After school program that your child’s school offers are all beneficial in their own way – but martial arts for kids teaches incredible life lessons and success skills that other after school activities just don’t offer. It’s about overcoming challenges and preparing your child to be the best young adult they can possibly be. We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Burleigh Heads parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts for kids helps kids focus
If you’re like the majority of modern parents, you may have noticed that a lot of kids struggle with focus and concentration. Some of the issues here have to do with just being a kid whose brain is still developing, 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.
What’s really cool is that martial arts for kids actually helps students with attention problems and trouble focusing. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that we use to develop character and learn incredible life skills.
Through fun and games in class, our instructors are able to sneak in quick activities that help build focus consistently over time. But aside from games, the act of martial arts itself requires discipline to do.
To master the physical moves, kids need to sit still, listen to their instructor, and concentrate on how to coordinate their bodies and minds.
Once they’ve done this, 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 actually help your child 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 (see Reason #1).
With this improved focus, our students become more “indistractable”- they have better hand-eye coordination and sharper attention spans, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can concentrate on the tasks at hand. Improved focus means improved listening, so the information is “sticking” better, and completing 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 really does work!
Reason #3: Martial Arts is an after school program that builds confidence
Believe it or not, sometimes your child’s 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 can be challenging 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 kids stay focused on their own progress and their own growth. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game… but to the previous versions of themselves in order to progress and achieve. In this way, our students can continually 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.
Additionally, 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 for 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 can be very gratifying and even start a lifelong path of confidence and happiness.
Reason #4: Our martial arts instructors are positive role models for kids
Most after school programs are about an end result- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. But martial arts for kids is different. Achieving a new belt rank (“winning”) is not our sole focus. Remember how martial arts is a tool for self development? Pairing that with the individual nature of the sport (individual sport in a group setting), our instructors are able to take the time to hone in on each student and help them with their own unique journey. Our instructors then become positive role models to our students, bonding with the kids and nurturing them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
The great thing about martial arts as a whole 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 show our students how to get back up when they’ve been knocked down, always stay humble no matter how far they progress, and how valuable personal development and a commitment to growth can be. Those deeper lessons just aren’t as common in other after school program.
Reason #5: It’s just FUN!
This one’s a no-brainer – martial arts for kids is just FUN! Our awesome instructors make each after school lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are centered around non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep our kids engaged and learning and sprinkle fun games into the mix to add an element of surprise.
Games and activities not only help the kids stay engaged with our lessons, but they also help our students make the connection that physical fitness and movement are sources of positive emotion, a connection that will service them for the rest of their lives. All of this focus on fun is also how our instructors manage 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!