The benefits of martial arts for kids are well documented, with a lot of scientific and psychological research to support them. Training in martial arts can help children learn about the value of hard work, discipline, integrity and social skills, while building up an excellent foundation for active living.
So how do martial arts end up benefiting you, once you’re an adult? How can growing up in martial arts class help you grow and succeed, in the long-term? Here we break down different aspects of life and martial arts and see how these benefits reap reward down the road.
Martial arts schools require a lot of cooperation. Drills are frequently done in pairs, as is sparring, and you need to give effective, constructive feedback, while being able to take criticism. This is imperative, in order to improve your martial arts forms. Learning to work well with others at a young age can help students succeed in both school and in the workplace. The balance of being self-driven to further your practice, while not being afraid to give and take support from your peers, can help in many life situations.
The focus on integrity in martial arts can help shape kids into becoming model citizens, once they reach adulthood. A real martial arts master will instill many teaching about wisdom and morality, setting students up to become good role models and mentors for the generation after them.
Delayed gratification and self-discipline may be two of the biggest markers for long-term success. A martial arts student requires both of these along their journey towards a black belt, as it takes a lot of hard work to achieve mastery of each belt level. The belt level system gives kids a lengthy view of what hard work can achieve. Each level has a distinct set of criteria to master, if one wants to reach the next belt. It required not only commitment but also long-term dedication, as it can take anywhere from 4 to 10 years to achieve this rank. This also wildly varies, from both school to school and martial art to martial art.
This rank system and long-term thinking acts to give students a strong sense of accomplishment, boosting self-esteem, while they earn their stripes and belts. Martial arts can also help kids learn better in school, allowing them to develop stronger academic skills than if they had not trained in martial arts.
The health benefits of physical activity for kids are numerous and the martial arts are a great outlet for it. Physical activity can help strengthen bones, improve energy levels, enhance emotional well-being, control weight, and assist in strengthening the heart. While many sports can improve hand-eye coordination, physical conditioning, and teamwork skills, martial arts trains those skills, as well as a plethora of life lessons and philosophies.
Under the tutelage of a real martial arts master, each student should understand the gravity of physical force. Learning to be a true martial artist means understanding that violence is a last resort and any physical confrontation that could’ve been dodged may result in discipline from your martial arts school. That being said, for most martial artists, having the knowledge and skills brought on by years of martial arts training can be very empowering.
Furthermore, students may feel safer in the streets and be able to defend themselves, if necessary. This boost in self-esteem can result in higher resistance to peer pressure and lower rates of bullying, while allowing the child to grow with a healthy mindset on their abilities and potential. All of these motifs can follow us well into adulthood, setting the trend for our livelong personal empowerment.
Knowing effective breathing techniques can help you diffuse stressful situations. Many martial arts masters have experience with meditation and mindfulness; the benefits mindfulness can bring to one’s practice, workplace, and life in general are significant. Adding to the physical health benefits of regular physical activity, one’s mental health also plays an important role in stress management. Martial arts is incredibly good for mental health, for many reasons, and mental strength can help you get through difficult times that may come up throughout adult life.
For more information, see our infographic on the 12 benefits of martial arts for kids. It’s a great tool for sharing with parents some of the important benefits their child (and family) will receive, from becoming a part of your martial arts school.
What was the biggest thing you learned in martial arts, as a kid? How did that helps you in your adult life? Let us know on our Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.