The Hidden Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Children

The Hidden Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Children

Martial arts training offers children the social and physical benefits to promote solid development and progress in their future lifestyles.
When we look beyond the self defence applications of martial arts, most people only see the external physical changes in the student such as posture, athletic achievement, and sporting prowess. These are important facets of the training because of the influence these achievements will have on the student’s self-confidence and self-esteem as well as wellbeing. These benefits are well known and are regularly talked about. They include improvement of fitness levels, stronger posture and core improvement, self-defence applications, improvement in muscle tone, and weight loss.
What I would like to highlight is the hidden benefits of martial arts training for children. These hidden gems are seldom pointed out but I believe they are the basis for most of the development of the child during their time training. They are part of the internal standing of the child for the future.
They include the following:
1/ Respect and dignity to others, a characteristic that is often lacking in today’s culture. These qualities allow the student to view others in a favourable light and treat them accordingly and are incorporated into every class by discussion and action.
2/ Determination, discipline, and balance of life are also covered in many martial arts programs. These qualities forge strong values that will stand the student in their future lives and lifestyles. They provide a basis for the student to set and achieve goals, a very important attribute.
3/ Social issues such as friendship, teamwork, family interaction and community inclusion are reinforced by the values, teachings and interaction activities that take place during a standard martial arts class. No student sits on the bench, all join in. All students are encouraged to help each other in class for the benefit of all.
4/ Overcoming adversity is, in my opinion, probably the most important benefit that martial arts training promotes. From the controllable adversity i.e. setting of goals and challenges to be accomplished, to the uncontrollable adversity of bullying and confrontation, martial arts training teaches the student to recognise and evaluate the situation, find a successful outcome and execute the action to reach that outcome. And the training also teaches that if the positive outcome is not reached, then the student regroups his efforts and tries again. They are taught that nothing happens without real effort and hard work.
5/ Self-confidence and physical creativity are important by products of martial arts training. The training allows the student to become physically creative with their bodies and learn that they are far more capable than they first thought and soon they master movements that would have been thought of as “too difficult for me”.
Also the ability for all the family to train together, as an activity that can be shared is an vital link to stronger family bonds.
I think that martial arts training is the ideal activity for children to participate in and profit from all the benefits mentioned above

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