What Is the Best Martial Art for Kids?
Martial arts is a very helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle. The mental and physical training necessary to be successful in any martial art will give students helpful skills they can apply to a number of other facets of their lives. With so many martial arts schools in even the smallest cities it may be a overwhelming task for parents to evaluate them and figure out what is the best martial art for their kids. Although there’s no single martial art that is best suited specifically to all kids there are some which are more suitable than others. Some styles may focus more on the physical tournaments and preparing for them, while others may have an increased emphasis on character and self esteem developing. Furthermore two schools that provide the same style will teach that style distinctly, setting greater emphasis on different aspects of the style, for example mastering the formal movement patterns vs a focus on the sparring aspects. In this short article we hope to help you with some information regarding the best martial art for kids.
Firstly you being a parent have to be sure you understand the reason you are searching for a martial art for your kids. There are a number of skills to be acquired through martial arts, such as self-defence, fitness improvements, teaching self-confidence, or training to compete in competitive events.
While most if not all martial arts are in some ways acceptable for kids, the same can’t be said for all schools or coaches. That is the reason why the initial step when choosing a martial art for your kids should be to determine which of the martial arts styles offered in your area are most suited for your kids, and then assess the schools within driving distance, the instructors in those schools and then the type of training they provide to both students and to instructors.
Begin by exploring several of the schools found in your community to determine what their primary styles are. The World Wide Web is an excellent resource for this as you can get a quick summary of the tenets, history and styles involved with each individual martial art. Consider not only your goals for your kids, more self-confidence or building physical strength for instance, but also the skills of your child when deciding which martial arts may be best suited for them. Judo and mixed martial arts both have some focus on grappling, which is locking or pinning opponents down. So these may not be the best martial arts for kids which are claustrophobic. On the other hand these styles will probably be great at helping your child build their physical strength and stamina.
Once you’ve a list of styles that could be right for your kids, start calling the schools in your neighborhood that instruct those styles. The research should match up with the details that the school supplies. For example, Taekwondo has only two recognized branches, the Kukkiwon/World Taekwondo Federation branch and the International Taekwon-Do Federation branch. If a Taekwondo school can’t verify that they are associated with one of these organizations then their training, and the belts they grant to students, may not be valid or authentic. Inquire if they have programs created specifically for children, or if the children are grouped into a general class. If your kids are intimidated when in a group of older kids, teens or adults then perhaps a general class may not be best suited for them. Find out how many students and instructors are in each class, as a high student to teacher ratio will reduce the amount of time your kids will have with the instructor for one on one training. Ask if the instructors have certifications in first-aid or child education. Find out if the schools have formal training classes for their coaches, to train them the way to teach. Keep in mind that being a champion at a sport doesn’t mean that a person can teach well; consider the number of great hockey and football players have experienced stunningly poor coaching careers. Find out how much experience the master or senior teacher has with kids. Get an idea of what ongoing costs should be to go to the school, which includes items such as promotion testing fees, uniforms, and additional equipment needs like arm and shin guards for fighting practices. Find out just how long the school has been in business, how long it’s been at its existing location and whether the school gives back to its neighborhood through fundraising events or group volunteer activities. These things are important indications of the commitment level that the instructors and masters have to the school.
Now that you’ve found a school you have to inspect the physical location itself. The physical location of the school or the equipment the school uses may not be tolerable to you once you actually see it. More than likely you are going to want to visit the school without your children, in the event that they may be anxious to begin training there and you determine that you are not comfortable with the school. A number of schools will allow you to view or even participate in a free class, to help you get a better appreciation of the teaching style and use of the facilities. Introducing your kids to the school should be done only after you are satisfied with the school, the style and the level of instruction that your kids will receive.
Children can be more committed to the martial arts training if it becomes a family activity. To help your kids be more dedicated to physical activity outside of school you could consider signing yourself up for family martial arts classes.
Many schools emphasize discipline and respect for parents, instructors and elders. Practicing this respect at home may require your reinforcing its importance away from the school.
The history of the martial art and/or the club itself, the grand-master or the organizations the club is part of may be required learning at the school that your kids go to. Be sure to help your kids with some research into these aspects.
10 Long Term Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
Some people think that if their child is taught martial arts, they’ll use it to their advantage and became bullies. The truth about martial arts for kids is very different from what you expect. It improves discipline, coordination and can boost your child’s confidence.
Martial arts training teaches kids with self-control and concentration. When kids are trained for a specific technique, instructors advice them to focus intensely on proper technique execution.
Discipline is doing what you must do even if you don’t want to do it. Although a new technique might be hard at first, the reward of achieving a higher rank keeps them disciplined.
Self-esteem is about self-worth. Having a healthy self esteem means being capable, confident, and able. With martial arts, the small challenges they encounter bring incremental success. They overcome challenges as they improve in their training.
Most martial arts training teach the value of age, rank, expertise, and experience. Higher ranks indicate higher expertise and once they reach a certain rank, they become worthy of teaching their knowledge to others. Your kids will learn how to treat people with respect, even outside of the gym.
4. Goal Setting
Martial arts have specific goals that when they reach it, they will reach a higher rank. Ranks are often denoted using colored belts.
Your kids will learn to take on new challenges in chunks. Dividing up all the knowledge needed to increase a rank bit by bit allows your child to learn to prioritize specific goals before they can advance their learning progress.
The ability to defend themselves allows them to have peace of mind. Basic training often involves avoiding any confrontation as much as possible. Because of self-awareness, your child will less likely have to use violence in dealing with their problems.
If confrontation cannot be prevented, like when your kids get assaulted, execution of techniques can prevent assaults before they escalate.
6. Physical Fitness
The intense training involved with most programs help to greatly improve your child’s cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength.
Martial arts training can help them develop a sense of balance and also lets them learn techniques on how to prevent injuries.
8. Learning Ability
Learning a certain skill require extreme mental focus. Students will learn to concentrate under pressure. Also, memorization of terms and techniques are crucial in performing it well. With repetition of certain technique, students are able to execute the skill correctly. This learning ability, is also adaptable when they are studying at school; thus they learn a certain topic not just through memorization but also through learning proper application to the lessons.
9. Acquire Useful Skills
Martial art classes let them learn useful skills and at the same time be physically fit. So instead of playing computer games and spending time watching TV, they practice a new skill instead.
10. Release Stress
Because of the intense workouts, students are able to release negative energies due to exertion. Sweating is a great way to diffuse anger, and keep them calm. Rather than being impulsive, they will be more centered, and know what to do in stressful situations.
Some martial arts have a ritual shout. Shouting is meant to improve focus and breathing every time a technique is delivered. This can also serves as a way to release tension and nervous energy.
Martial Arts For Kids – What’s a Good Age to Start?
Kids benefit from physical exercise and Martial Arts for Kids is a fantastic and energetic way to achieve fitness of both mind and body.
All to often kids aren’t keen to participate in run of the mill sports and would prefer to sit in front of the TV or computer playing games. As a result too many kids become obese, lack energy, lack social skills and have poor interaction with others. But Kids benefit from physical exercise and Martial Arts is a fantastic and energetic way to achieve fitness for mind and body.
Q. If I encourage my Kids to take up Martial Arts won’t they become bullies at school?
A. No. Most unlikely, as it teaches self control and improves their self esteem.
Frequently Kids lack self belief and therefore confidence, which in many cases leads to them being bullied at school.
Q. Should kids be encouraged to fight?
A. No of course not.
Some parents mistakenly believe this form of sports to be the first step in the bullying process, whereas the opposite is the case, and the kids soon become the leaders in their school or community. So what are Martial Arts.
They come in various forms, the most common being Judo, Karate and Kung Fu, however there are many other popular formats
Learning Martial Arts is about learning self control, knowing that you have the knowledge rather than the strength to overcome your opponent. It is about technique and the ability to turn the others persons aggression to your advantage. It is the art of self defence.
The uniforms or suits that are worn vary according to which you follow. However within each discipline they are the same except for the colour of the belt which confirms the standard that has been attained, it reflects the work they have put into the sport and the achievement they have made.
Martial Arts is a sport that many kids will be happy to participate in as it is non academic, and without them realizing it, it builds their self esteem, it teaches them respect, and above all it builds their self confidence.
Martial Arts for Kids – The Best Way to Develop Your Child’s Character
Contrary to popular notion that enrolling your children to martial arts will promote violence is a misconception. Unlike what you see in typical movies about a kid being bullied in school and after having been trained in martial arts he was able to avenge himself by beating the crap out of the bullies, this is not really typically encouraged in martial arts school. Albeit a lot of bullied kids would probably get that motivation to learn how to defend themselves, revenge is definitely not one of the fundamental principles of any martial arts styles, whether it is Tai Chi, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and many others. Martial arts classes are an excellent way of helping children learn discipline, self-esteem, self-control, respect, courtesy, and mental alertness. The self defense techniques and development of body strength and endurance are just secondary to character development.
Martial arts schools can modify their disciplines to adapt to their clientele. There are some schools that are solely dedicated to teaching kids with special needs such as autism, attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder. There are martial arts training as well that offer leadership courses to further build the character of children and empower them with strategies and tactics for better chances of lifelong success in all their endeavors. This is also why it is important to choose the right school for your children where the environment not only promotes discipline, but fun and camaraderie as well. A good instructor is also someone who is not only an expert of executing any style, but as well as possesses a respectable character that can motivate, mentor and inspire his class.
To learn martial arts would create a big difference to your kids. Most parents who have enrolled their children to it have noticed a distinct change in their children’s character. Here are some of the benefits of enrolling your kids to these classes:
Development of character – training will teach your children essential values like discipline, courtesy, self-control, patience, perseverance, positive thinking, respect and self confidence that will ultimately build your child’s character.
Mental and physical alertness – Your children will also gain mental and physical alertness and agility with constant training.
Encourage academic achievement – as it promotes achievements in all aspects of life, your children will also strive to excel in their academic classes. There are some classes that even take tab of children’s academic standing and encourage them to excel in their respective schools.
Self defense techniques – your children will learn self defense moves and strategies that will enable them to properly overpower a much larger opponent with confidence as well as learn how to fall correctly to minimize injuries.
Martial arts for kids are generally a healthy and beneficial activity for your kids to stay engaged, active and focused. If you are not decided yet as to what to choose among the various styles, you and your kids can check out some videos online, read a book or ask some parents whose children are already attending classes, for example, If it has positive influence on them,or what they learn during the class, and see what perks the interest of your own child.