What Is The Link Between Martial Arts and Education?

by Jhoon Rhee and Chun Rhee

The first thing that comes into most people's minds when they hear or see the word "Martial Art" is probably an image of Bruce Lee or Jean Claude Van Damme furiously defending themselves against ten attackers.

Today the word "Martial Art" has been associated with academics, and these same people become confused at how such a "violent" activity could positively contribute to improving a child's performance in education.  Unfortunately, Hollywood focuses on the physical half of the Martial Arts and rarely presents the other half, which is self discipline.

This self discipline is the backbone of any Martial Art.  The movie Karate Kid superbly illustrated this aspect of the Martial Arts.  Anyone who desires to become a true Martial Artist, whether s/he is practicing Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Wu shu, or Judo, must first develop self discipline.  So, what is the link between Martial Arts and Education?

The word discipline can be broken down into two basic ingredients:  Attention and Respect.  The two corresponding Korean commands are Chariot and Kyung-nay.  Attention and Respect are the two most important mental attitudes needed for learning.  If we look back to our days in school, we can remember those teachers who we gave attention and respect, we learned the most.  Whereas, from those teachers who we did not care for, we learned very little.  This principle of Attention and Respect is especially emphasized in Martial Arts training; without it, a student will not progress in the Martial Arts.

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