As a karate mom as well as instructor for nearly two decades, I have seen the benefits of karate for children for my children as well as other young students. Kids karate classes instill and provide a lot of awesome benefits. Here are just my top 10. I could go on well beyond that.
#10 Confidence Navigating
This alone is a great reason for all girls and women to train in martial arts. But male students also benefit from this type of confidence. Classes in karate for children teach how they can deal with many different confrontational situations. Kids get to put their techniques to the test as well. Sometimes they are victorious, and sometimes not. But they learn to take failures in stride and try, try again. All of these things are just some of the ways that karate builds confidence for navigating the world.
#9 Confidence Performing
in front of People
It is said that people fear public speaking more than death. Karate practitioners buck that fear very consistently. Students are often expected to perform their moves or answer questions in front of the class. When they test, kids have to get up in front of an audience, even if only some of their higher ranks, and show their stuff. And when students become advanced, they help with teaching, which takes talking and thinking on their feet for the good of the group. All of these are incremental steps which are used in karate for children to consistently build their ability to perform in front of people.
# 8 Karate for Children Instills Respect
We teach and
promote mutual respect at our dojo. We use it, talk about it, expect it, and
reinforce respect with family members. Our Dojo Kun number four is “Develop a
respectful attitude.” Karate for kids is a great way to reinforce the respect
taught at home. (Or if it’s not taught at home, karate is a great way to introduce
# 7 Self-Control
Karate for children uses their energy constructively and in fun as well as stress-reducing ways. Channeling energy helps children learn to control themselves. Restraint and self-control are expected in our disciplined environment. In karate classes, kids use self-control and over time they get better at it.
# 6 Exercise
For the majority of most classes, all students are moving and exercising. Karate for children is a fun way to improve fitness while also learning valuable skills. With video games and screens taking such a big role in the modern youngster’s life, karate is a fun, cool way to get them moving.
# 5 Special Skills in Karate for Children
Karate for children also provides specialized exercises that improve many physical skills. Not just endurance and general fitness. It improves balance and flexibility. Karate increases agility and quick reflexes. It makes coordination better. It builds up motor skills. And it develops eye-hand as well as eye-foot coordination.
# 4 Physicality
Physicality involves a lot of bodily contact or activity. Many of our young gamers, academic youth and nice girls don’t have wrestling, fighting or play fighting experience. Karate for children gives them experience in rough-and-tumble type drills and activities. These help them to be able to physically protect themselves.
# 3 Supportive Team
At the dojo,
kids and teens have a supportive team of peers and instructors. This alone is a
great asset. But the additional value is that young students learn what that is
like and they develop the skills to find and build up supportive teams in other
areas of life. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you
spend the most time with.”
# 2 Positive Influence
The instructors and high ranks at any good dojo provide a positive influence in many areas of life. That includes fitness, health, goal-setting, striving for excellence, and attitude. A positive attitude is a priceless asset taught and modeled in classes in karate for children .
# 1 Self-Defense
& Life Protection
As a traditional
Okinawan karate school, we continue the tradition of life protection for which
karate was created. All of our physical moves improve self-defense in one or (more
often) many ways. Doesn’t every parent want their child to be able to
physically not only prevent, but if needed to protect themselves? And when the
skills are ingrained in the long term, they are there when needed, even decades
later when that child may need to protect their own children.
I have seen so many kids in traditional karate gain these benefits (and others) from training. They may not recognize the good that they get out of their karate. It helps when parents point out their child’s improvements in these and other areas, gained from karate for children.