6 Unexpected Things Your Child will learn during their Martial Arts Classes
By Adrienne Brooks | August 12, 2016 | 0 Comments
When we read in the media about children doing martial arts training our accepted perception is that martial arts is great for our children to learn self-defence and improve their overall physical fitness. And everyone will tell you that children’s martial arts classes will teach self-control and discipline, even if they can’t exactly tell you why. What you might not be familiar with are some of the other unexpected benefits of martial arts, things that not everyone realizes or even knows.
Here are 6 UNEXPECTED things that your child will learn from taking martial arts
1. They will learn NOT to Hit People
There’s a general misconception that martial arts is all about how to hit people. Knowing how to hit someone is very important in a confrontational self-defence situation. But these type of situations are not the norm.
In most of life’s situations where there is escalating confrontation, the best skill to have is the one that keeps you from getting physical, that allows you to diffuse the situation and walk away. Avoiding conflict through self-control and smart decision making is something that martial arts teaches kids, and is perhaps even more valuable than learning how to throw a punch efficiently and effectively.
2. How to Take a Hit
The other side of this is learning how to face the fear of being hit. During their class should your child forget to keep their hands up or forget to duck the pad will come into contact with their body. They will learn to take the hit and know that the sting of the pad is rarely something that will stops them. They will learn by their own experience that most often it’s shaken off in seconds, as they reset to do better the next time round. This builds resilience it demonstrates to our children that hits in life are little things, and it’s our fear of them that makes them more difficult. Release the fear and build your skill in avoiding the hit and you will build confidence and skill.
3. Interacting with All Ages
With our families spread far and wide our children often miss out on interacting with adults other than in the role of parents or their school teachers. They can also miss out sometimes on interacting with cousins and other children of different age groups. Martial Arts classes provide a wide spectrum of adult role models, as well as with kids who are of varied ages. To easily interact with people of all ages and backgrounds is an important life skill, as we move into the work force we find ourselves working with people who are much younger and much older.
It’s essential to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem, but it’s also essential to teach them how to lose. Life involves losing, sometimes a lot. One skill that it has been widely documented that is lacking in our children today is the ability to lose at something then pick themselves up and keep on going. Martial arts teaches kids to lose, because a sparring match is anyone’s game. Everyone doesn’t get a trophy and those belt ranks, and badges only continue to progress if you put the work it. Teaching kids that this is okay and that disappointment is a normal part of life and most importantly that it doesn’t have to mean you need to quit… is a great life lesson.
5. Teaching Skills
Martial arts also provides your children with an opportunity to step up into a leadership role and be a teacher. Helping others to learn is another skill that enhances the quality of our lives. At some time during our life we all required to teach something to others, whether it be a co-worker or our own children. Martial arts is a generational discipline, one that is passed down from one person to another. In order for that to happen, the next generation (your child) must learn how to teach. In the Academy we work hard to facilitate kids learning to teach their skills to the students who follow.
6. Organizational Skills
There is a fair bit of organization and neatness that goes into the running a martial arts Academy. Things have to be kept neat and tidy as a point of safety for everyone. If appropriate safety gear isn’t worn properly or isn’t available because it’s not been kept organized, or its been left at home, then someone could get hurt. So as part of the class process children become aware that if they are not organized, or well prepared, then they’ll feel it. This is an important lesson for them to be aware of.
Children learn by observing what is happening around them. They pick up on what is happening in their environment and they copy the role models they see around them.
Choosing a positive environment for your child to learn in and reinforcing the learning they are having in the Academy supports you as a parent to bring up an empowered self-directed and responsible child who will make a wonderful difference out there in the world in the lives of the people they meet. We can all be proud of that!