As an important part of our martial arts training, we’re seeking to understand and develop Assertiveness as our own personal strength.
The first step is understanding that being Assertive with others is far different than being Aggressive toward them.
Someone who is Aggressive manipulates, bullies and dominates others. They use intimidation and force to get their own way in all things.
By contrast, Assertiveness is a personal strength of character. We’re sticking up for ourselves and dealing with others in positive, constructive ways. In the martial arts. we study and develop this strength through careful practice. We learn the difference between being Assertive with others instead of being Aggressive toward them.
Assertiveness gives us a wide range of tools for dealing constructively with difficult people and difficult situations. We don’t let it degenerate into a quarrel or a fight. Just as important, we don’t let ourselves be pushed around or manipulated.
We apply Assertiveness as our personal strength in the following ways:
Assertiveness is one of the personal strengths we learn and develop through the study and practice of the martial arts. Our textbook for this is Speak Up & Get Along by Scott Cooper. We have been using this in our lessons together for many years to good effect.
Being Assertive with others is a skill that we can learn. It doesn’t happen overnight, or in just a few weeks. It takes time, effort and practice — but it can be learned.
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