There are many benefits that preteens gain when they start martial arts classes early in life. Many people are aware of the effectiveness of these ancient arts as far as physical combat is concerned, but a fewer number know about the many mental, physical, and emotional benefits that come with regular training.
These benefits will help your child through the many different phases of life, from elementary school to their professional adult lives.
Here’s how martial arts prepares your preteen for high school:
1) Improves Confidence
Children’s martial arts classes is one of the most effective ways to teach a child confidence. No one is born with a black belt, it is a long journey that is completed in baby steps. Regular training teaches your kid that he/she is capable of accomplishing a lot more than he/she thought was possible. That comes naturally as your child’s skills as a martial artist constantly improve. Techniques that once seemed difficult to your child when he/she first started training eventually become second nature.
That helps them develop the courage to try new things.
Martial arts training also teaches your child not to give up and quit when things get tough. There are always going to be things your child comes across while training that your child finds difficult, but with the encouragement of his/her instructors and peers, he/she will be motivated to keep at it. Your child will, in turn, learn the importance of hard work and perseverance as he/she eventually masters these difficult techniques.
Confidence, hard work, and perseverance are values that will help your child greatly when it’s time for high school. Being confident makes your kid less susceptible to bullies, while the grit they learn during martial arts training will help them tackle the new – and more difficult – subjects they will be learning in high school.
2) Improves their social skills
Image source: iStock
The social benefits of martial arts training are extremely underrated. When your child goes to the martial arts gym, he/she gets to interact with kids of different ages. This gives them an extra opportunity to make new friends and improve their social skills. The significance of this opportunity is even more crucial if your kid is being home-schooled. The way martial arts is practiced involves students working together in groups to solve problems, figuring out techniques together, teaching each other, and encouraging each other to work to their best. This creates the perfect environment for them to build social skills.
Nothing ruins a child’s high-school experience like poor social skills. Teenagers tend to form social cliques, especially in school, and kids who are seen as awkward or weird because of their poor social skills are often a target of bullies.
Bullies are typically cowards who have self-esteem issues of their own, so they tend to pick on kids who do not have a social circle of friends to back them up when the bully attacks.
3) Keeps them in good physical shape
Image source: iStock
It no secret, martial arts training is a physically intensive activity. You can burn up to 1,000 calories in a one-hour Muay Thai class. That is a significantly better workout than what you get from commonly used exercises like running, which only burns around 400 calories per hour, and working out in the gym, which burns 200 calories per hour.
The great workout your child gets from martial arts training combined with a proper diet will keep your preteen in excellent physical condition.
That means when it’s time for extracurricular activities in high school, your child will be able to keep up with the other kids, and possibly excel at some of those activities. In high school, sports is a major activity for many kids and being able to participate in these and build social circles around that can really help your child settle in high school. Being in good physical shape is also healthy for your child’s self-esteem since we all know how harsh kids can sometimes be to their peers who are overweight. It will also help them avoid significant health issues as they grow older.
4) Teaches respect
Image source: Evolve MMA
If there is one value that every single martial art on the planet shares, it is definitely respect. Martial arts is all about respecting your instructors and training partners. Brutish and disruptive behavior is simply something most martial arts instructors won’t tolerate.
It’s this high value that is placed on respecting one another that makes most martial arts gyms a positive environment.
Your child will take that new found respect into other activities he/she engages in. He/she will be more respectful to their teachers and the peers, which earns him/her points with both groups.
Martial arts training will also teach your child how to be focused and disciplined. He/she has to pay attention when the instructor breaks down techniques and drills, and that focus translates to their school work.
Learning a martial art also teaches your children how important it is to keep working at things. There is no other way to learn a martial arts technique without practicing it a bunch of times. That discipline will give your kid the strength to complete tasks that aren’t always fun like homework and other school projects since he/she now realizes how important it is to his/her development.
5) Teaches self-defense skills
The effectiveness of martial arts has been demonstrated in many competitions all over the world. The ability to effectively defend yourself from anyone trying to harm you is one of the most important skills a person can have.
Sure, we all hope we never end up in a physical confrontation, and martial arts training teaches children to avoid violence at all costs.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always enough.
Martial arts training will teach your child how to deal with an aggressor while limiting the damage done to either party. With Singapore having the third highest rate of bullying in the world, you certainly want your child to be bully-proof before sending him/her off to high school.
These are only a handful of the benefits that can be gained from martial arts training. There are many others like:
- Improved flexibility
- Improved balance
- Increased energy levels
- Lower stress levels
- Better sleep at night
Give your child all the tools he/she needs to have a pleasant high-school experience. Bring your child to a complimentary trial classes to learn more about how martial arts prepares your preteen for high school and beyond.
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