We all want to get our kid into something extra curricular, and many of us choose kids activities that are likely to not only keep them fit and strong, but will also improve their character. With my kids, I’ve tried dance, gymnastics, soccer and swimming. These are all really great activities, and we still are involved in most of them.
Something I haven’t yet considered too closely is martial arts. It seems intriguing and I’ve heard great testimonials from other moms, so I challenged one of the biggest forces in martial arts education, Martial Tribes, to share a bit more about why you and I should seriously consider putting our kids into some type of martial art.
Below are the thoughts from Martial Tribes. Don’t forget to check out their website for cool videos and articles. You’ll be amazed by the content!
OF ALL KIDS ACTIVITIES, WHY MARTIAL ARTS?
You’d be surprised how martial arts not only encourages a healthy and fit lifestyle for your kids, but also creates a huge impact on their mindset.
Out of all kids activities, many seem to think martial arts seems more appealing to young boys. You know: action figure heroes, defeating bad guys and saving the world. But don’t discount martial arts for girls! Wouldn’t it ease your mind knowing that your little girl can also defend herself if she needed to?
As they get older and stronger, if your child is ever put in a dangerous situation, martial arts skills can be used to effectively perform self-defense moves that can be used against an opponent who might be larger or stronger than they are.
WHEN SHOULD THEY START?
Research says that age 6 is usually a good time to start martial arts classes, because children at that age will have more control of their punches and turns, practicing in the art in a safe manner.
Martial art forms like Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu and Aikido are a fun way for both boys and girls to achieve fitness and focus. The movements taught in a typical class require concentration and strict attention whether it be through a kick, punch or block.
It is of worry to some parents that martial arts might promote violence in their child. We’ve found the opposite. Martial Arts helps teach self-discipline, self-control, respect and socialization. These skills are beneficial as your children will learn to respect authority, their peers and even themselves. All of this can help improve their behavior, their self-esteem and even their grades.
There aren’t a ton of kids activities that allow for tangible personal achievement. In martial arts, the belt ranking system adds an enticing element for kids. Another level up means a different color belt, and another goal achieved.
When aiming to reach the next belt, a child can sit down with their parents or their coach to set realistic and timely goals (psst… life skills!)
TYPES OF MARTIAL ARTS
There are many types of martial arts to choose from. Here is a quick guide to help you choose the right class for your child:
Tae Kwon Do
Involves kicking and punching movements to energize the body, using breathing and meditation techniques to help the mind focus.
A form of self-defense that teaches students to use their opponent’s weight and strength against them.
An excellent discipline for teaching children how to work with their partner, similar to jiu-jitsu but gentler and non-competitive.
Involves a well-rounded warm-up, plus quick and sharp kicks and punches. Karate also has a strong focus on self-development.
Tai Chi focuses on balance and stretching. The moves are easy on the joints and can boost flexibility and improve concentration skills.
RULE OF THUMB
Whatever kids activities you decide to put your children in, remember to alleviate any pressure. Start out by taking them to a few classes and allow them a way out if that’s what they desire.
In addition to live classes, consider Internet resources. These days, the world is vastly improving and convenience plays an important part of our everyday lives. Because of the Internet, you can now access martial arts resources and classes from wherever you are.
Whether your kids are in a live class or not, you can sign into Martial Tribes – a social networking website where you can connect with masters from all over the world and learn from the best. Martial Tribes covers all styles and techniques of martial arts. The platform allows you to interact, train and learn through blogs, videos and live streaming.
So, what do you think about all of this? Will you investigate one or two of the many martial arts? Share your thoughts below!