Martial arts are an ancient form of training the mind, body and spirit to act as one functioning unit. Most Martial arts originated in Asia, and can include disciplines such as karate, jiu jitsu, kung fu, judo and more. While originally developed to teach systematised combat practices, the Martial arts have so much more to offer to both the adults and children who practice them. Children who are involved in Martial arts reap the benefits across the board, seeing improved fitness, a knowledge of how to defend themselves, a solid introduction to self discipline and self confidence, along with learning how to focus from a young age.
Though it is easy to perceive Martial arts as violent given their very nature, one of the cornerstones of the sport is actually self discipline and control. While the youth of today is constantly focused on instant gratification and self indulgence, Martial arts provide an environment where self discipline is held in the highest regard. Children who partake in Martial arts learn about the importance of exercising self control and showing restraint from the moment they become a part of any program, a lesson that can benefit them in every area of life. In addition to this, Martial arts instruction also instills a strong sense of respect in all its practitioners. In order to train, a child must show great respect not only to their instructor, but also to their peers and to themselves. In a world where children are often lacking respect for their environment, adults, and other kids, learning this crucial lesson in a healthy and productive way can improve not only a child’s life, but the lives of those around him.
Being part of a class or training group for Martial arts can also help children to learn to socialize and can facilitate the building of new social circles and meeting new friends. While it can be difficult for children to find allies in a playground full of different interests, by joining a program where every child has at least one interest in common, doors are easily opened for new friendships to form. Thanks to the shared goals Martial arts gives to all children, as well as its multitude of exercises that are performed as pairs or groups, the sport gives kids a real chance to build camaraderie and make new friends. Similarly, Martial arts are also great for helping children develop their team working skills, with exercises often revolving around taking turns, or helping and supporting each other in order to ensure that everyone succeeds. (If you’re looking for an amazing kids program in the Lithia, Florida area, feel free to check out http://www.lithiamartialarts.com/
With the increasing popularity of video games, television and other sedentary pastimes, enrolling a child in Martial arts can be a fun and inspiring way to get them moving. Learning routines and the desire to make progress in the class, can help encourage a child to get physical and stay fit, not just during their lessons, but also during personal practice they can perform alone. With most Martial arts being set around a recognition system, usually involving coloured belts to signify accomplishment, they can also help children learn to set goals and achieve them. By offering a child something concrete to work towards, any form of Martial art can help to foster good goal setting and the perseverance to reach those goals as they strive for the next belt.
As their interest in Martial arts grows, so will a child’s enthusiasm to improve and climb through the ranks, and in order to achieve this, he will have to learn to listen and to follow instruction. Kids who struggle with listening or paying attention, can often benefit from receiving the personal instruction and support that many Martial arts offer. This, along with their motivation to improve can aid them in improving their ability to listen and to follow instructions correctly, without losing focus. Martial arts also promotes resolution of conflict without physical violence, a lesson that is often much needed with the high violence environment children are increasingly interested in, and exposed to, through the media.
The benefits of Martial arts for children stretch far beyond the dojo, with the boost in self esteem, improved physical and mental fitness and respect for those around them stretching across all areas of life. By enrolling a child in a Martial arts program, he can be provided with the chance to receive an all around good influence, a place to make friends and learn about himself, and to make improvements that can be observed both at school and home.
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