How do you define leadership? Is it that outgoing person that everyone knows? Is it the person with the most seniority? I meet leaders everyday – young and old, quiet and outgoing – and I see them grow and develop in martial arts class. Over time, many students join class, learn new skills, and have a general good time participating in martial arts. These students have a variety of backgrounds and interests. But out of the crowd, a few will stand out. They are consistent, determined, and passionate.
Leaders are goal setters. They have goals for themselves and others, and they push to get there. Leaders take action and set examples by demonstrating themselves first. There are many qualities of a leader. Helping others is one skill most prominent in martial arts. While the class instructor leads and directs class, student leaders emerge through helping their peers learn skills, practice forms, and help outside of formal class. Student leaders volunteer for the joy of martial arts and the pride they have for their school.
Leaders continue to learn throughout life and share with those around them. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” ~ Benjamin Franklin. Martial arts becomes a part of one’s lifestyle forming an extended family and building character in each student. Not everyone will be a leader in every situation, but the efforts of leaders go a long way and are appreciated.