The Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
As a parent who’s considering Martial Arts for your child, at the beginning you may not be aware of the full range of benefits this practice offers. It is only through time and experience that you’ll start to understand that Martial Arts is not just a way to get kids in shape – it is a path of mental, relational and personal development that surpasses the realms of regular sports.
For children especially, the path of Martial Arts can be invaluable. Childhood and teenage years are when young people are most vulnerable. A reliable practice that supports and teaches self-defence can make the difference between feeling lonely and confused, or confident and connected.
Health Benefits of Martial Arts
Although this path comes with many rewards for your children that you might not have initially expected, the health benefits are probably what motivated you to consider it in the first place. And, indeed, they are considerable. In Martial Arts class, kids will start off with warm-ups. This can consist of jumping jacks, muscle stretches, kicks and grips; whilst the strengthening of the muscles and cardiovascular system continues into the actual practice.
What’s more, most Martial Arts classes will start with some moments of quiet reflection to rest the mind and prepare it for the upcoming combat. Meditation has been proven to have long-lasting health benefits that can help kids, even if it’s only done for a few moments a day.
Psychological Benefits of Martial Arts
Martial Arts practice often provides children with long-lasting friendships and a sense of community and belonging. For young ones who are still trying to figure out their identity, it can be of great help throughout those awkward teenage years. Martial Arts are for everyone, from confident kids to the shy and introverted. With their teacher’s guidance, each one will adopt values of respect, compassion and patience for all human beings.
For children who have trouble concentrating, Martial Arts are a great choice of practice as they are known to increase concentration and focus. This is largely due to the combination of mindfulness and exercise that Martial Arts provide; whilst most team sports focus solely on exercise.
Martial Arts’ classes promote listening skills, attention to detail, responsibility and discipline. These are all life skills that will prepare your children for the realities of life. Most instructors will take a strict but, soft-handed approach to interacting with their students, keeping their sense of self-worth intact. This will encourage students to be prepared, participate and realise their maximum potential.
Martial Arts are known to instil a sense of personal safety within kids. It teaches them to defend themselves and their friends in case of attack. This knowledge could be a crucial difference to children who are bullied at school. Not just to their physical safety but, to their state of mind as well.