Martial Arts for Kids

How martial arts improves focus

Like so many other valuable lessons learned in the martial arts, focus is built in through its methodology. To achieve even the basic most rank one has to learn to master focus. One has to learn the value and application of it in order to learn, grow, mature, and ultimately succeed at the goals you’ve set for yourself. And focus can be difficult to learn, especially for young children who by nature are fidgety, restless, and energetic. It’s perfectly normal, and that’s the way they’re supposed to be at that age. And it is just as true that it is important that they learn to control that energy, that angst and focus on specific things, precisely because they are just beginning life, and don’t know how, or why they should.
And if and when people don’t learn how to focus, it can cause many problems for them as adults. That’s why it is so important that kids learn how to focus, and why it is important to them.
It is just as true that it is something that can be learned or relearned at any age, and adults that may experience problems with focus can find help and positive reinforcement and training in the martial arts.
That’s what makes the martial arts so effective at helping people learn how to focus, people can learn it at any age, and apply it to their lives for their benefit.
Focus is taught throughout the entirety of a person’s tenure in the martial arts to such a degree that they eventually reach a stage at which it simply becomes second nature, and they engage their focus on command.
This happens through force of habit, and ritualization.
A student enters the school and must learn to listen closely and focus on instruction.
Then as they begin to practice they must pay attention, and focus on what they’re doing.
They must illustrate what they’ve learned from the instructor, and focus, as they do so.
And they must listen closely again and focus, as the instructor discusses upcoming lessons.
So throughout the entirety of their class a student relies on focus as a utilitarian asset that helps them achieve the goals they need to to continue advancing, and learning.
This becomes all the more important because there is action, and consequence in a martial arts school. And this is for the welfare and safety of all taking part. If a student isn’t paying attention, if they aren’t focusing properly, they risk hurting themselves or others in the process. And so there is an emphasis placed on the importance of adhering to and utilizing a focused way of doing things. No one wants to hurt themselves or others, but it is a very serious risk if a person doesn’t focus, and pay attention closely.
Focus is important because it helps us avoid mistakes, and mistakes which can range from the simplemost, like having to repeat something because we weren’t paying attention, to more serious issues like getting hurt.
What’s more, focus is important because it helps us with knowledge retention, which is invaluable in the learning process. If a person isn’t paying attention, if they’re distracted it’s much harder to retain what we’re supposed to be learning, and often we have to go back and listen again.
So it bears repeating that the martial arts is an excellent place for learning the importance of focus and how to do it and apply it, simply because it is routinely and regularly practiced. A student has to engage their focus the entire time they are in class if they hope to learn, hope to advance in rank, and hope to grow.
Now everyone has different reasons for practicing the martial arts, and oftentimes those are very important reasons for them. They want to learn self defense, they want to learn how to be better disciplined, they want to lose weight and strengthen their bodies. They want to learn valuable life skills and feel more productive in their lives.
All these reasons are good ones, and important ones, and for that reason, focus is so important that it is routinely engaged in and practiced, and taught as a matter of course in the martial arts.
Nothing can be achieved without it. None of the goals listed, or any others a person has for joining up and enrolling in the martial arts.
And focus is yet another skill or tool a person will rely upon in any worthy endeavor they take in life, any trade or job, or even hobby. Focus is something a person needs to succeed, and that’s something that is especially important for young children to learn.
Consequence and reward become things a student, especially a young person is familiar with in the martial arts. In order to learn they have to focus, and pay attention, or else they have to relearn something, they have to go back and start again. They have to deal with the disappointment of their instructor because they weren’t listening, they weren’t focusing.
On the other hand they learn that they will be rewarded with favor, and advancement when they do focus, and do apply the things they’ve learned. And as a result of this they learn that this is the way the world works overall, and to succeed at anything they must learn how to control themselves, pay attention, and apply their focus to the task at hand.
They also learn that life becomes much easier when they do focus, and when they do control themselves and pay attention. Tasks go by much quicker, and easier, and with much less hassle. And so they learn that it behooves them, benefits them to engage their focus when they are called upon to do so. Simply put, and in closing, the martial arts is one of the very best mediums through which children, or even adults can learn the value and importance of focus.

Article reposted with permission from