Jackie Chan plus Bruce Lee equal martial arts! Well, 90 percent of the time this equation is correct. None of us in this modern day and age don’t know these superstars in martial arts primarily because of their media influence and exposure. Of course, there are more personalities in martial arts than the two of them but because of their unprecedented contributions in making it very popular, it is undeniable that they are considered the icons.
But ladies and gentlemen, martial arts is more than just Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee as it played a vital role in the way of life of different nations across the globe for many years. Apparently, there is no definite or conclusive answer to the question as to where did martial arts begin but accounts and evidence presented by many historians would point out Asia to be the cradle of the early beginnings of martial arts (this somehow substantiates the popularity of Jackie and Bruce). As the society and culture on all the face of the earth continue to evolve through time, so does our interest in learning martial arts.
On the one hand, experts around the world also agree that with proper supervision and guidance, the notion that martial arts promote violence is just a mere speculation or a myth. On the other hand, many parents whose children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success by engaging in martial arts activities because self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids.
What are Martial Arts?
In order for us to understand what is being meant by the term “martial arts” let us first understand where the term stems from. The word “martial” in martial arts is derived from the name of the Roman God of War, Mars. As such, all activities in martial arts have something to do with physical training for combat. These trainings are also systematized and are designed for one purpose: physically defeating opponents and defending against threats. In a bird’s eye view, martial arts can be broken down into five distinct categories: Stand-up or striking styles, grappling styles, low impact styles, weapons based styles and hybrid sports style. In a research conducted by Diana H. Dunlap, PhD., she recommends taekwondo for children with ADD. Being a taekwondo instructor herself, she has seen ADD children make tremendous strides in their ability to sustain attention and control behavior
Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
Helps in Self-Defense
Consider enrolling your child in a traditional martial arts program, such as Karate, Kung Fu, or Tae Kwon Do. The training at most self-defense academies does not promote the use of violence, however, having that knowledge will help your child feel more self-assured especially with the increasing cases of bullying in the school. And if your child does need to defend himself, his practice on the mat will provide a level of safety by allowing him to perform the moves instinctively when threatened. Bullying should never be taken lightly. While we’ve made great strides against bullying — bullying policies have been implemented by schools, the workplace, and the government — we need to, as a community, prepare and educate our children on how to deal with this serious issue.
Boosts Physical Fitness
With the growing use of technology, kids are becoming more inactive and playing with electronics much more than they did in the past. If you’re like many parents, you’re probably tired of telling your children to go play outside after their eyes have been glued to the TV or computer. Martial art classes will force your children to become active, and after they become used to the daily activity, they will begin to enjoy it and find the motivation to excel on their own.
Can Build Confidence
While martial art forms are primarily about self-improvement, training is a natural, enjoyable, and impeccable way to gain self-confidence. You can train your kids to practice pushing their limits from a young age, so they learn to give their best in every life situation. Get them started young, in their pre-school years if possible, to reap maximum benefits of martial arts. These early, formative years are important times for developing bodies and minds. Parents appreciate the physical fitness, good manners, and new friendships formed by their children being in martial arts.
Martial Arts is a way to teach discipline to children. The disciplined and dynamic art of training boosts a child to a much higher level of life. It molds a child into a proud and independent individual who is able to focus, lead and enjoy a better quality of life. Whether your kid is too shy, imperious, or perhaps just a little intense, Martial Arts can help your child learn important life lessons. Martial Arts schools demand the respect that comes with the power and strength being taught.
Nurtures Social Skills
Martial arts is an excellent way of teaching kids developing social skills. Classes themselves are done in groups, so it’s a great opportunity for your little one to make new friends. The nature of meeting a new friend in a class means your little one and his or her new pal will already share a common interest. If your child has a trouble of making friends in school, joining a martial arts class can give them a new environment. This can be particularly helpful for those children who have had a negative experience, either due to classroom bullies or social anxiety.
Develops Balance and Correct Posture
With martial arts, it is possible to improve balance and posture in a great manner. Basically, when kids in the age group 3-6 years are taught martial arts, this aspect is overlooked. But until and unless the child develops proper posture and balance, no exercise will bring the desired benefits. Poor posture might lead to innumerable health problems and ailments. Age-appropriate drills and exercises should be done for right posture and balance in kids.
Getting along with others in a social space can be challenging, and being respectful is necessary for harmony. In martial arts classes, kids interact with instructors and their peers, some of whom they may not see eye to eye with all the time. Sometimes, training a skill can be frustrating, lack of discipline and respect can result in tantrums. For this reason, developing respect and discipline is necessary. Instructors won’t tolerate poor behavior in class. Through training, children can learn to stay calm despite making mistakes and work with others to improve their skills. Being knocked down and then helped up by the same person can promote mutual respect.