If you are looking around at the various types of martial arts and sports available to your kids, you will undoubtedly come across Karate as an option. I firmly believe that Karate is a must for kids, and the younger you get them involved, the better. Of course, you are welcome to disagree, but before you do, take a look at the reasons why I feel it is so good for kids.
You might not be able to tell right away from watching a Karate lesson in progress that the martial art can be so beneficial, but if you apply yourself and practice regularly, you will notice these changes. In fact, if you sign your child up for a few classes, you should see positive changes quite quickly in your child.
If you want to get your child involved in a good sport or after-school practice such as Karate, you might want to find out more about the claimed benefits. Read on to learn about the 18 reasons why I think Karate can be highly beneficial for kids.
These are 18 reasons why Karate is good for kids:
1. Learning to respect others.
Kids that learn Karate learn to trust their own physical strength and abilities. This self-respect that they develop will help them to learn to respect others in the very same manner. When kids learn to spar with other Karate kids, they soon learn that there’s mutual respect required between all parties involved.
2. Teaches confidence.
Children who lack confidence are great contenders for learning Karate. Because Karate is so personally focused on an individual’s progress and development, children soon see how they grow from not knowing much about the art to becoming really quite good at it. A child who can see his or her own progress is a child who has improving confidence levels.
3. Good form of self-defense.
Nowadays, there is no saying what might happen to a child at school, on the bus, in the playground, or while at the mall. Children who are equipped with a martial art such as Karate are better equipped to protect themselves. By exposing your child to Karate, you are ensuring that they are safer while away from you or the safety of the home.
4. Keeps kids healthy, fit, and active.
Karate requires children to become fit. Many of the practices involved high-paced activities to improve on a child’s fitness levels. Kids that do Karate are not the “veg in front of the game console” type of children. Even if they are when they start out, you can expect that to change, the more they practice Karate.
5. Teaches the importance of goal setting.
In order for children to level up to the next belt color and level, they have to reach certain goals and milestones. These are only achieved through goal setting and discipline.
6. Teaches that hard work and persistence pays off.
Going from one Karate level to the next is not easy. It takes a lot of work, and children need to be persistent so that they learn the techniques involved and can continuously improve on their skillset. Children who make progress will feel proud of their hard work and persistence, and they will learn a valuable lesson that hard work pays off. This can be applied to other areas of their lives.
7. Builds strength and endurance.
Because of the nature of Karate practice, children who practice it often will build strong, flexible muscles with high endurance. If you want your child to grow physically strong and increase his/her endurance levels, Karate is a great martial art to expose him/her to.
8. Teaches discipline.
Children have to learn each and every move and stance from their instructor. The consistent practice and attention to detail really do teach a great lesson in discipline. The more disciplined the student is, the more he/she will progress in the art.
9. Establishes good friendships.
The company that your child keeps while growing up will have a big impact on “who” they grow up to be. Children can fall into the wrong groups when they are very young. By introducing your child to Karate, you are providing the perfect opportunity for your child to meet other children who are interested in being healthy, fit, and active. Kids in the same Karate class could potentially form lifelong friendships.
10. Develops concentration and focus skills/abilities.
A child needs to concentrate and focus on the techniques and skills taught in order to get everything right. The more a child focuses and concentrates, the easier it is to learn the moves and techniques. Over the years, doing this teaches children how to better apply themselves, which boosts concentration and focus.
11. Establishes self-acceptance.
Children without a hobby or pastime generally compare and measure themselves up against a set of peer prescribed standards. For instance, a child that is not great at soccer might not consider himself cool, but what he is missing out on is that he is very talented at running.
Karate teaches children that they have strengths and weaknesses. By learning to accept one’s own shortcomings and recognize your own strengths, you can go forward with a new level of self-acceptance. This will help your child to feel more comfortable in his/her own skin.
12. Teaches good judgment skills.
In order for a child to know when to use or not use their Karate skills, they have to be able to judge the situation and make a good call. Judgment also comes in when a child has to assess the confrontation in the classroom/lesson and make a quick decision of how to react. The more children have to think for themselves and make decisions based on their own assessments and judgments, the better children will become at making sound judgments.
13. Provides a release for anger and frustration.
Kids that have anger and frustration often don’t know how to channel those feelings into something positive. They also don’t know how to relieve themselves of the negative feelings that make them feel so riled up. By providing your child with exposure to Karate, you are providing him/her with the opportunity to physically work off the excess energy that often comes with frustration and anger. If your child suffers from this, introduce him/her to Karate and see how the angry and frustrated acting out dissipates.
14. Strengthens the mind.
Karate is just as much a practice of a balanced mind as it is a practice of a balanced body. In order for Karate to be useful, a child has to acquire the right mindset and learn to think about life from different perspectives. The more a child is exposed to different ways of thinking, the stronger the mind becomes, and the better it is for your child’s mental health in the end.
15. Develops a sense of independence.
In order for children to learn and become skilled at Karate, they must learn to stand on their own two feet and put in the effort without hanging on their parent’s apron strings. While it might be hard for children to enter a class alone and get acquainted with the process, once they get used to it all, you will notice a definite development of independence. This means that your child will be braver to try new things, try things alone, and fully apply him/herself to a new situation or activity.
16. Improves coordination and awareness.
Karate is about being coordinated and being aware of what is around you and how that impacts on your intended next move. Being aware of what is nearby can help a Karate practitioner to know how to strike or kick and how hard to do so too. This can help to avoid injuries in class and also keep them safe while outside of class.
17. Provides a mental workout.
There’s always a lot of thinking to be done during Karate practice. It is not the type of sport or practice where you can switch off and go through the motions. Practitioners are always assessing the situation, planning the next move, and ensuring that they time and carry out their next move correctly. A lesson or practice session is jam-packed with thinking.
18. Relieves stress and anxiety.
Children experience stress too. Most kids just don’t know what it is or how to deal with it. Getting involved in a physical activity is a great way to distract from the stresses of the day and work off some of the frustrated energy. If your child is stressed a lot, try Karate as a form of stress therapy.
If you would like to expose your child to Karate and just haven’t been sure if it is a good idea, now is your opportunity. Karate is obviously beneficial to children, and to deny your child the opportunity to learn and practice, it might just be doing him/her a disservice.