After school programs like sports, music, video games… These are all beneficial after-school activities in their own way. But martial arts for kids is about so much more than just physical movement. It’s about overcoming challenges and preparing your child to be the best young adult they can possibly be. We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Southeast England parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you, like #2! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts For Kids Helps Kids Focus
With the rise of technology and screen time, it’s no secret that a lot of kids struggle with staying focused and concentrating. Some of the issues here have to do with just being a kid whose brain is still developing, some of it has to do with shortened attention spans with increased screen time, and some of it is due to plain old genetics if attention issues run in the family.
What’s really cool is that martial arts for kids actually helps students with attention problems and trouble focusing. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that we use to develop character and learn important life skills.
Through fun and games in class, our instructors are able to sneak in quick activities that help build focus consistently over time. But aside from games, the act of martial arts itself requires discipline too. To master the physical moves, kids need to sit still, listen to their instructor, and concentrate on how to coordinate their bodies and minds.
Once they’ve done this, our instructors use positive reinforcement to continually praise them for paying attention. Soon, the students understand the connection between receiving positive feedback and staying focused, and they focus better all on their own. This ultimately helps them achieve better grades and become more confident, which you’ll read about in Reasons 2 and 3. (Cool, right?)
Reason #2: Better Grades Are Possible With Martial Arts For Kids
A lot of parents have no idea that martial arts classes can actually help their children get better grades. How, you may ask? Here’s the breakdown: Through a combination of consistent practice and fun games and activities, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills (like in Reason #1).
With this newfound focus, our students start to become more “indistractable”- they have better control of their bodies and are able to pay attention more easily, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can focus on the tasks at hand.
Improved focus means improved listening, so they’re retaining the information better than ever before, and completing their assignments with a higher quality of concentration. And, because they’re retaining more information, they’re recalling that info on tests and quizzes, they’re scoring higher because of this heightened recall, and voila- better grades! It really is that simple and it really does work!
Reason #3: Martial Arts Is An After School Program That Builds Confidence
Every parent wants their child to be confident in themselves. But sometimes, group after school activities can lead to kids comparing themselves to others. If your child isn’t especially athletic or they’re particularly shy, it may be challenging to find an after school program where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” or being self-conscious in front of others.
What’s so awesome about martial arts is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students are focused on their own progress and their own growth. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game… but to the previous versions of themselves in order to progress and achieve.
In this way, our students can continually see how awesome it feels to set goals and get goals, and they can understand the discipline and perseverance it takes to become successful. Those are skills they’ll take with them for life.
Another perk is that your child can learn to support their fellow students and be a cheerleader for another person’s accomplishments. This is one of the best things about teaching martial arts for kids- seeing the way that our kids become friends and cheer each other on. For those who struggle with feeling confident inside and out, getting that support from both their instructors and their peers is a gratifying and even life-changing experience.
Reason #4: Our Martial Arts Instructors Are Positive Role Models For Kids
Most after school programs are about the end result- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. This is where martial arts is the most different from other programs. Achieving a new belt rank (“winning”) is not our sole focus. Always remember how martial arts is a tool for self-development.
Pairing that with the individual nature of the sport (individual sport in a group setting), our instructors can take the time to hone in on each student and help them progress along their own unique journey. Our instructors then become positive role models to our students, bonding with the kids and nurturing them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
The beauty of martial arts is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor can teach from a place of integrity and relate to students when they’re feeling frustrated or upset! We always show our students how to get back up and keep going no matter what- and howto stay humble no matter how far they progress. That sense of respect and discipline is just not as common in other after school programs.
Reason #5: It’s Just Fun!
The fifth reason is that martial arts for kids is just plain fun! Our amazing instructors make each after school lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are all about non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep kids interested and continually learning in these critical years of growth and development.
Games and activities also help our students connect fitness and positive emotion, a connection that will reward them for the rest of their lives. This big focus on fun is also a way for our instructors to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. The kids don’t even realise they’re learning something- they’re too busy having a blast!