Your 8-year-old, in one swift move and a shout, karate chops a piece of wood in half. Impressive, right?
Uh, yeah, and not just physically; it’s psychologically impressive, as well! Your child has learned at the age of 8 what many adults don’t know: that mental blocks and barriers can prevent you from setting and reaching goals and meeting your potential. This child has demonstrated that he can achieve what he’s set his mind to and, in learning this lesson so early in life, the sky’s the limit!
Kids and parents, alike, are seeing the advantages of enrolling in kids’ martial arts training and, as it turns out, new trends are emerging in kids’ martial arts training for the very reason that it instills more than simple physical fitness; it instills discipline, mindfulness and socialization skills. Let’s take a look at five ways in which kids’ martial arts training is waxing on, waxing off, leaping ahead and kicking its way to the top!
Starting Em Young!
Kids and teenagers have long been encouraged to take classes, but the martial arts industry is now seeing an upturn in a younger audience turnout: preschoolers. This recent trend promotes super young program participation – as young as 3 years old – in order to encourage active lifestyles early on. The advantage of teaching children the pillars of martial arts, self-control and discipline, is that when learned at a young age, they are more likely to adopt these attributes as habit.
In youngsters, socialization is also a key tenet that martial arts classes can instill early on.Those youngsters who find the transition into preschool or other social environments difficult may adapt more easily to their discomfort through the medium of kids’ martial arts. Jiujitsu, in particular, can promote camaraderie, as it requires children to pair up in order to practice their skills together.
Another current trend in kids’ martial arts is the high enrolment of children who’ve been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. The physical activity involved in martial arts training enables children to get active and healthily wear off some of that high energy, while simultaneously forcing them to concentrate, as focusing on discipline and self-restraint is one of the major tenets of all martial arts forms.
Indeed, this trend is considered among the medical fraternity as one of the natural ways of combating this condition.
Promoting Physical Activity
In an era of tablets and smartphones, the average screen time for many children has sky-rocketed. Parents now enroll their kids in martial arts in order to get them up and moving, which is not so much a recent trend as a recurring one, but more so in today’s sedentary age. Kids’ martial arts are physically demanding, which pushes those who practice some form of martial arts out of their sedentary activities and into a highly active and enjoyable one, motivating them to get out and move more!
Serving as Conflict Resolution
Violence is everywhere – on our televisions, in our films, on the news, and in our daily real-life experiences. Children see conflict and sometimes see inappropriate reactions to it, namely violent ones. They learn how to resolve issues via what they see in media, what their parents demonstrate, and what they are taught. A recent trend in kids’ martial arts enrolment addresses this very issue. It teaches kids non-violent conflict resolution. Some may see martial arts as promoting violence, but the defensive styles of martial arts actually exercise peaceful conflict resolution skills and highlight the idea that everyone’s goal should be to avoid and prevent violence.
Creating Respectful Well-Rounded Kids
One recent trend in kids’ martial arts regards the benefits of creating respectful well-rounded children through the training. Children who study martial arts must learn to show their Sensei and each other the utmost respect. The discipline teaches teamwork, promotes confidence, and develops disciplinary and self-motivational skills so that children can be more academically and socially minded, while achieving everything they set their minds too. This trend of practicing martial arts to learn respect and balance encourages kids to grow into grounded adults.
Martial arts have been around for thousands of years. From tae kwon do to aikido to kung fu, the young and the old, alike, have been learning the self-discipline of this fitness activity. This is martial arts at its core: teaching those who practice it that discipline and self-belief will enable one to achieve anything.