Martial arts board breaking is a great way to build self-confidence. It’s the perfect metaphor for kicking down the barriers in your life and achieving your true potential! The only way to be successful at your board break is to combine mental focus, proper technique, and intensity – while at the same time overcoming your fear that striking the wood could somehow hurt your body. Take this tension and add the anxiety of potential public failure – and you create the ultimate feeling of vulnerability!
Facing the vulnerability of moving outside of your comfort zone – and then accomplishing your goal is what leads to improved self-confidence. It’s like a magic formula. Set a new goal, put yourself at risk emotionally, accomplish the goal and you become more self-confident! Simple? Yes. Easy? No! It’s not natural for people to “put themselves out there” and take risks. That’s why it’s very important to have caring teachers and mentors who encourage and support you to move outside of your comfort zone and discover new experiences. This is especially true for children!
It doesn’t take children long to experience the feelings of being teased and laughed at when they fail at an activity, game or task. Feel this a few times and you lose the will to take risks and attempt new activities! As teachers and coaches it’s our responsibility to create a safe and supportive environment, and then use our influence to encourage emotional risk taking and overcoming the fear of failure. Having competent, caring adults to teach, encourage, and then cheer kids on as they experience success (and to console and cheer them up when they misstep) is what leads kids to develop into successful young adults!
Watch this video of Allen Park Martial Arts Center kids breaking boards and building self-confidence! As you watch, notice the supportive and enthusiastic coaching, as well as the encouragement from the other children and their parents in the background. It’s a joy to see!
Kevin M. Hurlahe is President of Martial Arts Centers Inc. "Master Kevin" is the head master instructor of Allen Park Martial Arts Center in Allen Park Michigan.