There have been countless stories of how people have changed their lives with the many benefits that come with practicing martial arts. However, one big misconception still exists: that martial arts are only for adults.
Contrary to what many people think, martial arts can benefit children as much as or maybe even more than it can for adults! And these benefits go beyond just keeping them fit and healthy; they provide qualities and life lessons that are undeniably valuable to a growing child.
1) They will learn how to defend themselves.
Here are the cold, hard facts:
Across the world, DoSomething.Org reports that:
- Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
- Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school.
- 1 out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.
According to the Coalition Against Bullying for Children And Youth and Bully-Free Campaign Singapore:
- 1 out of 8 children are bullied on a weekly basis in Singapore.
- 4 out of 35 children are repeatedly being bullied by their peers.
One of biggest concerns parents have is that their children would not be able to defend him or her self in times of need (i.e. being bullied). On top of teaching children to avoid trouble altogether, martial arts will also prepare them both mentally and physically to defend themselves should the need ever arise.
2) It helps them stay active and fit.
In an age where people turn to the screens of their phones, computers and television sets instead of outdoor activities, martial arts is the perfect way to get kids off their couches and stay active. On top of that, martial arts build muscle and increase cardiovascular performance, ensuring that your child is fit and healthy.
3) It develops their athleticism.
The movements involved in martial arts will challenge and build motor skills, flexibility, reflexes and dexterity, which help develop a child’s athleticism. This helps create a good athletic base for children that will help them excel in all other physical activities.
4) It teaches discipline and focus.
Discipline and focus are hard to build in children nowadays, and parents would no doubt agree with this. But with martial arts, a child will learn focus, patience, restraint, and the many qualities that come with discipline. The same level of discipline and focus obtained from practicing martial arts will no doubt become a part of their daily lives.
5) They will learn respect.
Respect for adults, authority, or anyone in an advanced position is rare among children today. However, respect is a big part of martial arts and its traditions. Thus, the child will learn to be well mannered and respectful not only to their instructors, but towards everyone else as well.
6) It builds their confidence and self-esteem.
A lack of confidence and self-esteem can be detrimental and plague a child for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is important for anyone to develop a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem at an early age. The satisfaction of learning and achieving in martial arts will strengthen a child’s self-belief.
7) It will strengthen their minds.
Martial arts doesn’t just strengthen the body, it strengthens the mind as well. Most of the time, it is our minds that stop us from performing at our best. Martial arts will push anyone to break barriers and overcome fears and obstacles. A strong mind is a powerful tool to help children overcome tough times and succeed in all areas of their life.
8) They will learn to be independent.
While martial arts teaches the importance of teamwork, it is also one of the few activities that requires a practitioner to be self-reliant and independent. Learning how to do a technique, progressing to the next level, or even winning a competition is completely based on the hard work and commitment put in by an individual. So with martial arts, a child will excel when the time comes to be independent.
9) They will learn to be goal-oriented.
Successful businessmen, elite level athletes, and big achievers all have one thing in common: they set goals. Being goal-oriented is one of the keys to being successful in life. It gives individuals direction and motivation, helping them focus and organize their resources in the best way possible to achieve those goals. Martial arts will help children learn to set goals for themselves. This will help them in every aspect of life, whether it is in school, work, or other sports.
So, are you convinced that martial arts is the perfect activity for kids? Whether it is just for fun, fitness, or to bully-proof a child, martial arts is a great way to build a child’s character that will last a lifetime.