As someone who has trained for over 25 years in Martial Arts, I can tell you with certainty that starting young was crucial for my development as an adult. Studying with some great teachers; who later became some truly great friends and co-workers, I found myself more focused and determined to succeed in my life as an adult.
Martial Arts may not be for everyone, but I will always encourage someone to at least try and see if they like it. As a youngster, my parents were not keen on the idea of me starting Martial Arts because of what they saw in movies at the time. Finally after badgering them for what seemed like years they let me try it. It took one class to hook me, and one conversation with he instructors to ease my parents mind.
To this day it was one of the best choices they could have made for me.
Here are our top six reasons every parent should consider starting Martial Arts for their children.
Arguably the number one reason to start Martial Arts is being able to defend yourself if placed in a certain situation. This is one of our main priorities at Affinity Martial Arts. We believe every child should know how to understand and read a situation that may endanger his or her safety. A big element we stress is you don’t always need fists, but to be vocal and work out a situation. However, if placed in a circumstance we want our young ones to be able to defend and react the way they should.
Training not only helps us understand this, but it also helps the child create reflexes and confidences to stand up for themselves.
It never stops amazing me to see a child first come in very timid and within days/weeks is running into the school to get on the mats. As each student progresses (at their own pace) and starts remembering how to do certain drills we can see their confidence start growing because they are believing more in themselves. Which then translates to other aspects of their young lives like at home and their school life. As an instructor for many, many years, that is one of the most rewarding things I get to see.
This was a toss up for number one, but at a strong number three it is without a doubt discipline. Once a child is one our mats we take their behavior very seriously and watch how they interact with fellow students, instructors and their families. Every child that trains with us understands that to be a great martial artist and person we must have discipline and obey not only our rules but their guardians as well.
With discipline comes respect and it goes back to the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. From shaking hands, sitting properly, NOT answering back and helping others in and out of class, children who start young are jump started with this way of thinking.
A great story that happened at the end of last summer is when one of our students ran up to the door, opened it and not only waited for his mom to walk in but also one of his class mates. His mom came over to us and said he never did that before until he started here.
Wearing a belt for some is just a way to hold up your pants, but in a Martial Arts program like ours there is so much that goes into each rank. As a child progresses from white belt to yellow belt the knowledge that they are able to apply in their everyday life both on and off the mats is huge. In a lot of ways it circles back to another reason to start Martial Arts: Confidence. As the student progresses we have them keep their ranks so they can hang them up and visibly see how far they have come.
6. Working together
While typically parents might think Martial Arts is just for boys, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We encourage girls and women of all ages to train and learn how to defend themselves and grow to be the leaders of tomorrow we know they can be. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of sports out there that lets both boys and girls work and play together. In our programs both boys and girls are treated and respected the same way creating an even playing field for growth and personal development.
Thanks for reading!
– Sensei Tim