One of the central principles of all forms of the martial arts is an absolute focus on self-discipline. Children today are so accustomed to receiving instant gratification that lessons in self-restraint and discipline aren't always easy to come by. With a martial arts background, however, they are continually reminded of how essential self-discipline is.
BOOSTING SOCIALISATION SKILLS
Children who don’t always thrive in highly social environments, may find it easier to get to know people and make new friends when they’re in a room filled with peers who share a common interest. Those in the playground may not always have much common ground, but devotees to the martial arts are able to get to know one another through shared pursuits. Partner-driven forms like Jiu Jitsu can also foster camaraderie, as they must pair off and build their skills together.
ENCOURAGING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Limiting screen time is a great idea when it comes to getting children off the couch and encouraging them to be more active, but it only goes so far. Enrolling an inactive child in such a physically demanding pastime not only discourages the sedentary lifestyle they are used to, but also gives them an enjoyable activity that inspires them to keep moving.
Confidence comes with achievement, so your child’s self-esteem level will get a boost with every new move they master and every belt they earn. Those who struggle with a low sense of self-worth usually become more confident as time progresses while they’re enrolled in a martial arts class.
INSTILLING A SENSE OF RESPECT
Learning any martial arts style will require your child to show their instructor unflinching respect. Today’s child culture doesn't always include respect for authority, adults or those in advanced positions. When they come to their class, they will be learning lessons in respect along with new moves.
ENCOURAGING NON-VIOLENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Thinking that junior martial arts instruction promotes violent behaviour is justified if your only experience with the activity comes from television or films. In fact, many defensive styles teach children peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and emphasise the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.
LEARNING TO SET AND ACHIEVE GOALS
Most forms of martial arts are based around an accomplishment system of coloured belts that signify the wearer’s degree of skill. When your child strives toward each new belt, they are learning valuable lessons about setting and reaching their goals.
IMPROVING LISTENING SKILLS
In order to master the skills they’re being taught and advance through the belt ranks, your child will have to exercise superior listening skills. Children who aren't always adept when it comes to paying attention to what they’re told can benefit from the verbal instruction and one-on-one work we often utilise in our classes.
DEVELOPING TEAMWORK SKILLS
Whether they’re breaking boards to get a new belt or sparring in a practice setting to master a new manoeuvre, there are few things that your child does in their martial arts classes that will be done on their own. Working together to learn new things and accomplish goals is an important life lesson for them to learn, and instruction in the martial arts can help your child learn that lesson.
IMPROVEMENT IN OTHER AREAS OF LIFE
The benefits of junior martial arts training don’t end at the club. The boost in confidence, increased fitness level and new cooperation skills will also help your child navigate the academic and social aspects of school, affect their behaviour at home and have an all round positive influence on them as they develop into an adult.