There are many ways children benefit from practicing martial arts, and only some of them are physical. This time, we will focus on the psychological and social value the practice of martial arts brings. This list is in no particular order, nor does it fully capture the importance of such activities in the life of our kids. Each and every point is individually important, but accomplishing all of this simultaneously truly changes every child’s life for the better. Joy becomes a source of discipline and vice versa. This concept is usually unimaginable to parents, until they enroll their kid in a martial arts program.
First, martial arts are essential in nurturing self-discipline. Martial arts are not a shortcut to learning discipline, quite the opposite. It is all one long, a bit difficult but immeasurably satisfying journey. One of the central tenets of all forms of martial arts is the absolute focus on self-discipline. Martial arts will be a great lesson in restraint and discipline, especially for the children oversaturated with media, electronics, and many other forms of instant gratification. Setting reasonable goals and achieving them is the essence of self-discipline, patience and focus, that they will need in all other areas of life. Accomplishing that will lead to a tremendous rise of self confidence, actual self esteem – not arrogance.
In addition to that, strengthening socialization skills is a major part of practicing martial arts. Sharing a common interest with kids they’re surrounded with, makes socialization easier, and it is great for parents to witness the positive effects of training, especially if the child felt somewhat lonely in the school, or simply didn’t enjoy sports that the kids from the neighborhood like. Learning together, failing and succeeding, losing and winning, all of this encourages camaraderie among children.
Practicing martial arts will develop in your child’s sense of respect for others, genuine respect not based on fear, especially for instructors and advanced practitioners. Today’s culture does nothing to develop a child’s a respect for authority and the elderly in meaningful and engaging ways. Many children suffer from anxiety from early age, simply because they’re surrounded by figures that demand respect while instilling fear and nothing else. It could be argued that the previous generations weren’t significantly better in this regard at all. Having an experienced, kind but strict trainer, who can be both serious and funny is what will actually show children what qualities are worth of genuine respect. This is essential, both for disobedient overactive kids and timid kids who are shy among peers and adults.
Finally, learning about non-violent conflict resolution will be valuable to your child at any and every point and area of life. Contrary to many people’s belief, all true martial arts and sports teach children peaceful and non-violent conflict resolution and emphasize the importance of avoiding physical violence. A confident person is never aggressive. Aggression arises from vanity, insecurity and inability to channel one’s negative feelings into something good and productive. Practicing martial arts is the single most fun, most useful way, to learn physical skills and acquire good social values in interpersonal relationships.