Benefits of martial arts for kids
It’s a popular misconception about martial arts, that all they do is teach kids self defense and how to fight. People sometimes grudgingly say there’s ambiguous “positive” aspects to it but other than that, it’s just fighting. And that couldn’t be further from the truth, because the truth is the martial arts is an entire environment built around creating better people. It’s a place where people learn invaluable life skills they will take with them and apply in the world outside their school. They’ll learn how to overcome challenges, adversity, and see a greater volume of positivity in themselves and the world around them. What is more, the martial arts provides a community around which people find positive and motivating reinforcement for the lessons they’re learning, and help toward overcoming the challenges they face.
The thing is, people come to the martial arts for many different reasons. Not everybody is solely or only interested in self defense. There’s generally other aspects surrounding that that are motivating factors in their reason for learning the martial arts.
A person that’s interested in self defense may have a problem with positivity, with self image, with courage and confidence in themselves. They may likely have suffered at the hands of bullies, as with kids, or they might have suffered abuse as adults as might be a thing women experience. So they’re dealing with many underlying issues that they have to contend with.
This is especially true for kids because they’re not only learning life lessons, they’re navigating growth and maturity, and things that we as adults may feel no challenge from, they find something intimidating, great, and frightening.
So when they join up in the martial arts they discover a world of possibility in terms of the valuable skills and lessons they can learn. And more than this they learn the discipline, knowledge retention, and motivation to understand and apply these things to their world outside of the school.
Discipline is among the first lessons they’ll learn, and it’s very important that they’ll build upon later with other lessons. But those lessons can only be learned if they’ve first learned discipline.
The instructor understands that kids need discipline in order to practice safely, and to learn. So discipline is instilled in them habitually until it becomes second nature to them.Kids learn that they must be obedient to the wishes of the instructor, and furthermore they have to learn why they must be obedient. Then they learn the value of applying that obedience to themselves in terms of knowing the right habits to have, and the right things to do, and causing themselves to do them.
Once they’ve achieved a level of discipline they begin to understand just how they can apply that toward learning other valuable lessons.
Confidence comes through success, and kids learn that they can indeed overcome challenges and obstacles. At first the techniques and things the instructor wants them to learn may seem intimidating, but through practice and diligence they discover that they can indeed do those things. That gives them well earned confidence. Then they learn that they can take that confidence and build upon it. So now you have a child that is learning focus, confidence, positivity in their self image. They’re learning discipline, and motivation.
Then once they’ve gotten a good grasp of those things they can begin to learn how to create and set goals, and reach them.
They learn the rank and belt system. They learn that to achieve the next rank or belt they have to learn certain things, and they have to illustrate and demonstrate before the instructor that they have mastered these things. So kids learn that they have to think ahead, plan, and set goals for themselves. They learn to create a pathway toward the success of reaching that goal.
So they become positively motivated, and they engage critical thinking skills.
Without exception every single thing they learn in martial arts is a thing they can and do apply to their lives outside the school. And every single one of these things are positive, motivating things that help them become productive members of their community.
This in turn helps them create better relationships with people they meet because they have more positive interactions with them. Kids that have practiced martial arts and spent time enrolled in their schools are more well behaved, more disciplined, they’re positive, bright, and motivated. They are courteous and kind and helpful. All these things help build them into better and more productive adults with a higher chance of succeeding at the things they set out for themselves.
They learn to function in society, and in their own worlds much better than kids who don’t. The thing is, most kids who don’t have the benefit of positive instruction experience behavioral issues, they don’t want to listen, they don’t want to clean their rooms or do their chores. They become contentious and difficult to control or be around. But all of those issues are dealt with in a positive and healthy manner in the martial arts. They learn obedience, listening, discipline, and the value of being helpful to others. And upon these lessons they learn goal setting, motivation, the importance of what they can accomplish through self discipline and a positive self image. And in turn this helps them fend off issues like depression, laziness, overeating and unhealthy life choices. It helps them see that they can be all that they imagine of themselves and more. And they can help others do so as well.
There’s so many positive life lessons that can benefit kids who study and practice martial arts. And there is so much that allows them to help others in the course of that, and in so doing become better examples of themselves and more productive members of their community. And in the long term that means building better and brighter communities themselves.
If one has any doubts as to the behavior and character of kids in martial arts it is recommended that a person simply go to a school and sit in on a class and see how the kids participate, see how they conduct themselves and how they treat others around them. Its proof positive that the martial arts has a positive and beneficial effect on kids.
Article reposted with permission from Go2Karate.com.