7 Reasons Martial Arts Benefit Kids
Author: Matt Walker
When people think of Martial Arts, they straight away think of ‘discipline’ and ‘self-defence’, but it’s much more than that. Different arts have different unique benefits but they all share very similar values. Especially at VT1, the styles of art that are taught are deeply traditional yet innovative because we are constantly evolving in the way we teach. As someone who has been practising martial arts for 34 years and a professional coach for 22 years, I have grown to see the importance of teaching my two kids martial arts. Here are 7 reasons why Martial arts benefit kids:
1. Get active
Getting your child active is super important. When I lived in Kenya I noticed the local children were constantly moving. They looked healthy, lean and happy. Currently childhood obesity is becoming an increasing concern worldwide, and Australia alone recognises that 1 in 4 children are either overweight or obese. For Australians aged between 4 and 17 years, obesity is a very concerning condition as once gained it is favourably harder to be liberated from.
A child with low self esteem will more than likely be having negative thoughts about their worth and value as a person. … -negative self-talk and comparisons to others. fear of failure or embarrassment. difficulty making friends.
Martial arts builds confidence in children. When they compete they don’t have you to help them. They are for maybe the first time in their lives, having to fend and fight for themselves. This is the ultimate lesson.
“I think every young child can learn through any Martial Art. They would then learn to respect their life, respect their parents, respect their country, and respect the whole world.” – Jackie Chan
4. Encourage Teamwork
At VT1 we encourage our students to grow as a team and as an individual. Without teammates who can challenge us and test us, kids cannot grow as a Martial Artist.
The belt system is Martial Artists’ great indicator of how hard they are working. They have a visual and tangible goal of achievement. Watching my children progress through the ranks and gain a new belt is extremely satisfying for both the parent and child.
Bullying in schools are through the roof. I do not want my children to be victims. I want them to have the necessary skills to deal with all forms of bullying. Whether it be physical, mental or verbal.
I was once bullied in school for my mother being a teacher there. Luckily for me, my mother had sent me to Judo and Boxing from a young age. I had the necessary skills to deal with the bully there and then. Why? Because I built up a skill set to protect myself and not be a victim.
As a former member of the British Army, I understand a little bit about discipline. Martial Art teaches my kids to be disciplined. Not only the ability to take instructions and act but also thinking creatively. Having the discipline to turn up tired after a day of school and train is an important skill that will live with them forever. Martial Arts build the discipline to endure hard times and build fortitude. I don’t know a better activity to do this. Maybe Royal Marines training, but I don’t think I’ll be sending my 6 year old off to that anytime soon.
Martial Arts give so much. A true and full system of mental and physical testing for your child. One day they will need these skills and you as a parent won’t be there to help them.
Hope to see you on the mats!
A Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Karate, Pro MMA Athlete | Coach & Co-Founder of VT1mma Academy, Sydney