Welcome to Part 1 of my pair of short blogs about the physical skills learned in karate. We will specifically focus on those skills as they affect children. Martial arts training is a fun way for kids to successfully practice and develop physical skills. In addition to the regular developmentally appropriate skills that children learn, kids’ karate builds physical skills in unique ways.
KIDS’ KARATE BUILDS PHYSICAL SKILLS THRU EXAMPLE
You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. For good or bad, this principle deeply affects developing children. When they spend regular time at the dojo, kids spend time around actively working people. This is great for young children to see this example of other children, teens and adults training. They learn that calisthenics and physical activity are normal and fun for people of all ages. The dojo expands their experience and their ideas to include regular exercise and exertion. Kids’ karate builds physical skills through the example of other karateka.
THE MOVING ART OF KIDS’ KARATE BUILDS PHYSICAL SKILLS
The moving, living art of karate requires action. You must move in order to learn, to gain proficiency, and for the art to exist. Classes consist of active drills, practice and skill-building. We could learn something about karate from videos and books. But we only gain skill in the art by actually moving our bodies. We must step, turn, fall, roll and practice stances. We must move our arms, legs and other body parts in order to learn karate. Kids’ karate builds physical skills by teaching, practicing, and requiring proficiency in, many different moves. Children also benefit from the kinesiology of extra practice in how their body moves through space and among objects and people around them.
Traditional Okinawan karate kids classes are a fun way to get exercise while learning functional skills. When kids see that all ages do exercise and that they have fun and benefit from it, they will build healthy fitness beliefs for adulthood. Karate is a great habit to start early because it is challenging and fun not only on a physical level but also mentally and in other areas. It helps the practitioner who trains have a more whole, more healthy lifestyle overall. Tune in to Part 2 to learn how kid’s karate builds physical skills through fighting.