How would you describe your child? However you’d describe him or her – a little bossy, maybe shy or hyper – chances are good that your child would benefit from taking martial arts. When a child practices martial arts, the important lessons aren’t about punches and kicks. The important lessons are the ones about life. Here are six benefits of martial arts for kids.
1. They’ll get moving.
Consistent exercise is one of the main reasons parents get their kids involved in extracurricular activities. PE classes are considered low on the totem pole in most schools these days, and kids have more screen time now than ever before. Not every child enjoys team sports, and practicing martial arts is something even the most uncoordinated child can learn to do.
At Freestyle Martial Arts, youth classes run 45 minutes and children’s classes are 30. You can expect an emotionally, physically tired child by the end of class – martial arts challenges their minds, not just their bodies.
2. They’ll learn to focus and the value of stillness.
It’s the rare child who can be still, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why it’s quite a sight to see a room full of children in tidy rows, heads bowed in meditation. In the youth classes at Freestyle Martial Arts, students are instructed to breathe, focus and let go of the challenges of the day. They’re told to clear their minds and prepare for class both mentally and physically. It’s a skill that can cross over into other aspects of their lives, and it’s something that’s reinforced and practiced before every class.
3. They’ll learn what it means to take a hit and get back up again.
Whether it’s a physical blow in sparring class, or just the disappointment that comes from failing a tip test, there’s a valuable lesson in taking a hit and getting back up. It’s uncommon in our current world of participation trophies, but learning how to fail is something from which we all benefit. Failing is a fact of life, and in martial arts class, children learn to persevere through failures until they reach their goal. That’s a powerful life lesson.
4. They’ll grow in confidence and self-respect.
There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. Respect to oneself and to others is a mainstay in martial arts, and it’s impossible to be both respectful and arrogant. Learning to focus, to be still, to fail and to try again – these are skills that improve your child’s self-confidence.
5. They’ll learn to connect their mind and body.
The ability to really listen to your body, or developing a heightened body awareness, is a natural consequence of physical repetitions. In martial arts, your child learns simple movements that are built upon – movements he or she will practice hundreds, if not thousands, of times. But it’s not just about the kicks and strikes. In martial arts, your child is taught to see and to listen and to feel. And that’s empowering.
6. They’ll learn to breathe properly.
It may sound silly, but proper breath control is the key to success in any physical activity. In martial arts class at Freestyle, your child will be taught how to breathe on impact. It’s important not just in sparring or grappling, but in life.
Learn more about enrolling your child in martial arts at Freestyle with our getting started offer. We invite you to tour the school, watch a few classes, and speak to our instructors. The value of martial arts for children isn’t in learning to hit, or even how to be hit. There’s so much more to it than that, and we hope you’ll come and see for yourself.