Applying Martial Arts to School Work

Mithril Hugunin

In the six years I’ve trained here at Mercer Island Martial Arts, going from my last year of elementary school, through middle school, and into greater half of high school, I have always found that the skills taught in the dojang are those needed to succeed academically. One of the changes in perspective I’ve found most useful is focusing on learning new ideas and techniques instead of worrying about how they will be tested. On the floor at class we devote time to drilling the forms and kicks, perfecting every detail, so when the time comes to demonstrate the movements come naturally. Similarly, I've found it's necessary to put in the focus needed to study, reviewing simple flashcards and running through practice calculus problems until they are second nature. Walking into class one the day of a math test, I then have the confidence to not stress out even if problems look unfamiliar. With a strong base of skills, working through a challenge is fun instead of frustrating. Going for long term understanding of how each piece works and how every piece fits together is a study style that sounds intuitive, but can feel draining- it’s from my time at the dojang I’ve been able to see firsthand that it pays off, and with enough time building up foundation anything, even implicit differentiation, can be learned.