High-Kicking Kids: The Benefits of Martial Arts

Here in my neck of the woods, it’s that time of year again when all you could possibly crave for is a tall glass of icy lemonade and a dip in the pool.  Yes, it’s summertime… when all little kids can be naughty again (I’m quoting from Looney Tunes, as you may have noticed).

To keep restless kids from being naughty during the summer, it’s always helpful to get them involved in a summer activity.  Signing them up for summer sports clinics, for example, keeps them busy, and at the same time gives them a sound mind and body.  One of those worthwhile sports for kids to do is martial arts.

Some moms may shun the idea of their kids in full body contact with other kids, but martial arts are not about teaching them violence.  Karate and taekwondo, for instance, aren’t all about body slamming, and getting into fights a la Bruce Lee or Ralph Macchio (don’t even get me started on how he looks today… he’s OLD, that much I can say!).  Martial arts teach the following skills to kids:

Self-discipline and respect.  A class which normally lasts for an hour begins and ends with the students bowing to the teacher or master.  This, along with standing still and waiting for the next command helps to develop in them the important skill of knowing how to control their bodies and to keep still when needed.  This is especially beneficial to kids with ADHD, as self-discipline is one skill they must learn.

Concentration.  After doing warm up exercises, the kids then practice the various forms, kicks, punches and blocks which are distinct to his martial art of choice.  This requires much concentration and careful attention.  These skills carry over into school, helping kids improve on their behavior and even grades.

Setting and achieving goals.  As one progresses over the course of a martial art, he is promoted to the next higher level, marked by a different-colored belt.  So, as your kid moves from a white belt to a black belt, he learns to set goals for himself and feels a sense of accomplishment when he works hard to achieve them.

So, as my daughter kicks some serious ass in taekwondo class, I’m just going to keep myself busy, thinking of forecast lighting options for the house.  I’m now going to return to my summer task of ordering fixtures from Golden Lighting as my daughter rejoices at the fact that there are “no more classes, no more books, and teachers’ dirty looks…”  I sure hope she gets a kick out of martial arts.