martial arts for children

The Benefits of Martial Arts for Children

With the number of video games available and the increasing demands of schoolwork, it is no surprise that more and more children spend most of their time sitting down, often looking at a screen of one type or another. This makes it vital that they take part in some sort of sporting activity, even if it is just for a couple of hours each week. There are plenty of activities to choose from, but most parents opt for a team sport like soccer or baseball. However, people often overlook martial arts, which is a shame because martial arts offer a number of benefits for children, regardless of their aptitude.

Improved Concentration

Team sports are fun and have their benefits, but it does mean that some participants can be pushed to the side. Others may deliberately stay out of the action and let their minds wander. On the other hand, any martial art requires concentration to observe, copy and practice moves and get them right. This need to concentrate during physical activity will have a positive effect on their concentration at school and classroom behavior if they previously have had problems paying attention.

This can be especially important as younger children have a notoriously short attention span. And children with ADHD exhibited greater control after spending time each week at martial arts classes.

Improved Discipline

Martial arts classes like the ones available at Infinity Martial Arts are well structured, and this structure helps with discipline. Lessons typically follow a set format so the child knows what to expect. And messing about during lessons will hobble any progress they want to make. This progress will depend on following rules, even if it has not been their strong point previously, and a martial arts class is not a good place to show disrespect. This will teach them to recognize their own weaknesses and how to overcome them to reach their goal.

This leads to the self-discipline involved with practicing skills in their own time at home. Which can have a knock-on effect in other areas of their life too. The benefits here are twofold; firstly, there is an improvement in their ability to complete tasks on their own that might have previously required supervision and reinforcement, like getting ready in the morning. Secondly, the discipline they show in martial arts classes can lead to greater compliance when asked to do something by a teacher or parent.

Help with Memory and Coordination

Learning a martial art can also help improve the child’s memory. First of all, there is the simple fact that at any age, physical activity adds oxygen to the blood and increases the flow of that blood through the body, including the brain. They must remember the moves they are learning, and this will be reinforce it with practice.

This will, in turn, help with coordination as what they are learning relies on coordinating a combination of hand and foot movements they would not normally perform in daily life. Repeating these movements can also help with balance and confidence in their physical abilities.

Boosting self-confidence

Boosting Self-Confidence

People don’t just see improvements in physical confidence. Mastering any new technique can give a child a sense of achievement and improve their self-confidence. They repeat this each time they reach a new level and receive the next color belt. The process of setting a goal, overcoming any difficulties, and achieving it can rub off on how a child will assess other situations, particularly in the classroom. The success they experience in their martial art can also lead them to believe in their ability to achieve more than before. This belief encourages them to pursue more ambitious targets rather than limiting themselves.

There is, of course, the additional confidence that they are better equipped to defend themselves in a physical confrontation, which might have been the original reason they agreed to start. Despite what many movies depict, many martial arts teach all participants that using physical force should be a last resort rather than the go-to option in these situations.

Improves Social and Team-working Skills

Any improvement that self-confidence makes to social skills is bolstered further by other aspects of learning a martial arts. The children will need to learn to accept feedback and act on it if they are going to improve. A skill that is key in any social situation. In addition, respecting others is key to progressing with any martial art, something which is another building block of social interaction.

Learning a martial arts for children can also improve teamwork as well. This may come as a surprise as martial arts are not a team sport. But every participant is a member of a club, all of whom will need to work together to support each other. This can be important to any child who does not make friends easily. As there is immediate common ground on which to build relationships with others.

It Can Also Contribute Towards Tackling Obesity and Improving General Health

Unfortunately, a team environment like you have with a soccer team might not be the best environment for a child that struggles with their weight. Apart from the possibility they might not be able to keep up on the pitch. Also there is the chance of unkind comments made to them by other players and their parents.

The exercises performed in a martial arts class can help burn off calories. As well as contribute to improving strength and flexibility. It is also an environment where the child does not play as part of a team and can progress at their own rate. Meaning they are less likely to be discouraged by a relative lack of progress compared to others. Sticking to any exercise regime long-term can bring benefits, so finding one they are comfortable doing can be key.


Read More: 6 Tips on Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy


So, To Sum It All Up

There are many reasons why a children would benefit from participating in a martial arts regularly. At the top of the list is the fact that it gets them up and about. And in a sport where there are few of the pressures associated with team sports. The improved fitness can do much for their general health. Especially if the parent has concerns about the child’s weight and the child themselves is conscious of it.

Participation can help with concentration and focus for those who have trouble in this area. And improve discipline for those who struggle with following rules. This can lead to improved confidence and social skills, all of which can have a positive knock-on effect in other parts of their life, especially in the classroom environment.


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