Who is Martial Arts Good for?

Who is Martial Arts Good for?

When searching for an activity for your child, getting the most out of what you pay for, and choosing an activity with multiple benefits is something any parent would want. When people think about martial arts, they often think that it is about teaching kids how to kick, punch, or fight, and that is a myth could not be further from the truth.

Check out the best martial arts school in your area and you will find that enrolling your child in a martial arts program will serve a number of developmental needs, both mentally and physically, and could be the key to growing a well-rounded, happy, and confident child. 

Below are some of the common questions we here when it comes to looking for a martial arts school near me. Take a look and if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or your top local kids martial arts school.

Is martial arts good for toddlers?

Martial arts is a safe and fun way for toddlers to get out all their extra energy. Many think that martial arts trains kids to fight, and that is simply not true — fighting is always a last resort. It does provide a healthy way to get out all the kicking, punching, and aggression many toddlers express because of lacking the vocabulary to express frustration. Martial arts provides a proper way to release that extra energy for all ages. 

Toddlers learn best through structured play, and martial arts provides structure, rules, and positive reinforcement. It is a perfect time to help master motor skills and coordination that toddlers are still learning, and is an excellent way to learn about their bodies and all the awesome things the human body can do. It is never too early to build a child’s confidence, and martial arts is a perfect way to do just that. 

Is martial arts good for discipline?

Martial arts is a fantastic added source to instill discipline in children of all ages! Children learn the value of hard work, respect, control over their own minds and bodies to diffuse or protect themselves in various situations, and set goals to achieve excellency. From the moment a student enters into the class, or dojo, they are taught proper etiquette from bowing upon entering the class, bowing to instructors and peers, addressing others with respect, conducting themselves in a mindful manner, and they are instilled with a tenacious mindset to always keep trying and to never give up. 

Classes have a strict set of rules that require punctuality, neatness of appearance, attention to the instructor at all times, memorization of vocabulary and skills, memorization of forms, high intensity agility, and continuously setting goals to achieve the next belt, or rank — the highest honor is finally earning a black belt. It is expected that senior ranks be addressed as “sir” or “ma’am” as a sign of respect as well. These teachings become second nature as students progress in the martial arts, ultimately taking those lessons into their every day life. It is important to note that the best martial arts instructors are able to instill these values peacefully and positively; building a student’s self-esteem and confidence. 

Various martial arts studies have tenets, or oaths, of which a student is required to abide, and a true martial artist is not just a martial artist during class, but at home and in public spaces as well. For instance, in Taekwondo, students are to adhere to 5 tenets: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. As another example, Kyuki-Do has similar tenets; courtesy, humility, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. Students are taught to memorize, from an early age, the following pledges, “I shall respect the instructor and all senior ranks”, “I shall conduct myself in a respectful manner”, “I shall respect the teachings of Kyuki-Do and never misuse them”, “I shall always respect the rights of others”, “I shall strive for camaraderie and peace in the world.” 

These are just an example of two types of martial arts out of a countless array of styles and teachings, but each has similar discipline and respect as the forefront of their teachings, and each reminds children to adhere to these set of rules at all times. It is safe to assume that eventually, these lessons become the way in which a strong foundation of discipline is built, and ultimately the way children will carry themselves in the world well into adulthood. 

Is martial arts good for weight loss?

Martial arts is an activity that relies highly on agility, strength, and stamina, but it is not necessary to have to begin a journey in martial arts, as it will be learned over time. Each class will begin with a warm-up, stretch, cardio, and strengthening, building a student’s endurance. Such activity is wonderful for aiding in burning fat and calories, protecting against cardiovascular disease, and conditioning muscles. It is a great multi-tasking tool; learning self-defense, mindfulness and meditation, flexibility, and cardio… all in one place. 

There are a number of martial arts disciplines that focus on self-defense. Students will learn how to diffuse a conflict, defend and protect themselves and others, and even (when they are of age) learn effective use of weaponry. Students will learn various strikes, punches, kicks, and blocks, and be able to practice these safely through sparring, safely and with padding, against a partner in class. Various scenarios are demonstrated so that a student will build confidence that they can and will be ready to protect themselves in the event that a dangerous situation arises. 

The core principles of martial arts focus on self-control, respect, and fighting only by means of self-defense. Practicing self-defense by punching and kicking punching bags in class, breaking boards, and utilizing a “kihap” (yelling) while executing a strike, are all cathartic ways to channel frustrations of the day. Moreover, over time, a child will learn to find calmness and peace of mind through meditation, and utilize techniques to ease tension through breathing, stretching, and following instruction. 

Is martial arts good for anxiety?

Web MD states that “martial arts can help reduce stress and anxiety by encouraging you to practice deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. It helps train your mind to keep your attention focused while remaining calm and alert. This can be especially helpful when you’re trying to do multiple tasks that divide your attention.” 

Martial arts trains children to remain steady and focused, builds confidence, self-reliance, and resilience. Over time, a martial arts student becomes a master of their own mind and body, regulating feelings of doubt and fear. There are often multiple ranks in one classroom, therefore instilling the reality that each individual progresses at their own pace, and not one can be compared to the other. A student can find peace of mind that they are unique, in control of themselves and their achievements, and capable of protecting themselves in any given situation.

Is martial arts good for ADHD?

According to additudemag.com, a resource for ADHD studies and management, “studies show that a complex physical activity, like martial arts, strengthens neural networks in the brain, and enables kids with ADHD to practice self-control. Movement helps them develop coordination while building strength.”

ADHD can be classified as either ‘inattentive’, or ‘hyperactive’, or a combination of the two. Many children not only struggle with staying on task, but struggle with various fine motor and gross motor skills along with it, and find it difficult to know how to channel their mental or physical energy. Many will say that they thrive on structure to keep them focused, and martial arts provides plenty of structure to keep children moving from point A to point B, in a logical and compartmentalized fashion that makes it not only engaging and easier to follow than a team sport, but provides plenty of reward regularly — and an ADHD mind thrives on reward and instant gratification. When they find that their short term goals are attainable, it makes the step-by-step process one that is a wonderful tool for keeping a child focused on each task. 

Is martial arts good for mental health?

Martial arts provides a number of positive aspects for a child’s mental health. Possibly, the most obvious benefit, mentally and emotionally, is gaining the ability to stop bullying, and even prevent bullying, or being bullied, in the first place. Knowing how to defend oneself, knowing how to positively assert oneself, and learning how to diffuse conflicts are all paramount components to being a self-reliant individual, and therefore it is likely that confidence and happiness take the place of anxiety, loneliness, and fear. Students who adhere to the teachings of martial arts are less likely to be bullies themselves, and learn to confidently stand up for and protect themselves and others. 

Though self-defense seems to be a large component of martial arts, mental calm and clarity is at the forefront of most — if not all — of martial arts lessons. Physically, students learn that their capabilities are endless, from learning to pack power in their punches and kicks, to kicking higher and higher over time, and to even breaking boards with their hands and feet — all of these physical achievements require mental stamina, and that mental strength grows right along with their physical strength. Those who start martial arts lacking confidence or a “can-do” attitude will be amazed at the amount of growth they will experience over time. Breath work is the amazing benefit of “kihap” (yelling) with each strike or kick, and is not only a wonderful release for stress, but also promotes deeper breathing into the diaphragm — or, “belly breathing,” as one may do in therapy sessions or use as a tool for stress relief. Those deep breaths required to make a loud and effective “kihap” provide more oxygen to the body, and of course to the brain as well. 

If you’ve ever wanted to let out your stress or anxiety in a physical way, well — punching bags are quite the remedy for that! Holding on to stress and anxiety is no good for our minds and bodies, and martial arts provides a perfect release for all of those unwanted emotions. Children who are displaying aggression due to stress will have a proper way to channel that aggression, which is a benefit to all, but what a gift to a child who does not yet have the words to express all the big feelings going on in their minds. 

Finally, martial arts isn’t just constant agility and stamina — there is plenty of meditation, breathing, and stretching involved in training, which is necessary to prepare the mind and body for the lesson at the beginning of class, and to release tension at the end of class. Children who grow up in martial arts learn the calmness of meditation early in life, and are eventually able to carry that valuable ability with them outside of classes as well.  

If you have a child who is struggling with their mental health or confidence, or is being bullied, or you simply want to prevent such struggles, martial arts may be the answer.