Essential skills don’t always look like skills. Standing still is a skill. Sitting quietly in criss-cross applesauce is a skill. Waiting patiently is a skill. Lining up is a skill. Paying attention to classmates is a skill. And we try to teach these skills.
Are they martial arts skills? Maybe not directly, but they are skills that are useful in martial arts. And as any adult can attest, although they are not usually pleasant, they are actually very useful in life.
If you want to perform in martial arts demos, if you want to compete in tournaments, if you want to perform well in class, those skills are essential.
When testing for belts, students are expected to line up by rank. They must sit criss-cross and remain silent while watching their fellow testers at various times during the exam.
Board breaking is done one at a time. Lower ranks sit while higher ranks complete their testing. Students must stand quietly while receiving belts one at a time.
At tournaments, the phrase of the day is “hurry up and wait.” Competitors are called to their ring where they wait sometimes up to an hour before they finally get to perform their one minute of form, depending on age and division.
Competitors are also expected to be able to line up and stand still at various times during the process.
At demonstrations, lower ranks do not end up in as many pieces as higher ranks. Performers not on stage must pay attention to the performers who are on and be on their best behavior.
We want to give the best impression possible of our studio, so these skills are essential to the overall perform-ance of the group.
In class, students are expected to line up by rank, on their own, and stand in choong be until bowed in.
During class, there are many times students must wait their turn, stand in line while kicking the bag, wait while playing games like Duck and Jump and many other things.
For Little Dragons we actually make “standing still for one minute” part of their belt exams.
Skills are Skills
In every day adult life, think of the many times you must stand in line patiently, wait your turn, sit quietly at a meeting even though you have things to say. So, if you see your child sitting, waiting, not physically active every minute of every class, don’t think they aren’t learning. They are still learning essential skills.