For the uninitiated, martial arts might seem like a lot of punching, kicking and shouting – and yes, there’s no hiding these aspects. But this admittedly ‘unconventional’ sporting choice is more than just a flurry of feet and hands.
Its traditional roots, now mixed with more modern and engaging ways of teaching, provide enormous benefits to kids and adults alike. Yes, martial arts will help your child physically, but it will also build positive self esteem, teach respect and discipline, and foster strong social connections with other children and adults.
It is, however, like any new undertaking, not an overnight fix. Each will have their own ‘journey’ and the rewards will be as individual as the children themselves. So kicking and punching aside, here are six ‘unexpected’ benefits you will gain from enrolling your kids in martial arts.
FOCUS.As an instructor, I hear it all the time. “Pleeeease! Can you give my child more focus?” said by the desperate looking parent delivering ‘said child’ to their first karate lesson. I’m happy to say, the answer is ‘yes’. Martial arts clubs like GKR provide their instructors with progressive lesson plans, so students learn at the right pace for their age and level. As their confidence and ability grows, so does the focus required to ‘master’ each new technique.
strength & Balance.
Take up martial arts and you can permanently avoid ‘leg day’ at the gym. This ‘full body’ workout covers it all – arms, legs and especially core muscle strength. For children, this will help develop their balance and coordination.
CONFIDENCE & MENTAL STRENGTH.
Will they become an overnight ninja or ‘karate kid’? Sadly no, but your child will develop more confidence, usually within the first six months. Although their skill as a martial artist is still in its infancy, regular training of this nature improves their ability to ‘handle’ emotions, reactions and physical responses in any conflict or bullying situation.
Regardless of style or origin, all martial arts disciplines are built on a foundation of respect for the individual, their instructors and fellow students. At GKR this is no different. Respect is one of the five fundamentals listed on our ‘Dojo Kun‘ – the rules every student or instructor must abide by when entering the training arena.
Goal setting & achievement.
Whether it’s mastering a technique or pattern, improving fitness, or progressing to your next ‘grade’, martial arts is the perfect medium for individual goal setting and achievement. Many clubs even make it part of the curriculum, with students encouraged to maintain notebooks containing feedback and progress.
Socialisation and Team Work.
Most children list ‘friendship’ as the favourite part of their martial arts experience. While we pursue an individual goal and journey, we train, support and often compete as a group. Regardless of the sport, if your child is having fun and making friends they’ll want to continue training.
GKR Karate is suitalble for kids aged from five. Although all ages and levels train together, we cater for each developmental bracket in our structured course content. We run classes 7 days a week and offer a free trial lesson.