Martial arts have been around for centuries. Many people believe that martial arts are a way for people to learn to fight and hurt each other but it is far more than that. Martial arts impart many benefits for the body, mind and spirit regardless of age and gender. The enrolment of children has many benefits such as:
1) Being Active
Children need to be active. Children have a never-ending supply of energy and constantly need to an outlet for their energy. If we do not provide a sufficient outlet, this might lead them to get into trouble. Being active not only provides a healthy outlet for children but also helps maintain a healthy weight and muscle tone. Obesity has become an ever-increasing issue around the world, especially in children. Regular exercise and physical activity is part of a recommended strategy to combat this issue and maintain a healthy weight.
2) Building Self-Confidence
Growing up in a high-demand society with an increase in pressure to live up to high expectations may create a level of uncertainty in a child's ability to perform. If these uncertainties are not identified and managed it could lead to a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence in your child. Training in martial arts teaches children to know what they are capable of and to stand firm within themselves. Once a child knows that they are capable of a task they once thought was impossible for them, their confidence and belief in themselves begin to grow. This is what martial arts teaches - to continually grow through adversity and challenges.
A fundamental component of martial arts is a high level of discipline. Discipline is the ability of a child to do what is necessary and right, even when they do not feel like it. For example, we do not always feel like training but we train anyway because we know it will help us achieve our goals. This is discipline. We want our children to have enough self-discipline to push themselves and achieve their dreams.
Another fundamental component of martial arts is respect. Respect is thinking of others and treating people in a polite and courteous manner. In martial arts student are taught to listen and respect their instructors as well as everyone around them, to treat people how they would like to be treated.
5) Improved Coordination
Martial arts training requires students to use multiple limbs simultaneously to perform complex movements. The repetition of these complex movements provides a reinforced stimulation of the neurons in the brain as well as the nerves activating the muscles to improve long-term coordination between the brain and body. The gained coordination will assist not only in martial arts but in other sports as well.
6) Teaches Concentration
To be able to concentrate and focus your attention on a single task is a skill that needs to be crafted, especially when children are required to take in vast amounts of information daily during school. We are constantly being distracted by everything and everyone around us. Martial arts teaches you to keep your focus on what you are doing in order to achieve your goal. Over time, this skill improves our ability to concentrate all of our energy into what needs to be done.
7) Goal Achievement
Following on from the above benefit is goal achievement - both the focus on a task and goal achievement go hand-in-hand. From the student's developed ability to focus they are able to block out distractions in their pursuit of attaining their goal, whether it is completing a form, a set of pushups or preparing for their evaluation to the next level of their training.
8) Teaches Self-Defence
Bullying has been around for a very long time and it is not a new concept. Martial arts teach students to be able to defend themselves when being attacked by an opponent or bully, but martial arts also teaches to defeat your opponent without ever having to throw a punch. By understanding yourself, you are able to be mindful of your opponent and find their weakness. Most bullies are hurting somewhere in their life, the skilled martial artist is able to identify it and disarm the situation.
9) Improves Memory and Retention
Martial arts requires students to remember large amounts of complex movements in sequence. This constant demand to absorb and recall the information at will stimulates the brain to absorb information and recall it easier over time. The mind is a muscle like any other and needs to be exercised constantly.
Martial arts have many attributes and benefits that can assist your child to excel in many areas of their life and help build a strong foundation. We at the Songshan Kung-Fu Executive Academy - Edenvale offer such classes for children. If you want to find out more about the classes we offer and what we can do to help your child, contact us.