Active outdoor lifestyle isn’t very popular among kids nowadays. Let’s admit that since the dot-com bubble they prefer playing with their devices. And they are not the ones to blame. Parents also don’t have much free time to play sports outside with their kids. However, physical exercise like martial arts is considered to be a huge part of healthy human development.
Let’s not forget that the major health issue in the United States is obesity. Not being active enough causes problems with sleep, posture, and even socializing. So, logically would be to break this pattern and start encouraging children to play sports.
The excellent solution, in this case, can be practicing martial arts. Parents mistakenly think that it is dangerous, violent and aggressive. They don’t want their children to get injured in MMA gym. However, karate, jujutsu, and taekwondo have a deeper meaning. It is not only about the fight, and it never was. It primarily teaches your kid self-defense, and it can also be used as a tool for spiritual and mental development.
Benefits of Practicing Martial Arts
Let’s see what the benefits of practicing martial arts are and why it is much better than playing other sports.
Teaching Kids Respect
The first thing all young practitioners learn is respect. Every martial arts instructor has the responsibility to teach his students that gained skills can be used primarily during an official contest or training. Unless it is done in self-defense.
More than that, your kid will learn the techniques on how to avoid physical fights in the first place. As you can understand, martial arts are not about the fighting till first blood. It’s about self-discipline.
Another great thing is equality between girls and boys. There is a particular skill-based ranking system in martial arts, and it doesn’t divide kids on the basis of sex. The instructor teaches all his students how important it is to help each other and respect an opponent during the contest.
Supplement Your Child’s Physical Education
Attending classes of martial arts at an early age can help your kid to get used to an active lifestyle. Children work on their flexibility, breathing, stamina and muscle tone. Since martial arts can stress the heart in a good way, it can also help to strengthen the cardiovascular system of your child.
Practicing martial arts is a full body workout. During an hour session of the intense class, your kid can burn up to 500 calories. As you understand, it can help to avoid the obesity epidemic and stay healthy.
Training martial arts is also a healthy solution for hyperactive children who don’t know how to burn off a massive amount of extra energy.
Improve Your Kid’s Mood
Kids are not very good at coping with negative feelings and can even be cranky or angry for no reason. The study shows that regular physical exercises can improve people’s mood and memory. It reduces tension and stimulates various brain chemicals.
Moreover, the last research at Bar-Ilan University and UCLA proved that practicing martial arts can help to reduce aggressive behaviors.
Also, it is an excellent way to socialize. Some kids have a problem with finding friends at school. No wonder, there are always small groups of friends in the class, and it might be very difficult for a kid to get through. It looks different during martial arts classes though. First of all, there is no such thing as bullying. The instructor always encourages his students to respect each other and resolve conflicts peacefully. Secondly, it is much easier for kids to make friends when there is a common ground, like classes of martial arts.
Training will also help to overcome shyness because all kids should participate in the activities and communicate with each other. So, no one is left behind.
Being physically active and having friends will definitely improve your kid’s mood.
Kids can Gain Self-Confidence
Capoeira, karate, aikido and many other martial arts teach children how to achieve their goals. Getting results requires a lot of effort, and it takes time. There is a reward system in martial arts, and it encourages kids to work harder. So they can get blue, red, white, yellow and black belts in karate. Afterward, kids understand the true value of hard work and partnership.
Unfortunately, there is still a high level of bullying at U.S. schools. Violence can never be the solution, but being able to protect yourself is important.
Kids who are bullied at school have a higher risk of depression and suicide. Adults might not remember how stressful walking in the school hallways can be. Parents are not able to be with their kids all the time, that’s why they need to teach them at least some basic self-defense techniques. So, your kid will not be a victim. Martial arts can help with that. Also, kids can learn how to overcome anxiety.
As mentioned above, a true martial arts instructor will teach your children how to avoid getting into the fight and have self-control over their abilities.
Indeed, martial arts are arts. It requires a lot of effort and engagement, but you will see at the end that it’s worth it.
Practicing martial arts can help your kid to be active, goal-oriented and healthy. Moreover, you can try training martial arts together and become best friends.