How does standing in a ready stance lead to academic success?
People do not always understand the benefits of structured rituals in martial arts class. Why do students need to stand in a ready stance? Why do students need to put their shoes with heels to the mat? Why do teachers demand students sit a certain way? All of this seems unneeded if the goal is simply to learn self-defense. Nor is it only about being disciplined. All of these things help teach students to be mindful of themselves, their actions, and surroundings.
Additionally, it’s also teaching students to be detail-oriented.
I would like to draw an analogy to the success of KIPP Schools. Or should I say to the academic success of the students who attend KIPP schools. They demand much of their students, including requirements like standing a certain way, even how they hold their binders. There are some excellent parallels to martial arts which both come down to the same fact:
Constructing tasks that build detail-oriented habits leads to greater success in academic studies, careers, and other aspects of life.
This type of behavior greatly helps to build self-discipline, which studies have shown is more of a factor in higher grade point averages than IQ. Going beyond academics, that attention to detail and self-discipline is also what can make someone more successful in any venture they pursue as a child or adult.
Next time you are in your martial art class, keep in mind that being mindful of even how you sit or stand, is practicing mindfulness and encouraging detail-oriented behaviors that will go beyond the dojo and into other aspects of life.
Train hard! …and mindfully.