Martial arts are still considered a rather controversial subject, and the unfortunate misconception that they can promote violence is still present. However, just a little research will show any parent that martial arts promote the exact opposite of violence: they teach self control, balance and a healthy physical and mental state.
When you enroll your kid in a martial arts class you have to consider his or her options as well. If having the child learn martial arts is only your goal, and your kid does not share it; there is a high probability that he or she will soon become bored with the sport and quit. In order to get the most out of a martial arts class, you have to make sure that the kid enjoys being there and that the environment is suitable.
The reasons for learning martial arts are numerous. Many parents wish to give their children a boost of confidence and improve their self-defense. Although at this early stage, the physical defense is the only noticeable element, succeeding with martial arts classes will have a series of positive psychological effects on your kid as he or she grows up. However, self-defense focuses on solving conflicts peacefully in an initial stage, and using physical action only when needed. Both the bully and the bullied can benefit from martial arts classes. While the bully will learn that the only way to have power is by respecting the others, the bullied will know how to develop defense skills and how to end a potential conflict.
Just like most sports, martial arts will help your child develop a strong and healthy body. Sedentary children are numerous, with countless hours spent in front of their favorite computer game. The “once in a while” basketball game is not enough to keep your child active and fit. Martial arts however may become a life style rather than a sport. This means that its affect will go beyond the classes and far outside the gym. Several physical traits can be improved this way including muscle strength, resistance to fatigue, increased flexibility, and better blood flow.
As mentioned before, there are more than physical skills to be learned in a martial arts class. Your child will get more self-confidence and self esteem. Although martial arts are not a team sport, they can teach important skills in this area. You child will also develop skills such as patience and discipline, which can be easily translated in his or her school performance as well. Martial arts also teach children the notion of respect – and you will notice this especially with over active children. It is important that the instructor does not focus only on developing the physical side of martial arts in kids; he must also teach good demeanor and respect.
Even though martial arts also imply physical contact, which can lead to injuries, most classes have a very strict policy as far as this is concerned. The truth is a reduced chance of your child becoming injured during a martial arts class compared to a soccer, basketball, or baseball field. Strict instructor supervision ensures that your kid stays safe and has optimal conditions to improve all of the above-mentioned skills.