Apart from self-defense skills, your child will learn important values that will stick for life
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that one of the most difficult things to come to terms with is the fact that you can’t always be there for your kids, especially when they get older. Plus, it’s our responsibility to make sure they’re equipped with the basic knowledge and skills to survive on their own.
Coming from an all-boys school, I had to deal with bullies every day — not an exaggeration. Learning self-defense helped me a lot more than I thought it would. But this is only half of the reason I’ve allowed my boys to learn martial arts. The other half lies in the important values martial arts schools teach. Combine all that with the emphasis on the development of physical and mental strength of practitioners, and it’s easy to see why martial arts is perfect for children.
There are many martial arts out there, and most of them are as good as the other in terms of setting children on the right path. While they may teach different defensive techniques and methods, their disciplines are more or less the same. Here are some of the benefits martial arts provides for kids…
7 benefits of martial arts for kids
Discipline and Patience
Discipline and patience are the first things children learn from their sensei, master, teacher, or instructor. For most martial arts, in order to progress, children will have to follow procedures that require proper movement and mindset. This isn’t easy and can only be achieved if a child has discipline and patience.
Self-confidence and Respect
The confidence that children have in their abilities is boosted when they pass a test, get promoted to a higher rank, or receive a belt signifying progress in their training. This sense of achievement is priceless, especially for kids. It provides them a more optimistic view of how the world works and what they are capable of.
During martial arts competitions, just like in any sport, children develop a healthy respect for their opponents, as much as they do for themselves. They see that other kids work just as hard and want to win just as much. Seeing their opponents on the mat, for children, it’s like looking in the mirror.
In connection with self-confidence, when children see themselves progressing through levels in martial arts, they begin to foster a goal-oriented approach towards the countless tasks they face as they grow older.
Through martial arts, kids learn that many of the worthwhile things they want to obtain take time and effort – and instead of obstacles being dead-ends, they become challenges instead. And through martial arts, children take in the basics of planning to reach a certain goal, which again, will serve them well in the later stages of life.
A huge part of childhood is discovery, and that includes discovering movements. Martial arts is a great way for children to enhance their motor skills and learn the many things their bodies can do – under adult supervision, of course.
With the structured way martial arts is taught, even children who experience problems with movement can progress. In fact, it might even be therapeutic for children who face challenges for one reason or another, with the way they move.
Like millions of parents around the world, one of the biggest struggles I have with my children is simply trying to keep up with them. Children have ridiculous amounts of energy that need to be released. The problem oftentimes is that when kids feel the yearning to use this energy, the do so recklessly.
Since martial arts instructors keep children under strict supervision, parents can be sure that this release of energy is done in a safe environment. And for many parents, that’s what really matters.