Parents are always looking for options to instill great values into their children. Many parents have found that the benefits of martial arts for kids, goes far beyond the physical lessons learned in the dojo. Martial arts helps kids become better people in all walks of life.
Head instructor of ITC New York, Gregory Gutman, a 3rd degree Black Belt in Judo, and former world champion spoke on the benefits of martial arts for kids, saying “Number one is physical conditioning. Then, learning how to get through difficult things. When it is difficult, you’re tired and exhausted, but you still train. You still have to do it. They take that discipline into real life.”
The discipline from the dojo also helps children in school. Martial arts, helps children think differently and clearly. Many parents notice that their children have better focus and concentration, which immediately assist them with their education. In martial arts classes, children learn different moves and this also assists with memory development.
Physical Benefits: Anti Bullying
Another subject that concerns parents, and their child's well being at school, is bullying. Parents don't want their children bullied and they also don't want their children to bully others. Bullying has a traumatic effect on children and their mental development. Children who are bullied have problems with self-esteem.
Dr. Sarah Garwood, a pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, spoke on the effects of bullying saying "Bullying is a popular topic with parents and unfortunately, it happens commonly to kids. Bullying can start in pre-school and tends to increase during the elementary school years, peek in middle school... Some of the signs that your child might be bullied at school are sudden changes in their behavior, they may seem more sad or withdrawn or angry..."
Martial arts training does not create bullies either, but adversely, it helps your child learn how to effectively defend themselves in the event that they are physically threatened.
Danny Gutman, a former Judo instructor at ITC New York, and a black belt in judo spoke on the benefits of martial arts for children and how it actually prevents bullying saying "Martial arts help young kids develop confidence, discipline, mental acuity. A sense of achievement as well. You can’t buy that, it’s a lifelong thing that has to be developed.
Danny taught kids judo, for over 5 years and spoke on the development of his students saying “I saw confidence improved, discipline, self-pride, respect. I saw all of that develop over a short amount of time,”
When it came to the benefits of martial arts for kids, Danny said "They are more likely to stay out of trouble, guaranteed not to become bullies themselves. It doesn’t happen, that’s in the movies. They rarely become bullies and they don’t get bullied. They are the ones who start protecting kids against bullies!"
Sensei Greg added "If you’re doing real martial arts you don’t need any real anti-bullying program, it is part of the martial arts mentality. A person doesn’t have to prove himself out on the street. He proves himself in competition!"
So there is the extra benefit of having their children stay out of physical altercations and in the event that it happens, the child will understand how to defend themselves.
Children who stick with a martial arts program, often find themselves becoming more confident as they progress and develop with different ranks. Children who compete in martial arts tournaments or competition keep fit, and as a result, they don't have to worry about obesity.
There are also additional benefits of interacting with other children and the opportunity to make friends. A journey into the world of martial arts is one that will improve your child's life for the better, ultimately making them better people, and enabling them to deal with the challenges of life.