These days, martial arts are something that everyone should know. With crime at an all-time high, knowing how to defend yourself is essential. For children, martial arts can mean a lot of things. Even though martial arts are great for adults to know and practice as well, it is also a great way for children to stay in shape and learn how to defend themselves from attackers.
Martial arts can teach children how to defend themselves, but most importantly it will also teach them self-control and self-confidence. If your child has a bad temper or low self-esteem, learning a martial art can help them get back on the right path. Martial arts will help children with life in general – which will take them a lot farther in life.
The first thing you will need to do when getting your child involved in martial arts is pick a style that they will enjoy. With several different styles to choose from, it can be a very difficult choice to make. Among the most popular for children are Taekwon-Do, Karate, Judo, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu. When making the decision, you should go by what your child has interests in. Is the child showing interest in learning to strike (Standup), or grappling and submission; or all of the above?
Once you have a style in mind, you’ll need to start checking out the local martial arts centers and dojangs. If you live in a big city, you’ll have a lot more to choose from than those who live in smaller areas or rural towns. Those who live in smaller towns or rural areas may be very limited on the choices available for themselves and their children.
Rural and smaller towns are limited in choice, although what they offer is normally among the best styles of martial arts. The instructors are certified black belts; if lucky you’ll have a high-level black belt instructor, with the highest ranked students helping them instruct classes. Most of the time, you will find beginner classes small in attendance, this is GREAT for the student, simply because the instructor can dedicate more time to each student the basic skill(s) to build a strong foundation, in addition to improving their skillset and focus on their weakest areas.
When you decide to enroll your child in martial arts, you should always check out the dojang, and see if they offer some free trial classes or if there is a monthly promotion. You don’t want your child to be in a class that isn’t goal focused, nor do you want them to have a teacher who doesn’t know what he/she is teaching, and every class seems to be a daycare. The environment is also important, as you want to be sure that the dojang and equipment are clean, and that everything is up to the latest and greatest standards.
Even though a martial art may be beneficial to your child, it won’t do them any good unless the facilities and the instructors are good. You want to make sure you get the best available instruction offered to you, which is why it always pays to look around. If you look at all your available choices, you’ll normally be able to find the best for both you and your child.
When it comes to children and their future, as a parent myself; I want what is best for them! A martial art that will challenge them mentally, physically, and spiritually. Martial arts are a great way for them to learn discipline, work on their self-confidence and build the “CAN DO” attitude. Martial arts can help them improve in many different areas, not just self-defense. A martial art can help a child develop a lot of essential areas, including self-control, respect and responsibility. The longer a child studies a martial art, the more goal oriented and responsible they will become. Martial arts are a great investment for parents and children – which is why they are so popular!
In conclusion, whatever discipline or style of martial arts you decide to do, make sure it meets your overall criteria. Know your “why” and understand the goals you want to reach or lessons you want to learn; either for you or your child. Remember that every style is different. Every style has its pros and cons, BUT what makes any style so unique and beneficial is the hard work the students put on the mat. That is what makes an AWESOME, well-disciplined martial artist!