When considering after-school activities and sports for your child it’s important to consider many things including the costs involved and the perceived benefits for your child. Sometimes these can be hard to quantify, and difficult for parents to identify at first glance.
Martial Arts can be a great activity to get your kids involved in for a range of reasons that have nothing at all to do with fighting. Many parents get hung up on questions whose answers will not reveal the true benefits of martial arts training for their kids. These questions, and their answers, might include:
- Which is better for kids – taekwondo or karate? The answer is “it depends”. It is the school and the instructors that create the learning environment for kids, not the actual martial art. Parents should look for great instructors first, good facilities second and the type of martial art ranks a distant third.
- Are martial arts good for children? Yes they are – they will get fit and strong, while learning to defend themselves. If they stick at it, then the true benefits of martial arts for kids will start to become apparent. These are outlined later in this article.
- Is martial arts a good way to improve kids skills? Again, “it depends”. Instructors and schools will hopefully focus on both the “hard” skills (the actual martial arts techniques) and the “soft” skills – the mental development that can come with a commitment to training in the martial arts. The “soft” skills that kids learn through martial arts training are the skills that are most transferable to all areas of a student’s life.
Here are the top 5 benefits of martial arts for kids that you might not know that your kids will get when training at a top martial arts school like Perth’s Premier Academy:
1. Martial Arts Gets Kids Active
One of the most obvious benefits of Martial Arts for kids is that it includes a physical activity component. Not only will your child move around a lot, but they will also build their fitness, strength and flexibility.
2. Martial Arts Builds Kid’s Self-Esteem and Confidence
Learning new skills increases children’s confidence and self-esteem in a way that is real and long-lasting. This is only achieved by working through, and mastering, difficulty which martial arts training provides. Kids also need to work together with other students in the class and even perform their skills in front of people during grading or special events, further building their confidence and self-esteem.
3. Goal-Setting and Self-Improvement is built into Kid’s Martial Arts
Martial Arts such as the Freestyle Martial Arts and Taekwondo taught at Perth’s Premier Academy, have a belt or ranking system that kids work through, meaning they are rewarded for their practice and mastery of skills. Focusing on a goal such as achieving a new rank or belt is a great way to learn about goal-setting and motivation.
4. Kids Learn Respect and Listening Skills through Martial Arts
Respecting your instructor and the school is an important part of Martial Arts. Kids will need to listen to and follow instructions in order to learn new moves and skills. They will also learn to show respect to other students when working together in class. Martial arts training also can be a fun activity for your kids during the holidays.
5. Kids Learn About Conflict Resolution through Martial Arts
You might think that Martial Arts is about fighting but in most cases it’s quite the opposite. A good martial arts school like Perth’s Premier Academy will teach students the difference between fighting and sparring. Sparring is a competition with rules whereas fighting has no rules. Fighting happens on the streets and is discouraged by good martial arts schools and instructors like those at Perth’s Premier Academy. Most Martial Arts styles focus on basic techniques first and don’t allow sparring between students until they have more advanced skills. The ultimate aim of Martial Arts is to teach children peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and to help them work out ways to avoid physical altercations.
Martial Arts has a lot to offer kids. At the right school, with highly trained and dedicated instructors, teaching a curriculum that is purposely designed for kids, martial arts training will give them all these benefits and more. At leading schools like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy kids are taught to love being active and learn to be confident, peaceful and focused through hard training. Plus, if your child grows to love it, they can continue practising martial arts for the rest of their lives and continue to reap many of the same benefits.