Martial Arts for Children

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The Art of Learning: Martial Arts for Children

How To Get Your Child Fit & Having Fun Martial Arts for Kids

It is a sad fact that childhood obesity is increasing. To challenge this epidemic, we must address the issues of diet and inactivity. Leaving diet aside for now, let’s examine how we can get children more active and specifically how Martial Arts – whether Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Karate, MMA or any other Martial Arts discipline – can play a fundamental role in their physical and emotional health. So what exactly does Martial Arts offer?

1.       Fun, Fitness and Focus

Martial Arts certainly requires dedication, but this provides a focus and set of goals. Through a hierarchy of belts, students work towards their “grading” when they are examined on what they have recently been taught. Those that do well are rewarded with a new coloured belt, working up to Black Belt. Having a target creates focus, and progress can be charted through the belt system. Children are also exposed to the possibility of failure, something which although hard, needs to be accepted. Hard work and dedication are the keys to success.

Physical exertion is certainly a key element of Martial Arts, but it is focused and controlled not chaotic or haphazard. Repetitive learning of many new skills and techniques is both intense and rewarding and progress is easily recognised.

2.       Discipline and socialisation

Children often lack discipline. Martial Arts is based on discipline, on a hierarchy, and ultimately upon respect for the Art, the practitioners, the belts and above all for yourself. It is an activity that is solely reliant on the individual, yet is undertaken in a friendly social setting. The classes offer the chance to see various grades and to have a sense of belonging within the structure.

3.       Confidence

As an individual sport, those who partake in Martial Arts, gain self-confidence. They also gain a sense of acceptance, for all practitioners started at the same place and are just at different stages of the same journey. This is both inspiring and rewarding to a child, they can see progress, but learn that the hard work has to continue. This inspires confidence and ambition, creating positivity and self-respect.

4.       Mind, body and spirit

Martial Arts challenges all of these factors, but in a positive manner instilling focus, dedication, self-belief and the sense of achievement as the child improves, learns and develops. A healthier body and mind soon follow from the commitment to Martial Arts, and a new spirit is found in the commitment to excellence.

5.       The world can be rough

Martial Arts is not learning to fight, but to recognise and avoid bad situations, and in the worst case scenario, react appropriately. Martial Arts creates an inner calm, not anger. It is ultimately about respect for yourself and everybody else.

The camaraderie of Martial Arts, the discipline, focus and mental toughness creates a more rounded individual, and one who is super fit and healthy too. So it’s high time for your little one to put down that ice-cream, pick up those Thai boxing gloves and start shaking off that puppy fat!

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