Kids Martial Arts - ResilienceResilience. The best thing we can teach our kids.

I was talking with someone I know about upcoming trends in technology. The conversation was about what we could expect for our kids. (Mine are 3 and 9 months… Life is good).

Well, you may have heard about Chatbots in Facebook and Self Driving Cars. These are the front edge of commonplace AI (artificial intelligence). Systems complex enough to mimic conversation or drive a car better than a person can.

While this is amazing, what is mind boggling is how fast development is expected to speed up. What this means is that the world my kids will venture into in about twenty years is one that I, a relatively tech savvy adult, CANNOT imagine. The challenges they will face, good scenarios or bad, are things I can’t see. If I can’t see the challenge, how do I prepare my kids to face it?

Technologist and respected futurist Kevin Kelly compares the upcoming effect of AI to that of electricity in the Industrial Age. Imagine for a moment the difference between now and life before electricity. Every single career will be effected by the change. Many jobs will cease to exist. Many we can’t imagine will come into being. If I was a career counselor I’d pack it in. I’d start asking kids for job advice rather than giving it.

…Resilience is why I’ll share martial arts with my kids….

More than ever this has convinced me of how important it is to pass on the martial arts to my kids.

I’d always planned on sharing it. I’ve enjoyed a life of becoming stronger every year. I have met some of the best people in my life through the arts. I like knowing the people I care about are safer when I’m around. I’ve enjoyed all of the training challenges over the years. These are all good reasons to share the arts with my kids and others.

The reason I will be sure to give my kids the arts is to prepare them for the unknown.

Most everyone I know is ragged from stress. Tired and burned out. I’m not and I’m willing to take on more than most. This is not to boast. It has nothing to do with me. It is a direct result of Martial Arts training.

I still feel stress and and sometimes even overwhelmed by it. The difference is that regardless of what causes the stress I correct course quickly, calm and clear headed. That’s because I’ve been taught day-in day-out over the years to do exactly that in the face of pressure. Try to think of something more powerfully stressful than someone choking you or trying to hit you in the face. As a martial artist I face that daily and am happy to do it.

Resilience is why I’ll share martial arts with my kids. It’s the best thing I can give them to prepare for facing the unknown. I don’t expect them to have to fist fight with robots :). But, they will face challenges I can’t imagine and I will see to it that they have the internal strength to do it.

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