It is not a stretch to suggest that parenting is one of the most difficult yet rewarding tasks a person can take on in their lifetime. Gone are the clichés of walking five miles in the snow up hill to school to emphasize the struggle people endured way back when. Instead of that one dimensional physical struggle, children are pulled in 10 different directions that older generations could never comprehend. A child’s schedule is inundated with screen time – movies, tv, video games, homework. Bullying is no longer simply in the school yard as it has found it’s way online through cyberbullying and social media. Science is just now catching up with the effects of children being constantly connected to this environment, and so far the results are not good. Is there a solution in taking karate, kickboxing, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu lessons? These are just a few of the issues that children face that these types martial arts can help them combat. Not convinced? Here are some more reasons your child should do martial arts.
Improving Self Discipline
One of the best elements of any good martial art is the focus on self discipline. Instant gratification, as so many children receive today, makes it much more difficult to effectively teach self discipline and restrain than in the past. Martial arts can provide the structure and repetition that children require and desire in order to increase their chances of success at what other endeavor they choose to do in the future. Self discipline is a vital life skill and acquiring it as a child is just one of the opportunities martial arts can provide them.
Increasing Physical Activity
Now that physical education is out of the curriculum of many schools, or made optional, children are having less time to engage in physical activity. A parent cannot rely on free play in the neighborhood anymore to provide the amount of physical activity a child needs. Martial arts however is a great way to get a child moving. It is currently estimated that over 33% of the American population is considered physically obese, but martial arts is a great way to help prevent you or your child from becoming part of that statistic.
Improved Self Esteem
Every parent would love their child to have a strong enough sense of self and self-esteem required to last a life time. The question is how to instill this effectively in a person? Typically, self-esteem is found through hard work and positive re-enforcement. Some of the most rewarding times in a person’s life are when they have overcome difficult tasks and obstacles. Martial arts is the perfect opportunity for a child to overcome the physical and mental obstacles Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Taekwondo, or Kickboxing can bring. There is value in the journey martial arts can bring, and that reward is improved self-esteem that can last a lifetime.
Listening Skills Improvement
Listening is a vital skill in school, the work force, and even when parenting a child. The earlier a person can effectively learn to listen the greater chance they will reach any goal that is set and they intend to meet. It is impossible to progress and success in martial arts without listening to the coach or instructor. Whether it is in practice or competition listening to instruction is likely the difference between winning and losing. While the physicality of a martial art may seem to be the most impressive thing a child can do, the listening and comprehension was likely the most difficult skill and often goes unnoticed.
While one of the greatest things in martial arts competition is the chance for your child to show what they can do. Sparring, for example, allows for a child to show the skills, grit, and determination learned in their chosen martial art. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but because every child is different expectations can be managed. What has allowed a child to get this point, however, is not just an individual effort. It is found in the teamwork and partnership required that teammates help and support each other to reach their goals. Working with others just might be the most important life skill a person has. Whether it is working with a team for their employer, or guiding a team that they employ, the socialization and ability to work well with others will never go out of style. Leadership and teamwork are two of the greatest skills a child can learn from martial arts.
Regardless of the type of martial art you choose for your child, the most important thing is that a child is being put on a challenging journey and learning life skills such as the ones listed about. Ideally, their instructor will excel in communication and be able to map out a plan to get the best out of each person they are training.
Team Wise Training Center provides lessons in multiple martial art disciplines for all ages. In addition to having one of the most decorated youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teams in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, they offer kickboxing, boxing, striking, and fitness classes. Check the schedule for exact times and availability. Team Wise BJJ is located in Lynnwood, WA but children attend from the surrounding areas of: Edmonds, Mill Creek, Shoreline, Kenmore, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, and even Mercer Island.