There is something to be said for enrolling your child in any kind of extracurricular physical activity. After all, too many children these days lead sedentary lifestyles that are detrimental to their health. However, if you are still trying to find the right activity for your child, here are five reasons why you might want to consider the benefits of martial arts over team sports.
If you ask any adult why he or she decided to enrol in martial arts classes, the vast majority will tell you that they did it to learn how to defend themselves. Pretty much any form of martial arts – whether you choose karate, Jiu-Jitsu, tae kwon do, kung fu, muay thai, aikido, brazilian jiu jitsu or mixed martial arts – teaches excellent self-defense skills that children can carry with them through the rest of their lives. Martial arts schools are not all about physical defense, either; martial artists can teach children to anticipate and avoid dangers before they occur and boost their self confidence.
If anything is the perfect example of practice makes perfect, it’s martial arts. Your child may spend hours or even days practicing the same movement over and over again until he or she gets it exactly right. Although this may seem frustrating, bear in mind that your child is learning a valuable lesson of self-control and discipline in the process: progress does not happen overnight. In some cases, it is the repetition and the practice that provide the strength, stamina, or power it takes to execute a particular move.
In most combat sports or team sports like soccer, football, basketball, or even softball, children have one primary goal – for their team to be better than all of the other teams. Conversely, when it comes to martial arts, your child will only compete against him or herself. The belt and ranking system allows your child to set unique personal goals. Rather than battling it out to prove who’s best on the field or the court, your child will only strive to be better than he or she was the day before, and the sense of individual achievement from earning that next belt or rank is amazing.
Many children lack self-confidence these days, and unless your child is an Olympic champion or athletic prodigy and the star of his or her team, traditional team sports will not do much to boost their self-esteem. When it comes to martial arts, instructors will encourage your child to do his or her very best, and as he or she becomes more proficient in martial arts, you’ll begin to see a huge difference in skill levels. Your child will feel more self-assured, and his or her confidence will skyrocket.
There are certainly lessons to be learned from team sports, but there is one thing to keep in mind. During the middle and high school years, only the kids with the most athletic prowess will actually have an opportunity to play. This is never the case with martial arts. Regardless of children’s current physical abilities or natural athletic talents, martial arts trainers can help them realise their true potential – and at their own pace.Martial arts training is about much more than simply learning about self defence or how to defeat an opponent. It teaches a variety of life skills that your children can carry with them through adulthood.