Martial Arts for Children – Consider It

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Are you looking for a good outlet for your child’s energy? Then consider martial arts for children.

Parents often look for organized activities that their children can engage in that will help them expend some of that liveliness while providing a nice social experience. Some choose soccer, little league, or any number of sports as an avenue for release of their children’s extra energy. Some parents also consider enrolling their child into a martial arts class for their activity. This is often a good choice because martial arts study, in general, provides a better experience for children.

Martial arts classes for children offer several benefits over other organized athletics or team sports. The main benefit that everyone seems to cite is a structured environment where rules are enforced. One thing to remember is that while the overall themes of the martial arts are discipline, focus, and devotion, you still have to keep an eye out for schools that may not have these attributes as their main goals. Be sure to observe a class or two that you may want to enroll your child in before you sign them up.

Another obvious benefit is that a child in a good martial arts school will learn about self discipline. This, if taught correctly, can help the child develop self discipline in other areas of life. One thing that has been lost in our modern world is the idea that martial arts study is a journey. When children are taught that martial arts training is just an after school activity or exercise program, they miss out on the values of devotion to perfecting the arts that they study. When viewed as a long term study, martial arts can provide a template that can help in other areas of life. The basic idea behind training children in martial arts is to put them on a path in which they will learn self discipline and increase their coordination in a safe environment. If you’re interested in finding a school near you that offers martial arts for children, do an online search.

Martial Arts for Children   Consider It

Some martial arts schools also offer classes in which parents and children can partake in martial arts together as a family activity. These types of classes should be viewed more as a time to bond with your child and to set a good example more than a good opportunity to learn martial arts in any depth. The difference in age and physical and mental development make these types of classes difficult for any one age group to gain any depth in the martial arts. These classes can be fun but don’t be disappointed if you or your child does not progress as fast as you or they would if in a class with people of the same age group. The most common styles of martial arts for children are karate and Tae Kwon Do. This is because, in general, the classes have plenty of action and the movements are relatively simple. If you are willing to be a classmate with your child and don’t mind things being a little simplistic, then look into a parent-child class. You might even get some good exercise.

While there are obvious benefits to martial arts for children, there are a few issues that parents need to understand before going in for enrollment. A misconception that I think a lot of parents have regarding putting their child in a martial arts class is that the youth will miraculously become well mannered, well behaved if they are not already so. Not to get into a parenting discussion, but if a child is not receiving structure and discipline at home, sending them to someone else to teach them those things may only result in confusion for the child. It should not be assumed that a martial class is going to “straighten up” your child any more than the public school systems would. Martial arts training should be a supplement to discipline and structure at home.

Another misconception regarding martial arts is that children should take it so they can protect themselves from abduction or attack. Some martial arts schools begin teaching children as early as 5 years old. While a child may be able to learn basic movements, as their bodies change from year to year they will also have to adjust their execution of the basic movements accordingly. That being said, the idea that a child at any age younger than 12 would be able to perform the techniques that they learn in a fluid, accurate motion may be a little optimistic. Martial arts study for children should be viewed as structured activity first and foremost.

As a child is involved with martial arts in a good school, they will continue to develop their skills and self discipline, but only to the limit of their physical development. With very few exceptions, most children will not be able to thwart off a large adult that is attempting to take them. Just as most people don’t expect a child that is eight years old who is on a little league team to be able to compete with an adult on a baseball team so should a child learning martial arts should be viewed.