In a culture that celebrates violence in everything ,from music to video games, movies and television shows, the idea of enrolling your child in a martial arts club may seem like a part of this same trend. Martial arts, as a major part of action films, were presented as the pinnacle of bullying and violence. Because of this, you will probably be surprised that martial arts training is more than useful for children, for multiple reasons. Like many things that Hollywood propagates in a violent light, martial arts are not brutal and bloody sports that have the sole purpose of hurting other people, it is actually the exact opposite of that.
We’ve been witnessing an increasingly hectic lifestyle, which has big consequences for us, but even bigger consequences for our children. Lack of physical activity, sitting in front of computers and TVs for hours, as well as carrying heavy school bags are just some of the causes that lead to widespread deformity of the spine and flat feet in children, as well as problems with obesity. Less and less free time with parents, and less and less real play with children, unavoidably lead to improper social development as well.
Proper bone and muscle development, development of motor ability, strengthening the body’s defense capability, and improvements in circulation and metabolism are just some of the vital aspects of physical development, regardless of the child’s age. While physical development is undoubtedly important, perhaps an even bigger obstacle that children face is related to psycho-social development, and all the issues of lack of self confidence and discipline, or with some kids, problems with behavioral and attention difficulties, as well as hyperactivity.
Martial arts for children, in addition to the physical development of the whole body, also affect the proper formation and maturation of the child’s personality. Developing confidence, independence, persistence, discipline and sense of righteousness are essential for acquiring proper and healthy lifestyle habits, which is what every decent parent wants for their kids.
It is worth mentioning that practicing martial arts could be greatly and equally beneficial to both, little girls and boys, without concern for any gender stereotypes, that we should not impose on our children regardless of anything.
It is important to teach our sons (whether they’re shy or frequently misbehaved) that true strength doesn’t come from the power to aggressively attack, but from the self discipline and the ability to effectively defend himself and others. It is just as important that we teach our girls that, although the world might be a slightly scarier place for them due to their lesser physical strength compared to men, their confidence must not suffer for it. Developing skills that can help them defend themselves, is the single most effective way to help our child feel safer in their own skin, and the world around them. Every fifteen year old girl walking down a dark alley completely alone, carries a certain type of fear that perhaps only women can fully understand. However, a fifteen year old girl, with several years of training in martial arts, will suffer far less psychological distress in situations where she might end up feeling unsafe. While nothing can ever truly guarantee us our children’s safety, making sure they feel confident in their defense skills and attitude is an accomplishment that every parent should strive for.
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