Benefits of Martial Arts Training For Kids
Admit it. When the going gets tough at home, we've all plopped the kids in front of the television and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, we can get started on dinner, maybe check email or sort that massive pile of laundry.
But when your five-year old yells at you "Mom, Kids Rule!" or your ten-year old horrifies you with language that would make a sailor blush, you realize there must be something amiss with what these "family programs" really teach our kids. And sadly, its happening all over the media today, from sports to cartoons, and our children are learning things that we, as parents, vowed we would never teach them. Old fashioned values like respect and self-discipline, seems to have been forgotten, replaced by the dreaded "bling bling" pop culture of today.
Just the thought of your angelic three-year old morphing into a designer-clad, smart-mouthed, money-worshipping, me-obsessed, lay-about is enough to make any parent consider that threatening military school brochure, but there is a solution out there to consider.
Martial Arts training.
From Ninja Turtles to The Karate Kid
You and your kids have all seen the flying kicks, battle cries and mighty chops of their favorite TV characters, as they beat the bad guys to submission - but, you may ask, how on earth can these acts of violence teach my child anything worthwhile?
First, know that what you see on television (save perhaps the Karate Kid) is a far cry from what real martial arts are all about. The fact is, martial arts training is based on non-violence.
Originating in Asia (mainly Japan, China and Korea, although Thailand and Vietnam have their own practices as well), martial arts range from a variety of types and styles, all of which are based on well-rounded, moral teachings. The beauty of learning martial arts is that it encompasses not just the physical aspect of the "sport", but mental and emotional lessons as well.
Comparing that to other kid's activities and sports, where fierce competitiveness and "winning at all costs" seems to be the order of the day, it's not surprising that many children grapple with issues of self-esteem and misplaced aggression.
Now imagine your child actually learning valuable life lessons, skills that he will take throughout life, laying the foundation for a happy, well-adjusted and fulfilled adult life. If only karate for kids was popular in the 70's, when I was growing up!
? Karate, and other martial arts for kids, builds confidence and self-esteem as well as self-discipline, respect, concentration and courtesy.
? Many martial arts schools also offer leadership courses for kids, in conjunction with their karate for kids programs, or similar lessons.
? Martial Arts is ideal for children who do not do well in team sports, giving them the ability to flourish this activity, while combining physical and mental practices.
? Many do not realize this, but it is a fact that martial arts training are safer than most school sports.
? Children with special needs, such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), learning difficulties and hyperactivity are often recommended to participate in martial arts for kids because of the clear benefits in its structured training techniques.
Kung-Fu Master or Ninja Warrior?
Before you sign up Junior for the first martial arts class you see, take some time to check out the different methods available, and match it with what you know would suit your child best. This is a good way to avoid any problems that may sprout from a conflict of your child's personality and the training techniques.
Is your little Zach a sensitive soul? Then maybe a class that doesn't center on sparring (full-on kicks and punches training) but rather, slower, defensive maneuvers would fare better for him. Kids with an aggressive streak, however, may prefer the more forceful moves and thrive in competitive sparring.
Here's a quick primer on the kid-friendly martial arts training you're likely to find:
Martial Arts From Japan
Martial Arts From China
Martial Arts From Korea
Choosing The Right Instruction
If you have an idea of the type of martial arts class you'd like your child to participate in, the next step would be to find the right school. Finding the right class that not only matches your child's and your needs, in terms of teachers you feel comfortable with, the price, facilities and so on, are all important factors.
Say you've found a local place that specializes in Karate for Kids. What are the things you should look for?
1. Good Instructors
Check out their qualifications, teaching methods and watch carefully how they interact with the other children. It should be a fun learning experience!
2. Space and Safety
Obviously you would want to entrust your child in as establishment that is safe, well-maintained, and clean with ample space as well as decent facilities and equipment.
3. School Values
Different martial arts schools inevitably go by different values, for instance, one kid's karate class may handle aggression in one way, while a judo class would have a different approach. Take some time to observe which school's ideals match your family's principles.
4. Prices and Schedules
Prices for martial arts training can vary according to school and location, so make sure you the instruction you choose represents fair value. Finding the most effective way to fit martial arts training into your family's lifestyle is also essential, knowing what works best with your schedule and other activities.
Starting your child young in karate training is ideal (children as young as the age of four are usually accepted, as it is also a good way to hone fine motor skills), and lots of parents have found that in as little as a year, their children who were involved in martial arts had noticeably gained positive traits such as increased self-esteem, respect and overall physical fitness.
Many parents also opt to join a martial arts training program themselves, making it a great bonding experience for the entire family.
About the author:
Laura Saunders is a successful freelance writer, mother of two, and a martial arts practitioner who has written articles for http://www.best-karate-equipment.com, your online guide to karate uniforms and karate training equipment.
Copyright 2005 Best-Karate-Equipment.com
Permission is granted to publish this article on your site if the author's byline is included and all 3 links are hyperlinked
Real Life Self-Defense Starts From...
"Nicky Bats" was an "old school" kinda guy. He was "street" thru and thru.
Do not believe that practicing "by rote" 1-2-3,etc. type "responses" to street attacks is a viable or particularly useful training exercise.
This is our last installment on "defining" the parameters of COMBATIVES.The point, I am sure, will be missed by some but it must be emphasized that this material is historical fact and is accurate in substance and detail.
Most people have only been exposed to John Styers work through the book "Cold Steel".It is important to remember that first and foremost this book outlines a BASIC course of close-combat instruction.
Break the Bones
"HONE O ORERU" is a Japanese term that translates literally as "BREAK THE BONES". It is an essential concept of true SHUGYO and a central theme of a true Budo Dojo.
How to Become A Modern-Day Ninja Master
The ninja were a military order in Japan. Most people have seen them in movies and fictional books.
The Economics of Self Defense
The following is a recent email I received; I thought I should respond to the list rather than to the individual because this situation is common:"I'm a 52 year old guy who has been pretty active lifting weights for about 20 years but about a year ago I found myself in a situation where a guy suckered me and I friggin was so intimidated that I walked away with my tail between my legs. Thankfully the only damage was to my ego cause I totally wimped out in front of my buddies who were there.
New Book: Positive Aikido
A new book with a practical look at Aikido and its history. The Co-authors are direct students of the legendary master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957.
Judo Nagewaza (Throwing Technique) In The Street
How practical are throwing techniques (nagewaza) for self-defense or street-fighting? NOT VERY!The Japanese themselves have a saying, "One year for newaza (ground technique), TEN YEARS for nagewaza (Throwing technique)". It takes ten times as long to become proficient at throwing than it does at ground fighting.
Catholic Self Defense
Note: I wrote this essay regarding the development of Tekkenryu jujutsu. However, I think it is applicable for all methods of self defense.
So You Think You Train Hard
"Tokio Hirano (1922-1993) 8th DanThe Man Who Revolutionized Judo"By Jim Chen, M.D .
Benefits of Martial Arts Training For Kids
Admit it. When the going gets tough at home, we've all plopped the kids in front of the television and breathed a sigh of relief.
COMBATIVES A Rose by Any Other Name?....Part 2
The advent of World War One (the war to END all wars) brought warfare into a new and foreboding era of man to man killing and slaughter. Air power, mechanized warfare, chemical warfare and the general widespread use of machine guns changed the face of battle almost completely.
The Rebels Guide to Cultivating Vitality
Many Taoists recluses and Buddhists monks dwelled in mountains and forests to observe, listen, and meditate in order to gather deeper understanding and greater knowledge of nature than is possible when living in the milieu of human society.Often in search of extraordinary longevity and treasures of life, these extraordinary men (and a few women) moved from observation of nature to experimentation and development of the body.
Is Aikido a Martial Art ?
Sensei Henry Ellis Co-Author of the new book Positive Aikido.- 2005.
The Acronym That Saved My Life
Frequently, I get asked about certifications, systems or methods. We made a decision a long time ago of purposely staying away from things like this.
A Few Things Everyone Should Know to Keep Themselves Safe
The following are a few thoughts about how to decrease your chances of being a victim of a violent crime. I know a lot of times we focus on the nuts and bolts of a fight and we assume most of us know these things and this information is common knowledge for some of you, but it some times it's always good to review.