Martial arts classes are popular with kids of all ages — and with their parents, too! While a lot of the focus is understandably on the ways that studying a martial art can help kids stay active and burn off excess energy, the mental benefits of martial arts for kids are undeniable.
When kids study the martial arts, they learn more than self-defense and physical coordination. They also learn key skills that can help them improve their performance at school. With that in mind, here are 5 ways that studying the martial arts can help your child at school.
#1: Improved Focus
The ability to focus is something that is essential for children of all ages as well as for adults. One of the key benefits of martial arts training for kids is that it helps them to build a strong mind-body connection.
When young children understand that focusing on a task can help them achieve it more quickly, it’s amazing how easily they learn to do it. What they learn in our classes is a focus that they’ll carry with them when they go to school — and if often leads to improvements in their grades.
#2: The Importance of Discipline
We’ve heard discipline defined as the thing you do today that would make your future self say thank you. Discipline is a key life skill and learning it at an early age is a positive thing for kids. It plays into their ability to conduct themselves with dignity. Forming the habit of discipline is key to any child’s development.
When kids start belt training, they learn that they can master skills through discipline. Kids in our classes are highly motivated to learn how to do cool things like break a board. As they learn, they are also training their brains and bodies in the art of discipline — and that’s something they’ll carry with them to school and beyond.
Our martial arts instructors work with kids individually to encourage them and help them to develop essential skills. For that reason, it might surprise you that one of the ways martial arts can help kids in school is by teaching them about teamwork.
Students in our classes practice physical control and learn martial arts moves as individuals. However, while each child’s progress is tracked, the class learns by watching and listening — and encouraging their classmates to do their best. The lesson of teamwork is something we all need to learn early in life — and it’s something each kid in our classes takes home with them.
#4: Respect for Others
There’s no denying that respect for the self and others plays a big role in the experience that children have at school. When a kid has self-respect, she’s less likely to lose control or run into problems with fellow students.
Respect for teachers is also a key component of a successful school career. Respect is a central tenet of the martial arts. Our instructors teach kids that respect is earned and that the best way to earn it is to show it to others, including parents, teachers, and other children.
When we walk into any new challenge, we’re more likely to succeed if we act with confidence. That’s as true of adults as it is of children. Martial arts classes teach children to have confidence in their abilities. In fact, confidence is one of the key benefits of martial arts classes for kids.
It’s important to note that we’re not talking about unearned confidence. The kind of confidence the martial arts help to build is confidence in your child’s ability to face challenges and keep trying, even in the face of defeat. Your child’s self-esteem will increase with each class and they’ll take their belief in themselves to school and beyond.
The 5 benefits of martial arts for kids that we’ve covered here are things that will help your child walk into any classroom with increased confidence and the ability to navigate any academic challenge that comes their way.