Now more than ever, there is a need for children to practice martial arts. With the increased consumption of processed/sugar laden foods, hours of screen time and uptick in homework, children are in greater need of physical and mental balance. Here is a list of just some of the benefits derived from martial arts training:
Discipline and Self-Discipline
As can often happen today, children can become accustomed to getting what they want when they want it. In martial arts, children learn discipline through the rules, exercises and techniques that are taught. Over time this turns into self-discipline and the good habits that go along with it.
Sometimes nowadays it can be difficult for children to respect authority figures. Martial arts teaches children to respect their instructors and the other children they work with as they learn. This will then carry over to additional respect for others outside the dojo (training hall).
The martial arts ranking system is setup to help teach children to set goals, persevere and to then achieve them. The student’s progress and effort is recognized publicly by their belt ranking.
As a child becomes more proficient in the martial arts, their confidence and self-esteem gets a huge boost. Not only will the child feel better about themselves, it will carry over to other aspects of their lives outside the dojo.
Listening is a very important skill that is developed in the martial arts. A child must be able to listen in both one-on-one and group settings. Developing good listening skills allows the child to pick up the important details the instructor is providing.
Martial arts encourage children to be more active, gain strength and cardiovascular fitness. It also helps with mind-body connection, hand-eye coordination and strategy development.
Sometimes martial arts is more associated with boys but more and more often girls are training and achieving in the dojo. Martial arts tends to be one of the few “sports” activities that girls and boys can play together. At Aikido of Escondido, the ratios of girls to boys changes year to year but it tends to average 50-50 and some years the girls outnumber the boys. Girls are often among the more technically proficient and also take on leadership roles at a higher rate.
While there is much to be gained in team sports, sometimes the chance for individual achievement can be minimal. Sometimes the child can end up sitting on the bench or not used to their fullest potential. In martial arts training, all the children get equal “playing time”. In addition, they can shine on their own during their belt tests. Also, there is no season in martial arts training so it can be done year round.
Sometimes people believe that martial arts training promotes violence but it actually teaches children nonviolent conflict resolution skills. The focus is on finding a peaceful resolution and especially in this day and age physical altercations must be avoided.
Martial arts is most often practiced in pairs as new skills are learned and old skills refined. This teaches the children to work together for their mutual benefit.
Aikido of Escondido provides martial arts training for children and adults as well as fitness training for 15 yrs old and up. Feel free to contact us for more information on our programs.
Owner/Chief Instructor – Aikido of Escondido