Karate for Kids? Is Karate good for them?
Taking in consideration that most martial arts are not only about self defense but also about self-improvement and self-knowledge, my answer could only be “YES!!!”.
But before I tell all about the beauty and positive aspects of Karate, I will like to let you start with one of may favorite Karate quotes, just to sum up what Karate is all about.
The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants
– Gichin Funakoshi Sensei
Karate is self-development and like many other sports builds strong athletes, but more important is helping people to develop in to better individuals, and I think this is one of the main traits of Karate.
Karate helped me develop respect, humility, common sense, teached me to be hard working and persevering. All of those aspects expanded in to every aspect of my life. No matter I was competing in Karate tournaments, lifting, writing or learning programming, I always did my best to improve. And all of this happened due to practice of martial arts.
Of course, I’m not going to lie, just practicing martial arts is not going to help that much. Having a good teacher is also important. Karate students are like seeds, it requires a good gardener to grow them in to a strong and mighty tree. And if you found one your quest to self-improving is definitely starting. And since most of us are joining Karate from a young age let’s see how beneficial is Karate for kids.
- Discipline and respect
This is definitely the no. 1 thing kids learn when entering in a Dojo for the first time. Bowing every time entering or leaving the Dojo, meeting the Sensei, Sempai or a higher rank student/colleague develops routine and along with it discipline and respect. Following the instructors order and repeating techniques again and again will also helps with building discipline.
- They will get more active
With kids spending more and more time in front of PC’s this is an obvious reason why kids should practice martial arts, or any other sports. Unlike some sports, martial arts focus on all aspects of fitness and all muscle groups. It not only shapes a strong body but also shapes a balanced one. When I was practicing Karate regularly I was in the best shape of my life.
- Self confidence
Martial arts are great for kids that are shy. I can totally assure you about that. I was very shy as kid but thanks to Karate my confidence boost up. I was afraid to speak in front of people or being in the center of attention. However, that is not the case anymore. Performing my techniques in front of other people, competing against other people, and then later on helping with teaching classes, had boost my confidence sky rocket.
The right Sensei will teach your kid that martial arts is not about fighting, but about self-knowledge. Once your kid will know his limits you will see how secure he becomes on himself.
- Learn to focus.
As kids are most of the time active finding way to make them still and focus is for sure a difficult task. However, constantly performing your punches, kicks and blocks, along with having a short time goal to improve a Kata or a certain technique will help your kid to focus. Kids love Kata and belts. And they will do almost anything for a new Kata or a new belt, but they will not have it if they will not improve theme-self’s. In the beginning he may find hard to stay focused for a whole class, but with time this will improve and it will exceed the limits of the Dojo.
Unlike other sports, martial arts schools do not have loud music playing or other things that may cause distraction. When I’m training there is just me and the silence within the Dojo.
There are also numerous stories of kids with ADD/ADHD syndrome that found a way to improve very focus and find stillness through martial arts.
- Learn to take a hit.
In martial arts your kids will learn to take a hit, no matter is a physical hit or psychological hit, like losing a tournament or failing a test. Do I have to say the most important part is the psychological part? In life we will often take hits or fail at something. Learning how to do deal with this and how to comeback stronger and persuasive will most likely turn your kid into a strong individual.
- Learn conflict resolution
One of the first things he will learn is that martial arts are for self-defense and not for being the aggressor. With kids now days being more violent, martial arts may be one of the best treatments for it. If you look at professional fighters it will be impossible not to notice the lack of violence if they are not competing of training. Most martial arts teach people to remain peaceful at all costs, and only recur to violence if there is no other way around.
- Build memory
This is an interested one, as martial arts do not only builds muscle memory but it also improves long term memory. Studies have found that students who take part in martial arts have the ability to activate and coordinate different parts of their brain in a way that allows them to learn faster and recall things more easily than their classmates who don’t. In part this comes from having to memorize complex sequences of moves, but they also have to learn various phrases in other languages.
- Individual achievement.
Everything your kid will achieve it will be achieved through his own powers. Unlike many other sports, martial arts are not primarily about team-work. They are about individuals! If your kids win a tournament it will be through powers alone. When he will pass a test, again, it will be through his own power. You kid will grow up to be less dependent on other and more aware of his strengths and weakness also.
- Self defense
I don’t think there is much to add here. Although martial arts focus mainly on avoiding using force, if there will no other way, your kid will know how to defend himself in a dangerous situation. Being able to defend yourself is something that many adults wish they could do, so it is even better if they learn how to handle this as a child.
In closing of this article, I will like once again to emphasize the importance of a good instructor. Many martial arts are developed around of the philosophy of character development, however, as I said before one cannot find the right way without a proper teacher to show the way. If you decide to take your kid to a Karate schools, make sure check out if that is the right school. More info about how to choose a proper Karate schools can be found here.
Karate for kids?
There is definitely one of the right ways
Thank you for reading and all the best,