Martial Arts for Kids – Building Confidence and So Much More
Ask an adult raised in, say, the 80s and a child today what comes to mind when they hear the word “recreation” and you are likely to get two very different answers. The adult will tell tales of spending days outdoors from sunup to sundown playing with friends, riding bikes, or spending summer days at the beach or pool. You won’t hear much, if anything at all, about fun times spent indoors. Conversely, today’s kids will answer with days spent playing video games, watching their favorite TV shows, and scrolling through their preferred social media apps. There is very little physical activity unless it involves heading to the kitchen for a snack during commercial breaks.
In fact, children are moving less than ever these days. Unless they are involved in school sports or possibly a recreational team, they are not nearly as physical as the kids of decades past. Of course, it is easy to lay the blame on technology. However, it is hard to deny that our hectic schedules are enabling our kids to become lazier than ever before. The good news is that many parents are starting to recognize this and are trying to break from the trend. They want to give their kids something fun to focus on other than a screen but other than traditional sports teams, what else is there?
Martial arts can have a multitude of positive effects on a child. These classes offer training for not only the body, but the mind and soul as well. We want our children to be fit both physically and mentally for their whole lives, not just while they are playing sports during their school years. The ways that kids can benefit from this activity are vast, so let’s touch on a few changes you can expect to see in your child once they begin their training.
Bullies Will Think Twice About Messing With Your Kid
It’s no secret that bullying is a tremendous problem in our schools, on our playgrounds, and even online. A bully preys on someone that they perceive to be weak and defenseless. Kids that take martial arts classes are learning self defense as well as self-discipline. The discipline enables them to just ignore a bully and walk away but they will also know how to defend themselves if need be. A bully will detect that your child is not prey and look somewhere else to start a problem.
Self-Confidence that They Will Carry With Them Forever
Knowing that they can handle themselves in any situation will go a long way toward bolstering a kid’s self-confidence. It will give them the courage to stand up for themselves and others and to speak their minds. Instilling this kind of confidence in a child at an early age gives them an advantage heading into adulthood as they will already know how to carry themselves. They will also know how to interact with others respectfully, even if they have a difference of opinion.
They Won’t Become “Followers”
Many children, by no fault of their own, often find themselves becoming followers of a more dominate figure in their social circle. However, a child learning karate or judo for example, will be exposed to strong examples of leaders in the form of their instructors. They will use them as a model to follow when they encounter a group that is missing leadership. Kids also learn the significance of teamwork and the importance of team leadership, which will serve them well in adulthood.
Learning How to Fail is as Important as Learning to Succeed
Most children are inherently shy. They are afraid of looking foolish in front of their friends or people that they hold in high esteem. Learning confidence through martial training will help to alleviate this fear. Their instructors will impart to them that perfection is not the ultimate goal. They will learn that progress is far more important than always being perfect and that they will have to fail occasionally in order to succeed.
It’s a Fun Workout that Will Combat Obesity
Kids today are battling excess weight more than any generation before them. Combine an increase in fast food intake with a decrease in daily activity and the result can be devastating to a child’s self esteem. Obesity opens a child up to bullying as well as an array of possible health issues. Martial training is a fantastic way to get a kid in shape and keep them that way. They will be burning calories while learning an important skill and having fun the whole time!
It Increases Focus and Mental Stamina
Focus is one of the seven skills that a child learns in martial training and it can benefit them far beyond the studio. A kid focused in the classroom is obviously going to do better than their peer who isn’t. As an adult in the workplace, the ability to focus on the task at hand is a very valuable skill. The mental stamina that is acquired during training helps a child become aware of their responsibilities and enables them to be disciplined.
Martial arts can do so much more for a child than teach them self defense. It bolsters confidence, which increases self esteem. A good class provides structure as well as a place for kids who are still growing into their bodies to learn coordination. It’s also a safe space for a child to chop and kick out their extra energy or frustration while figuring out how to do it with control. Learning how to listen to and respect others along with conflict resolution are also invaluable skills that will serve them well for their whole lives.
The sense of accomplishment that a child feels when they make progress is incomparable. The feeling of success, knowing that it came from setting goals and accomplishing them, is unparalleled. Taking off one belt and replacing it with one representing the next level can boost a kid’s morale like nothing else. It’s these moments that a child will carry with them forever as wonderful memories made while learning some of life’s greatest lessons.