It is undeniable, that with good guidance and training, the benefits of Martial Arts for kids extends through their physical, psychological and spiritual development.
The physical aspects of Martial Arts training will greatly benefit your child’s general health. But, also, the discipline, respect and commitment they gain will develop their emotional health. Giving them increased self-esteem, and confidence, helping them to reduce their stress, anxiety and depression and gives them the tools to combat what comes their way.
Here you will find 5 of the many benefits of Martial Arts for your child. These benefits will teach your child how to handle bullying, health fitness habits, the discipline to develop focus, and the respect for themselves and others to ensure non-violent conflict resolution.
What is Martial Arts?
Martial Arts are organised systems and codes of combat, which are primarily practiced for physical, mental, spiritual development and self-defence.
The term ‘Martial Arts’ originates from Latin, and means ‘arts of Mars’, referring to Mars, who was the Roman god of war. Others have dubbed it the ‘Art of War’ after the ancient Chinese military treatise by Sun Tzu, which was created around 5th Century BCE (Before the Common Era).
Martial Arts as a discipline and practice have been in existence for millennia. However, the exact roots of the traditions are difficult to trace, due to the art of combat being such an inherent part of human nature and history.
What that means for you and your child?
… and what are the benefits of Martial Arts for kids ?
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Martial Arts is much more than simply picking up a new activity to get fit and have fun. The ancient teachings which can still be applied to modern life will help your child build solid foundations giving them the physical and mental strength to excel in life.
The Benefits of Martial Arts For Kids
There are lots of reasons why Martial Arts will benefit children, however we have condensed these down to the most widely applicable benefits.
Unlike many activities which focus simply on stimulating the mind or the body in isolation. The benefits of Martial Arts on mental health and physical health teach children that our minds and bodies are one. And if they don’t give attention to one they may fall short.
In 5 years’ time, imagine how much focus your child will have, and how that will help them achieve their goals, in whatever they do.
Many children struggle with the thought and pressure of competing with others. We have built a society where everyone is a winner and if you don’t win, you feel a failure.
Martial Arts is a somewhat solo journey as it not like many of traditional team sports. It will teach your child that the focus is on self-improvement, and that comes from failing and losing. Because, there is always a lesson to learn. Your child will not be “letting down the team”, but always finding opportunities to learn something new that they can try again next time.
By taking this pressure off your child they will flourish and grow to be their own self reliant and successful individual. Think about how much more fulfilled your child’s life can be, with less stress, and more success.
The complexity of Martial Arts concepts and techniques means that a great deal of learning needs to happen before your child is able to spar with good success. Therefore, listening and concentration skills are put to the test, and if not used they will fall behind and potentially leave themselves open to getting hurt.
The younger your child is the less developed their attention span is likely to be. That is why it is important to start Martial Arts early. They must learn the importance of listening and applying in order to put theory into practice effectively.
So, as the first benefit of Martial Arts for kids…
There are few better kids activities that will help your child achieve this, even if they have had difficulties focusing in the past.
Stay consistent and let the Martial Arts instructors, environment and community allow your child to grow.
2. Self-Defence and Conflict Resolution
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, to get a call, and find out your child is in danger. Imagine how you will feel, knowing that your child will be able to handle themselves, should something go wrong. They will always know how to find the safest way out of a bad situation, and will only use their Martial Arts skills as a last resort.
Many think that Martial Arts is about violence, and they dread to think they may receive a call from school that their child has been in a fight. This thought is very much based on fear, which is not going to give the benefits of Martial Arts for kids. We are teaching them to overcome their fears. But, it’s quite often the opposite (in most cases). The reason for this is the mental teachings that come with training in Martial Arts.
The aim in Martial Arts is to teach students that the best way to end a fight is to never begin. This can be done through non-violent conflict resolution skills such as using:
- Confident body language
- Strong tone of voice
- Keeping eye contact
- Staying in control of our emotions
- Avoiding dangerous situations
- Assertive language
- Being aware of your surroundings and exit points
- Using breathing techniques to manage stress and anxiety
If this doesn’t work, they should have the physical abilities to be able to end the fight before they become a victim. In training they will be put in scenarios which may replicate dangerous situations whilst being in a safe and controlled environment. So they are better prepared if anything were to happen. This comes from training more and training harder, there are no shortcuts.
Learning new skills will increase anyone’s confidence and self-esteem.
Imagine where your child will be in 10 years time, where they will have their own mind, experiences, and things to say.
Confidence is one of the most desired benefits of Martial Arts for kids, and for good reason.
Everyone knows the importance of good mental health these days, and Martial Arts comes as no exception. Martial Arts will help your child’s mental health massively. Their confidence will grow and this will influence all areas of their lives.
During Martial Arts training sessions, your child will learn to get comfortable working in close proximity with new friends. They will also develop confidence through performing their techniques in front of others, sparring with their peers or answering deep and insightful questions.
Performing and speaking up in font of others will teach your child to overcome their insecurities and fears, through pushing them out of their comfort zone at times. Because, nothing great happens in their comfort zone.
Mastering Martial Arts is a long journey. There is no easy way to excel to (a real) black belt without facing some hardship along the way. This resilience will do wonders for your child’s confidence. When your child achieves each milestone it will give them a sense of accomplishment that is essential for their self-esteem and mental development.
For many, it may be the first time that they are setting and achieving measurable goals.
Imagine never having to tell your child what to do. Instead, they know what the right thing to do is, and more importantly, they act on it.
In many traditional Martial Arts schools, your child will learn discipline simply from the Martial Arts training environment. This starts by bowing to initiate the start of class, a session, or a partner activity. Such a simple gesture sets the tone for what’s to come. It serves as a reminder and an unspoken rule to everyone that Martial Arts demands focus, respect and self-control
Most Martial Arts school have an ethos of honor and respect to instructors, this creates and environment for an eagerness to learn. Many parents notice an increased level of respect at home once their child starts Martial Arts. For many this comes from an increase in emotional control which allows them to set personal boundaries. Acting reckless in the Dojo (Martial Arts training space) will hamper their progress, so they will quickly learn to control their emotions and channel them in a positive way.
They will also learn to see the bigger picture when committing to a challenge, learning to focus on problem solving rather than problems breaking them. This requires complete concentration, and self awareness. When they understand their motivations and areas of development, they will be able to use them in order to achieve their goals.
Martial Arts for Toddlers
Pre-schoolers and toddler Martial Arts classes will teach your little one discipline from the day they start. They might not be throwing round house kicks too early on, but they will learn the importance of listening and following simple instructions. Read our Martial Arts for Toddlers blog to find out how Martial Arts will help key development milestones for your little one.
Imagine watching your child grow stronger, week by week, knowing that they are taking shape into their body, and using it to its full potential. They enjoy and understand that a healthy body, leads to a healthy mind.
Martial Arts will increase your child’s general fitness, making it easier to learn their techniques and make it through a round of sparring.
Fitness is very important for sparring. It is often the fitter student who wins a sparring round (if they are at the similar level technically). Many times the talented, but lazy student who can perform excellent technique, with little effort will neglect their fitness training. Students should never underestimate the importance of fitness in Martial Arts.
Strength will come in many forms for your child. Martial Arts will teach your child to train functionally, using their body as it was designed to move and function.
They will build their:
- Balance & Reflexes
- Speed & Reaction
- Flexibility & Mobility
How To Get The Most From Your Child’s Martial Arts Class
Just like anything, when you join a Martial Arts school you won’t automatically see the benefits of Martial Arts for kids. It takes time, but it will be worth it.
Remember, nothing worth having comes easy!
See the benefits of Martial Arts
There are a few things you can do to give your child the best chance of succeeding and benefiting from all of the above.
1. Don’t Give Up!
Kids don’t quit parents do…
It’s simple really, if you want your child to receive their black belt, then you will need to commit just as much, if not more than them.
So often parents say “I want my child to gain discipline and confidence.” And sure, the intention is there, but the commitment starts to fade.
As parents who enrol their children into Martial Arts, you must lead by example:
- Be consistent: bring them to class, discipline comes from structure.
- Tough love: when your child would prefer to stay at home and play video games because class is not ‘fun’ or is ‘too hard’ it is up to you to bring them to class no matter what. Discipline is not a result of doing what we want when we want, and you can’t build confidence avoiding things that are tough.
- Commitment: when your child doesn’t like it anymore (which WILL happen) you will give them no choice but to attend class. Allowing your child to give up when they lose interest will teach them how to fail in life. Teach your child the value of seeing things through.
Martial Arts will build confidence, self-defence, discipline, focus, and strength but it requires your commitment as a parent. You can’t just show up when it suits your schedule and expect your child to develop or grow. It takes work from you as well as their instructors. When parents ae involved in their child’s training, their growth is exponential.
Don’t be ‘that parent’ who just lets their child start and end things when it suits them.
Give them time.
2. Find a GREAT Martial Arts School
Find somewhere that makes you feel comfortable. A Martial Arts school with a strong community is a good sign that things are going well.
Your child’s first Martial Arts class should be really interesting and extremely exciting.
However, most people have the perception that when they go to their first class, it’s either going to be old school dojo, like ‘Fight Club’, and they might get beaten up.
Or it’s going to be like Karate when you were a kid. Where you end up practicing endless forms and katas in the air for nothing.
You’ll need to be aware of what to look out for, such as, a room full of 10 year old black belts who wouldn’t hold up in a real fight.
Read our 5 signs of a Bad Martial Arts school for more tips
Please bear in mind, the wrong choice may put your child off Martial Arts for good, which doesn’t need to be the case providing you do your ground work.
We want to make sure your child has the best journey!
3. Try it out yourself
Have you ever been curious about picking up Martial Arts? You want all the benefits above for your child, but how about you?
It is more likely that your child will copy what you do rather than follow what you say in the long run.
If you think Martial Arts will be great for your child, how about you?
I bet you would like to be fitter, stronger, more focus and disciplined…who doesn’t want to be able to defend themselves of their loved ones if ever a problem arose?
Give it a go, and show your child how beneficial it can be. As they see you learning and watch your transformation they will feel they are on a journey with you rather than being told what to do.
What starts as encouragement for your child may begin your own journey. One thing is for sure, you never know where the path will take you, just know it will take you on a path of self discovery!
Want to experience the benefits of Martial Arts for your child?
Feeling inspired, and eager to get your child on their journey to improved focus, self-defence, confidence, discipline, and strength?
Just imagine being able to guide them on that journey. They will remember it forever. So many parents we come across let us know about how they dabbled in Martial Arts when they were younger but quit. And guess what… They all wished they had continued!
If you need any guidance on where to start comment below and a member of the team will get back to you within 24 hours 🙂
In the meantime these blogs may help you start your child’s journey:
- Which Martial Art to choose? Read ‘Which Martial Arts Style Should You Choose?’
- Is your child struggling with bullies? Read ‘How To Stop Bullies With Martial Arts.’
- Want to get an idea of the price involved? Read ‘How Much Does Martial Arts cost?’
Looking For Martial Arts In Slough?
Bring your child to try a FitRoots Free Taster class and see the potential benefits for yourself. Reserve your spot now ==> Click here
If we aren’t the ones for you, maybe you’re looking for a different style, location or price point. We don’t want you to miss out and end your child’s Martial Arts journey before it starts.
Have a look at our Top 6 Martial Arts Schools In Slough. Here you’ll find a list of our recommended alternatives.
Don’t let anything get in the way of the benefits of Martial Arts for your kids.