As a parent, it must be hard even to consider the idea of listening about martial arts benefits for kids below 12 years of age.
We get it, but educating yourself and your child about ideas, such as self-defense, mental and physical growth, self-control, concentration, etc., is quite important as well.
If you agree with us on the previous sentence, then keep reading for this article is definitely for you!
Most people start learning self-defense techniques as teenagers without focusing on the idea that there are many martial arts benefits for kids below 12 years of age.
If children are exposed to this traditional combat at a young age, they can develop what can be considered superpowers!
If you are a parent, it might be challenging to see your kid karate-kicking in the air and breaking boards everywhere.
However, these 10 compelling martial arts benefits for kids below 12 years of age will convince you to drop your little one in a martial art class.
- 1 Reasons Why Children Should Join a Martial Arts Class
- 2 Physical, Mental, Psychological, and Social Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
- 2.1 Physical Benefits
- 2.1.1 It will help increase endorphins in your kid
- 2.1.2 It helps maintain stability and co-ordination in the body
- 2.1.3 You will see increased flexibility and mobility in your child
- 2.1.4 Strength, power, and endurance will come easily to them
- 2.1.5 Toned muscles, weight loss, and better reflexes will be the natural outcome
- 2.2 Mental Benefits
- 2.3 Psychological Benefits
- 2.4 Social Benefits
- 2.1 Physical Benefits
- 3 Potential Setbacks For Children Practicing Martial Arts
- 4 Conclusion
Reasons Why Children Should Join a Martial Arts Class
Before we jump on the martial arts benefits for kids, let’s throw some light on these FACTS that will assure you to convince your little one to go for martial arts classes. Trust us.
You won’t be disappointed with the result of the same even though the side-effects may include your child breaking stuff with their improvised version of creating a ‘mess.’
Now that you are ready to deal with the result and effects both, here are some reasons to convince your child to join a martial arts class.
It promotes resilience on all levels
There has been varied research to prove that learning martial arts directly elevated the academic, social and emotional performance of a good percentage of kids.
This study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (January 2019) explored that a 10-week martial art workshop can significantly help kids defend themselves against bullying.
Discipline, focus, and power
Let’s not forget how a dedicated work-out of any kind can help in building resilience, strength, endurance, concentration, discipline, and energy!
Well, one can at least argue that adults who work out every day perform better on a mental and emotional level than people who do not exercise at all.
Similarly, when kids join martial arts, it contributes to building strong discipline, razor-sharp focus, and charged body to power through mentally and physically challenging situations.
By joining any form of martial arts, your child will naturally develop high self-esteem for self and respect for others.
The same is that children who learn such a challenging combat form have high confidence in themselves, resulting in better self-esteem than others of their age.
The biggest and most powerful characteristic that a parent can teach a child is a sense of inner safety. When children are introduced to martial arts, slowly and gradually, they start believing in their inner strength and power.
They can take on any difficult situation or deal with any person themselves without feeling the need to have a parent figure around them.
It might not leave an intense impression on you as you read this, but when children have a strong sense of self, they do amazing things in life.
A healthy life
One of the many martial arts benefits for kids also includes exposure to a good diet routine. A good diet and regular work out are the foundation of a healthy life.
If your child practices any form of martial arts, even 4 days a week, he or she will meet the criteria of work required to put in to have a healthy mind and body.
Physical, Mental, Psychological, and Social Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
We have seen the positive effects and importance of martial arts for kids in the above portion.
We can now focus on the various body levels, including physical, mental, psychological, and social, as to how they benefit from the regular practice of martial arts by kids.
The physical body aspires to stay fit via two main activities: a healthy diet and regular exercise. When your kid performs martial arts, it is a given that they will sweat it out and thus, keep their body healthy on a physical level.
As per this study by Harvard Health Publishing, an hour of martial arts practice burns about 600 calories in a person weighing 125 pounds. Thus, this is a long-term solution for your child’s good physical health, if he likes and pursues in the future as well.
Here are some strong martial arts benefits for kids under 12 related to their physical strength:
It will help increase endorphins in your kid
High levels of endorphins help keep a child healthier, fitter, and happier. A high number of endorphins are released with regular exercise and gym work.
Even though children aren’t allowed to lift heavy weights at the gym, work-outs like martial art kicking and boxing are a great way to balance endorphins in the body.
It helps maintain stability and co-ordination in the body
When blocking actions and performing moves during the practice, children need to be aware of their physical strengths and balance them.
It brings a whole other level of awareness and an understanding of one’s body, which helps the kid in the long run, and they learn to be so good with the physicality of their bodies.
You will see increased flexibility and mobility in your child
One of the primary disciplines required to learn martial art forms is agility and flexibility.
The art demands a lot of footwork, and as you practice more and better, your body becomes pliable, and the risk of injuries to your body decreases.
Strength, power, and endurance will come easily to them
When your kid will jump in the air and attack his opponent, not only will it boost his or her confidence but also increase their body’s strength, stamina, and endurance.
Also, the application of martial arts techniques requires a lot of inner strength, and the attacks are expected to be quite powerful. After intense and regular practice, individuals start developing unbelievable strength, power, and endurance.
All thanks to this ancient combating art! You will be surprised and proud of your child’s flexibility, agility, strength, prowess, perseverance, and control of their body soon after joining the classes!
Toned muscles, weight loss, and better reflexes will be the natural outcome
Martial arts moves, such as sparring, blocking, attacking, dodging, etc., all strength. When a child performs these moves regularly, it automatically results in weight loss, quick reflexes, and toned muscles.
It has been proven already that the more muscle mass a body has, the higher its metabolism will be. Thus, this leads to burning more calories and achieving the desired body weight.
Also, the practice of martial art techniques will help in quick yet thought-over reflexes, which will improve your movements and commitments in all areas of life.
There are as many mental, if not more, physical benefits of kids doing martial arts before they reach 12.
There have been stunning medical researches that have proven how spectacularly mental health improves after doing any form of exercise, and martial arts is one of the best.
As per this research, “MA’s enhance self-esteem through the provision of physical activity and group experience, and the teaching of relaxation, concentration, assertiveness, and directiveness and honesty in communication.”
Thus, the mental benefits of practicing martial arts are many, and some of the biggest ones have been mentioned below:
Anger release and management
It is usually hard for children to express their emotions and inner turmoil. Many a time, they fail to understand what negative emotions are bothering them.
With the help of martial arts, they can easily release pent-up anger and other emotions that do not serve the human body well. Students of martial arts and other such practices are also trained to manage their emotions, keep calm and let go of all the bad energy.
Mindfulness and flexible mindset
Apart from meditation and breathing techniques, martial arts or another form of work-outs also help in being present in the moment.
When your kid concentrates on martial arts and its values, he or she will naturally flow with a flexible mindset and stay in the moment, and there is nothing better than just being.
Martial arts invoke a purpose that includes responding to a situation than just reacting.
Helps children dealing with ADD and ADHD
Now, this one is quite important. It has been researched and accepted that martial arts practice tends to be beneficial for children dealing with sensory processing issues, such as ADD and ADHD.
In 2004, Morand revealed that martial arts training twice a week led to improved ADHD and ADD symptoms. It was noticed that children with these special abilities could complete their homework in a go, didn’t have to leave the classroom now and then, and performed better academically.
Similarly, in 2013, a study reported that practicing martial arts helped children with ADD and ADHD regulate self-improvement and perform better in all spheres of life.
Helps children on the spectrum
There is a good possibility that children dealing with the Autism spectrum show improvements in their daily lives after joining martial arts practice.
A review published an issue of Archives of Budo (2017) revealed that martial arts have a high potential of positively influencing autism spectrum disorder.
It stated that children dealing with this problem showed improved social interaction skills, self-regulation, memory, and cognitive functions.
The only psychology we need in our lives is positive psychology, and we all will agree to that.
So, why not teach the same in our kids via various tools and instruments that are easily and effortlessly available?
One such tool is sweating, and what is the best way to release the sweat than martial arts and get in the psychology of being nothing but purely yourself?
Well, here are a few ways through which your child will get all the psychological benefits from practicing martial arts:
Highly developed self-esteem and confidence
There is no doubt about it. It has been mentioned repeatedly by the experts that learning something challenging (like martial arts, maybe?) can lead to highly developed self-esteem and, thus, a significant boost in confidence.
A lack of self-confidence means the destruction of social, professional, and personal life.
Therefore, teaching high confidence and balancing the same from time-to-time is one reason why your kid must attend a martial art class.
A feeling of inner security and safety
One of the best psychological benefits of practicing martial arts, yes, even as a kid, is a developed sense of inner security and safety.
How many times are the kids at school exposed to something as terrible as bullying? The worst thing is that these childhood horrors, stay with them until adulthood, doesn’t it?
When your child has high self-esteem, developed sense of self, knows how to deal with stressful situations, and most importantly, is fearless in the face of adversity while knowing he/she is perfectly capable of keeping him or her safe without the help of their parents, that’s when you know how important it is for you as a parent to allow your child to learn martial arts.
Yes, practicing this great combat does that to your child.
It is also important for a growing child to learn how to communicate and stay connected with their peers and friends.
Martial arts require teamwork, develop and thrive in a group setting while meeting new and like-minded people every day. It contributes significantly in improving your child’s social skills and that too, effortlessly.
Staying in a robust social circle also enhances the overall life quality and keeps the happiness index high as well!
Potential Setbacks For Children Practicing Martial Arts
While there can be temporary injuries, body pains, and lower tolerance to deal with pain and challenges initially, once the bar for your child to perform and practice the art is set, we can assure you there will be no stopping them.
As a parent, it can be quite challenging for you to put your child in what seems like a testing environment. The truth is that it is scary at first for both you and your child, but when you trust the universe without attaching yourself to the outcome, you can go ahead and do what’s best for your child.
However, this doesn’t mean that you must let go completely. You must find a reliable training school for your kid and stay in touch with the trainer so that you are up-to-date with your kid’s performance in the school.
Remember, martial arts benefits for kids are many, but as a parent, you must stay focused and devoted to your kid to keep them safe while they kick their way to a successful and head-strong future.