually harms their self-esteem and makes them feel as though they are frauds. For some, they end up with the unrealistic expectation that just showing up equates with success.
How Martial Arts Provides a Solution –
For one thing, kids need to have exercise every day. Not all of us live in climates that are always conducive for outdoor exercise every day. When our bodies are fit, strong and trim, we have self-esteem naturally because our bodies feel good, and we have created that situation. Then we are masters of our bodies and our lives.
Fighting arts can be done indoors or outdoors. Often, kids take classes in climate-controlled, indoor facilities. They use their own tenacity to have more poise and control over their own bodies and their own levels of fitness. Couch potatoes do not have such a sense of self.
You Work for Your Belt –
As in the real world of work, kids taking fighting arts courses move through their belts and levels by earning a successively darker colored belt as their skills and technique grow. Each advance in belt level has rigid guidelines. Each belt level requires the student to achieve higher levels of dedication, training, and hard work. Each belt level requires the student to use strength with control and powerful technique.
For this reason, fighting arts teach students discipline and provides them confidence. They must work for each “gold star” that they earn. Through that process, they learn how life works. They will not be expecting cheers and applause for just showing up, as many of our youngest generation of workers have been sadly programmed and trained into believing. When life throws a curve at someone trained in Asian fighting arts, they stand up and meet the challenge head-on because that is what they learned in their dojo training.
Children who receive Asian fighting arts training tend to be more independent than social media-dependent. As we are all aware of hearing about the boasts of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and other social media are actually designed to make people slavishly addicted to getting “likes” and other kudos from “friends” and online acquaintances. These tech leaders know that they can get kids so addicted to having others approve of them online, that they get a rush from such online approval or feel physically crushed by disapproval.
Children under such pressure are under the control of others and are targets for easy manipulation. Sadly, kids, who are cloistered inside, with no regular exercise end up spending hours trying to become socially acceptable to strangers online they may not even know. As we have seen in the news, those strangers could even be adults with sick and perverse agendas.
Children who are engaged in Asian fighting arts training don’t have time for such nonsense. They have their school homework and physical training. Their training and desire to move up in the belt classification system helps move them to other cross-training endeavors that are equally healthy, like running and other sports. Their highly-disciplined bodies adapt well to these other exercise routines and sports. It is far better than kids be addicted to some physical exercise or sport than to social media.
This keeps kids independent of the corrupting influences of those who are only looking at them like a dollar sign like Zuckerberg does. Kids with Asian fighting arts training are independent and free to be and to pursue whatever goal or direction that they decide to take.
Children who are trained in Asian fighting arts are more tenacious. Working for every new belt and level and picking themselves up after a mistake or a loss helps them to be confident that they can overcome adversity. They will be far less likely to quit or run for the exits when things are tougher than they thought in the workforce. They will find ways to rise up and meet challenges, not cave and run away. Their self-confidence is genuine and is borne of turning failures and initial roadblocks into successes.
One other really important point that some people do not understand is that Asian fighting arts training does not create students who are bullies. On the contrary, Asian fighting arts training creates students who know that they can defend themselves. It also creates students who know when violence is absolutely necessary to protect oneself and one’s loved ones and when and how it can be avoided.
We believe and have seen the years’ worth of results that martial arts training produces children who have discipline and confidence. They find the strength to succeed and be independent and free. You cannot count upon the training that your school system or the media will provide your child, but training in Asian fighting arts will provide them inner power and resiliency.