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benefits of martial arts

By Kevin Schmad

6 BENEFITS OF MARTIAL ARTS FOR KIDS

1. SELF-CONFIDENCE

One of the most powerful gifts a child can receive is the ability to think and act confidently in their lives. Not to be mistaken for ego, confidence allows a child to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve. In the martial arts, kids learn to be confident in their training, whether through techniques, partner work or sparring.

2. COORDINATION

Through the different exercises and training drills in martial arts, children see an improvement in their balance & accuracy. For instance, through target practice, students develop and hone their hand/eye coordination while learning low stances and kicking improves their balance and strengthens their center of gravity.

3. SELF-CONTROL (PHYSICAL AND MENTAL)

In the Martial Arts, there are two types of self-control: Physical and Mental. Students learn physical self-control to avoid injuring themselves or a training partner. In addition, physical self-control can be attributed to children learning to stand or sit still while listening to the Instructor. The second: mental self-control, relates more to a control over emotions. During their practice, students may be challenged by a certain technique or may struggle to work with a fellow training partner. In this instance, self-control is encouraged to develop patience and to think before acting.

4. RESPECT

In the dojo, respect is paramount to all else - Respect to the Instructor, to the other students and to oneself. Many modern sports activities are riddled with unhealthy banter and negative competition. Through Martial Arts, children learn to respect their fellow students through teamwork and a healthy competitive environment. Towards the Instructor, students bow before training and refer to them as 'Sensei' or 'Sir/Mam.' When students first enter the training area before their lesson, they are asked to sit quietly and not disturb the students practicing. This and many other Rules of Ettiquette within the dojo instill a sense of respect and awareness.

5. GOAL SETTING

Big achievements are the result of consistent effort and are built from smaller successes. In the martial arts, children learn to set goals towards new techniques and their next belt rank. This, over time, leads to patience and dedication in their training, and allows them to achieve larger long-term goals, such as winning a tournament or being promoted to black belt.

6. FITNESS & HEALTH

Its no secret that an active lifestyle leads to a healthy one. In the Martial Arts, fitness and exercise are an integral part of a child's training regimen. With an improvement in stamina and strength comes an increase in striking power and speed, whether on a training bag or in a real self-defense scenario. In many cases, the Martial Arts is a great activity to devlop the athleticsm required for other sports and activities.