Here’s How Martial Arts Can Improve Problem-Solving Skills For Kids

Martial arts is one of the best sports for developing a wide variety of skills in children. Through martial arts, children learn to persevere, work hard, try new things, believe in themselves, encourage others, communicate, and become the best version of themselves. 

One of the many things that martial arts does for children is that it teaches them valuable problem-solving skills. Being good at problem-solving is an incredible skill that children will be able to use for the rest of their lives. Here are four ways that martial arts will improve your child’s problem-solving skills. 


1) Martial Arts Teaches Kids To Communicate

martial arts kids anxiety

One of the most important parts of problem-solving is communication. Learning to communicate is a vital skill for all people. Martial arts create an environment where children need to communicate regularly, and coaches and their peers teach and encourage them to do so. Your child will learn to communicate to problem solve by: 

  • Telling a partner when they are going too hard.
  • Telling a partner that they are ready for more resistance or pressure while drilling.
  • Tapping to a submission to communicate to their partner to stop immediately.
  • Responding to their partner’s tap or request to stop.
  • Communicating to a coach that they don’t understand the directions. 
  • Relaying important information from their coach to their parent.

There are so many opportunities in martial arts where children will be expected to communicate to solve problems to keep themselves safe or help them train at the appropriate level. Communication is one of the most important parts of problem-solving, and fortunately, martial arts provides a lot of opportunities to do so.


2) Martial Arts Teaches Kids To Physically Problem Solve

boy doing padwork in muay thai kids

Whether your child is participating in a stand-up martial art like Muay Thai, or a martial art that’s primarily on the ground like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, your child will learn to solve problems with their physical body. 

As they grapple or spar, they will need to work through how to best win the round. If they get caught in a bad position in Jiu-Jitsu, they’ll need to use their knowledge to get out and back to a safer spot. If they keep getting kicked in the leg in Muay Thai, they’ll need to process how to move their body to avoid getting kicked, or even think about how to instead kick their opponent before they have a chance to land their own kick. 

Live rounds in martial arts provide opportunities for children to understand how to solve problems as they come at them. They’ll work to learn how to use the knowledge they have, which might be a little or a lot, to counter what their opponent is trying to do to them. It is the ultimate opportunity to problem solve using both their mind and body at the same time. 


3) Martial Arts Teaches Kids To Assess And Plug Their Weaknesses

muay thai boy heavy bag drills

We all have weaknesses, and children are no exception. Martial arts will easily expose many of those weaknesses, forcing children to learn how to problem solve and overcome their issues. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Responsibility. Children who struggle with handling responsibility will learn to overcome and devise solutions for being responsible. They will be expected to have all of their gear and uniform each time they show up. Children who routinely forget their gear will likely learn to solve the issue by packing their bag ahead of time or remembering to keep it all together. Additionally, when a child forgets a piece of their gear, they may have to use their problem-solving skills to find a friend, partner, or even the gym staff to borrow. Children will learn responsibility as they learn to be prepared for class.
  • Social Expectations And Etiquette. Most gyms have a set of social expectations and etiquette rules that are to be followed. This may include bowing on and off the mats, not wearing shoes on the mats, greeting coaches in a particular way or with particular words, bowing to partners before a sparring round, or not leaving the mat without permission from the instructor. Some of these things can feel overwhelming to children at first, but with practice, they will learn to problem solve and overcome their fears or nervousness and work up the courage to participate as expected. 


4) Martial Arts Teaches Children That There Is Always A Solution

valdir bjj kids class

In terms of problem-solving, martial arts is the ideal outlet to teach children that there is always a solution to every problem. Children will often get stuck in various positions and feel like there is no way out. Rather than getting frustrated and assuming there is no solution, they will learn that there is always an escape, they may just not know it yet. With practice, they will learn to utilize the escape the next time they get stuck. 

Martial arts opens children’s eyes to see that rather than getting frustrated or looking at problems negatively, they should instead look for the solution. Solution-minded children will continue to grow up to be solution-minded adults. Rather than viewing problems with a negative mindset, they will learn to view them positively.


Martial Arts Improves Problem Solving Skills For Kids

Martial arts is the best sport for encouraging kids to learn problem-solving skills. Whether they are practicing using their verbal communication skills, utilizing their physical bodies to solve problems, or working on having a solution-oriented mindset, they will learn problem-solving skills that will last them into their adult lives. 

If you are looking for ways for your child to grow in their problem-solving skills, sign them up for a quality martial arts program. Not only will they have a lot of fun, but they will become more well-rounded people throughout the process. 


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