In the martial arts, students learn more than the physical skills associated with Taekwondo or Karate. Each one of the martial arts has core tenets that students must learn and apply both to their martial arts training and to life. The most important of these — because it relates to all the others — is something called indomitable spirit.
You may know the definition of indomitable. It means “impossible to subdue or defeat.” Since it’s something your child will learn in martial arts class, we think it’s important that parents understand what it is and how it can improve every aspect of a child’s life.
What is Indomitable Spirit?
Indomitable spirit is the mindset of never giving up. A child or adult with indomitable spirit cannot be subdued or put down because their spirit is strong and has the resilience required to keep going.
We should be clear here that the inability to be subdued doesn’t mean that your child will never experience failure or disappointment. In fact, the opposite is true. It is the nature of the martial arts that all students experience failure. Nobody wins every fight. Even grandmasters lose sometimes. The reason that indomitable spirit is one of the tenets of the martial arts is that it teaches students how to move through failure.
Indomitable spirit is a combination of resilience, perseverance, and confidence. When children get started in martial arts training, they’re likely to fall down a lot. Learning new movements will feel strange and they’ll make mistakes. It’s part of the journey at our school — and at every martial arts school.
By teaching children indomitable spirit, we teach them something that goes far beyond martial arts class. The lesson may be wrapped in learning a new kick or how to break a board, but it’s the underlying message that will inform your child’s life going forward.
How Do Kids Learn to Have Indomitable Spirit?
Indomitable spirit isn’t something kids learn in a day. The reality of the martial arts is that students learn by trying new movements, doing them incorrectly, and then repeating them until they have mastered them. In many ways, that process is indomitable spirit in a nutshell.
In life, we all fail. Failure doesn’t make us unique. It is how we respond to failure that defines us. The spirit of constant improvement is at the heart of martial arts instruction. Parents often notice a difference in how their kids react to setbacks after they have studied the martial arts for a while.
Kids fall down in class. They may get impatient with themselves. We teach them the core tenets of the martial arts, including the mindset of resilience. That means that we encourage them to look at each mistake or failure as a learning opportunity. They learn that the best way to be successful in any endeavor is to stand back up after they fall down, square their shoulders, and try again.
Indomitable Spirit and your Child’s Life
Martial arts classes are, in many ways, a microcosm for life. Each student works individually to master new skills and achieve goals, but they do so as part of a community where they must interact with instructors and classmates. They don’t succeed every time, but they learn that persistence and resilience will get them a lot farther in life than perfection.
They also learn that perfection is not achievable, not even by the martial arts masters who lead their training. As they practice resilience, they learn a new way to move through life. Kids with indomitable spirit show their parents respect. They don’t give up and they don’t let minor setbacks stop them from pursuing their dreams.
We believe that every child has an indomitable spirit within. It’s our goal to use martial arts classes to help them discover it, develop it, and carry it with them for the rest of their lives.