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What do water bottles have to do with discipline? | Full Life Martial Arts | Plainfield, Illinois
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Full Life Martial Arts

What do water bottles have to do with discipline?

Posted: January 07, 2020

So we moved right before Christmas to 13544 S. Route 30, Unit 104, Plainfield, and some of you had the chance to see our water bottle Practical Application.

The lead instructor would drink from a water bottle, and talk about how the bottle holds the water in place, allowing it to be contained, and hence, useful.


We would ask the students what water was good for. 

"You stay hydrated!" 

"It can wash you!"

"It's good for when you are thirsty."


And then came the gasps of shock when the instructor turned the bottle over and spilled the water all over the floor.


We tried to put the water back into the bottle as kids shouted, "oh, no! you wasted it!" "That won't work!"  Or, "you have to clean that up!!" 


As the days wore on, the students who had seen the experiment were asked to show discipline over their mouths and not spoil the time for the students who hadn't seen it yet. Most were successful at holding their tongues, but some...perhaps TOO MUCH truth telling going on?


The best part was when a trainee instructor was assigned to help clean up the water, and some students wagged their fingers at the lead instructor and chastised. "YOU should clean that up. NOT <name of helper>" 

Clean up your own messes, right? And walk away from anyone else's mess. Interesting how some people will step away from helping, and others will bend down and share a burden automatically.

So, here's a hard question: what, parents, do you model in your home? Because we all know kids do what you do, not what you say. 

So what exactly is that example? One of entitlement or service? I am the parent, you are the kids, you should serve me. Or is it the other way around?  

We are all naturally after our own self-interest to one extent or another, correct?


So, the water bottle is like discipline. It is the structure that allows for beauty, creativity, joy, love...true freedom comes from discipline. 

And, discipline shared together as a community is often sweeter to bear. That is what happens in every class. We are sharing the burden of a structure, so we can make something excellent of ourselves, and our kids.

Discipline in action.

"My father taught me that only through self-discipline can you achieve freedom. Pour water in a cup and you can drink; without the cup, the water would splash all over. The cup is discipline." ~Ricardo Montalban