How do you describe confidence? There are some definite physical qualities involved in projecting the look of confidence. These qualities include:

* Great posture
* Good eye contact
* A loud and clear voice

Eye contact:
In our martial arts classes we demand that our students look us in the eye when we are talking to them. If a child looks away, the teacher stops talking and remind him or her to maintain eye contact.

Or, the instructor make light of it and says, “That must have been a good-looking boy (or girl) who just walked past!”

If the problem persists, we mirror the behavior and say, “Imagine if I was talking to you and I kept looking away like this (talk, keeping eyes on the ground). Funny, isn’t it? So let’s not do it.”

Loud and clear voice:
We tell our students all the time, “You are what you sound like!”

When student are asked their names, our students know to respond loudly. They say, for example, “Scott, Sir!”

“Here’s why: A martial art student and future Black Belt sounds like a leader, loud and clear.

If a student mutters and doesn’t answer with enough gusto, we ask them:

“Do you want to be a leader and a Black Belt?”

Of course, the student responds with a yes.

We tell them to introduce themselves again, until they sound like a leader.

Good posture:
In martial arts class the instructor would say:

“Black belts have their backs straight and chests out. You do want to become a black belt, don’t you?”


“I know you are good looking, so let’s accentuate it!”

Or, even point out the negative:

“When you’re slouching like that your posture looks so weak and I know that’s not case. You are a strong person, so back straight and chest out. Go!”

We give students very specific directions of how to look and sound confident. That way, they can begin to sound confident and believe in themselves. It is an important step in helping children build self-confidence.