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Black Belts Persevere



For those of you that train or have students who have been training for some time, have likely seen first hand the benefits of martial arts. Martial arts and Han Mu Do are much more than just learning how to “kick and punch or lock, throw.” Those are important factors but even more important is the mental side of martial arts. Han Mu Do is about hard work, discipline, confidence, and perseverance. These are attributes that serve our students not just in class, but in school, work, and life. Martial arts are a life skill that teaches students how to set and achieve high goals, work hard, build confidence, and if you can push through to a black belt, you can do anything! These are what we believe are the most important skills learned from Han Mu Do.

Of course, there is the physical aspect of martial arts. Knowing that you could defend yourself is a great confidence boost and a great benefit of martial arts. For those students who participate in other sports, martial arts are very beneficial as well. Balance, agility, coordination, and general fitness are just a few of the benefits that martial arts bring to other sports or activities. Every student, including myself, go through periods of “down” times, where the motivation and desire to continue wanes. Martial arts are a year-round activity and it can become a grind at times. I hear from parents a lot that their students are not wanting to continue or that they are burnt out. That’s normal. When this happens, it’s a great opportunity to try and push your students past those downtimes. As adults, we all know how life at times can be a grind and it’s tough to push past those difficult times where we just don’t want to work or get done the things we need to get done. Martial arts teach us that we can push through those times and that we are mentally tough enough to handle whatever life throws at us. Making a commitment to oneself to set a goal and achieving that goal is one of the greatest benefits of Han Mu Do. Earning a black belt is far more than the sets and forms we learn. It’s about knowing that you pushed through all the tough times, the ups and downs, the aches and pains, the doubts, and through it all, you achieved one of the highest goals one can set for oneself. If earning a Black Belt was easy, everyone would have one! Remember these things when your student is wanting to stop training or is getting burnt out. Let myself or one of the other instructors know that your student is thinking of stopping Han Mu Do or is just getting burnt out. If you believe in the benefits of martial arts, let’s work together to make sure your student regains that motivation and desire before they want to quit completely. Almost every martial art student that quits never comes back. It’s so tough for us as instructors to see a student make so much progress only to quit before one of the biggest payoffs they may ever achieve. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but trust us, earning a Black Belt is one of the most rewarding achievements a person can make. I put my Black Belts right up behind my family in terms of my greatest achievements. More than anything else I’ve achieved in my life including school and work, my Black Belts are what I feel most proud of and are my greatest achievements. We as instructors want everyone to feel that, especially our current and future students. We wouldn’t spend the time and effort if we didn’t truly believe in all the benefits of Han Mu Do! 

Eric VanderWaal 

Washington Han Mu Do

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