School can be a challenging environment for some students. Kids have to succeed academically, while learning plenty of life lessons, juggling extracurricular activities, and dealing with new challenges they've never faced before.
Martial arts schools can teach many of the skills required to succeed in school. We're not solely looking at academic performance, as conflict avoidance, working well with others, and respecting others and oneself are some of the many essential traits acquired from martial arts training. Here are our top ten benefits of martial arts for students.
While it is well known that physical activity boosts well-being and health, many studies also show how regular physical activity can promote cognitive and academic performance. Your children will be able to learn better while they obtain a foundation of active, healthy habits for years to come.
Discipline is one of the core principles of many martial arts. Parents can expect their children to learn the importance of a good work ethic from their training. Developing discipline also helps your kids in school by teaching them how to resist urges to misbehave, skip class, or hand in assignments late.
Martial arts training can be an excellent source of self-confidence for children. As your child starts advancing through the belt ranks while meeting goals set by himself or herself and instructors, he or she will feel a sense of accomplishment. For children, learning that they can overcome obstacles in life with hard work is a high learning point that can translate to academic success in school and the confidence to commit themselves to other positive pursuits.
The emphasis on respect in martial arts can carry over to school, where students deal with authority figures on a regular basis. Students learn the importance of respecting their elders and others, which can help young children who have hyperactivity issues or children who participate in behaviors harmful to themselves or others.
A short attention span can be an obstacle when teaching children. Kids can quickly lose their focus at first, but martial arts training can help prepare them to pay attention for more extended periods of time. Martial arts have also been shown to help children with ADHD so it can be a big benefit for kids with even more severe difficulties.
Dealing with Anxiety and Stress
School can get pretty stressful, especially in higher grade levels when students are worried about graduation and post-secondary education. Through breathing techniques and understanding how one reacts to stressors, students can learn how to deal with anxiety and stress, so that they don't get in the way of their performance.
Martial arts schools provide many excellent opportunities for students to learn to work well with others. This helps children when they're in school surrounded by their peers, especially when it comes to group assignments and projects. As many careers require employees to work together on projects, social skills and teamwork are valuable traits to learn for all ages.
While many may think it is counter-intuitive, practicing martial arts can teach children how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. Martial arts schools focus on respect and violence as a last resort, with many schools enforcing suspensions or expulsions if a student is involved in a physical altercation that is not self-defense oriented. Masters also communicate the implications of violence, which young children may not yet understand, but will with more guidance.
To successfully advance to the next belt level, students must learn a variety of techniques, skills, forms, and philosophies. While testing in martial arts schools differs significantly from testing in a classroom, the amount of memorization required can help students learn better in school. Martial arts students also gain a lot of experience when demonstrating their knowledge on the spot. This further aids in recall and helps them to better prepare to succeed under pressure.
Self-Control / Delaying Gratification
In a world of instant gratification, learning self-control can help students succeed not only in school, but in life as well. Studies have shown that kids who show an ability to delay rewards have a higher chance of success later in life. Martial arts classes teach this through difficult but attainable long-term goals that become both more beneficial and more prevalent the longer children that are involved in dojo.
Want to see more information on why martial arts are so great for kids? Check out our infographic on how martial arts training can benefit children.