|Following Senpai Louie's moves.|
A friend of mine once told me that getting Yue started into martial arts is one of the best gifts I could ever give him. I agree. Because aside from the self-defense aspect, martial arts can help my son (or any kid, for that matter) in so many ways. I've listed some of them below:
1. Encouraging Physical Activity.
Kids can stay on the couch watching TV or playing with tablets, and my son is no exception! Enrolling kids in a physically-demanding activity will encourage them to be more active and eventually give up on the sedentary lifestyle that they have been accustomed to.
|Stretching with Sensei.|
One of the main principles of all forms of the martial arts is self-discipline. Today’s kids are so pampered and highly accustomed to receiving instant gratification that lessons in self-restraint and discipline aren’t always easy to come by. However, kids with martial arts backgrounds are continually reminded of how important self-discipline is.
3. Instilling Respect.
Learning any martial arts style will require your child to show his/her instructor unflinching respect. Today’s kid culture doesn’t always include respect for adults and teachers, and even those in authority. But with martial arts, your child will learn to bow to the masters, and to their senpai who came before them. They will also learn to treat other students as they wish to be treated.
|Learning the stances.|
Confidence comes with achievement, so your child’s self-esteem level will get a boost with every new move he masters and every belt he earns. The sense of accomplishment a child feels by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows him everywhere he goes.
Almost all forms of martial arts are based around an accomplishment system of colored belts that signify the wearer’s degree of skill. When your child strives toward each new belt, he’s learning valuable lessons about focusing on a goal, and setting ways to achieve it.
No, no, no, martial arts does not promote violence! Thinking that martial arts promotes violent behavior is justified if your only experience with the activity comes from the stuff you watch on TV. In fact, many defensive styles teach kids peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and emphasize the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.
|Playtime with Jared after karate training.|
Kids who usually feel awkward in highly social environments may find it easier to get to know people and make new friends when they’re in a room filled with peers who share a common interest. Aside from that, kids will also learn to treat their dojo classmates and teachers with utmost respect and courtesy.
As the great Bruce Lee would say, "The martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the hell out of the guy in front, but to knock the hell out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups."
How about you, have you considered getting your child into martial arts?
Yue trains with Sensei Danny at the Kaleidoscope Kids Learning Center.