Here’s Why Martial Arts Should Be Your Child’s First Extracurricular Activity

Involving your children in extracurricular activities is often a good idea. They’ll pick up a useful skill, they’ll be more active, and they’ll finally get off social media.

Some parents worry that martial arts will make their children somehow violent and even turn them into bullies, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Martial arts has many benefits, and, in this short article, we’ll break down why martial arts should be your child’s first extracurricular activity.

1) It builds character

Like we said earlier, some parents worry that if their kid practices martial arts, he/she will become aggressive. However, aggression is the exact opposite of what martial arts teaches people. Martial arts isn’t just about teaching kids fighting techniques, there are also many valuable moral lessons that are learned on the mat.

Martial arts is about not about using brute force to defeat an opponent. It’s about using skill, focus, balance, self-control, and, most of all, integrity.

One of the first things martial arts will teach your child is respect. Respect towards authority figures like his/her instructors and teachers at school, respect for elders, and respect towards his/her peers. Martial arts like Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu employ bows to show respect. Through sparing, your child will learn how to properly defend himself/herself from bullies or others looking to cause harm if the need ever arises.

Through martial arts, your child will come to understand that having power and exercising it comes with responsibilities and consequences, and, he or she will learn how to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

 

2) Teaches self-discipline

The second most important lesson martial arts teaches is self-discipline. To practice martial arts, especially physically challenging ones, you must commit yourself fully — both mentally and physically. Through methodized training, children will not only learn techniques and forms, but they will also learn to focus and train hard or risk falling behind their peers.

Instructors will spur them on and give them a sense of accomplishment for every technique they learn and every obstacle they conquer. This nurtures a winner’s attitude, and it teaches the child that if he/she works hard enough, anything can be accomplished.

 

3) Makes your child fit

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Martial arts is a fun character-building activity for children.

Martial arts require a lot of effort and physical training, which increases your child’s fitness levels and leads him/her towards a healthier lifestyle. If you don’t want your child spending hours in front of the TV or computer screen, signing him/her up for martial arts training might just be what you need to get him/her off the couch.

Also, martial arts training improves your child’s motor skills, and it helps him/her to focus. It can be very therapeutic for children with attention disorders like ADHD. Children will also learn social skills at the martial arts gym and develop friendships and camaraderie with their training partners.

 

Finding the right martial art for your child

Before you enlist your child in a martial arts training facility, there are some things you should do first to ensure your child has the best experience possible.

First, find out what kind of martial arts your child might be into. Different martial arts offer different programs and teaching styles. If they are unsure, the best thing to do is have them attend a trial class so they can experience it for themselves to see how they like it.

Once you’ve signed your child up for classes, make sure he/she is well-prepared for each class. Lots of rest is conducive to good training, as well as a carbohydrate-rich meal a few hours before each session. This will make sure your child is energized while training.

Ensure any necessary training equipment is packed as well as ample amounts of water.

Always remember to offer lots of support and encouragement. Children always look to their parents when they’re struggling, so be sure to be there for your child.

As long as you keep encouraging him/her to keep coming to practice and to keep working on getting better, your child will be able to accomplish any goals his/her instructors set.

 

As you’ve seen, children learn many valuable things when they attend martial arts classes. To recap, by practicing martial arts, children will not only lead healthier lives, they’ll also learn important life and moral lessons. Your child will be more respectful, confident, disciplined, and temperate.

Martial arts training is especially beneficial for kids with attention disorders, socially awkward kids, competitive children, or children who simply need an outlet to release all of their excess energy. Martial arts training will give your child the outlet he/she needs to work off surplus energy while learning how to focus his/her mind.

If you’re interested in signing your child up for martial arts classes, bring him/her for a complimentary introductory trial class.

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