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Martial Arts For Kids

Despite common misconceptions, studying a martial art is not a vicious or brutal way for children to spend their time; in fact, this is far from the truth. Activities like Tae Kwon Do, Judo or Kung Fu are only a tiny selection of the martial arts available for your child’s enjoyment and whilst they are all fun ways for both boys and girls to keep fit, there are many more benefits, some of which may come as a bit of a surprise.

The following information may offer you a small glimpse into some of the reasons why so many parents consider martial arts great training for their kids:

Self-discipline:

  • Rather than expecting instant gratification, your child will learn self-discipline – practitioners of all martial arts are encouraged to understand that throwing themselves around or hitting each other is not appropriate behaviour.
  • Concentration and focus is a key element of all martial arts and your child will learn that practice makes perfect.
  • Your child will learn to develop excellent listening skills if they want to progress.
  • Working together to learn new things and accomplish goals will help them to understand teamwork, a vital skill for later life.

Setting and achieving goals:

  • The belt ranking system in martial arts provides your child with clearly measurable goals to follow.
  • All of these goals are realistic and attainable.
  • Each milestone, whether it be a mastering a new technique or graduating to a higher belt will provide a sense of achievement.

Respect:

  • Children who practise a martial art are taught to bow to their masters/instructors to show their respect.
  • A good instructor will reinforce the lesson of self-respect regularly.
  • Alongside self-respect, pupils are taught respect for their peer group and their family.
  • Recent research has suggested that learning respect can spill over into school life and help to improve both behaviour and learning.

Increased Self-Esteem:

  • A child who is involved in martial arts is generally a child who will grow increasingly confident simply by mastering new and more complex techniques.
  • Every single skill and technique mastered will show your child what they are capable of.

Socialisation Skills:

  • Some kids feel that they just don’t fit into large groups – a martial arts ‘family’ can nurture new relationships as it is easier to get to know others and form friendships if there are common interests.
  • Working together in learning new skills and moves will form bonds and mutual camaraderie.

Self Defence:

  • Martial arts focus on teaching peaceful, non-violent resolution skills which will help in any confrontational situation.
  • Although the emphasis is always on the importance of avoiding physical altercations, training does teach sharp reflexes which will help your child if they do ever find themselves in a dangerous situation.
  • These skills will give children the confidence to stand up for themselves in any situation, including bullying at school.

If you have considered all of the above benefits of introducing your child to martial arts and still feel that it may foster aggressive tendencies then maybe you would find it useful to visit local dojos or gyms to take a look for yourself. Try speaking to the instructors and other pupils and parents so that you can get an idea of how they operate. Once you have explored all the options you may find a perfect activity that your children or the whole family can participate in together!

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