Exercise plays a crucial part in your kid’s mental and physical development, but you already knew that, didn’t you?
There is something you may not know, though. While sports activities, in general, improve the physical and mental growth of a toddler, some types of sports provide additional benefits.
It happens because each form of sports focuses on different aspects of the body and mind.
There are a few reasons why a kid who does wrestling and another kid who is into high-jump may end up having different qualities, aptitudes, and characteristics. In particular, martial arts for kids impact in a way that other forms of sports do not.
We wanted to give you a comprehensive idea about the vast topic within the shortest period.
Therefore, we have talked about a few sections, such as the difference between martial arts and other sports, the types of martial arts your kid can choose from, martial arts scholarships, and the potential issues with learning martial arts.
We hope this allows you to choose the right martial arts hobby for your kid.
- 1 Difference Between Martial Arts and Other Sports
- 2 What Is the Best Age for Kids to Join Martial Arts Schools?
- 3 Best Martial Arts for Beginners
- 4 Equipment Needed for Martial Arts
- 5 Martial Arts Scholarships
- 6 Martial Arts Careers
- 7 Dangers of Martial Arts
- 8 Conclusion
Difference Between Martial Arts and Other Sports
Compared to the many forms of exercise that your kids can choose, martial arts presents unique traits. Most importantly, martial arts can influence the psychological development of your kids.
The psychological skills and characteristics that your kid acquires at this period will help them orient their life ahead. Let’s look at the common differences between martial arts and other sports from these perspectives, anyway.
Martial arts are noted for their focus on individual growth in a long-term manner. By training your kid for an effective form of martial arts, you can help them define their career/personal growth.
The notion of reaching the best version of themselves will motivate your kids to chase their dreams in the future. Of course, ideas hard-coded onto the brain will not limit them to the sports world.
Instead, you can expect their impact on education, career, entrepreneurship, strategy, etc.
Several studies have proven that kids who practice martial arts from an early age tend to show better concentration levels.
It happens because martial arts want people to control their bodies and use them at the right time.
This process requires an impressive amount of attention from the kids. Once again, martial arts also teach them to prevent the physical urges from taking over to a great extent.
All these characteristics are going to pay them off in the future.
Being hyperenergetic is a significant problem among many kids. Contrary to the belief that martial arts foster violent behavior among students, they help your kids lose the extra energy they might have.
Of course, some martial arts want you to use the maximum power you have, but it’s crucial to stay in control of your body.
It is also worth noting that martial arts training will help your kids achieve a structure of respect, which remains when they are out of the academy.
Compared to other sports, martial arts maintain a friendly and respect-focused environment. The kids have to compete with an earlier version of themselves than competing within the team.
It reduces the amount of peer pressure and develops an environment for enhanced growth. Martial arts environments are also noted for their focus on respect.
Students have to work hard to gain the respect of not just the instructor but also their peer group.
As you can see, even though the impacts of martial arts for kids may seem physical, their implications are well-rooted.
In other words, by letting your kid train in martial arts, you help them attain virtues that can have long-term psychological development and orientation.
What Is the Best Age for Kids to Join Martial Arts Schools?
You may have seen videos of four-year-old and five-year-old kids shining in martial arts. However, you should keep in mind that those could be cases of exception.
That is, the video doesn’t mean your five-year-old kid is ready to join a Karate or Taekwondo school. As it happens, there is no perfect age for kids to join a martial arts school. The number depends on several factors.
For instance, if we are talking about Karate, 4 or 5 years is considered the best age to start learning this form of martial arts. Of course, you have to choose a martial arts school that ensures maximum security and safety during the training process.
The advantage is that you can instill the values of discipline and control from a younger age itself.
In most cases, however, you have to wait until your kid turns 6 to 10. It is when your kid can use a space to spend their energy and pick up some values.
As history tells us, many famous martial arts experts started their training during this period.
The advantage here is that your kid has a better idea of themselves and can decide if they want to take the training to adulthood.
While these two are ideal times, it’s not like eleven-year-old kids or young adults can start their martial arts training. It’s just that they may need extra time and effort to control their body and get used to working so hard.
As we said earlier, martial arts schools teach a lot of virtue-based content, and they are better learned when the brain is in the early stages of development.
To sum up, if your kid is older than four years, you can see if they are interested in martial arts. Ensure that you don’t pressure them into taking these classes. Instead, create a flexible environment where they can say no at times.
Best Martial Arts for Beginners
Not all martial arts are made the same. While they may have common objectives, where these forms focus makes a noticeable difference. Therefore, you cannot merely choose random martial arts and expect your kid to have all the benefits.
However, you can select one that is good for beginners and let your kid decide later on. Some of the best martial arts for beginners are:
Taekwondo has its origins in Korea and has become one of the most popular martial arts globally. It will also be the first to be present on a list of martial arts for kids.
Dynamic kicking and footwork are some of Taekwondo’s core values, and the schools teach your kids about the meaning of focus and concentration.
Like many other martial arts forms, Taekwondo can develop fitness, self-confidence, self-defense, and focus on your kid.
Because the art follows the belt system, kids also learn the value of setting up and following the goals while training for Taekwondo.
Judo comes from Japan, and it comes with a more detailed concept of success and defeat. Instead of kicking and footwork alone, Judo focuses on throws and takedowns as well.
As a result, your kid will have to develop some analytical skills to understand the opponent and plan their action. It is also worth noting that Japanese Judo will teach your kids about locks and submissions.
Research has shown that kids who take Judo training tend to have fewer health-related problems, even in adulthood. Once again, the presence of the belt system allows your kids to manage goals effectively.
While boxing isn’t suitable for toddlers, you can consider making your 6-year-old or 7-year-old kid join boxing classes in your area. Because this is a western form of martial arts, you won’t have a problem finding learning spaces, either.
The limitation of this form is that it doesn’t go out of the ring. So, there is an off chance that your kid doesn’t like this form entirely.
Simultaneously, training for boxing from an early age will develop a few ideas of self-confidence and self-defense.
As you can guess, boxing will also improve the competitive nature of your kids.
The history of Karate as a martial arts form goes back to the 1300s, and it has been widely used globally. The ability to learn Karate will focus on your kids’ overall self-defense systems and double as a workout plan.
In contrast to what we have seen in many martial arts forms, Karate wants the student to focus on the candidate’s self instead of focusing on the opponent.
It’s also important to note that the philosophical aspects of Karate can help your kid fashion their life goals and attain some level of balance between their body and mind.
Kung Fu is another martial arts form that you can consider teaching your kids. There are a few things to note, though. Compared to the other forms we have covered, Kung Fu requires your kid to stay on top of reflexes and actions.
These concepts are difficult to develop once they have attained a higher age.
Therefore, if you want your kid to learn upper-body movements and enable effective self-defense, you should check out what the nearby Kung Fu school has to offer.
On the brighter side, your kid will learn about concentration as well as focus.
Making the Selection
As you can see, these five martial arts forms have their advantages over the other. Some of them require next-level reflexes from the kids, while others are a slow adaptation of values.
You must note that your kid cannot be everyone who you expect them to be. Therefore, you should notice the areas where your kid is the brightest and choose a martial arts that complement such areas.
For instance, if they are good with reflexes, Kung Fu and Kickboxing are fantastic options. On the other hand, options like Judo and Karate are more effective when you want your kids to adopt a balanced life.
Equipment Needed for Martial Arts
Depending on the form of martial arts your kid wants to pursue, you may need no, little, or a lot of training and protective equipment. You should also consider the age and body type of your kid before determining the suitable type/amount of equipment.
The selection is also based on the type of equipment you can find in the market.
Note: Every form of martial arts has its own set of rules regarding the equipment a participant can use.
You should also check with the martial arts school to see if they have made any additional changes to the overall decorum. Regardless of where you are, however, you need the following things for your kid who is getting ready for martial arts training.
You have to choose the right uniform depending on the instructions from the school. Make sure you choose something comfortable for your kid while keeping the principles intact.
The uniform plays a vital role in creating the respect-focus environment that we talk about. Therefore, your kid must get familiar with the uniform even before the training.
Protective gear may be a lot of different things in the martial arts domain. Some forms of martial arts may even frown upon the concept of protective equipment.
However, things are different if you are talking about giving training to your kids. In this case, you can listen to experts and get all the possible training gear you can get. As your kid grows older and becomes familiar with the training, you can get rid of this gear.
We haven’t mentioned any martial arts that require a weapon in your kid’s hands. Having said that, if you choose a weapon-based art for your kid, you will have to get that weapon.
Of course, if your kid has to engage in weapon-based combat, you may need to have a stricter policy regarding protective equipment.
Martial arts schools tend to provide almost everything, except for the martial arts uniform. So long as you get your kid enrolled in a reputed martial arts training institution, you can worry less about the equipment and the safety paradoxes.
Martial Arts Scholarships
Many organizations and nonprofits advocate the development and sustenance of martial arts. To ensure the smooth existence of the same, these organizations may offer a variety of scholarships to students.
So, getting your kid proficient in one of the famous martial arts forms will also help them in future studies. While you can find these scholarships at some school levels, they are most commonly found in colleges.
If your kid can keep learning the martial arts form until the period of college, such scholarships can assist in getting a seat in one of the premier institutions in the country.
Of course, at the right time, they have to talk to the financial aid officer and check out the possible opportunities to understand the options they can pick from.
Martial Arts Careers
If, at a point, your kid decides they need a career in martial arts, you don’t have to worry. Considering that we need more people to equip self-defense skills, among other things, it also requires an increasing number of trainers.
Therefore, in the education sector alone, martial arts experts with proper qualifications can find a passionate career. Whether these career options are as lucrative as a Wall Street job is another question.
There are also career options where expertise in martial arts is counted for extra points. For instance, if you want to join defense or law enforcement agencies, knowing one of the martial arts will help you get things done.
The crux is this: if your kid wants to become the best Kung Fu or Karate champion the world has seen, don’t discourage them.
Dangers of Martial Arts
Here are the common dangers of learning martial arts as a kid.
Even when using the standard protective equipment, injuries may happen to your kid. While it’s technically a danger, this isn’t something you should lose your mind over.
Instead, your kid will learn to consider these injuries as a part of the art itself. Considering that the martial arts will supplement the stamina your kid has, this wouldn’t be a long-term problem, either.
The Violence Factor
Many people are worried if training kids for martial arts will make them violent. It is mostly an argument without a scientific base, but there are a few points.
While the martial arts training doesn’t inculcate a sense of violence, the portrayal of martial arts in the media can. Therefore, as they grow up, your kids must know how to interpret these portrayals rightly.
Just like portrayals on popular culture can impact your kids’ growth, children may face mental health issues if the training environment isn’t the best.
That is why experts want you to keep checking on the training set-up to see if they are good for your kids’ mental health. As we said, it’s not a good idea to force ideals on your kids. Instead, you should let them choose the right pick.
We hope you liked our ultimate guide to martial arts for kids. While there is no scarcity of options, enrolling your kid in martial arts shouldn’t be an impulsive decision.
Instead, make sure you can recognize what your kid wants and supplement their aptitudes with the right form of martial arts training.