Martial Arts is good for the mind body and soul. Children especially respond well to it. Here are some key benefits of Martial Arts for children:
- Helps children focus on individual growth, not on team competition. In martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”
- They offer concrete, attainable goals. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They’re awarded a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level which can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.
- Routines are broken down into manageable chunks. A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But kids learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next and eventually put everything together into fluid movements. All of this gives working memory a workout, but in a way that kids may find manageable.
- They emphasize self-control and concentration. Attention is central to martial arts. Kids must stay focused to learn and to perform. When a child’s focus drifts, instructors will often ask them to take the “ready stance.” This position allows them to reset and ready themselves for what’s next.
- They can help with coordination. The deliberate, repetitive movements of martial arts can help kids develop a better feel for their body in space, which can be useful to kids who struggle with motor skills. This may also help some kids understand the power of the mind over the body.
- They provide structure and clear expectations for behavior. Good martial arts instructors have clear rules and constantly reinforce them. They also emphasize good behavior in and out of class.
- They can provide a safe outlet for excess energy. Contrary to what some might expect, martial arts don’t encourage violent behavior. In fact, here at Full Circle we have the kids repeat an oath reminding them that they intend to use what they learn in class constructively and defensively; and to never be abusive or offensive to others. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping can allow kids to work out frustration or anger, while also practicing self-control.
- The environment is accepting and communal. Respect is a core value in martial arts. Students are expected to show it for their instructor and their peers. Negativity is generally not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.
- They’re just plain cool! Lots of kids think martial arts is super cool. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re wearing martial arts gear and breaking boards in half!
Here’s a brief video on one of the super cool benefits of martial arts, Focus!