" Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. "
Mahatma Gandhi

 

Children have boundless energy.  At a tender age of 5 or 6 years old, they are still learning about themselves and the world they live in.  They are forming their personalities which will be an integral part of who they are for the rest of their lives. 

As a father, I want the best for my children.  This does not mean that I want them to be immersed in a lifestyle of luxuries and for them to have anything that their hearts’ desire.  This is an external and materialistic view of life.  “The best”, for me, has to do with equipping them with all the skills and an attitude which will allow them to become fully functional, compassionate, and independent adults. 

I want them to reach their full potential and to pursue their passions with vigour.  I want them to be wonderful contributors to their family, friends, and their community.

Martial Arts has certainly changed my life.  It has instilled discipline, focus, humility, and perseverance within me.  I have a strong sense of who I am, and I always strive to find my own authenticity which allows me to form genuine relationships and bonds with others.  These are characteristics that I think make for a successful human being.  These are also characteristics that I want to instil in my children.  For this reason, I have introduced my son to Martial Arts and my daughter will follow soon.

My son has been practicing Martial Arts for over 2 years now.  He has undergone some amazing transformations which I have witnessed.  Children are truly amazing. 

 

Children are like trees. If you give them the correct amounts of care and attention at the right times, they will flourish before your eyes.

~ Martial Devotee

 

Helping kids understand their Bodies

Martial Arts challenges you physically.  The physical movements that it demands will help a child understand their own body mechanics.  This will help them move more efficiently and provide them with a firm base of athleticism and fitness.  Exercising will become a natural part of their lives and it will help them make good lifestyle choices in the future.  Martial Arts practice allows them to expend excess energy and has a positive impact on their discipline and behaviour.

Martial Arts Movements for Kids

 

Helping kids understand their Emotions

Children develop an internal focus as they practice Martial Arts.  This helps them to understand, express and regulate their emotions.  Martial Arts allows them to express themselves in ways that are otherwise inaccessible to them.  During their training they have a cathartic avenue with which to express frustration, anger, and disappointment.  This can have a profound impact on their overall well-being.

 

Helping kids Focus and Persevere

There are many aspects to training in a Martial Art.  One must focus on the technical aspects of the art to become proficient.  This requires lots of patience and dedication.  Kids learn to work at difficult tasks until they succeed.  This is a valuable skill that will help them succeed in other areas of their lives.

In addition, one learns to stay present for the full duration of training.  This helps to build focus and kids will learn to apply their full attention and resources to tasks.  With this in place, they will accomplish tasks more efficiently and effectively.

Martial Arts Focus for Kids

 

Helping kids Prevail through Hardship

There are many challenges and demands that Martial Arts places on you.  These can be physical, emotional, intellectual, and Spiritual in nature.  The difficult training that you need to endure ultimately strengthens your mind, body, and Spirit.  This will serve to make kids resolute individuals who are fortified with internal and external strength.  This will help them remain composed under duress and provide them with the tools to succeed and overcome during hardship.  They will be able to triumph graciously through whatever difficult circumstances life throws their way.

 

Interview with my 7-Year-Old Son

I interviewed my son, who is 7 years old right now, on how he feels about Martial Arts.  Hopefully, this will provide you with a unique view on how Martial Arts is perceived through the eyes of a child.

martial arts kids

 

Q: What Martial Art do you currently practice?

A: Goju-Ryu Karate!

 

Q: Are there any other Martial Arts that you would like to try and why?

A: Ninjutsu, because the Ninja Turtles study Ninjutsu!

 

Q: What do you enjoy most about Martial Arts?

A: I get to train and spend time with dad.  I make friends at the dojo and I learn to kick butt!

 

Q: Is your Martial Art important to you? Why?

A: Yes, I don’t want to go back to being shy again.  When I am shy, I feel a little sad.  I want to keep getting better and stronger.

 

Q: Do you think that Martial Arts is good for you?

A: Yes, it makes you disciplined and fitter. It makes my mind strong so that I will never give up even when things get hard.

 

Q: How do you think Martial Arts has helped you?

A: I am more confident now.  I am not so shy anymore and I can make friends easier.

 

Q: Do you think that you will practice Martial Arts for the rest of your life and why?

A: I think yes!  I will remember my training and I won’t forget what I’ve learnt.  I enjoy Karate and I will always want to train.

 

Q: Is Martial Arts dangerous for Children?

A: No, as beginners they won’t start fighting with lots of contact. They use lots of protective gear like body protection, helmets, gloves, and shin pads.

 

Q: What message do you have for parents who want to know if Martial Arts will be good for their children?

A: It will help your children with their confidence so that they won’t be so shy anymore.  Your children will feel happier especially after training.

 

Q: What message do you have for children who are not sure whether they would like to try Martial Arts?

A: It will be fun for you and you will feel really happy after training.  You feel happier and get better after every training session.

 

Final Thoughts 

Martial Arts can have an extremely positive impact on children.  Over and above physical health and fitness, children acquire internal values such as discipline, focus, perseverance, and humility.  Children will learn to overcome adversity and succeed through hardship.  They will have a method to cope with stress, anger, frustration and even grief.  The skills they acquire through Martial Arts will help them navigate the difficult journey through life.  This will help them make their world a better place and they will have a positive influence on their friends, family, and communities.

 

 

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