5 Reasons that Young Children Benefit from Martial Arts Lessons
Are you a parent that has been thinking about signing their child up for a youth martial arts class? If so, you came to the right place! First and foremost, congratulations on making the RIGHT decision. Youth martial arts programs provide a multitude of benefits for your children. They’ll get a boost in confidence, make a bunch of new friends and more. Below are 5 reasons why signing your kid up for a martial arts class is a good idea:
Learn and Practice Conflict Resolution Skills
Bullying is a real problem, I think we can all agree. There are good ways to deal with bullying and there are bad ways. By enrolling your child in a martial arts program, you’re going to help them learn how to deal with conflict among their peers, and you’re also going to help them learn how to deal with it in a safe environment. Children will have disagreements during karate lessons but their instructor will help them work out their differences. A good instructor is also very keen to spot any types of bullying and resolve the issue before it becomes a problem. Children with hot tempers will also learn to restrain their temper because they know it won’t accomplish anything during lessons. Being able to contain anger and not lash out at others will give your child a headstart in their future conflicts as teens and adults.
Build Strong Youth Friendships
If there’s one thing that can be said about childhood, it’s that making friends is both a difficult, but extremely beneficial aspect of the process. It’s widely believed that people bond through stressful events. We’re not saying that youth martial arts lessons are stressful, but we ARE saying that there is a good chance your child will make long-lasting friends with the other children they practice karate or martial arts with. Anytime you spend hours per week with a group of people, you’re bound to start making friendships. As an added benefit, you as a parent might even make some new friends when you meet other parents at martial arts tournaments, belt ceremonies, etc. It’s a win win situation! We adults all know that it gets harder and harder to make new friends as you get older. One of the main benefits of youth martial arts classes is because it gives the parents a way to get out of the house and meet other parents.
Give Healthy Way to Release Stress & Energy
Kids are just balls of pent up energy. Even if they have a healthy recess break at school, they’re still brimming with potential energy. This energy can either get put into playing video games after school, or it can be put into practicing punches and kicks into a punching bag. Most youth martial arts programs are a mixture of gym class and lessons. The kids are encouraged to run, jump, kick, yell, and blow off some steam. Once the kids are a bit calmer, it’s time to start that day’s lesson; be it a new type of kick or punch. Which makes you happier as a parents; your child playing video games all night, or your child running around like a maniac at the karate studio? There is a definite epidemic with parents giving their kids too much phone time. We understand that it’s sometimes easier to give your kid a phone instead of spending time with them, but the long term effects aren’t too positive.
Instill Self-Confidence and Build Self-Esteem
Many young children struggle with self-esteem issues, as well as a lack of self-confidence. Much has been said about the benefits of kids martial arts class. As for self-confidence, anytime someone learns a new skill, they get a boost in self-confidence. Think about when you got your driver’s license. You studied hard, passed a test, and got a new privilege. The sense of confidence you had in your own ability to achieve goals had increased. The same can be said about children who participate in martial arts classes. They’ll be learning new skills on a weekly basis, and they’ll be tested on these skills to get new belts. The sense of accomplishment from showing off a hard-earned belt to their mom & dad is hard matched. When I was a kid, it was common for kids to be part of the Boy Scouts. It was a way to build self-confidence outside of the classroom. However, over the past few years, there has been a noticeable decline in the amount of youth participation in Boy Scouts. That said, having your child be part of a martial arts program is a great benefit for their mental health.
Learn to Respect Authoritarian Figures
One thing that all parents are sure to agree on is that their children need to show respect to the parents themselves, as well
as their elders and authority figures; even to humanity in general. Some parents enjoy teaching their children these lessons directly, while others would rather their children learn them in school or out in the real world. Either works.
If there’s one teaching figure who will teach respect to children, it’s a martial arts instructor. They themselves were taught to respect their own master while in training and will happily instill that same sense of respect on your own children. Young martial arts students are taught to respect their opponents, as well as their master. They’re taught to be kind and listen to other’s opinions. These are all great values that carry over into everyday life.
Why Southern Dragon Taekwondo??
There is a reason why Oprah, Dr Phil, Dr Laura Schlesinger, Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser), Tony Robbins, pediatricians, child physiologists, and educators the world over all have alluded to the fact that Martial Arts is one of the most valuable things you can involve your child in.
It goes way beyond self defense and can help a child in nearly every aspect of their life. Improved health and fitness, athletic enhancement, increased confidence, better concentration, better behavior, more courteous and respectful; martial arts can help in all these areas.
Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not. As a matter of fact, many experts agree that in this day and age of escalating childhood obesity, increased playground violence and deteriorating family structure, if you do nothing else for your child, you should make sure that they learn how to swim and they learn martial arts. Here's Why!!
Concentration - Very few activities engage the mind, body and spirit more than martial arts. Because of this, a child’s ability to concentrate is greatly enhanced by their martial arts training and this concentration tends to be easily transferable to other activities.
Respect and Courtesy – Due to the fact that martial arts teaches techniques that could be harmful to others if applied, martial arts instructors are obliged to stress the importance of respect, courtesy, and restraint. It has been proven time and again that children who are skilled in martial arts tend to be extremely respectful, considerate and composed.
Confidence - Martial arts virtually always lends to increased confidence in children for a couple of specific reasons. First off, there are no bench sitters, every child participates and is judged not against others but more importantly, against their own potential. Secondly, the structure of martial arts is built on the concept of setting children up for success by giving them a series of realistic, short term goals that they can attain quickly while keeping them focused on an exciting, long term goal. Each time they experience success, their confidence improves until they tend to believe that with hard work and dedication, they can accomplish just about anything.
Self Defense – “Practice the fight so that you don’t have to” is a phrase that is often used to describe the self defense benefits of martial arts training. It refers to the fact that as a child becomes more confident in their ability to defend themselves thru martial arts training. The need to defend themselves automatically decreases because they unconsciously begin to carry themselves in a more confident manner and that confidence is projected to those around them, making them less vulnerable to predatory behavior. On top of that, martial arts’ training includes strategic self defense as well as actual self defense. Children are taught how to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and how to avoid confrontations.
Athletic Enhancement – It is amazingly effective in enhancing general coordination because it uses every part of the body in a balanced way. Upper body, lower body, right side, left side, forward movement, lateral movement, rotational movement, it’s all included in martial arts training.
Fitness - The three pieces of the fitness puzzle are strength, flexibility and endurance. Martial arts training demand a balance between the three. Therefore, a child who trains in martial arts will find their deficiencies greatly enhanced. Also, because of the balance in the three pieces of the fitness puzzle, they are less likely to injure themselves while participating in other athletic endeavors.
Health - Martial arts training is a proven link to better health for people of all ages, but especially children for several reasons. First off, it is great exercise. But because it is fun, kids don’t mind doing it. Discussing diet and lifestyle habits with students is a part of martial arts training, so children who grow up training develop healthy habits that will stick with them for life.