Why Parents Should Learn Martial Arts With Their Children

Yasmin Arman
Family-Martial-Arts

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Have you been practicing Martial Arts for a while, and have been thinking about getting your child involved? Or perhaps you have been taxiing your child to their Martial Arts class for the past 3 years, and wonder if you could give it a go. After all you know all the technique names, how to bow, and even how to tie a belt.  

Does it ever strike you that there is something a bit off with how we have to make time for family activities, and so often planning our time around our child’s busy shedule? 

Terms such as, ‘kids activities,’ ‘mum’s quiet time,’ or ‘dad’s night out,’ promote the idea of ‘ME’ instead of ‘US’ and finding time for ‘family time’ becomes increasingly difficult causing stress for parents. 

Stressed Parents = Stressed Children 

And stressed children are certainly not the confident ones.  

But here is the important part… IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT 

It’s just how we have been programmed. Especially with the media bombarding parents with the latest ‘guidelines’, that mum bragging in the playground and… What do you mean your child isn’t coding yet?…it doesn’t matter (unless we make it).  

Raise your child to feel safe, secure, and an integral member of the family, they will do the rest of the work, so you don’t have to.  

Just like us, they need purpose. They need to feel connected to you.  

Children are more confident when their parents learn Martial Arts WITH them 

 A common ground, like Martial Arts, will build their confidence and connection with you. They will learn how to protect themselves physically and mentally. And if you train too, they will feel even more confident and secure knowing that you will be able to hold the fort. 

Train with them and watch their confidence skyrocket. 

Raise confident children that can build their own self-esteem 

We are living in a pandemic of children and teens with low self-esteem, and no gold stars, house points or high 5s are going to fix it. 

We need to find the root of the problem, and that lies within connection…or the lack of it these days.  

Invest your family time in things that will help you grow as a unit. 

Rather than enrolling your child in 101 activities you think will help them become successful and confident in adult life, invite them into your world. 

We invest so much time, money and energy enrolling today’s children in activities that will help prepare them for adulthood, while they participate in ‘children only’ activities. 

If your child doesn’t want to go to ballet, or swimming club, ask yourself if you would like to join them. 

The same applies to Martial Arts schools. So many Martial Arts schools these days have been designed for children only, and when that happens, it turns into a games class, rather than Martial Arts.  

The solution? Find a Martial Arts class that you would love to go to as well.  

That way your child won’t just grow out of it after a couple of years. They will build discipline, confidence and if you are joining them, a bond that will last a lifetime.  

 Not only will you be able to spend quality time with them, but they’ll also learn what it’s like to be an adult that commits, and sticks with things. 

Unsurprisingly, studies show that much of a child’s confidence is directly correlated to their parents.  

Other than developing the necessary skills to help protect yourself and your family (physically and mentally) training with your children is a great way to develop healthy habits, and grow together as a family. 

Here FitRoots will share with you how parents who learn Martial Arts can raise more confident children. 

1) It gives you common ground and is great for connecting with your family 

Sometimes it’s hard to make time for family time. So you end up neglecting it for ‘date night,’ ‘me time,’ or ‘a night out with the guys/girls.’ It doesn’t have to be that way. If you plan your training schedules together not only will you stay accountable, because you don’t want to let each other down, but you’ll have family time, without having to make time for it.  

Watch the video to find out how Vic (dad) and Shaan (daughter) found something to share when they started learning Martial Arts together.

There are likely to be moments when someone in the family will get lazy, demotivated, or distracted. That’s why it’s perfect to have family members who encourage each other when the others need it most. 

You all stay on track, and work towards your fitness goals together, whether that’s earning your next Martial Arts belt, perfecting your back kick, or improving your fitness levels. 

The saying… “A family that kicks together, sticks together” is true, book a free class to find out for yourself HERE

It’s the perfect way to build a bond with your children. You’ll have more to talk about at the dinner table and family gatherings too. 

You’ll build a deeper connection with your children that will last years, helping them improve their confidence in knowing you will always support them.  

2) You all motivate each other, giving you a healthy way to set goals together 

Your’s or your child’s Martial Arts journey does not need to be solo. We all know goal setting is more enjoyable when we have someone to share it with. Of course, you’ll always be rooting for your child, but imagine being in it with them, and they get to root for you too! 

Goal-setting in Martial Arts is common, whether it is Grading related, technique or mental mastery related. 

Develop physically and mentally as a family

Martial Artists are always setting goals for themselves, regardless of whether they are technique related. 

There’s no doubt that parents who are Martial Artists also believe in setting goals for their children to achieve.  

As unbreakable bonds develop during family activities Martial Arts classes, lifelong memories for each family member are also simultaneously created. 

Parents who practice Martial Arts set their own goals in training, setting the perfect example for their children. They know that when their children are training it sets them up for higher self-esteem, and confidence when they are working towards something to develop themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. 

3) It encourages healthy competition 

We all love to win, or watch those we love succeed. 

Martial Arts will help your children participate in healthy competition, between themselves, and with you too! Healthy competition will help you all stay motivated, and on track.  

The best thing about the solo aspect of Martial Arts is that, even when you are competing you come to find that the main goal is for self-mastery and improvement. And as you train more together you will feel yourselves working towards the best versions of yourselves, and collectively as a family.  

Making you all a part of the same team.  

Family activities for the whole family

Apart from being able to train together, you and your kids can help each other out with complex techniques by practicing at home as a family. You can work out where you are going wrong together. It’s common that some pick up techniques faster than others, so use the diverse skills in the family home to help each other out and practice drills until everyone gets it. 

And when things don’t work out the way you hope, having the confidence to not take a loss personally, but rather using it as an opportunity to improve.  

This will build not just your child’s confidence, but yours too! 

Who knows, it might be just what you need to create an unshakeable bond with your loved ones. 

4) It helps get rid of stress, so you can channel excess energy in a positive way  

It’s not surprising that levels of stress and anxiety in children are on the rise. They have pressure building at school, from the media, and social media too!  

It’s a known fact that Martial Arts is a great stress reliever. You can forget about you stressful day at work, and your children can forget about the mountain of piling homework they have too.  

Feelings of fear, and frustration build up and become harder to deal with. Practicing self-defense after work and after school is a major stress buster for both parents and their children. You can all focus on the present moment. Plus, you get that much needed endorphin boost that helps put a smile on your face. 

High intensity training in Martial Arts classes provide an outlet for excess energy that can come in the form of fear and frustration. In classes there is no time to worry about day-day school/work life. 

If you do, you risk getting hit. 

So it is the perfect way to ground yourself and be present. And that’s how Martial Arts students start their mental growth journey. 

Practicing emotions, like anger, fear and anxiety, in the constructive space of a Martial Arts school, students are less likely to have behavioral problems. As students train their bodies’, they also stretch their mental capacities—leading to a more richly rewarding life.

Kid's Martial Arts and Kickboxing Class at FitRoots

Teach your child emotional resilience

Parents who practice Martial Arts are less likely to let stress affect them. 

In turn, their children are more likely to be happier as well, because of emotional contagion, or the psychological phenomenon where people “catch” feelings from one another.

Therefore confident parents = confident children. 

But, if a parent is exhausted or frustrated, that emotional state this can also transfer to the kids. 

The benefits of Martial Arts certainly go beyond the physical changes students see in the mirror. 

It not only affects a person mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally, but could also transfer into his or her parenting style as well. This could definitely determine whether or not your child would be confident later on in life. 

5) It instils mutual respect and improves conflict resolution 

Every family has a fire. We know it, there is no hiding from it, but you can find ways to manage it.  

Martial Artists are known to be more self aware, this means they are more likely to be sensitive to the needs of others too. 

When a family starts to train in Martial Arts they become more exposed to a variety of training partners, as well as their needs. You learn to deal with them and adjust to their needs the minute you bump fists and start to spar.  

This sensitivity to others transfers well into child rearing. A study shows that children who received “sensitive caregiving” in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood, but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s.  

Children learn how to respect their parents and parents learn how to respect their children and see them grow. 

There’s no doubt that the more invested a parent is in his or her child, the better chances the child has to become successful later on in life.  

When should I start Martial Arts with my child?  

The earlier the better. Contrary to what many believe, the best time to start this is when they are toddlers. This is how the Japanese traditionally did it. This is when they are learning to build relationships, and understanding their place in the world. 

Learn about Martial Arts for toddlers here.

Tip: Use this development with household chores too! It’s right when they are super eager to wash dishes with you, stir the pot, and carry the shopping into the house. Then by the time they are 4/5 they will be helping out without even being asked.  

If your child is now 13, frustrated, not wanting to spend time with the family, then it’s still the perfect time.

Whatever you do, find a good Martial Arts School, with a reputable teacher. Don’t waste time or money on a McDojo! Read our 5 Signs of a Bad Martial Arts School to find out more.

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