The Top 4 Reasons from the Mat
Reason #1: They Become More Active.
This is the obvious reason kids should do martial arts in this day and age – to get active and moving. In case you haven’t noticed, we have an epidemic when it comes to our nation’s obesity problem. We’re also increasingly unfit in addition to being overweight. The problem is particularly alarming as it relates to our kids. Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but not every kid is an athlete and many schools no longer offer PE. The martial arts offer many benefits, but when it comes to fitness, becoming a true martial artist means becoming a supremely fit person. Because of my professional kickboxing career, practicing boxing and kickboxing on a daily basis has kept me in the best shape of my life. Martial arts along with boxing training can help your child get fit and healthy.
In martial arts and boxing, your child will learn what it is to take a hit, whether that hit is a literal blow or a disappointment like failing a test.
Part of life is learning that we all take hits. The key is in learning how best to take that hit and get back up. Unfortunately, this lesson seems to be lost on many in our every-kid-gets-a-trophy culture. In the martial arts, your kid will learn to fail – in a positive way. Martial arts training is about learning how to block and avoid getting hit, while learning how to take a hit.
While I didn’t find getting hit to be a fun experience, I came to learn that accepting I would get hit enabled me to relax and better protect myself. That acceptance led me to be able to better respond, maneuver, and anticipate. Ironically, learning how to take a hit is perhaps the best way for your kid to learn how to avoid it.
Confidence building is something I’ve witnessed firsthand over the last 20 years at Competitive Edge Karate. Students gain confidence while participating in the martial arts from being able to successfully advance in belt levels to using boxing techniques while sparring to combat bigger opponents.
Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence in yourself and respect for others comes from a deeper sense of self-knowledge.
Reason #4: They’ll Connect Their Mind and Body.
Before they learn to mask their feelings, children demonstrate how the body and mind integrate in perfect synergy. Shrieking screams, tears, red face and flailing arms and legs clearly express their feelings of anger and isolation.
To listen to your body is to also see your thoughts and have heightened awareness of your emotional construct.
A martial artist is taught to see, feel, and listen – both internally and externally. Tapping into intuition, fear, and courage are examples of being able to put the physical together with the mental. Martial arts teaches us how to combat these things.
The Take Away
Any child can and will benefit from participation in the martial arts. As to what martial art, it’s honestly not very important. The main focus at this point for a typical six or eight year old is to just get them moving and focused.
What are the keys to choosing a school or teacher?
- Do your homework when it comes to how and where your child will be training in a martial arts program.
- Choose a prospective instructor or coach whose program caters to your child’s needs.
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It is our goal to raise the quality of life for all of our students in every way possible.