What Martial Arts Can Offer Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

There are lots of reasons martial arts can be a good match for kids with learning and attention issues. Here are nine potential benefits:

  1. They focus on individual growth, not on team competition. Many kids with learning and attention issues struggle with the pressure of having to compete with other kids. So traditional sports may not appeal to them. But in martial arts, like Taekwondo and Karate, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”
  2. They offer concrete, attainable goals. Some kids with learning and attention issues may feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They’re awarded a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, which some find to be valuable for kids with ADHD.
  6. 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. Some even send kids home with behavior charts their parents must sign.
  7. They can provide a safe outlet for excess energy. Contrary to what some might expect, martial arts don’t encourage violent behavior. In fact, instructors often emphasize that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping can allow kids to work out frustration or anger, while also practicing self-control.
  8. 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.
  9. They’re just plain cool! Kids with learning and attention issues can often feel awkward or socially out of the loop. But lots of kids think martial arts are cool. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re wearing martial arts gear and breaking boards in half.
Adult's Martial Arts

Martial Arts & Mental Strength

Martial arts, like Tae Kwon Do and Karate, isn’t just an intense physical activity, it is also an exercise of the mind, sharpening focus and improving concentration in you or your child. One of the many benefits of training martial arts is enhanced mental clarity. Not only will martial arts get you or your child in great shape, but it will also put you or your child in the absolute best state of mind.

Today’s world is fast-paced and incredibly hectic. So much is going on every day that it’s hard to keep up. It has become increasingly difficult to maintain focus and concentrate on various things we have to do with all that is going on in our everyday lives. Oftentimes, there is just too much peripheral noise that surrounds us, and it takes our attention away from matters that are truly deserved of our time.

One of the most important aspects of our lives to improve is our mental strength. By making our minds stronger, we are able to achieve more. Because martial arts, like Tae Kwon Do and Karate, deals a lot with putting individuals in the proper frame of mind, this makes training in martial arts a great way to exercise our brains.

1) It gives you a sense of calm and serenity.

2) It gives you self-confidence.

3) Improved physical health clears the mind: Sound body, sound mind.

4) Martial Arts enhances concentration and focus.

Tae Kwon Do & Confidence

Self-confidence is the ability to trust yourself and your abilities. For that, you need to first know what you are capable of physically, mentally, and emotionally. To know this, it is essential that you push your limits on a regular basis to see how much you can take. Pushing yourself just a little bit more each workout is the key to extending and expanding your capabilities over time. Since taekwondo, karate, and some related martial arts forms are essentially about self-improvement of mind, body, and spirit, training is a natural, reliable, and enjoyable way to gain self-confidence.

You can train your kids to practice pushing their limits from a young age, so they learn to give their best in every life situation. Get them started young, in their pre-school years if possible, to reap maximum benefits of taekwondo. These early, formative years are important times for developing bodies and minds. Parents appreciate the physical fitness, good manners, and new friendships formed by their children being in taekwondo.

Taekwondo, karate, and certain other martial arts involve progression from one level to the next, each level corresponding to various belt colors going from white to black. Each successive rank includes a number of simple and complex moves that must be learned and properly performed, with tests to be passed, to be graduated in rank and belt color. Classes also include free sparring in protective safety gear with peers and seniors to develop students’ self-defense skills. Advancements in rank and learning the ability to defend oneself helps boost the confidence in your children.

 

Kid's Martial Arts

Why Martial Arts is Better for Kids than Team Sports

1. Self-Defense

This is the number one reason why most people decide to study  martial arts, and Tae Kwon Do or Karate is a great way to learn how to defend yourself. Martial arts teach you the techniques to defend yourself, but also the way to think about defending yourself – anticipate and avoid potential dangers. Training also helps  build up the reflexes you need if you’re ever in a dangerous situation, and give you the confidence to stand up for yourself and fight back if needed – which brings us to our next topic…

2. Self-Confidence

As children become more proficient in martial arts, their confidence gets a big-boost. They become more self-assured and confident. Their teacher’s encouragement goes a long way to help them achieve this goal, but the confidence level will extend far beyond the Martial Arts Studio.

3. Belts and Ranking

Belts and rankings are a public recognition among peers for the student’s effort and progress. Martial Arts ranking system helps teach children to set goals and achieve them, to persevere and prioritize.

4. Discipline

Martial Arts training, such as Tae Kwon Do and Karate, is a physical expression of ‘practice makes perfect’.  In a class a student may execute a single movement  or series of related movements, hundreds of times. This teaches the student that the progress that always happens during small improvements in technique and stamina, flexibility or power – will come through endless repetition.

Even during sparring  – where the student shows how creatively he or she can apply their well-honed skills – there are still rules and protocols to be followed.  All of this teaches children to respect one another, their opponents and colleagues, and how to play games fair and square – lessons that follow them in their non-Martial Arts lives. It also teaches them to commit, to go to practice even when they don’t feel like it.

5.  Individual Achievement: No one sits on the Bench

Although there are many lessons to be learned from team and individual varsity sports, the ‘make the team’ model often favors the more physically developed players while alienating the late bloomers.

Coaches have access to a endless supply of players that renews itself each year, the big and strong get picked and get to  play while the less physically developed watch from the bench, this leads to a even greater disparity in skill development as the season goes by.

All kids get equal ‘playing time’. Naturally some kids develop their skills and physical abilities earlier than others but we personally find that many kids who start out with underdeveloped athletic attributes such as strength, speed and size, end up blooming onto some of the finest technicians we have in all of our programs.

If  your child is an athletic wonder who is able to stay ahead of the game with his or her natural talents, athletics may very well bring out the best in him or her. But if you want your child’s full potential to be nurtured through years of disciplined and diligent training look for a martial art school who offers a serious program taught by world-class accredited instructors.

6. Gender Equality

I am sure that while many parents would consider martial arts for their sons, not nearly as many would consider it for their daughters. However the martial arts are one of the few sports where both boys and girls can play together.

Martial Artist also gives brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn from one another as well (not to mention the convenience of having all of your kids in one place at a time).

7. Weight Control

Childhood obesity is a global epidemic and rising trends in overweight and obesity are apparent in both developed and developing countries (CDC stats).

The typical  martial arts class will often be comprised of warm-up calisthenics, teaching and practicing of moves and some sparring, as well as some active games. The warm up and practice comprise the bulk of the time, and for that time your child will be constantly on the go. The workout each child gets will not only assist in the natural development of his or her muscles but also help them build stronger Cardio-Vascular systems.

8. You can do it with them

Parents and children can take classes together. If you have the proper space for it, you can practice with each other at home, and learn from one another. This will give you a special activity to use as a bonding tool with your kids. You can also become physically fit together.

9. The Never-Ending Season

Many team sports, especially those primarily played outdoors, or in specific weather (think Soccer, Baseball and even wrestling) are seasonal. In Martial Arts we have classes year round. This consistency and availability also helps build upon discipline, and allows children to progress at a much quicker pace in the Martial Arts than in Team Sports.

Martial Arts Benefits for Your Child

Martial arts are an ancient method of training your mind, body and spirit to act as one. Martial arts practitioners strive for harmony, but also learn effective  self-defense techniques. Children who get involved in martial arts reap many benefits in several areas of life. Most martial arts originated in Asia and include karate, kung fu, jiu jitsu, aikido, tae kwon do, judo and muay Thai.

Fitness

Fitness is a crucial element to all martial arts classes, especially where children are involved. Warmups with stretches are common, and the movements of the martial art itself often challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. Martial artists are known for being toned, flexible and physically fit, and your child will be no different.

Self Defense

The ability to defend yourself against an assailant is an empowering feeling. Most martial arts, such as at this school, use self defense as a cornerstone of the entire program. The precise methods will vary from discipline to discipline, but you can be certain that with regular practice, your child will learn to defend himself or herself in a variety of different ways.

Self Discipline

Martial arts help instill mental focus in your child, giving her the ability to concentrate on a task and see it through to its conclusion. The discipline that is taught in the dojo in regard to uniforms, customs and techniques often translates into other areas of life, including school and household chores.

Respect

Martial arts are all about respect. Punching and kicking are all secondary to the respect that is shown from the moment you walk into a dojo. Children learn to bow to the masters who came before them, and to their current instructors. They also learn to treat other students as they wish to be treated. Quality martial arts instructors, such as at this school, press upon the respect issue regularly and instruct students to practice respect for self, parents, teachers and peers at every opportunity.

Self Confidence

A child who is involved in martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do or Karate is generally a child who is confident in herself. Working through a martial art and the belt ranking system gives a child measurable goals to follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment a child feels by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows him everywhere he goes.

Kid's Martial Arts Indianapolis

Health Benefits of Martial Arts

  • Total body workout: Martial arts like Tae kwon Do and Karate are a high-aerobic workout that uses every muscle group in the body. Your stamina, muscle tone, flexibility, balance and strength will all improve through martial arts.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Due to the total-body nature of a martial arts workout, tons of calories are burned during every class. However, you’ll also find that your natural eating signals become better regulated, so food cravings will disappear and you’ll eat less as a result.
  • Self confidence: Due to the goal setting, positive encouragement and respect for values that are part of all martial arts programs, the greatest benefit usually reported by martial arts students is greater self-confidence. You become more comfortable in all situations – whether you’re in danger or simply doing a task that takes you beyond your comfort zone — and you’ll discover you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: Research has found that the only real way to improve the status of the cardiovascular system is by participating in activities that stress the heart, such as martial arts.
  • Weight loss: A one hour session of moderate intensity martial arts can burn up to 500 calories.
  • Improved reflexes: Research has found that by participating in martial arts, you not only improve your reflexes while performing the activity, but actually experience faster reaction times during all activities of your life. This is very important in a number of daily activities, such as driving.
  • Focus and stillness: As Bruce Lee pointed out, behind the punches, kicks and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are. As a martial artist, your will learn what it is to be still, challenged and focused.
  • Teaches great morals and values: Martial arts wisdom has it that after consistent practice, one becomes less impulsive and aggressive towards others. The Shaolin moral code for example comprises 12 ethics, 10 forbidden acts and 10 obligations. Patience, insight and calmness are considered pre-requisites of good Kung Fu. This reminds students of the right attitude, frame of mind and virtues to strive for inside and outside the studio.
  • Muscle tone: By participating in martial arts like Karate and Tae kwon do, you can greatly improve the amount of muscle mass you have in your body. The higher your muscle mass, the higher your metabolic demands will be, and subsequently the more calories you will burn each day, thereby helping prevent obesity and promote weight loss. High levels of muscle mass also lead to increased agility, thereby preventing falls as you age.
  • Better mood: Researchers have found that participating in a regular exercise routine is one of the best ways to improve your mood. Performing martial arts is not only a good way to relieve stress and frustration, but may actually help to make you happier. The endorphins released by physical activity appear to be active in your body for as many as four hours after exercise.

Reference:  http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-martial-arts/

Lose Weight Training in Martial Arts

Martial arts – classified as a vigorous form of activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – facilitates weight loss as a cardiovascular form of exercise. Like aerobic dancing, sports, running and swimming, martial arts techniques from tae kwon do to karate burn calories and increase endurance by engaging your entire body in sustained physical activity. Alongside a healthy diet, additional cardio and strength-training exercise, martial arts serves as an effective part of a weight-loss plan that caters to those with an interest in self-defense.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Exercise and Physiology Online explores the variety of caloric costs of martial arts practice. After undergoing a typical routine of stretching, calisthenics, punching and kicking, a control group of novice martial arts participants burned anywhere between 138 and 846 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the exercise. The study found that martial arts does serve as an efficient calorie-burning and cardiovascular exercise that is, due to the individual’s control over exercise intensity, suitable for both fit and unfit individuals.

Reference: healthyliving.azcentral.com

Adult's Martial Arts

Martial Arts Philosophy

Original Thought of Tae Kwon Do Spirit

The Korean traditional thoughts must be first examined in order to elucidate the ideological aspects of Tae kwon do as a traditional martial art.

Ancestors of the Han (Korean) race experienced frustrations coming from natural disasters and existential restrictive circumstances of life and therefore they had to rely spiritually on the nature’s power, such as heaven, rain, cloud, sun, moon, trees, rocks, etc., for their consolation.

As the tribal and agricultural community was firmly established, the Han people arrived at a unified thought, of “seon”(impeccable virtuousness) to become the basis of Koreans’ philosophical thought.

On the basis of this thought and similar to karate in Japan, Buddhism and Confucianism reigned over the Korean people for such a long time that all individuals have been accustomed to devote themselves to the nation and society without falling into the victim of personal avarices, ever cultivating their mind and body. The Korean’s traditional thought is characterized by the priority on loyalty to the country and filial piety in people’s daily life, thus making people think about the responsibilities first before seeking any power.  It also emphasizes the voluntary working for justice.

Original Thought of Tae Kwon Do Spirit 

Tae kwon do certainly takes root in man’s instincts to survive by means of protecting himself from outside threat with the bare-hand fighting skills, and it was developed into a systematized martial art in the times of three-kingdom era. The three kingdoms, i.e., Silla(founded in B. C. 57), Koguryo(B.C. 37) and Paekje(B.C. 18), were all antagonistic among themselves in their respective hopes to achieve national unification on the Korean Peninsula. They had to defend themselves also from foreign aggressions from China or Japan. Under such circumstances, each kingdom tried to consolidate national unity first, stressing the spirit of national defense among the people. That spirit was based on the traditional “seon” philosophy and the warriors accepted it as a martial spirit. Above all, Silla’s hwarangdo (youth warrior’s corps) was a typical example of inheriting this spirit. Their firm view of the state was derived from the thought of loyalty and filial piety, with which they could voluntarily abandon their lives for the sake of national security. In addition, the courage of “no retreat from fighting” was also another virtue of that spirit.

A third virtue was their practical thought of ethics, with which they pledged not to commit any ethical faults and never to betray their social obligations.  After all, these spirits enabled the hwarangs of Silla to defend their kingdom and helped it conquer other two kingdoms, unifying the entire peninsula. Thus, the hwarangdo spirit inherited the Korean’s traditional thought based on the seon philosophy and gave birth to the Tae kwon do spirit consisting of the thought of loyalty and respecting one’s parents, courage, and practical ethical thought of consistency in learning and acting. This thought, shaped into an overall thought that emphasizes peacefulness, has been handed down to the present Koreans.

References

http://www.kukkiwon.or.kr/front/pageView.action?cmd=/eng/information/taekwondo_mind

Korean Martial Arts & its History

Korean Martial Arts

Korean Martial Arts have two thousand years of history and an abundance of forms. Modern styles are practiced largely across the globe and are probably the most recognizable cultural aspect of Korea. For example, the popular Korean martial art of Taekwondo is one of the most widely practiced martial arts in the world and has grown in popularity to the point of becoming an Olympic sport, with only Judo accompanying it as an Asian martial art form found in the games. Korean martial arts are largely characterized by self-defense, discipline, unity, balance, and control, but with over 25 forms being in practice today, there is a lot of variety in style and technique. The roots of many can be found in Chinese and Japanese martial arts, but have evolved into a uniquely Korean art form.

History of Korea’s Martial Arts

Early Times

The origins of Korean martial arts are unclear and still debated by scholars, but the practice has been in existence at least since the Goguryeo dynasty, approximately between 37 BCE – 668 CE. Gogoryeo government records mention subak, a general term for barehand martial arts originating in China, and in 1935 paintings on the walls of what are believed to be Goguryeo king tombs were uncovered.

A neighboring dynasty, the Silla (57 BCE – 668 CE) learned and spread the subak technique when Goguryeo armies sent aid to ward off Japanese pirates. It is believed that Korean martial arts spread across the Korean peninsula at this time.

During the Goryeo Dynasty (935 – 1392), the practice of subak was outlawed by the government as subak matches became a popular gambling event. However, the art form continued throughout the Goryeo dynasty and split into two separate martial art forms sometime in the 14th or early 15th century, the taekkyon and yusul. Taekkyon has recently regained popularity in the past few decades, but the original form of yusul, a Korean version and what some believe to be the origin of the Japanese martial art jujitsu, is now extinct.

During the Imjin War (1592-1598), Chinese martial art techniques were again spread to Korea when Chinese armies sent aid to ward off Japanese invaders. King SeonJo of the Joseon dynasty was so fascinated by Chinese martial arts that he ordered people in his court to study a Chinese martial arts manual written by a prominent Chinese military strategist. The techniques studied eventually evolved into Korean martial art styles and Korean martial art manuals began to be published. The most popular, the Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji, published in 1790, was an illustrated book that describes Korean, Japanese, and Chinese martial arts in great detail and has been a treasured manual up to this day.

Modern Times

With the rising popularity of Neo-Confucianism in the late Joseon dynasty, fighting forms largely lost their popularity. Furthermore, during the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 – 1945 the practice of Korean martial arts was banned, and many Koreans instead practiced Japanese martial art forms such as Kendo or Karate.  However, the Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji along with taekgyeon traditions allowed Korean martial arts to survive through modern times. Modern Korean martial arts are largely a combination of Japanese martial arts and techniques studied from the Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji. The most popular Korean martial art form, Taekwondo, has roots in Japanese karate (itself derived from Chinese martial arts), but incorporates many historically Korean techniques. Hapkido is rooted in Japanese Daito Ryu, but is also considered distinctively Korean due to the incorporation of uniquely Korean styles.

Korean Martial Arts Forms

Taekwondo

Of all the Korean Martial Arts, Taekwondo is undeniably the most popular. In 2000, it became an Olympic sport making its debut at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Only Judo accompanies it as an Asian martial art found in the Olympic Games. It is practiced widely across the globe and is South Korea’s national sport.

Taekwondo, which is also spelled taekwon-do or tae kwon do, is characterized by kicks and punches. ‘Tae’ means to destroy with the foot, ‘”Kwon” to destroy with the hand, and “do” means an art or way of life. While destruction is a prevalent feature in its literal translation, taekwondo cannot be simply classified as a style of fighting. It is also a self-defense technique, an exercise, a sport, and a philosophy. In competition, punches to the head are strictly forbidden, as are attacks below the belt.

Taekwondo was formed as a martial art at the unofficial end of the Korean War, when nine martial arts schools were formed and subsequently united by order of South Korean President Syngman Rhee. In 1955 it was officially named “Taekwondo,” and in 1959 the Korean Taekwondo Association was formed. Efforts to standardize the sport were only partially successful, as Taekwondo quickly spread across the world and various methods continued to be taught. Furthermore, the leader of the KTA separated from the organization and created the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) in 1966. Other organizations were later formed, including the Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

While Taekwondo has its roots in Japanese karate, it has incorporated many Korean techniques found in the Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji, and today bears little resemblance to karate. Unlike karate, Taekwondo has developed a comprehensive set of kicking techniques, which characterizes the martial art and distinguishes it from other popular martial art forms.

There are 10 levels of rank in the Korean martial art Taekwondo. Like many martials arts, each level has a corresponding belt. While the colors vary widely between schools, the most common, as defined by the ITF, is as follows: white, white with yellow stripe, yellow, yellow with green strip, green, green with blue stripe, blue, blue with red stripe, red, black.

Hapkido

Hap Ki Do, or “the art of coordinated power,” is the second most popular Korean Martial Art form which combines aspects of many types of martial arts, including Aikido, Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, and Tae Kwon Do. It is considered a highly effective style of self-defense, teaching defense techniques to counter against common attacks, both unskilled and those taught by other martial arts. Throughout the curriculum, one learns a few attack techniques, but is primarily instructed in the defenses. For example, one will learn how to defend against multiple attackers, or how to defend from a lying position. More advanced hapkido lessons involve defense techniques against weapons such as knives and swords, as well as their usage. Hapkido isn’t as competitive as Taekwondo, and competitions usually consist only of demonstrations.

Like most Korean Martial arts, it is unclear where Hapkido found its origins. The founder was Korean by the name of Choi Yong Sul, who was sent to Japan as a child. However, what styles of martial arts he learned in Japan and employed in Hapkido are uncertain, even though most assume he had at least studied Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as the similarities are undeniable.

Other Korean Martial arts

While Taekwondo and Hapkido are Korea’s two most famous martial art styles, Korea boasts a number of others, of which many hold a large following. Subak and Yusul are the only two styles that are considered lost traditions, while most other traditional Korean martial arts are referenced in lasting manuals from the Joseon dynasty. Many forms of martial arts that are practiced today utilize these manuals as a method of undoing the effects of the Japanese colonization period. Some include Muye 24 ki, Shippalgi, and Kuk Sool Won, each of which claims traditional Korean origins.

 

Reference

This article is from http://www.koreaorbit.com/korea-culture/korean-martial-arts.html