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Why Teach Martial Arts to Children?

By Dave Kovar

I truly believe that Martial Arts has the answer for nearly every challenge that a child might face. Whether it be bullying, obesity, a short attention span, a lack of athletic skill, low confidence or a poor self-image, martial arts can help. I'm guessing you feel similar.

Although Martial Arts is far more popular than it used to be, I still don't think the general public really understands how great it is for children.

For that, it’s up to us to get the word out and articulate the benefits of Martial Arts for children. Over the next couple of months I'm going to share with you some of the scripts that we use with our team to role-play conversations about the benefits of Martial Arts training. Let's get the word out so a lot more children can benefit from training!

Answering the question, “How Does Martial Arts Develop A Child’s Confidence?”

One of the ways that training in the martial arts helps children to become more confident is by showing them how to set and accomplish short-, medium- and long-term goals. This is done through the progression of belts.  As a child experiences success in training, that success naturally transfers outside the school as well, making them more likely to set and achieve other goals. Remember, success is the backbone of confidence.

Martial Arts training also helps children to face their fears in a safe, nurturing environment. As a child learns to defend themselves, they become less threatened by those around them. Then, instead of sending out signals that say, “I am weak, I'm not sure of myself, I'm a victim,” they start sending out signals that say, “I'm strong, I’m confident, I am a nice person, but don't mess with me.”

And here’s a response to, “Why Martial Arts Is Good For Shy Kids?”

For many children, Martial Arts is the perfect activity to help shy children come out of their shells. It starts with small things like learning to look people in the eye, learning to stand straight and speak clearly. Eventually, children progress to more advanced movements. As they begin expressing themselves physically on the mat and become more outgoing in class, it automatically carries over into other areas of their life. 

When someone asks, “Is Martial Arts Is Good For Children Who Are Being Bullied?”

Very few things can benefit a child who is being bullied more than Martial Arts. That’s not just because they learn how to defend themselves (although that is important) but also because a child who trains in the Martial Arts learns how to project real confidence, making them far less likely to be a victim. We call it, “Practice the fight so that you don't have to.”

“But is Martial Arts Good for Children Who Bully Others?”

Contrary to what most people think, kids who bully benefit dramatically from martial arts training. Martial Arts training gives a child with bullying tendencies a healthy way to deal with their stress. It will improve their confidence and as their confidence improves, so does their self-image.  This makes them less likely to feel the need to tear others down. Finally, although Martial Arts teaches potentially dangerous techniques, it puts a larger emphasis on the importance of respect and courtesy.

“Do You Recommend Martial Arts For Girls?”

A common misconception is that Martial Arts training is primarily for boys. However, the reality is that nearly half of all children training in martial arts are girls. Girls tend to learn martial arts extremely fast and martial arts is one of the few sports where both boys and girls can play and train together.  It is a sad fact of life that girls and women are often the targets of criminals because they are thought to be weak and defenseless.  Martial arts training gives girls the tools and confidence to avoid potential attacks and defend themselves if necessary.

Martial Arts also gives brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn from one another too.

There are plenty of other benefits that children can receive from training in the Martial Arts, but hopefully you have found these valuable. Of course you don't have to repeat the scripts literally, but they can be a great place to start. The idea is to memorize the ideas, personalize them to fit you, and finally to internalize them so that you can call upon them anytime you need them. For more like this, see related documents in the Kovar's Resource Library (full of hundreds of documents and videos).


Why Everyone Should Train MA ebook


The benefits of training in martial arts go way beyond self-defense. It can help in nearly every aspect of one’s life. This e-book lists seven reasons why everyone should train martial arts.  Click here to download for free.

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by Dave Kovar