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  • Master Regina Gonzalez

The Importance of Learning Self-Control

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s a study was conducted by Stanford University professor and renowned psychologist, Walter Mischel, proving a direct correlation between self-control and better life outcomes for children that were able to resist temptation and waited for a preferred reward. The study, which was a simple test of self-control in the form of having one marshmallow now or two marshmallows 20 minutes from now, showed that the children who waited and displayed self-control:

  • Got into less trouble

  • Reached better educational attainment

  • Displayed better social and cognitive functions

  • Exhibited more self-confidence and self-worth

  • Scored higher on their SAT’s

  • Lived healthier lifestyles

At American Karate Institute, we understand that a student’s mastery of self-control is one of the biggest factors to their success in both their progression in martial arts and in everyday life. Our martial arts school in Miami constantly reiterate values like respect, self-control, dedication, self-defense and discipline to help shape our students into strong, goal oriented, and successful adults.

Below are some of the ways we develop the values of self-control:

Goal Setting and Incentivizing

Our martial arts classes help students set goals through various rankings, belts, programs, and competitions teaching students the value of delaying gratification while also helping them to focus on the future. Setting goals gives students an incentive for exercising self-control and helps them make the right choices to achieve those goals.

Controlling One’s Aggression

Martial arts training has long proven to help practitioners control their aggression. Children who attend martial art classes tend to be less violent than those who don’t because martial arts training builds self-confidence, nurtures self-esteem, and provides a healthy outlet for stress. The main reason for this is because we continuously stress the use of self-control and teach our students to stay calm and try to diffuse a situation before it becomes a physical confrontation.


Sparring helps students, not only to be prepared for real life confrontations, but also to practice self-control when sparring against their peers. Students learn to hold back, restrain the impulses, and control their aggression.

Making the Right Choice

Last, but not least, martial arts training yields the ability for students to make the right choices. At our martial arts school in Kendall we educate our students on avoiding risky behavior and bad habits, while emphasizing the importance of good judgement.

Developing life skills like self-control are not an overnight process, but when learned and practiced, can help students do better in life.

Contact American Karate Institute for 2 Free Trial Classes

At the American Karate Institute, we teach a way of life. Our Miami martial arts school has developed a well thought out curriculum that teaches more than just the art of self-defense. We delve deep into our students’ technique, skill set, intelligence, intuition and overall physical fitness. Contact us today if you’re interested in self-defense classes and schedule two free-trial classes!

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