After school programs like sports, music, video games… These are all beneficial after-school activities in their way. But martial arts for kids is about so much more than just physical movement. It’s about learning valuable skills like focus, discipline, perseverance, and making fitness fun.
We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Carrollton parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you, like #2! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts for Kids Helps Kids Focus
Stepping outside after-school programs for a second, we can say with confidence that a lot of kids struggle with focus and concentration. Some of it is, of course, just part of being a kid, some of it has to do with shortened attention spans with increased screen time, and some of it can be genetic for kids with attention issues.
The good news is that we’ve found that a lot of students who have attention problems benefit greatly from consistent martial arts classes. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that people have been using for hundreds of years to develop character and learn important life skills. Through fun and games in class, our instructor can sneak in quick activities that help build focus consistently over time. But aside from games, the act of martial arts itself requires discipline too.
To master the physical moves, kids need to be still, listen intently, and concentrate on what they’re doing. Once they’re able to get the moves down, our instructors praise them, using positive reinforcement to create a reward connection between paying attention and being celebrated. Soon, the students understand the connection between receiving positive feedback and staying focused, and they start to see great results. This ultimately helps them achieve better grades and become more confident, which you’ll read about in Reasons 2 and 3. (Cool, right?)
Reason #2: Better Grades are Possible with Martial Arts for Kids
A lot of parents have no idea that martial arts classes can help your children get better grades. How, you may ask? Here’s the breakdown: Through a combination of consistent practice and fun games and activities, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills (we talked about this above in Reason #1).
With this improved focus, our students start to become more “indistractable”- they have better control of their bodies and pay attention more easily, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can concentrate on the tasks at hand. Improved focus means improved listening, so they’re retaining the information better than ever before, and they can sit down to complete their assignments with a higher quality of concentration. And, because the information is “sticking” better, they’re recalling that info on tests and quizzes, they’re scoring higher because of this heightened recall, and voila- better grades! Yep- it’s that simple, and it does work!
Reason #3: Martial Arts is a School Program that Builds Confidence
Believe it or not, sometimes your after-school program can lead to a decrease in confidence because she’s comparing herself to others on her sports team or in her debate club. If your child isn’t especially athletic or they’re particularly shy, it may be difficult to find an after school program that suits them where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” in any way.
What’s great about martial arts is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students don’t have to worry about being the best of the best- they just have to focus on being better than they were yesterday. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game… but to the previous versions of themselves to progress and achieve. In this way, our students can tangibly see how awesome it feels to set goals and get goals, and they can understand the discipline and perseverance it takes to become successful. Those are skills they’ll take with them for life.
Another perk is that your child can learn to support their fellow students and be a cheerleader for another person’s accomplishments. This is one of the best things about teaching martial arts to kids- seeing the way that our kids become friends and cheer each other on. For those who struggle with feeling confident inside and out, getting that support from both their instructors and their peers is a gratifying and even life-changing experience.
Reason #4: Our Martial Arts Instructors Are Positive Role Models for Kids
If you think about it, most after school programs are about results- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. This is where martial arts is the most different from other programs. “Winning” the belt ranking is not our sole focus. Because martial arts is an individual sport in a group setting, our instructors can take the time to hone in on each student and help them with their unique journey.
Our kids then start to see their instructors as positive role models- and our instructors are more than happy to fill the role! They have dedicated their lives and careers to bonding with the kids and nurturing them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
What’s so awesome about martial arts is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor can teach from a place of integrity and relate to students when they’re feeling frustrated or upset! We always show our students how to get back up and keep going no matter what- and how to stay humble no matter how far they progress. That double lesson of perseverance and respect is just not as common in other after school programs.
Reason #5: It’s Just Fun!
This one’s a no-brainer- martial arts for kids is just fun! Our awesome instructors make each lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are all about non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep kids interested and continually learning in these critical years of growth and development.
Games and activities not only help the kids stay engaged with our lessons, but they also help our students connect fitness and positive emotion, a connection that will serve them for the rest of their lives. This big focus on fun is also a way for our instructors to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning something- they’re too busy having a blast!