Should My Kids Take Martial Arts?
Martial arts classes can give children the opportunity to learn not only self-defense, but also self-discipline, respect and physical fitness. They provide both children and adults with valuable lessons in discipline and consistency along with a great workout.
Understandably, parents sometimes worry about the safety of their children were they to study martial arts. However, in the right setting, this type of training is not intended to turn kids into stereotypical meatheads, but rather to provide them with tools that will benefit them throughout their lives, helping them become better human beings as a whole.
"Wax on, wax off." This is a frequently quoted phrase from Mr. Miyagi, the protagonist Daniel's wise instructor in the well-known martial arts film The Karate Kid. The phrase represented a lesson about patience and determination Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel that applied to life in general along with martial arts. The scene represents one of the biggest intangible benefits martial arts training can provide kids: life lessons that they will never forget.
Choosing the Right School
Of course, kids will only learn these valuable life lessons if they study under a truly great instructor. The importance of finding quality instruction for a kid who wishes to learn martial arts should not be overlooked. In many cases, quality of instruction is actually even more important than the particular style of martial art or the price of the training. That does not mean, however, that a higher price will necessarily equate to better instruction. Be sure to closely examine the instructors’ qualifications, methods of teaching and interaction with students before you make any final decisions.
Martial arts classes can be an excellent way to help children learn to avoid becoming the victims of bullies. However, a good school will not simply teaching kids to fight off bullies, but rather help them develop a commitment to integrity, respect,and healthy self-worth. Good instructors will help instill valuable self-discipline and other values that kids then carry with them into school and elsewhere, for the rest of their lives.
What do you feel is the best age for a child to start learning martial arts?
When it comes to physical health, of course, the benefits of martial arts classes are myriad. Martial arts can help kids deal with a variety of different health conditions, including unhealthy weight gain and obesity, asthma and joint pain, just to name a few. In addition, learning martial arts can be beneficial for children with mental issues like ADHD, social anxiety and the like. Kids can also learn to be courteous and respectful, as well as to work toward and achieve goals through a belt system that marks and rewards progress, leading to more subtle mental health benefits.
Not every kid will be a star athlete or excel at traditional sports, but martial arts can be a perfect outlet for children of any age, background and ability level. Even children that are not fans of more traditional team sports can enjoy the mental and physical challenge of martial arts training.
If your kids are interested in learning martial arts, take the time to find them a worthwhile location to do so. The long-term benefits to your kids of taking martial arts classes just might surprise you. Between the lessons in discipline, self-defense, commitment, achieving goals, social skills and physical fitness, martial arts can offer something for any child.