Today’s world seems to glorify violence at every turn, from movies, films, and TV shows to video games. Therefore, enrolling your child in martial arts classes may not only seem foolhardy and counterintuitive but also an endorsement of all the bad things happening around you.
And yet, the martial arts styles and sequences that Hollywood portrays are not always accurate and are, in fact, often exaggerated. Nevertheless, there is more to martial arts than gratuitous violence, and exposing your child to the practice will avail them of numerous valuable benefits. So keep reading to uncover some of the reasons martial arts benefits kids.
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One of the core doctrines of all martial arts styles is the absolute focus on self-discipline. Therefore, enrolling your child in martial arts training exposes them to a lifestyle that extolls self-restraint and delayed gratification. Thus, they gain an appreciation for how vital self-discipline is in training and everyday life.
Boosting Socialisation Skills
Some children find it difficult to socialise with their peers, and their personalities don’t allow them to thrive in social environments. However, martial arts training places them in a setting where they interact with peers who share a common interest and work toward similar goals. This allows them to be more open to establishing friendships and forming bonds rooted in shared pursuits. Moreover, some disciplines like Jiu-Jitsu which mandate a paring-off for practice, help develop a more profound sense of camaraderie between sparring partners.
Encouraging Physical Activity
Technology is rendering children glued to their screens. As a result, they live a more sedentary lifestyle that is harmful to their overall well-being. Therefore, limiting screen time is crucial. To help occupy that ‘extra free time’ your child gains from spending less time on the couch, you can sign them up to start martial arts training. This allows them to explore a new and enjoyable field of interest while becoming more active and engaged.
Learning to Set and Achieve Goals
Most martial arts disciplines employ an accomplishment system that uses coloured belts to mark and track progress. These belts then signal the wearer’s skill degree. Thus as your child gets into this colour system, they learn to set and reach for their goals while striving toward gaining a new belt.
Achievement breeds confidence. Therefore, as your child gains and masters new skills and belts throughout their training, they get a significant boost in their self-esteem. As a result, this increased confidence may benefit them in other areas where you may see that they are more open to participating and venturing out of their comfort zone.
Instilling a Sense of Respect
Quite a number of martial arts disciplines have their origins in Asian culture. From these, they have drawn and preserved the belief that your child must extend unflinching respect to their trainer. Enforcing these teachings means that your kid will learn to respect those in authority- a skill that will benefit them long into adulthood.
Encouraging Non-Violent Conflict Resolution
If you were to go by the depictions in Hollywood, you might imagine that training in martial arts is all about discovering how to employ violence. However, in most cases, this assumption is significantly inaccurate. Instead, many defensive disciplines teach children valuable peaceful conflict resolution skills while highlighting the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.
Improving Listening Skills
Mastering various martial arts techniques to build skills and advance through the ranks requires your child to pay close attention to their instructor’s teaching. As a result, they gain valuable listening skills that will set them apart when they employ these abilities later in life.
Developing Teamwork Skills
Martial arts classes and skill-building sessions are rarely carried out individually. While some instruction may be one-on-one, the bulk of time your child spends training will constitute interaction with others as they learn and practice their skills. Through this, your child will develop strong teamwork skills.
Improvement in Other Areas of Life
All the benefits that your child gains within the dojo are applicable outside it. Therefore, when they take up training, they also collect tools that will prove valuable in helping them navigate their social and academic lives. Moreover, these skills will impact their behavior at home while positively influencing their time as adults.
There is more to martial arts training than violence and destruction, and you only have to take a deeper look into it to see that. However, if you remain concerned that training will only teach your child how to pick fights and use violence whenever possible, you can seek professional advice for a clearer understanding. So visit your local dojo to speak with an instructor, administrator, or other parents to grasp better what to expect. You may even find a discipline that interests you and encourages you to enroll in the gym with your child.