There are many sports, both team and individual-based, and all sorts of activities to which you can devote your time. However, there is one area of sporting activity that remains a misnomer, slightly ostracised from the rest. Revered by those who practice it, and feared by those that don’t. Martial arts have always been a misunderstood pastime.
Nevertheless, martial arts are fantastic for children. Moreover, the younger they start, the better too. It is not a case though of simply buying a set of kids boxing gloves or Thai boxing gloves, and packing them off to the local club to fend for themselves. There is so much more to martial arts than that. Here’s why your kids should do Martial Arts:
Team sports often have extra players who sit on a bench, sometimes never getting involved. Because martial arts are based on the individual and not the team, everybody is involved at all times and so a sense of engagement is gained together with a feeling of belonging.
Those that practice Martial Arts gain a sense of self-assuredness, of confidence in themselves. Because they are wholly reliant on themselves, kids stand to greatly benefit from this level of responsibility.
Hierarchy – Belts and Gradings
Within a class there is a hierarchy, reflected in the colour of the belts worn by each student. Respect for those of senior grade comes naturally, regardless of who that individual is, younger or older. The class will have varying grades throughout its members, and from this system, children learn that hard work and commitment comes with its rewards.
Without question, martial arts are based on and instil discipline. Children will learn respect, order and to prioritise and practice to progress. Repetitive movements and sequences, require concentration and discipline which can be carried into education and everyday life.
Martial arts teach us how to diffuse situations, avoid confrontation, and deal with the aggression of others. It is about control, not about force. It is always a reaction to a situation, never the cause of a problem. Children will learn how to look after themselves and others when faced with the dangers that are an unfortunate part of the modern world.
Martial arts do not distinguish or discriminate between genders or ages, and are a great example of how equality should work. They also allow you to exercise with your kids in the same class should you wish to take up martial arts too!
Recognised as a great form of exercise for those that partake, martial arts can help maintain a healthy lifestyle for any child. A session using kids boxing gloves for example is a great cardio exercise that has many health benefits. All participants will see great athletic development and a healthier mental state also.
There is no off-season
Martial arts are an all year-round sport, whether indoors or outside, and they are also a globally recognised pastime, crossing international borders and language barriers.
Martial arts are a wonderful pastime that all children should try. Some may not stick with it, but they should all be given the chance. Do not think of it as aggression, think of it as control, as a reaction, not a force. Seeing your child gain confidence and a respect for others, whilst becoming healthier, is a great thing, and martial arts can do all of this while they have fun too. It’s about time they started!