Our Top 5 Reasons to Enroll Kids in Martial Arts Classes
The benefits of martial arts have been known for centuries. From stress management and increased self-control to improved physical and mental wellbeing, martial arts have offered participants a wide range of positive effects. This, coupled with the rise in popularity across multiple disciplines, has drawn students from all age groups, including youths.
There are physical, social, emotional, and intellectual changes throughout the three main stages of child development (childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence). Martial arts training nurtures all of these areas and is an excellent supplement to other forms of mental and physical education. Most importantly, it is fun and gives children an unconventional way to explore and adopt these changes in a non pressured environment. Here are our top 5 benefits of martial arts for children:
1. Martial arts is an excellent form of exercise and physical exertion. Whether it’s striking or grappling, classes are guaranteed to challenge and improve the cardiovascular system while also developing strength in the body. Inactive children often grow up to be inactive adults, so starting an exercise habit when young can create a lifelong healthy habit.
It’s recommended that young people partake in at least an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. Martial arts is the perfect solution to this as it is not only building a healthier heart, lungs, muscles, and bones, but it is also an enjoyable and engaging way for them to stay committed to regular physical activity.
2. Martial arts has a unique way of building confidence. When first demonstrated by a coach, techniques can seem hard to achieve, but through the process of regular practice, the seemingly impossible is made possible. Not only does this teach children that consistency is a significant key to success, but it also builds their confidence and self-esteem as they learn to do things that they previously did not think they could do.
Children also develop a healthy relationship with failure and feedback. Through trial and error, and eventual achievement, students learn to accept failure as part of the learning process and understand that evaluation and critique are helpful stepping stones towards accomplishing their goals.
3. Discipline and martial arts are synonymous; you cannot have one without the other. Being able to practice self-restraint and control one’s actions and emotions is a beneficial skill to have. These characteristics are ingrained in students of all ages, including children, as they practice their chosen sport.
Martial arts, contrary to what many may think, is not about dominating an opponent. More accurately, it involves controlling an opponent, both physically and mentally, through a series of strategies. In addition, it requires a lot of focus, consistency, and patience. These characteristics are conducive to success outside of the academy as well, whether it’s submitting homework on time or resolving conflict effectively.
4. The gym offers a beautiful space to find a like-minded community. This provides a grounding force as children go through various social developments and changes. Especially for children who struggle with socialization skills, participating in a class where everyone shares the same interest can make it easier to initiate or get involved in conversations.
Although martial arts are considered an individual sport, teamwork is still a key area; nobody can excel without teachers and peers’ help. Most classes will involve working in pairs for grappling and striking or in groups for fitness challenges. This helps to develop children’s social and communication skills in a safe and friendly environment.
5. Knowing how to defend yourself is a potentially life-saving skill. All martial arts will teach some self-defense aspect that takes place standing like Muay Thai or on the floor, like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Although this may seem to encourage aggression, studies have shown that participation, in fact, reduces aggression.
While martial arts’ ultimate aim is to teach peace, humility, and nonviolent conflict resolution, self-defense skills have come in handy for kids defeating bullies and even deterring potential abductors. Awareness is an essential component, and martial arts trains children to be aware of their environments, react quickly and efficiently, and get out of dangerous situations.
If you are still hesitant to enroll your child in classes, call us to schedule a visit! We will answer any questions you have and let your child try it out to see if it's right for them.
Participating in training has a host of benefits beyond what is mentioned here. Many kids thrive in these environments and are transformed by the power of martial arts.