Eight Reasons Your Kids Should Learn Martial Arts
By Adam Baker
Posted on December 8, 2014 in Hodderscape Advent with tags Adam Baker
Adam Baker introduces us to martial arts with his eight reasons all kids should learn it!
1. It’s Fun
Kids are always told to restrain themselves. Don’t run. Don’t shout. So invite them to pummel a punch-bag hard, and watch them go crazy.
Do you stand in front of mirror each morning and gaze mournfully at your flabby, middle-aged ass? Feel bad about your love-handles, your paunch? Want to spare your kids the same body-hatred? Get them involved in sports soon as you can, so they grow up regarding physical activity as an essential component of life.
Any kind of significant childhood activity (swimming, piano, ballet,) teaches a serious life-lesson: good things don’t come easy. Mastery is the result of sustained hard work.
4. Mental Composure
When a person pursues a long-term goal, has to practise week after week, they become acutely aware of their moods. Some weeks they will be buzzing, unstoppable. Some weeks they’ll be tired, irritable, wanting to be home watching TV. They will gradually learn to perform a detached appraisal of their own mental states and, through force of will, transcend them.
5. School Sports
There are always a percentage of kids who dread PE lessons. Self-conscious, overweight kids for whom football and athletics are a hellish humiliation. If you want your child to cope, to be physically self-confident and relish a challenge, then get them started early.
6. Anyone Can Do It
Plenty of activities suit a certain body-type. Success or failure is predetermined by a person’s DNA. A big-framed girl will, for example, never make it as a ballerina no matter how hard they try. A boy with a burly, muscular physique might not have the endurance, the dexterity, to become a first-rate soccer player. But anyone can become proficient at martial arts. Doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, fat or thin. Each body-type has unique strengths that can be exploited to achieve excellence. The door is open to everyone.
7. Playground Bullies
Sad, but true: sooner or later every kid gets bullied. We all carry dark memories of occasions we were jeered, shoved around, made to feel small. But if a bully’s intended victim stands their ground and looks them in the eye, they will probably back off and pick someone easier to intimidate.
8. Adolescent Stability
If kids start to learn karate or Tai-Kwando when they are young, they will reach adolescence as a veteran. This expertise will, hopefully, give them an anchoring sense of identity during their turbulent teenage years. It will give them an unshakable sense of self-worth as they negotiate romance and rivalries, heartbreak and angst.
9. Self Defence
The news is full of violence and mayhem. It makes the world seem a threatening place. Odds are, your kids will go through life without facing any moments of genuine peril. But you’re a parent. You want to prepare your children for the world. You want to keep them safe. And there is small but significant chance they might, one day, come face-to-face with a mugger/house-breaker/rapist. If they are proficient in a martial art, have an instinctive grasp of karate or judo, they will be ready to defend themselves.
10. It’s a Life-Long Skill
A kid may spend plenty of childhood hours learning to play the clarinet then, when they head to college, shut the instrument in its case and never touch it again. Nothing much to show for all that practise, all that effort. But the self-assurance derived from martial arts is of benefit every waking moment. Even if person quits karate or judo, the basic moves, the basic muscle memory, remain. It allows them to negotiate work, social situations, the high street, with a physical composure they would otherwise lack.