8 Benefits of Karate For Kids
Posted: March 07, 2022
Are you considering signing your child up for karate? Are you wondering if it’s worth your time?
After all, with so activity choices on the menu such as sports, socializing, and after-school clubs, you may be unsure about the time commitment involved in karate instruction.
What many don’t understand is that karate is much more than just an activity. It’s truly a way of life that emphasizes certain abilities and character traits.
Here are some of the long-term benefits your child will reap from karate classes.
The technique of karate requires careful practice. Children must repeat the same moves over and over to hone their skills. This practice and repetition develop self-discipline which your child can then apply to other areas of life. Whether it’s mastery of a difficult math concept or a leading role in her school play, your child will learn that nothing of value comes to her except through sustained effort. Self-discipline is a way of life that encompasses academics as well as social and family life throughout the life span.
Unlike team sports which are typically only offered during a brief season, your child has the opportunity to build his karate skills all year round. This consistency allows him to develop these skills much faster than he would otherwise.
In karate, children set personal goals that they work towards consistently. They are always working on their progression to the next belt (level). They witness their class members’ advancement by completing various tests, and this gives them a compelling and concrete goal to strive towards.
In the process of advancing through the different belt levels, children often push themselves beyond their physical limits. The experience of sweating, panting, and struggling on the path to achievement helps them understand the importance of working hard. These physical challenges are excellent preparation for the many situations in life when they must persist beyond their comfort zone in order to succeed.
This is the most obvious benefit, but it is a significant one. As a parent, you always want to keep your children safe. However, this is not always possible on the playground, the bus stop, or the locker room. Children often feel helpless as bullying has become an increasingly common occurrence in the course of daily life. Karate instruction gives you peace of mind in knowing that they have the ability to stand up for themselves when necessary. They learn the exact set of self-defensive skills to employ in a variety of situations, so they will be prepared for anything. There’s no need to worry that your children will pick fights once they’ve learned self-defense; one of the foundational philosophies of karate is not to attack first.
A Way To Channel Energy
Rest assured, karate does not encourage violence or develop aggressive ways to deal with problems. But the truth is, children, do experience feelings of anger or frustration for which few acceptable outlets exist. Energetic or sensitive children may get into trouble at school because they find it hard to sit still, or because they allow their emotions to get the better of them. Through practicing kicks and punches in a safe environment, children can get those strong feelings and energy out of their system. Better than that, it also trains them how to manage their high energy and strong emotions, rather than just stuffing them or overreacting.
Obesity is on the rise among children, and this can lead to an array of health problems for your child later in life. The best thing you can do for their long-term health is to keep them physically active. By participating in karate for three hours a week, a child meets the full recommendation of the US Department of Health and Human Services for physical activity. It also fosters lifelong healthy habits in your children. They develop a routine of consuming nutritious food and getting plenty of exercise. As they get older, these habits will make them healthier adults who know how to make good choices.
If your child struggles with hand-eye coordination or clumsiness, karate can restore some of her feelings of competency by teaching her spatial awareness. This means she is familiar with her body as it relates to the surrounding space. The child must maintain the same position for several seconds at a time, a practice that makes him more in-tune with his body and muscles. Ultimately, this helps children improve their fine motor skills, giving them a boost in activities like writing or driving later on.
Even more importantly, children learn the power that the mind has over the body. They don’t have to be imprisoned by physical limitations. They can overcome these challenges through concentration, focus, and determination.
Learning the movements at each level of karate instruction requires incredible focus and concentration. Kids have to pay close attention to the activity for a sustained amount of time. Whenever their attention drifts, the instructor calls them to a reset by asking them to take the “ready stance.” Over time, your child will develop habits of concentration that make it easier for her to pay attention in the classroom and at home. This will enhance her academic achievement and later job success.
Of course, building up your child’s attention span won’t happen right away. It can take years of sustained practice.
Learning karate is an empowering experience for your child. No longer must he passively accept the poor treatment of himself or others; he now knows that he can stand up for himself. This knowledge makes a huge difference to a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Most empowering of all is the knowledge that this ability has nothing to do with physical size. Karate gives children the mental toughness to stand up to people who are physically much bigger than they are. Everything your child needs to defend herself is within her. This is a valuable confidence-booster that can last her whole life long.
Are you ready to get your child started on a lifetime of success and well-being? Contact us to get started today.