3 Hidden Ways a Martial Arts class will improve your Child’s Academic Results

By Adrienne Brooks | August 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Martial arts training has hidden benefits to your child’s overall academic success because the things that build success in martial arts are the same things that build success in their academic life. You may well ask how do kids learn these things through learning kicks and punches?

1. Focus
Martial arts training requires your child to be there in the present moment in order to avoid a physical consequence. That kind of immediate feedback teaches a mental clarity and a mindfulness that transfers to their academic work. Good students must be able to clear their mind and focus on their studies and the task in front of them in order to learn the material they are studying. Being able to focus and not be taken off into distraction [by the chatty boy seated next to them] is an important life skill and a huge key to academic success. Practicing this skill of focus at every martial arts class gives them the opportunity to flex their focus muscle and see it grow.

2. Discipline and Self-Control
Martial arts teaches your child discipline through its rigorous structure – a structure that you’ll be hard pressed to find in many other kids activities. They receive visceral feedback whilst they are training, feedback that teaches them that practicing discipline and self-control will enable them to avoid unpleasant situations. As adults we understand it takes discipline to study hard instead of watching television, or playing on the i-pad. You have to have the self-control to say no to these sort of short term pleasures in favour of putting effort into achieving your longer term goals, an essential point to doing well academically. Giving our children the opportunity during their martial arts classes to develop discipline and self-control enables them to build these skills.

Society has become very much absorbed into instant gratification, into everything feeling good in the moment. Martial Arts teaches the reality that when you are learning something it takes dedication and time, and that some of the hardest earnt goals are the most satisfying to achieve. Learning is often frustrating, confusing and uncomfortable and our children must have it be ok to be able to work their way through to find understanding and mastery without expecting it all to be pleasurable and instantaneous. The expectation that everything in life is pleasurable is a big disservice for our kids. Our children don’t know this unless they have the opportunity to experience working with dedication towards a worthy goal. They find this as part of their martial arts training. Having an experience like this teaches our children to set much more realistic expectations for how they interact with life and with their academic study. They need to know that study won’t necessarily feel good but that the result – the learning is worth it.

3. Preparation
Preparation is also an essential part of what kids gain from their Martial Arts training. During training, kids have to be prepared for what’s coming in order to react appropriately. The mental edge of being able to think a step or a couple of steps ahead builds success in martial arts. During training there is immediate feedback for not being prepared, and that feedback helps kids to realize how important it is to be ready in order to be successful. In academic work, the reward for preparedness isn’t so immediate, with the consequences of not preparing for an essay being more prolonged and not nearly so visible to kids. The rewards that they earn in their martial Arts Academy through natural feedback helps kids to realize that preparation can be really good for them and that they are capable to strive to think ahead, think strategically and be organised!

As a parent a lot of our daily dialogue with our children can be to correct situations where they are not prepared – they haven’t taken a thought process through to the consequences of their action or even of their inaction. They forget to pack their homework, leave their assignment to the last minute, they distract themselves with people and activities that don’t add value to their life and they expect to feel good and be entertained during their waking hours.

This is not what we as parents want for our children. We look to grow up independent, smart, strategic thinkers who can make positive long term choices that will provide them a happy and successful life.

Let’s provide them an opportunity to build successful focus, self-discipline and preparedness in a safe environment where they learn consequences in a positive way and where these qualities are strengthened every time they train. We know as parents positive qualities take time, take persistence and take constant reinforcement.

UMF Academy supports parents in not having to do this alone – we reinforce these positive qualities you want for your child at every session.