In this day and age, many parents are always looking for social activities for their children. Many times this includes enrolling their kids into team sports, such as hockey or soccer, or clubs, such as art clubs or science clubs. Especially as we are in the Toronto area there is a multitude of activities, and it can get a bit confusing.
By enrolling your child in a martial arts program there are many benefits:
First off, the physical fitness. With the increase in fast food dinners, and childhood obesity, it is imperative that kids are partaking in some sort of fitness activity. Whereas many sports purely have a cardiovascular element to them, Martial arts incorporate some of the best in strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility. In my opinion a Martial Arts class such as a Muay Thai class at Lanna MMA, is one of the most complete workouts you can have.
Secondly, Martial Arts teaches kids teamwork as well as independent motivation and goal setting. As adults, we understand the benefits of team sports, as it prepares us for the multitude of group atmospheres we encounter in life, especially in the workplace. However, in my opinion, many team sports lack individual or independent motivation or goal setting. As a team may have the goal to win the game, or win the championship, but there is no real focus on each player’s goal within the season. In martial arts, as it is class atmosphere, many drills incorporate partner or group drills. Thus, a child will learn the benefits of team work. In addition, there is the independent development, as the child will be progressing through a belt ranking system, as is the case for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or a sash ranking system, as Lanna MMA has incorporated in their Muay Thai program. As most kids create the goal to get to that next rank they will learn how their, attitude, attendance, and self performance will progress them. These lessons they will keep with them as they go on in life.
The third point I would like to discuss is very common among parents. This is the notion of learning discipline and confidence. These two notions are becoming much more relevant with the increased discussion of school bullying. Many parents enroll their children in Martial Arts because their kids are being picked on at school. Obviously, as it is a combat art they will learn a self defence technique that will assist them, if they are ever physically assaulted. However, one thing I have noticed in my over 15 years of martial arts experience, is the notion of Mental Self Defence. As a child progresses, their confidence grows and shows in their school performance and general attitude. This also shows in their interaction with other children. In my opinion, as they become more confident in themselves they are less susceptible to being targets by bullys. Many parents often comment that since their child has been in martial arts, the bullying has ceased, however not one physical altercation had taken place.
This then goes in the notion of discipline. Remember that martial arts is a self defence, not a self offence, and that most martial arts clubs are strongly against the use of their techniques outside the school. Let’s go to the topic of bullying once again, but look at the bully. Many people are afraid of enrolling a bully in a martial arts program because the last thing they want is to teach the bully how to fight. I think many people get images of Johnny from Cobra Kai in the Karate kid. However the reality is that most kids in martial arts are taught the responsibility and respect that goes along with it. They are taught by bullying and using the tactics learned, they are disrespecting their Martial Arts School, their Master or Kru and themselves. Likewise, most Martial Arts schools should have a strict stance against bullying and if it is known that one of their students is a bully, they should get involved, as it looks poorly against the school. Martial arts classes are also a controlled environment for the release of any aggression, limiting it’s release on the schoolyard. It is quite common to hear that since enrolling in martial arts, a person had never been a part of any physical altercation outside of the Martial Arts school setting.
These reasons are only some of the the many reasons to enrol a child in a Martial Arts Program. If you are a parent and are looking at looking for activities for your child, I hope this has helped you in some way. In addition if you are looking for a free trial for your kids always feel free to contact us at Lanna MMA and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Lanna MMA/Gracie Barra North Toronto