Martial Arts for Kids.
Many parents worry that Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Grappling are not sports for children, because of the 'hands on' nature of the sport. We're here to say, don't fret! There is nothing better for your children than Martial Arts!
- Self-Defence – Basic Techniques include: Proper exercise form, punching, kicking, blocking and evasion techniques.
- Focusing and Listening – Focus plays a key role in the mindset of children who have limited attention spans at this stage in their life. Our Program will build their attention span… teaching your child to focus on the task at hand while improving their listening and reaction skills at the same time. As a result, your child will excel in physical activity, improve their ability to stay focused, and become an astute listener in the dojo, at home, and in school.
- Teamwork and Positive Social Interaction – Teamwork is necessary for any young child to develop. It is at this stage in their life that they develop an understanding and a confidence in their ability to work with others. Our teamwork oriented environment, develops character and teaches your child that the more we work together in the dojo, at home and at school…the more we get accomplished.
- Self-Control and Good Decision Making – Self-control refers to the training that one gives one’s self to accomplish a certain task or to adopt a particular pattern of behaviour, even though one is unfocused or would rather be doing something else. For example, when your child has learned to listen to mom and dad, pay attention in class while listening to the teacher instead of talking to his friend next to him, he has demonstrated the ability to self-control… while making the good decision to do so. Both parents and instructors will work on this skill set every single day.
- Balance and Posture – For many 5+ year olds, one of the skill sets that is often overlooked, but needs constant work and attention is balance and posture… basic skills necessary for almost any activity. Poor posture leads to cramped organs, improper breathing, and a whole host of other unhealthy bodily expressions. We work towards buildingstrong balance, healthy postures and balanced movement through the use of age appropriate forms and drills – often presented as a engaging game, to help developing students improve these fundamental skills.
- Memorization and Retention – We utilize fun and effective memory and retention drills for both Martial Arts and real world applications. Our program improves memorization skills essential for well rounded student development and school academics in the near future.
- Self-Discipline and Responsibility – Our instructors are masters at creating a vision for your child that self-discipline is fun and rewarding. We instill this vision through interactive and teamwork oriented games, drills and real world activities. Our age specific Martial Arts training techniques are used in correlation with a child’s household chore responsibility, their awareness to clean up after themselves and homework assignments accomplished in a timely manner. Your child will begin to improve their ability to initiate accountability, follow directions and take pride in doing the right thing.
- Physical Fitness and Healthy Living – It is important for children to understand the importance of being healthy and physically fit at an early age. Being physically fit is a necessity for any martial artist but more importantly… The sooner we enforce this concept, the healthier your child will be now… and the less difficult it will be to stay physically fit as they grow older. We stress the importance of good eating while physical fitness activities are always fun and rewarding.
- Coordination and Motor Skills – Children with strong bodies, fine tuned motor skills and physical coordination developed through Our Program will have improved: general health, sports performance, as well as other physical activities such as dancing or bike riding. Our Coordination and Motor Skills Training will develop your child’s cardiovascular system, their muscular strength, and will create a general kind of body awareness which can only be gained from a whole body method of Martial Arts training. Your child will be more coordinated, less susceptible to injuries, and be much more aware of their body and how to use it correctly.
- Self-Esteem and Confidence Building – Our Youth Program improves a children’s self esteem through consistent positive verbal reinforcement and our Leadership system. When kids work to earn their next belt level, not only are they learning basic world-class self-defence, they are building self-esteem and learning to feel good about themselves.
- Self-Confidence – Nothing can take the place of the security in knowing that your child can defend themselves should the need ever arise…and your own child’s self confidence in knowing this themselves is immense.
“People who continue to practice the martial arts for prolonged periods are different from the general populace in these ways: they have a lower level of anxiety; an increased sense of responsibility; they are less likely to be radical; they have an increased level of self-esteem; and they are more socially intelligent.” (Source – Psychology Today, May 1985.)
- Respect – One of the most important words in martial arts is respect. Students are taught to respect their instructors, each other, and themselves. Respect is often missing in many facets of today’s society. This is what separates our Academy from other sports. A child’s social behaviour should be directly linked to his or her progression in the martial arts class. It’s not just about winning, it's about personal growth and becoming a better person.
- Discipline, Behaviour and School – We have a lot of fun but instructors will not tolerate excessive talking or goofing around in the school. Improved behaviour in a Martial arts class often translates into improved behaviour at school. Improved behaviour at school often translates into improved grades. We require behaviour reports from the parents to make sure that the student is focused in the classroom and at home… Not just the dojo. We want to make sure that our students are working on their Martial Arts technique, improving their behaviour at home, as well as improving their grades at school.
- Great Physical Fitness while Battling Childhood Obesity – Did you know that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 25 years? The first step to preventing childhood obesity is addressing the problem before it occurs. If you catch obesity early on, there are ways to prevent your child from developing further health risks. If your child is already overweight, it is important to understand the psychological effects obesity has on children that are potentially more damaging than the physical side effects.
- Anti-Bullying Education – Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Kids who bully use their power – such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity – to control or harm others. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and purposely excluding someone from a group. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may experience serious, lasting problems.
Students are taught to manage situations without the use of violence, learning ways to assess threats, redirect verbal assaults and mobilize the audience, which is a critical factor in empowering the bully.
- Smile, Laugh and Having Fun – We learned a long time ago that kids learn faster when they are having fun. Keeping children interested in their Martial Arts training requires an element of fun and games. Traditionalists are usually only concerned with the discipline and structure of their training, but incorporating fun involving proper techniques will add to the value of training and keep the kids hungry to improve themselves even more.
Is Martial Arts for kids with attention issues?
There are lots of reasons martial arts can be a good match for kids with learning and attention issues. Here are nine potential benefits:
- They focus on individual growth, not on team competition. Many kids with learning and attention issues struggle with the pressure of having to compete with other kids. So traditional sports may not appeal to them. But in martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”
- They offer concrete, attainable goals. Some kids with learning and attention issues may feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They’re awarded a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.
- Routines are broken down into manageable chunks. A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But kids learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next and eventually put everything together into fluid movements. All of this gives working memory a workout, but in a way that kids may find manageable.
- They emphasize self-control and concentration. Attention is central to martial arts. Kids must stay focused to learn and to perform. When a child’s focus drifts, instructors will often ask them to take the “ready stance.” This position allows them to reset and ready themselves for what’s next.
- They can help with coordination. The deliberate, repetitive movements of martial arts can help kids develop a better feel for their body in space, which can be useful to kids who struggle with motor skills. This may also help some kids understand the power of the mind over the body, which some find to be valuable for kids with ADHD.
- They provide structure and clear expectations for behavior. Good martial arts instructors have clear rules and constantly reinforce them. They also emphasize good behavior in and out of class. Some even send kids home with behavior charts their parents must sign. (If you like this idea, here are printable behavior contracts you can try.)
- They can provide a safe outlet for excess energy. Contrary to what some might expect, martial arts don’t encourage violent behavior. In fact, instructors often emphasize that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping can allow kids to work out frustration or anger, while also practicing self-control.
- The environment is accepting and communal. Respect is a core value in martial arts. Students are expected to show it for their instructor and their peers. Negativity is generally not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.
- They’re just plain cool! Kids with learning and attention issues can often feel awkward or socially out of the loop. But lots of kids think martial arts are cool.