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Martial Arts Training for Kids

Updated: Jul 11

Here are some stories and fables about martial arts training for kids that emphasize values such as discipline, perseverance, respect, and humility. The Systema Youth Program has all these principles, lessons and much more to teach the kids.


The Bamboo and the Oak

Theme: Flexibility and Strength

In a lush forest, a tall and proud Oak tree often boasted about its strength to a humble Bamboo. "Look how strong and mighty I am," the Oak would say. "Nothing can uproot me."

One day, a fierce storm hit the forest. The Oak stood firm against the wind, but as the storm grew stronger, the Oak's rigid stance caused it to snap and fall. The Bamboo, however, bent and swayed with the wind, and once the storm passed, it stood tall and unharmed.

Lesson: True strength lies in flexibility and adaptability, not just in rigid power. Martial arts teach the importance of being adaptable and resilient.


The Frog in the Well

Theme: Broadening Horizons

A small frog lived happily in a well, believing it was the entire world. One day, a passing turtle told the frog about the vast ocean. At first, the frog couldn't believe it, but curiosity got the better of him. He ventured out and was amazed to see how big the world truly was.

Lesson: Martial training encourages continuous learning and openness to new experiences. Always strive to see beyond your immediate surroundings and limitations.


The Boy and the Master

Theme: Perseverance

A young boy wanted to become a martial arts master. He approached an old master and asked to be his student. The master agreed but gave the boy a difficult task: carrying water from the river to the dojo using a leaky bucket. Every day, the boy would carry the water, but only a little would remain by the time he reached the dojo.

After many months, the boy grew frustrated and told the master he wanted to give up. The master smiled and led the boy to the path he walked daily. "Look," he said. The path was lined with beautiful flowers, nourished by the water that leaked from the bucket.

Lesson: Perseverance, even in seemingly futile tasks, often brings unexpected rewards. The journey itself can lead to growth and beauty.


systema youth program at FightClub
Systema Youth Training Program

The Two Wolves

Theme: Inner Conflict

An old martial artist told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside every person. "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil: anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

The grandson thought about it and asked, "Which wolf wins?"

The old man simply replied, "The one you feed."

Lesson: Martial arts emphasize the importance of self-control and choosing to nurture positive qualities over negative ones.


The Empty Cup

Theme: Humility and Learning

A learned professor visited a Zen master to learn about martial arts and philosophy. The master began to pour tea into the professor's cup and continued pouring even after the cup was full. The professor exclaimed, "It's overfull! No more will go in!"

The master replied, "Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you anything unless you first empty your cup?"

Lesson: Humility is crucial in martial training. Always approach learning with an open mind and be ready to empty your cup to receive new knowledge.


The Lion and the Mouse

Theme: Kindness and Respect

A lion caught a mouse and was about to eat it. The mouse pleaded for its life, promising to repay the lion's kindness. The lion laughed but let the mouse go. Later, the lion was caught in a hunter's net. The mouse heard his roar and gnawed through the ropes, setting the lion free.

Lesson: Kindness and respect, even towards those smaller or weaker than you, are important values in martial arts. You never know when someone you helped might help you in return.

These stories can be shared with kids to help them understand the deeper values and principles underlying martial training.

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