Children are full of energy and we have to find ways to channel that energy in a positive manner. We try to involve them in activities to keep them occupied, as well as to socialize them. Martial arts provide activities that do both, and so much more.
Children’s emotional well-being is just as important as physical fitness. Children are inundated with so many negative occurrences in the world. Many places, once considered safe havens, are now full of violence. The physicality of martial arts training releases endorphins, which then acts to improve mood and relieve stress. In addition, certain forms of this art promote emotional wellbeing by combatting aggression. Breathing exercises and meditation are performed during some routines, and they have a very calming effect. Many children have unresolved issues that result in bottled up feelings of anger. More and more children are being bullied or otherwise experiencing difficulties in their life.
Setting goals is another important lesson learned while training at the various levels. Your child starts from the bottom and works their way up. They are awarded every step of the way with stripes and belts. They learn that hard work pays off in the long run and that you have to apply yourself and practice daily to achieve your goals. It’s a huge boost to their self-confidence. They feel a sense of pride when they achieve their goals, especially the 1st and 2nd Degree Black Belts. These lessons carry over to other areas of a child’s life.
Lessons in self-defense should be mandatory. Consider all the dangers that children face in the world today. It’s pretty frightening. There are so many threats to a child’s safety. Smaller children are very vulnerable in every way. Older children sometimes have to deal with bullies or fighting at school. The discipline also teaches the art of nonviolent conflict resolution, which is the real goal in any given situation where there’s a threat. It’s always a good thing to be able to defend oneself–a lifelong lesson.
It’s up to us as parents to guide them in the right direction, and encourage them when they try to take the easy way out. Martial arts can be a fun learning experience for children. We all want the best for our children and sometimes they need a push in the right direction. There are so many different activities available and they may not always pick the right one. Even when they do, it may be for the wrong reasons. These lessons are long-term commitments, where they will have to practice and work hard to progress. But the rewards are tremendous if they stick to it.
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