Will martial arts make my child violent or aggressive?

freestyle-martial-arts-little-dragonsTeaching a five year old how to throw a punch, or a twelve year old how to wield a long stick may seem crazy. But at Freestyle Martial Arts Academy in Reno, and many other martial arts schools in town and around the country, that’s exactly what we do. And we’re happy to report that all the studies are bang on – martial arts doesn’t teach a child to be violent. It teaches them self-control, discipline and respect. Really.

There’s no shortage of studies out there to read and compare, and the general consensus points to a link between practicing martial arts and improved self-confidence, ability, decreased aggression and a sense of being connected. That’s all awesome, but there’s one big caveat. The instructor and the martial arts school both matter. A lot.

An instructor who emphasizes mutual respect, personal dignity, perseverance, and does so kindly, is going to have a more positive impact on an instructor who is reactive or punitive. But that’s the case no matter what’s being taught.

freestyle-martial-arts-reno-kids-martial-artsAt Freestyle Martial Arts, we have a youth program and a preschool program. The youth program is geared to children ages 8 to 14, and they learn Freestyle’s curriculum of mixed martial arts in a fun, challenging and age-appropriate way. The emphasis is proper technique, of course, but equally on personal responsibility, goal setting and respect.

Little Dragons is intended for kids ages four to seven, and classes are structured for the needs and abilities of that age group. Classes have a generous instructor-to-student ratio, with head instructors running the show, and a number of junior instructors on hand as well. We have warm-up games to break, we practice the simplest movements through repeated movements and drills, and we emphasize patience and productivity.

Anecdotally, we can tell you that we haven’t had any experiences with kids starting martial arts classes, and suddenly picking fights at school or trying to intimidate classmates. Our classes are filled with energetic kids who know when to listen and understand the difference between playtime and class time. Our students learn discipline and respect, and they get the benefit of regular physical and mental exercise. They’re polite and well-mannered and humble, and we’re proud of all of them.

We can tell you that our classes don’t make kids violent or aggressive, but the best way to make the right decision for your child is to come see Freestyle Martial Arts for yourself. Visit our classes, meet our instructors, and talk to other parents. Watch the dynamic in our classes – listen to the instructors and observe the students. That will tell you much more than we can in a blog post.

And then, check out our introductory offer, which includes three lessons and a gi. Martial arts is the kind of activity that nearly every child benefits from, and that alone is reason enough to investigate further. We’re happy to help.

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