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How to Raise Kids Who Fail

First off, if you were expecting this article to be about raising successful kids, it is. If you were expecting this work would offer a list of behaviors to avoid, it won’t. To raise children who are to be a success we must teach them to embrace failure. In fact failure is something to be celebrated.

Why is failure so important? I can see three advantages to failing.

  • Actual failure allows you to clear your mind of fear. Most people don’t truly fail because they messed up. They fail because they let fear stop them from trying. If anyone actually does something that fails they have beaten fear.
  • Failure proves that their was something wrong with either your aim or the plan used to achieve it. Making adjustments to your path during the journey is normal. Any feedback that helps you to know what is the ‘wrong way’ helps you stay on course and keeps you from getting helplessly lost.
  • Failure is the dead end of a habit path you have been following. Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings inspire our actions, our continuous actions form our habits and our habits become our lifestyle. Habits can be really hard to break, enough failure can be the karios that breaks destructive behavior.

It’s natural to avoid pain, that can make embracing failure a challenge. If you could use a little help teaching this lesson to the ones you love most here is your opportunity.

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To Perceive or to Know


Sad to say I have forgotten a lot of what I have learned in school. To get through the test I would practice the definition of the words until they were in my short-term memory and then after the test all of that information would disappear. I had perceived knowledge I did not obtain knowledge.

To obtain knowledge you must feel the idea. This is why people don’t forget how to ride a bike.

I bring this up to help parents teach discipline, focus and all other character traits. If you try to explain the definition you are trying to get them to perceive knowledge.  Worse if you yell at them when they fail to show discipline you re-inforce the feeling of ‘not being disciplined’.

To feel the Character Trait follow these 3 steps

  • Identify the character trait and define it.
    1. “Samuel, I want to talk to you about self-discipline. Self-discipline means you can do things all by yourself.”
  • Explain the behavior you want to see
    1. “After you take off your shoes put them in the closet with your hands, when done correctly your shoes will look like this.”
  • Catch them doing it.
    1. “Excellent, thanks for putting your shoes away correctly. You have great self-discipline.”

You may ask… Shouldn’t they know how to do this? Isn’t it common sense?

If the shoes are put away properly then self-discipline is common sense for them.

If not Competitive Edge  can help.

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How to Raise a Non-Conformist


Dress like me, or you are a slob.

Do the activities I enjoy or you are an outcast.

Conform to the group’s ideology, beliefs and accept our standards.

These suggestions (or threats) are so subtle they are often even silent. These restrained mandates eliminate ambition and cut children off from their highest self. Children need to know, “The bravest thing they can be is your true self.”. So how does a parent build this trait? This is an unknown value of self-defense training. A child who knows how to protect himself from physical threat often has the courage needed to shut down peer pressure and social treats as well. You can also ask them what their goals are. Or attend events that teach the power of visualizing what you want.

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Four Principles for Parents Who Don’t Want to Raise Thugs


Principle one – You are Valuable and Worth Protecting

Depression and felling unworthy are ugly energies. You will naturally try to get out of any negative state of emotion. Many kids instead of feeling depressed will get angry, hit people or throw things. If you want to prevent these outburst, remind the child of their value. Let them know that they matter and they are worth protecting. It’s really hard (if not impossible) to feel angry or resort to violence when someone is singing your praises.

Principle Two – You Have a Right to Be Free From Physical, and Emotional Pain

Ignoring a problem never makes the problem go away. For some reason, ignoring a problem makes it bigger. Pain is your body’s way of saying “Hey cut this out, this is bad for us!” Emotional pain is the same. When you feel emotional pain its time to take action, time to change direction, time to think differently. Kids who recognize their right to be free from pain will respect others have the same right. Tell a kid to ignore insults attacks or any other type of pain and you are sending a message that pain is either to be dished out or eaten.

Principle Three – When Facing Criticism Remember Your Quality

Kids are going to face criticism, insults and the opinions of others. To win you must remember and keep your mind on your advantages. Give attention (or credit) to a critic and you strengthen the critic’s comments. Be ready to counter punch any and every insult. Negative energy that is allowed to cultivate in a mind becomes violence. To stop this, minds must fight back by remembering their value.

Principle Four – Use the Minimum Amount of Force

It’s called efficiency. It’s also called compassion. If the time comes that you have to defend yourself, eliminate the danger and then use the minimum amount of force. Keep in mind no force at all is sometimes the minimum. Other times no force is not efficient.   Teaching children the first three concepts helps them make the right decision when its time to use the forth.

Need help instilling these concepts?

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How Martial Arts Improves Problem Solving Skills in Children

The Problem

An attacker is a problem. All problems can be measured in a virtual scale of lets say 1 to 1000. For most of use turning on a light is a 1 but solving world hunger would be 978. An individual who can solve problems is nothing more than a person who has the skill and character that scores higher than the problem.  A child, who is only a 14, problem solver is going to be stopped by a level 57 problem, but will blow by the same problem if he is 113 problem solver.

Competitive Edge Teaches Problem Solving

We use Competitive drills in all of our classes. We do this in a fun way where a student can get up in class and try to be faster, stronger or demonstrate better form than some of the other students. This process accelerates performance because the children want the recognition and the victory. This exercise also develops problem-solving skills. A student has to look at who is getting the results and what behavior they are doing to get those results. This process of questioning without making excuses or creating alibies is how a student improves their physical abilities.

This week we concentrated on developing the character trait of thinking for yourself. Our students learned that there are three ways to beat an idea; Force, Guilt or a Better idea. We did drills (and will be doing more all month) that improve a child’s ability to look at things as they are. Children who learn how to effectively question their own actions in find better solutions. These exercises improve a child’s rational mind, decision-making ability and problem solving talent. We want to offer a sample of this training to your family as a gift.

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How to Keep Your Children Safe from Bullies, Despots and Oppressors

Let me start by saying this is not a safe zone. I think the suggestion that people need a safe public place to stay where nobody can say or do anything that would make them uncomfortable is the easiest way to weaken children. That being said this is also a no an insult zone. I don’t intend to recommend pain or resistance as a way to create strength. This is a character zone. I’m going to give you one simple concept to implement so that you can make your children stronger. The goal is to raise a child who neither is angered by or affected by individuals who chastise.

Philosophy over Technique

To help raise children who are free thinkers will require that you instill philosophy deeply into their minds not techniques. An example of philosophy is “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” This does not tell the individual exactly what to say or do, instead it provides a law to check yourself against. An example of a technique would be if someone, hits you hit them back. This is an action to take based on a situation. Techniques can be useful but in this case are very limited. I’m going to propose s philosophy instead of techniques.

There are only three ways to beat an Idea.

Two of these methods work, but I don’t recommend using them. I’m against their use because their effect is limited and even when the effect is achieved it is often only a short-term solution. These first two are force and guilt.

If the individual has more physical strength or political leverage force is an easy way to shut down an adversary. This is why many people seek titles, learn new skills or acquire resources. They know with leverage on their side they can set the rules and control others with force. Bullies use force. So do some government officials, some parents, some bosses, some religious leaders and even some of your own family members.

I’m against the use of force to beat an idea for several reasons. First, it often doesn’t work. Second, it requires you have more power than everyone else. Third, it doesn’t’ feel good to use force. Anyone who uses force is scared. They are afraid they won’t get their way or that a problem will occur that is outside of their ability to solve. They are so afraid they don’t think through the issue at hand. I hate feeling fear, in fact I hate feeling any negative emotion so if I’m forced to use force its only because I haven’t controlled my emotions and let fear get out of hand.

The second way to beat an idea is to use guilt.   This approach is unique because it doesn’t try to solve a problem with strength. The person who uses guilt knows they lack the leverage needed to apply force.   So, instead they cower and say “I can’t do it, I require special treatment because I’m weak.” This passive aggressive approach requires the oppressors to feel bad. If they don’t feel bad this approach is a failure as well.

Those who use guilt stay weak. “I can’t lift the weight; will you do it for me?” Lift the weight and rob me of the strength I would have gained. Doing for others keeps them weak and makes it so they will continue to require your assistance. This will make them either your slave or your master.

Could you keep this concept in mind the next time your child complains that life is not fair? Will you refer to this the next time your child compares himself to others with envy? Will you remind them of their strength instead of promoting their inability to do quality work?

The Third Way a Better Idea

When you have to face an idea that is oppressive you must learn to think through the problem. You need to adopt an idea that has more value (or leverage) so that your idea is accepted. The challenge here is that it requires more work, the value is by doing this you create long-term solutions to problems. You recruit strong allies instead of following sheep. You build loyal friendships instead of committed enemies.

This month our school is offering training to help children develop the concept of thinking for themselves. We have four audio lessons for children and for parents that are accompanied by four worksheets to help children develop the skill of developing a better idea.  This is our gift to you.

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DT: Focus as sharp as any knife

This drill requires the best of your focus.


Muay Thai round kicks are applied on the heavy shield( or similar)

You have to have 3 point to win the game. The catch is that you have to wait till someone says go. Now they can be real tricky and use “go” in a sentence or even use words that have go in it. As in ( Go-Cart, Gold, Good…ect)


have fun, as all habits require repetition this is a fun way to not only enhance your round kick but also a fun way to make your focus sharper than ever.


Good Luck