The Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids

Martial arts, like Karate and Jiu Jitsu, are thousands of years old. They originated in Asia as forms of self-defense. Now, while they are still extremely effective methods of self-defense, they serve several other purposes. Practicing martial arts can be especially beneficial to kids, particularly those who have academic or behavioral challenges.

An important principle of martial arts is self-discipline. Through learning how to focus their mental and physical energies, students who take martial arts develop this self-discipline, and with it, their self-control improves, too. Kids love taking martial arts because it gives them a sense of physical power, while also teaching them important regulation skills. Here are some of the many other benefits of enrolling your child in martial arts:


1. Self-improvement is the focus, not competition.

While some forms of martial arts are “combative,” teachers never compare students, and they’re never actually fighting each other. In fact, the most important aspect of martial arts combat is mutual respect. Goals are individualized, and teachers meet students where they are and guide them toward improvement. While community is valued, every student’s experience and path is unique.

2. Self-control and concentration.

Martial arts are all about the mind-body connection. As they become aware of and build this connection, students begin to hone their mind’s ability to control their body, thereby strengthening their self-control. The discipline martial arts demand also gives students a tremendous amount of self-control. They are able to concentrate better as a result of the deeply cognitive work that learning martial arts requires.

3. Teaches organization and structure.

Martial arts routines are always taught in small chunks in order to make them easier for students to learn. This format for learning shows students a valuable way to approach any large-scale task: in small, bite-sized pieces. Tackling long routines bit by bit teaches students that they can take the same approach in other aspects of their lives.

4. It’s excellent exercise.

 There are countless physical and mental benefits of practicing martial arts. It builds strength, and teaches coordination through movement. It also gives its students practical self-defense knowledge, which we hope they’ll never have to use! But if they ever do need it, as long as they keep practicing, they’ll be prepared.

5. Builds self-esteem.

Finally, the individualization and autonomy students have in demonstrating their martial arts knowledge and ability increases their confidence. There isn’t really a way to “fail” at martial arts. One simply progresses at one’s own pace. This prevents students from ever feeling let down by a lack of progress; they can only improve. They suddenly feel capable of something, and this, in turn, boosts their self-esteem.

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