The Seven Benefits of Karate for Kids Training
Have you ever stopped to wonder why martial arts training is fast becoming the leading activity for kids? And why thousands of families enroll their children in martial arts across the country each year? The answer is simple. Unlike most sports (which emphasizes winning games), Karate for Kids focuses on personal development and life skills. This provides many positive outcomes, but most of these benefits fit into seven main “categories”. They are:
1.) Confidence 2.) Discipline 3.) Respect and Courtesy 4.) Goal-Setting 5.) Perseverance 6.) Physical Fitness 7.) Leadership Skills
In this article, I’m going to discuss each one of these seven benefits and reveal how we, at Karate for Kids create each one. We’ll start with…
Benefit #1: Confidence
It’s a fact: our training boosts a child’s self-confidence, self-esteem and feeling of self-worth. In fact, many parents enroll their kids here for this reason alone. Karate for Kids training helps increase a child’s confidence and self-esteem because it teaches kids…
- To try their best, even though they don’t know if they can succeed or not…
- How to perform under pressure and handle stress…
- How to defuse bullying, stand up and protect themselves…
- How to voice concerns, ask for what they want and address adults (and other authority figures) in a respectful manner.
- How to recognize their own body’s potential. For example, by being able to kick and punch things hard and push themselves beyond their own limits.
- How to talk to an adult, stand and look them in the eye and be listened to.
- To be proactive and take more initiative because they believe in their own abilities.
- The feeling of pride. For example, through belt promotions and by competing in tournaments or in class.
All of these factors add up to greater self-esteem and improved confidence. As one parent put it: “I still can’t believe how my daughter has come out of her shell after just two months at Karate for Kids. Before she started, she was shy, wouldn’t approach people or ask for what she wanted. Now she’s a different person. Her improved confidence is amazing”.
If your child is shy, having problems relating to other children or being picked on by others, our Karate for Kids training is your answer.
Benefit #2: Discipline, Focus and Self-Control
Karate for Kids training helps kids develop self-control, improves their powers of concentration and gets them to really focus. It can even alleviate some of the negative behavior associated with ADD and ADHD.
A major scientific study on ADD / ADHD revealed martial arts training helps in just about every area. Conducted in 2004 by Dr. Kenneth Moran, the study scientifically proved that martial arts training for kids boosted homework completion, academic performance and classroom participation. At the same time, martial arts training decreased the number of classroom rules broken, times leaving the seat and “call outs” in class.
Believe it or not, martial arts training scored higher than exercise alone because it involves rhythmic breathing and relaxation, step-by-step repetitive movements, personal attention, positive reinforcement, adherence to etiquette and rules (structure), group reinforcement, and a sense of belonging.
Karate for Kids also instills discipline in students by requiring full attention in class, refraining from unruly behavior, teaching kids to arrive on time and prepared, following instructions, and not interrupting instructors. Kids are also taught to keep uniforms and other items clean and organized. Finally, they’re taught physical self-control: that when confronted, the first option is to get away and fighting is always the very last resort. It’s a myth that martial arts makes kids “aggressive”. In fact, it’s the exact opposite: instead, kids develop confidence, discipline, and self-control.
Benefit #3: Respect (and Courtesy)
If you want your kids to become more respectful and courteous to others, Karate for Kids is the ticket. Nothing does a better job at teaching the “old school” values of respect and courtesy. Here at Karate for Kids we teach children to….
• Answer in a respectful manner to instructors ( Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am” when speaking to senior ranks or other authority figures).
• “Bow in” before entering the floor (workout area) and show respect to their academy…
• Shake hands with sparring partners before a match and treat them with respect…
• Accept a judge’s decision even if they don’t agree with it (respect for authority)…
• Stand at attention “like a black belt” before class begins…
• Make others feel noticed, honor other people’s feelings and respect their wishes…
• Treat juniors (lower ranks) the way they were treated when they were the same rank…
Our instructional staff also hammer home the importance of respect and courtesy in school and academics: the importance of paying attention in class, taking schoolwork seriously, respecting school rules and teachers, and finally, focusing on academic goals and getting good grades (martial arts is BIG on this!) We also teach students to treat their classmates with respect and never engage in teasing, mocking or bullying others.
Here at Karate for Kids, we are BIG on supporting you at home, too. Kids are taught to help out with chores, respect and honor parents and their wishes, treat brothers and sisters with respect and courtesy, keep their room clean and respect family rules like curfews.
Yes, respect is one of the key cornerstones of a Karate Kid education and a big reason parents enroll their children in our programs all across the country!
Benefit #4: Goal-Setting
At a very early age, Karate Kid students are encouraged to set long term goals. The most obvious goal is reaching the rank of black belt. But this is only one goal. Other goals are encouraged, too. In our academy, we teach kids the S.M.A.R.T. way to set and achieve goals:
S stands for specific
M stand for measurable
A stands for achievable
R stands for realistic
T stands for trackable
The goal-setting our students learn encompasses all areas of their life – it’s NOT limited to our classes. We show students how to apply the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting strategy to personal relationships, school and academics, in the community as well as martial arts.
This early exposure to goal-setting and delayed gratification paves the way for lifelong achievement and success.
Benefit #5: Perseverance
Setting goals is one thing. Actually reaching the target is another. That’s why we teach the practical life skill of perseverance. Let’s face it: martial arts is a real challenge for most people. This is where perseverance comes in. We show students how to develop follow-through and “stick-to-it-ness” to overcome challenges, break through fears, avoid negativity and stay focused on the path to their goals. They are taught to never give up on themselves.
Our instructors also motivate children and reinforce a positive mental attitude – so important in today’s society. When things get tough, students learn it’s just a test to “see how bad you want something” and that there is NO such thing as “failure”, only temporary setbacks.
I’m sure you’d agree: nothing good in life is accomplished without perseverance, follow-through, and staying true to the path. We teach this life skill in abundance.
Benefit #6: Fitness
You know the stats: Two out of every three Americans are either overweight or obese. And over the last thirty years childhood obesity has tripled. We hear about it all the time. But did you know that in many cases, the bad lifestyle habits that lead to obesity start in childhood and can get worse over time? It’s true. Fortunately, we help families avoid these statistics by teaching healthy lifestyle and fitness early on.
Look around our academy and you’ll see many success stories. Students who were out of shape when they began, but have transformed themselves into stronger, leaner and fit kids! Karate for Kids improves all these areas of a person’s fitness:
- They become more flexible
- Their endurance and cardio improves
- Their balance improves
- They become more agile and lighter on their feet
- They build strength, explosiveness and power
- They learn the “fitness mindset” and how to overcome physical challenges
- They improve their fine and gross motor skills
Is it any wonder so many professional athletes study martial arts in their “off-season” to take their fitness to the next level? Of course not. Now imagine learning this type of training while growing up! Incredible. And get this: while gaining physical fitness, kids are learning something 100% practical and valuable: self-defense! These are life-long skills a child can count on to stay safe for years to come. Finally, we have…
Benefit #7: Leadership
The first six benefits lay a solid foundation for this final benefit: leadership. Think about it: Confidence…discipline and focus…respect and courtesy…goal-setting…perseverance…physical fitness. Aren’t these all attributes of a leader? But it doesn’t stop there. Through our program, your child will learn even more leadership skills. Like how to…
- Have integrity, be truthful and cultivate a good reputation among peers…
- How to speak in front of a group and communicate effectively…
- Set a good example for others….
- Stand up for themselves and form their own opinions…
- Help with class, teach lower ranks and guide others…
- And finally – this could be the most important – how to resist negative peer pressure, avoid bad influences and risky behavior like smoking and drinking. What could be more crucial?
Your Call to Action. Karate for Kids offers so many benefits to child development, it was difficult to list them all. You might be thinking of a few more – some your family has experienced.
So this month, I want you to do two things: Hand a copy (or forward this email) to one of your friends, family, or work associates. Help them see what Karate for Kids is truly all about. It may be the biggest favor you do for them this whole year.
— Senior Master William Babin