Karate for Kids Is More Than Just A Sport 3-2010
Written by bill on February 24, 2010
“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.” – Rensis Likert
Some people make the mistake of thinking Karate for Kids is like “any other sport”. They place it in the same category as say, soccer, basketball, football or baseball. And it’s true that martial arts builds strength, allows students to compete, fosters a team spirit and helps social skills. But the similarities end there. Karate for Kids should not be lumped together with other sports because it’s different. Very different. Why? Because Karate for Kids boasts a unique mix of benefits that other sports simply don’t offer.
Now let me say this: We encourage students to participate in outside sports. I believe it’s healthy to have many diverse interests. I do, however, strongly believe that of all the activities you can choose to stay healthy and have fun, Karate for Kids should be at the top of your list. Here are seven powerful reasons why that’s true, along with some quotes from real Karate Kid parents!
1.) Personal Empowerment
In most sports, you learn life lessons such as “teamwork” and “being a good sport” on the field. But those life lessons are secondary to the sport itself. The goal in those sports is to win games. Not at Karate for Kids. This is one big area that we differ from other sports. The life skills you learn here are NOT “by-products” of the training you receive, they are the curriculum! Personal development and empowerment form the core of our program. We teach self-confidence, respect, discipline, courtesy, self-control, leadership and many other values as its foundation. I like to say that Karate for Kids is a very personal journey of self-discovery. Not all students are going to get that from football, baseball, soccer or any other sport. But here at Karate for Kids, they do!
Here’s how one parent put it: “My daughter is involved in track, soccer and karate for kids. I don’t see the same results from her other sports. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they don’t work on the individual to the same extent that K4K does. This is a real individual self-builder. The team-building concept is fine, but I think kids need more self-building sports like K4K.”
2.) 100% Practical
Unlike some sports, Karate for Kids is 100% practical. Let’s take aerobics for example. Aerobics gives you a great workout. It helps develop coordination and improve your cardio. We do this for you also, but it goes even further and gives you another “bonus benefit”: practical self-defense skills. Think about it: If you’re investing your valuable time exercising, why not spend it doing something that has lasting practical value? With us, you never say to yourself, “What’s the use of learning this? I’ll never use it”. Instead, you walk off the floor pumped up and invigorated from a great workout with a feeling that you learned something extremely rare and valuable – that can save your life.
Also, because you’re learning a skill set (self-defense), the workouts fly by. Not so with stair-steppers, weight-lifting or spin classes. Most people give up on those eventually because they get bored.
3.) Lifelong Involvement
With most competitive sports, once childhood is over, so are your competitive years. For example, the vast majority of little-leaguers never go on to play college baseball or make it to the minor leagues. In fact, most people are done playing baseball by age 18. But here at Karate for Kids your growth, learning, fitness and ability to compete never has to stop due to age. Did you know, for example, that there are divisions at tournaments for seniors? Absolutely! It was inspiring to see Mr. Slevin (age 65+) doing his form and competing in the February 6 Gathering of Eagles Tournament! It’s also humbling, too, because it strips away your own excuses!
Here’s what another Karate Kid parent said about this: “Karate for Kids is something you can do your entire life. My son will be a black belt when he’s 30, 40 and 50 years old. There’s no age limit. With other sports, such as football, it might be great for the time being, but there will be a time when you just can’t do it anymore. With Taekwondo, you can. The skills you learn as a child you can use your entire life.”
Lifelong involvement. Just one more thing that sets Karate for Kids apart from most other sports.
4.) It’s Year Round!
With most sports, once the season is over, it’s time to hang up the cleats for the year. But with us, the “season” never ends. Since training is done indoors, you can train year-round without the fear of bad weather. Rain, snow and extreme temperatures can’t interfere with your progress. This is also one of the secrets of why veteran martial artists are so fit: they can train consistently and maintain their fitness level over the course of the year!
5.) Job Skills
Earning a black belt is like earning a college degree. Ever think about that? Once you reach a certain level of proficiency, you can actually earn money teaching classes. Martial arts skills are also job skills that are in demand. Granted, you may not want to become a school owner or teach as a career. That’s okay. But you can instruct on a part-time basis and earn money on the side.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a child going off to college in a few years. Chances are, they’ll need a little spending money while on campus. What would you rather see them do: Flip burgers at the local fast food joint…or stay in shape, continue to be surrounded by peers that are goal oriented and self disciplined and help others change their lives?
Of course, with other sports, you can try to earn money in it, but let’s be realistic: how many people really make it as a professional soccer or football player? With Karate for Kids, having a part or full-time career is 100% realistic. Even with this lackluster economy, demand is growing for quality instructors all over the country. Yet another huge payoff for a martial artists like you!
6.) Enhances Other Sports
You do NOT have to choose between Karate for Kids and another sport. You can do both. In fact, many of the top martial artists participate in many other sports.
But here’s the surprising thing martial artists discover when they start another sport: Their martial arts skills translate perfectly onto the basketball court, soccer field or golf course! Your confidence, flexibility, agility, coordination and conditioning give you a leg up in other sports. Here’s yet another parent’s experience:
“Karate for Kids has helped my son, Jack, excel at school sports. He’s currently playing baseball and basketball in addition to Karate for Kids. One of the biggest improvements is his flexibility. He’s more flexible than all the other players. Martial arts has also helped his speed and jumping ability. Jack is now the highest jumper on his basketball team even though he’s not close to being the tallest. His overall coordination has improved, too. I’ve seen a very big improvement and so have his coaches.”
Because of the confidence and leadership abilities Karate for Kids instills in students, other players look up to the martial artist on the playing field. Show me a baseball, soccer or football player who is ALSO a martial artist and I’ll show you a team leader.
Remember: Doing martial arts and another sport isn’t an “either or” proposition. You can do both!
7.) No Benchwarmers!
This is perhaps one of the most refreshing things about Karate for Kids vs. other sports: no kid is a benchwarmer. Whatever your ability level, you have a home here. Every student participates equally and you will be treated with respect and dignity. That’s not true of some other sports. I’ve heard heartbreaking stories about kids who were shunned socially because they didn’t have good athletic skills or didn’t make the cut. But that doesn’t happen here. We support each other as a family.
Again, the motivation behind Karate for Kids is different: it’s a journey of personal discovery and development. That’s our goal. But for other sports, the goal is to win games. No, there is no such thing as “the last kid picked” K4K. That alone is a self-confidence booster for anybody!
So if you’re looking for something to keep your kids active, healthy and safe…Karate for Kids should be at the top of your list. There’s no other athletic endeavor that rolls so many positive benefits into one as Karate for Kids. You’ve made a great choice!
— Senior Master Babin
ü Personal Empowerment At Its Core
ü 100% Practical
ü You Can Participate Your Entire Life
ü The “Season” Never Ends
ü Karate Kid Skills = Job Skills
ü Enhances Other Sports
ü There Are No Benchwarmers at Karate for Kids!