My 13-year-old son is a 2nd-degree black belt in Ernie Reyes’ West Coast Martial Arts. He has been in martial arts training since he was 6 (7 years now), and it has been one of the best investments we have ever made.
Here are just 3 benefits of martial arts training for kids you should consider:
- Develop Unshakeable Self-Confidence: As your child develops, he or she begins to be self-aware, which may make them feel unsure or self-conscious. Most children have a desire to try something new, impress their friends with a talent, and to feel secure about themselves. By studying martial arts, children develop a sense of accomplishment and skill that builds their self-image and boosts their confidence.
- Build Strong, Healthy Bodies: Well-rounded martial arts training includes stretching, warm-up exercises, drills, sparring, and techniques–all of which work to improve coordination and strength. If done regularly, martial arts is one of the best ways for children to stay in great shape and have FUN doing it.
- Improve Self-Discipline: Any martial arts training such as karate or taekwondo is a fantastic way to improve a child’s self-discipline. Students must follow the commands of their instructors, and practice outside of class time is essential to develop the skills to move up the ranking or belt system. With the understanding that they must perform what they have learned and practiced in front of an evaluating instructor pushes a child to pay attention and work hard. Few qualities will help a child more in the future than good self-discipline.
There are many martial arts schools in almost every city and town, but knowing which ones are good can be tricky. Not all dojos are created equal. There are also online martial arts training programs and video programs that can be useful if you possess the discipline to train on your own.
When selecting a martial arts school, it is worth your time to do some pre-screening homework. Does the school have a long-standing reputation in the community? Have you spoken with the owner and visited the location? When you visit, you will want to pay special attention to their methods of communication. Do they have dates and times clearly posted? I cannot stress enough how important it is that a martial arts school communicate with both parents and children. Doing this little bit of homework on the front end will save you tons of frustration later on down the road.
Martial arts training can be a pretty big financial and time investment. Do it right, and it will pay off BIG TIME for your child! Take it from a dad who knows!