Published by Russell Kelley, Sensei · 10 September 2022
Martial arts can help with some of the many challenges that children might face these days even more so than they might have had to deal with in the past. These challenges can range from being bullied; either at school or online, obesity issues, short attention span, athletic skill, low confidence or a poor self-image. The general public's image of martial arts, mainly due to TV and movies, is that it is all about fighting, this is far from the truth. The martial arts are more about building up and strengthening one’s mind, body, and character, which makes it great for children to get involved in.“Bullying is something that no one should ever have to experience.”
The most helpless feeling for a parent is having a child who is being bullied. Bullying has been around for generations, but things have evolved due to the use of social media. Fears of going to school, out in public, or being online because of being bullied are common issue. Martial arts are one way to help children gain the tools that they need to combat this terrible form of abuse.
“Success is the backbone of confidence.”
Martial arts training helps children to become more confident by teaching them how to set and accomplish personal goals, through the progression of belts. With each successful goal completion, skill acquired, or belt rank, children become more and more confident in their abilities and they gain self-esteem.
“Walk away from confrontation, do not engage.”
The most difficult thing at the moment of a confrontation is to simply walk away from it, with social media it’s even more difficult. The one that walks away can be labeled a coward, which can make bullying more severe; not only in person but also on social media. Children that are confident, has high self-esteem, and is self-confident, walking away becomes a lot easier. Children that understand they have the choice to engage or not is a very empowering feeling.
If a physical confrontation is unavoidable, knowing that you can defend yourself is very important. A very terrifying feeling for a bullying victim is not knowing how to defend themselves if forced to do so. Having the knowledge of how to defend themselves will prepare the victim for a fight and can help to eliminate the threat quickly; reducing the likelihood of serious injury, and aid in escaping the situation as soon as possible.
The physical health benefits that are gained during martial arts classes are very numerous. Just to list a few: improved respiratory health, muscle building, flexibility, weight loss, and improved reflexes and coordination. All these helps improves a child’s athletic ability, and helps reduce obesity issues. The repetitive training in martial arts is helpful in improving a child’s attention span. With the mental focus that this type of training requires helps a person to keep on track and stick to one task and learn it