The Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids

Martial arts are beneficial for kids in many different ways.

Have you been thinking about enrolling your son or daughter in a martial arts class? Martial arts are a great option, even for kids who don’t have much interest in other sports. Whether your child is interested in practicing karate, Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, or Tai Chi, it’s a practice that they can learn a lot from and benefit from in many, many ways. Today, I’m going to cover just a few of them.

6 Ways Martial Arts Benefit Kids

#1. It gets them moving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity affects almost 14 percent of two- to five-year-olds, more than 18 percent of six- to 11-year olds, and more than 20 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds in the United States, and many more are overweight. This puts our nation’s children at risk for all kinds of health problems, from diabetes to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Luckily, a little movement can go a long way toward combating obesity in children.

One of the biggest benefits of martial arts for children is that it gets them moving, and it does so in a way that they actually enjoy. Part of the reason for this is that martial arts don’t require that kids be overly athletic in order to participate. Practicing martial arts gives kids a full-body workout that includes both strength training and cardiovascular training, as well as balance and flexibility.

#2. It teaches them to set and work toward goals.

Some kids are natural-born athletes and do well in many sports, even if they’re completely new to them. However, martial arts don’t work that way. Every child, no matter their athleticism or natural ability, starts on the same level in martial arts, and they all must work toward goals in order to move to the next level or belt.

Goal setting is extremely valuable for kids. It helps to keep them motivated, to learn to track their progress, and to learn to map a path for success.

#3. It teaches them how to focus.

Focus is something that can be a challenge for kids these days. With smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and more, there are lots of things to distract kids. But with a regular martial arts practice, kids can learn how to push the distractions aside and direct their attention toward their practice.

In martial arts, children must focus on the task at hand in order to get it right, which also means that they need to be able to fully listen to their instructor. This is especially beneficial for kids who might have a limited attention span or difficulty focusing on one task at a time.

#4. It builds confidence.

Confidence is huge for children, because it helps them face life’s obstacles head-on and gives them the self-esteem they need to jump into learning new skills with both feet. Kids who are more confident are also more secure in who they are and are more likely to have a growth mindset. They also tend to be more willing to try new things and aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it.

The more time children spend participating in martial arts, the more confidence they’ll gain. Kids don’t start out in karate as a black belt; it takes consistent effort and practice to get there. When kids start reaching their goals and seeing the fruits of their labor, it builds confidence and self-esteem.

#5. It teaches them to respect authority.

Disrespect is all too common in kids these days. Disrespect impacts family life and undermines parental authority, but it makes almost every other aspect of life, including academics and athletics, more challenging as well. It can be a tough issue to correct, but the good news is that martial arts can really help.

Respect is a critical aspect of martial arts. In martial arts, kids not only learn to respect their instructor; they also learn to respect their peers as well as themselves. And, many martial arts programs take a child’s behavior outside the classroom into account, only moving kids up through the ranks when they can demonstrate respect and discipline in their home and school lives.

#6. It builds conflict-resolution skills.

A lot of people mistakenly believe that martial arts teach and reinforce violence, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While martial arts does teach kids to physically defend themselves, what kids really learn from martial arts is to resolve conflicts in peaceful ways.

Through martial arts, kids learn to temper their immediate reactions to things, which helps them react in healthier ways than hitting or yelling. It teaches kids how to listen more and to put themselves in the shoes of their aggressors, helping them to resolve conflicts in ways that aren’t physical.

As I said, these are just a few of the many ways that your child could benefit from practicing a martial art. If you’re looking to help your child reap these benefits, start your search for a local martial arts center with Top Rated Local®.

Our local business directory not only provides you with a list of dojos in your area, but it makes it easy to compare martial arts centers side by side and read reviews from across the web. It also provides a quick snapshot of a martial arts center’s reputation overall with the Rating Score™.

Whether you’re looking for in-person or online classes, start your search for a martial arts center near you with Top Rated Local today!