Word of the Month: Self-Discipline


Self-discipline is one of those things that, no matter how much we think we have, we want more. Sort of like money. Except self-discipline really can make us happy, because it helps us become the best version of ourselves we can be.

Self-discipline helps us do the work we need to do. It helps us get up in the morning, and it helps us push ourselves through challenges when we don’t feel like doing what we know needs to get done or start doubting that we can do it. It helps us conquer obstacles, and be healthier and more successful people in all aspects of our lives.

Like money, self-discipline doesn’t grow on trees. It’s not something some people magically have and others don’t. It’s something we can all develop, by working hard and practicing it. And this is where karate comes in.

“We teach our students how to be proactive rather than reactive with their training,” explains Sensei Cody Diesbourg. “Karate is an individual sport with a group mentality,” he says, and one of the best ways to get better at it is to “listen to what everyone is being critiqued for and what everyone is being pumped up for.”

At Douvris Martial Arts we help children develop healthy self-discipline through constant encouragement and reinforcement. Every class we remind students to work hard and pay attention, and we show them how much better they can be simply by applying themselves and remembering to practice at home. We also show them what rewards they get when they do exercise proper self-discipline; be it stripes or belts or simply being singled out to demonstrate proper technique to the rest of the class and getting praised in front of their peers for having put in the effort to get better.

Ultimately, the best rewards self-discipline offers are internal. The most successful people in life, says Sensei Cody, are the ones who use their self-discipline to improve themselves by looking at the lessons other people are putting to good use and trying to implement those without needing to be prompted directly. “When you wait for other people to tell you things all the time,” he adds, “you could be waiting a long time.”