The well-rounded teachings of martial arts can positively impact kids by enhancing their life-skills and placing emphasis on their values and attitudes.
Karate employs techniques that build strength, endurance, flexibility, posture, balance and coordination. While the physical benefits of karate are undeniable, this popular sport has many non-physical benefits on children as well.
Martial Arts Enhances Self-Esteem in Children
Competitive sports are nice, but for children who don't excel at them, these sports can lead to diminished feelings of self-worth. Karate is an excellent confidence booster for children as it eliminates the need for them to compete or compare themselves to their peers. Instead, karate encourages kids to draw on their own strengths and strive for their personal best.
A confident child feels more valuable and has the ability to face life’s challenges head on. Self-assured children are more resilient to peer pressure, and are less likely to get into serious trouble or do drugs.
Karate Improves Kids’ Focus and Self-Discipline
The mental focus that’s required to execute martial arts moves can spill over into a child’s everyday life and eventually improve his study habits, school performance, listening abilities, and also his ability to follow directions.
Kids who are focused have an easier time setting and achieving goals because they’re not intimidated by the hard work, and stick-to-it-ness required to live their dreams. The practice of martial arts can also improve the concentration of kids who suffer from attention disorders.
Young kids are impulsive by nature, so they often make decisions based solely on their emotions. Over time, the disciplined teachings of karate will enable kids to make clear and appropriate choices throughout life.
Karate Teaches Kids Self-Defense
Parents never want to think about it, but there may come a time when a child is forced to defend himself against someone trying to do him harm. While it is unrealistic to expect a child to go toe-to-toe with an adult three times his size, a kid who knows martial arts techniques has a better chance of catching an attacker off guard and escaping to safety.
To find a style of karate that suits your child, sit in on a few classes and observe the teaching methods and student-teacher interactions. Some martial arts studios are even willing to offer a free introductory lesson to help parents get a general feel of what karate would be like for their kids.
Karate is a wonderful way to reiterate the positive values taught in the home -- but martial arts instructors only spend one to two hours a week with your child, so be patient. Self-esteem, discipline, focus, and optimum levels of physical fitness take time to achieve.
This article is used with the permission of it's author Charlina Stewart.