Why Martial Arts is Better for Kids than Team Sports
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…
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.
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.