Martial arts can help your child grow, not only as a martial artist but also as a person. We see it first-hand on a regular basis with both our adult and child students. The impact it has on children is particularly important because the skills and benefits they acquire through martial arts help them greatly during their formative years, potentially setting the blueprint for the person they’ll grow into.
Here are 5 ways kids martial arts will help your child grow:
1. Self-Confidence – As your child grows in skill in their martial art of choice, their self-confidence will get a big boost as well. The belt system is a reflection of the hard work they put in; acquiring knowledge and applying it. The public recognition they get from their peers at a belt ceremony is very exciting and gives them the satisfaction of repeatedly setting goals and working hard to achieve them. This occurs with every belt promotion they receive.
2. Discipline. – Kids martial arts teaches your child the value of coming to class even when they don’t feel like it. While it’s a fun atmosphere, there’s also a list of strict rules and protocols that must be followed inside the gym in order to create a safe and respectful environment. This structure is a model that kids will have to follow throughout their lives, at home, school and eventually work.
3. Fitness – With the rise in the use of smartphones, video games, tablets and Netflix, childhood obesity and diabetes have become a global epidemic. Martial arts will not only help your child build muscular endurance and burn fat but also increase cardiovascular endurance. This is where kids martial arts has some advantages over team sports because they’re engaged in physical activity throughout the class regardless of skill level, whereas in team sports many children end up sitting on the bench because of the limited number of spots available in the game at any one time.
4. Social skills – Generally, kids martial arts classes consist of some type of calisthenics warm-up, followed by a technique lesson and some kind of sparring or game based on the techniques they’ve been taught. During these activities, your child will be paired with different partners that they will work together within order to drill the technique of the day. Working together to accomplish a common goal in addition to being in regular contact with the same faces every week helps build strong bonds and friendships that transcend the confines of the gym environment. It’s very common to see new students be shy and reserved at the beginning only to be excited to see all their new friends at the gym a short time later after they become more comfortable.
5. Humility – In martial arts, everyone is going to lose on a regular basis. Just as being successful in a tournament or sparring has the effect of boosting your child’s self-confidence, everyone no matter the skill level, will also lose and this has the effect of teaching humility. In the gym, losing is extremely common regardless of skill level or athletic prowess and the normal reaction is to shake hands, say “good job” and go back at it. This teaches your child that not everything will go their way in life and the value of getting back on the horse and trying again.