Being a parent it can become overwhelming trying to decide what sports, activities, hobbies to push your child into. Each type has their benefits and their shortcomings, however we here at Gentle Art Dojo believe that martial arts are the best thing that you can have your child join at a young age!
Here are 10 reasons to consider Martial Arts for your Child or Adolescent over or in addition to Team Sports:
This is the number one reason why most people decide to study martial arts. Martial arts teach you the techniques to defend yourself if it comes to that, but also the way to think and avoid potential dangers. When defusing situations fails, the training which your children have received will be put into practice. Training helps build up the reflexes you may need if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.
As children become more proficient in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu they become more self-assured and confident. This confidence goes a long way in their life. It gives them the confidence that they can carry with themselves to be successful in all endeavours. As well as, a little confidence goes a long way in avoiding and defusing possible altercations.
Martial Arts training is a physical expression of ‘practice makes perfect’. In a class a student may execute a single movement or series of related movements, hundreds of times. This teaches the student that the progress that always happens during small improvements in technique and stamina, flexibility or power – will come through endless repetition. Even during rolling or sparring there are still rules and protocols to be followed. All of this teaches children to respect one another, their opponents and colleagues, and how to play games fair and square – lessons that follow them in their non-Martial Arts lives. It also teaches them to commit, to go to practice even when they don’t feel like it.
4. INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT:
Many kids have the chance to experience the benefits of Martial Arts early on, however a big number of children abandon their martial arts training when reaching the teen years in order to participate in school sports. Although there are many lessons to be learned from team and individual varsity sports, the ‘make the team’ model often favors the more physically developed players while alienating the late bloomers. Naturally some kids develop their skills and physical abilities earlier than others but we personally find that many kids who start out with underdeveloped athletic attributes such as strength, speed and size, end up becoming some of our strongest competitors. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the technique is the most important part, which often translates into the hardest workers doing the best; regardless of size and strength.
6. GENDER EQUALITY
The martial arts are one of the few sports where both boys and girls can practice together. At Gentle Art Dojo, we have a large number of girls in our kids classes, and in many classes they outnumber the boys. The girls are among the most technically proficient students we have and often dominate many of the local, regional and national competitions they enter. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great equalizer. Gender takes a backseat and skill level comes to the forefront. Regardless of any physical factor those who have put in the time to become better in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will out-perform those who have not.
7. WEIGHT CONTROL
Childhood obesity is a global epidemic and rising trends in overweight and obesity are apparent in both developed and developing countries. The typical martial arts class will often consist of warm-up calisthenics, teaching and training of moves and possibly some sparring, as well as some active games. The warm up and training comprise the bulk of the time, and for that time your child will be constantly on the go. The workout each child gets will not only assist in the natural development of his or her muscles but also help them build stronger Cardio-Vascular systems. Even in the most active of team sports such as Basketball or Soccer, children don’t get that much of a workout simply because they generally don’t play the whole game and even if they do, there are still breaks in the action. With this amazing workout also comes an incredibly useful life skill!