Kids and Martial Arts
Every type of martial arts is great for kids. There are tons of positive things that kids can take away from practicing martial arts including self-defense, discipline and high self-esteem.
Bullying is a big problem amongst young kids. It is important to teach your kids self-defense so that your kids will not be a victim of bullying. Often times, kids do not tell teachers or parents about being bullied so the problem can go unnoticed by adults. However, if your child knows how to defend him/herself, bullying can be prevented from happening in the first place.
All practices of martial arts teach kids discipline. There are forms to be memorized, practiced and perfected. Lots of repetitive practice is required in martial arts. It is not easy to get each form down correctly. However, kids are positively reinforced each time they do something well through rewards such as the next level of belt or a patch to show off on their uniforms. Kids will learn how to be patient and listen to and follow instructions, both invaluable qualities to develop as children.
Anytime a child feels like he or she belongs to a group, it can be a huge self-esteem booster. Kids can share within their classmates things they learned or are having trouble with in class and teach each other and build each other up. When they are able to achieve something, the simple joy of achieving it and even getting a reward such as receiving the next belt up will make your kids feel good about themselves.
It is very important to follow a few steps before allowing your children to delve into martial arts. First, you must determine what practice is best for your kids. Think about their strengths and weaknesses. Also, think about whether they like to kick, punch, grapple, etc.. Once you have determined which style of martial arts is best for your child, do extensive research on dojos around your area. It is important for the dojo to be clean and safe so visit each dojo before making your decision. Also, meeting the instructor or sensei is very important. You want the instructor to be upbeat, positive and encouraging. The instructor should also be clear in giving instructions and be patient with the kids. If you are careful and very selective with the dojo you choose for your child, you will have a great formula to create positive outcomes for your child!