Should I Put My Kid into Martial Arts?
What are the benefits from it?
Kids these days have numerous amount of activities available to them ranging from team sports, music lessons, choir, dance, gymnastics, math teams, chess teams, book clubs, and many other activities.
As long as they aren’t on their iPads all day right?
All jokes aside, which of these activities would actually be the most beneficial to my child’s development and give them skills they can use in everyday life?
In this article, I’m going to break down why Martial Arts are one of the beneficial activity you can put your child in, and by enrolling them in at a young age you are setting up your child for success.
What exactly will my child learn in Martial Arts?
Martial Arts are the various skills that form knowledge of self-defense. On the surface layer, your child will learn to defend him or herself. But as we are about to learn, it will go much deeper than just that.
While picking up these self-defense skills, your child will be put on a journey, a road map that is clearly laid out in a structured format of belts, stripes, and testings.
Your child will start at White Belt, and depending on the specific Martial Art and academy, they will have a set of belts they will have to test through in order to receive their black belt. Taekwondo is one of the most popular Martial Arts in the world, for Adults and Kids, so we’ll use that as an example.
What skills will my child learn in Taekwondo?
In Taekwondo, your child will begin at White Belt, each belt they will learn a set of different kicks, punches, self-defense techniques, a Poomsae (which is a pattern of self-defense techniques they will have to memorize), and a breaking technique (they will be required to break a board with this technique at a scheduled testing in order to receive their next belt), each requiring their own stripe earned in class in order to be deemed ready to test.
While learning these techniques, your child will start to pick up on various physical skills like balance, hand-eye coordination, footwork, flexibility, and overall athleticism. In Martial Arts, they are required to use their entire body in order to execute techniques, like dancing and gymnastics. Unlike other sports, that are more focused on specific movements and one area of athleticism. Martial Arts requires an overall understanding of how your body works and being able to use it properly. This will give your child a wide-ranging toolkit of athleticism that will be able to be transferred over and allow them to pick up other sports they choose very quickly.
Along with the physical skills they gain, they will also begin building mental skills they will be able to use in every situation for the rest of their life such as discipline, self-respect, confidence, leadership skills, and mental fortitude to overcome adversity. I will break down each of these now:
- Discipline: In class, they are taught by a World-Certified Martial Arts instructor, many of which the kids look up to. They will have to listen and follow instructions in order to get the stripes and belts the kids are looking forward to receiving. By putting their kids in class, parents are often surprised how much more attentive and listen better to instructions after just a few months of classes
- Self-Respect: Because Taekwondo has a structured, goal-orientated system, goals are easily defined for kids and are rewarded with stripes and belts once those goals are reached. This gives kids a sense of fulfillment, that they can set out for a goal and achieve that goal if they work hard towards it.
- Confidence: Most team sports have star players or coaches that play favoritism with certain gifted or family friend’s kids on the team. This diminishes a lot of kid’s confidence because they themselves want to be that star player but never get the same attention. Martial Arts is not a team sport and every kid has their own path, they don’t have to compete with anybody but the person they were the day before. This builds confidence in each and every individual kid because they can see their own progression in the sport.
- Leadership Skills: In class, as kids progress to higher belts, they are put in charge of assisting other newer kids in the class. This gives the kids, often their first time in their lives, the opportunity to teach another human being something.
- Mental Fortitude to Overcome Adversity: Belt testings can be intimidating to most kids, and they’re designed to be that way. The thought of getting in front of a group of people, having to perform a memorized Poomsae, and break a board can cause anxiety and stress, making the kids nervous. But once the perform the Poomsae, and break that board and hear everybody clapping for them, this teaches them the fundamental skill that you can overcome stress, anxiety, and adversity with hard work, focus, and determination.
What to do Now?
Here at Gallatin Martial Arts, we offer Taekwondo and other Martial Arts including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Hapkido. Boxing, MMA, and other Martial Arts.
We offer a one-week free trial so that way your child, you, and your friends can come in and find the class that fits best for you and your child!
With our expert instructors, we’re ready to help you start your journey today!
Click below to schedule a free trial class.