Organized sports and other physical activities are great ways for kids to stay in shape, and important for their development of those handy social skills that keep them able to relate to and communicate with their peers. Everyone loves a good round of soccer, basketball, baseball, or any of the other requisite American sports that most of our youngsters are very familiar with playing. Sometimes an alternative option is better, and if you’re looking for another way to get your kids socialized and in shape at the same time, there are a few other options that can help you do that. Martial arts is one of the best of these options, and for a variety of reasons. Kids learn a lot from studying the martial arts, even if it’s at a beginner level that’s more tailored towards the understanding and capabilities of a small child. The fact of the matter is that learning about Martial Arts includes a lot of experiences and knowledge that kids might not really be able to glean elsewhere. Of course, the concern over violence and how much children should be exposed to it continues to be an important one, and many parents worry about whether or not they’re intentionally exposing their kids to something that involves an unnecessary amount of violence or aggression. Happily, the majority of martial arts disciplines are actually more focused on the “discipline” (and maybe even the “art”) aspect, and less focused on the “martial” aspect of things. We’ll talk a little more about this, and how martial arts is ultimately very beneficial for youngsters.
For one thing, martial arts covers the requisite bases of physical fitness and socialization. While a martial arts class might not be as aerobic a workout as running up and down a soccer field for a few hours each week, it does involve a solid amount of physical exercise, albeit in a different way. This ultimately winds up being a big part of the benefit, as martial arts will show children workouts and exercises that will engage different muscle groups that those that normally get attention from activities like soccer or softball.
Perhaps the most surprising benefit of martial arts training for children is the emphasis on focus, discipline, and above all else, peace. The vast majority of martial arts studios focus on nonviolence as the solution in all cases, and if anything, the martial arts are taught as a method by which individuals may arrive at the level of discipline required to not use them against another person. It may sound convoluted, but that’s Eastern philosophy for you. And while most martial arts classes aren’t going to dive into anything even remotely philosophically, these disciplines are nevertheless built on similar principles, and the simple exposure to something different is a good way to broaden any child’s realm of experience. There are a ton of benefits to karate lessons, and what’s great is that martial arts uniforms aren’t terribly expensive. You can stay on a budget, and give your kids some experiences and expertise that they’ll likely remember for the rest of their lives.