Karate for Kids

Childhood is the age at which the mind of the kids is most receptive to learning new things and developing habits and attitude which would stay with them and define them and their actions throughout their life. Karate develops self confidence, co-ordination, balance, physical strength and inculcates the values of discipline, integrity and courtesy, while learning basic self-defense skills at the same time. Children may start karate training as young as 5 years of age.

In today’s increasingly digital world, many kids prefer to play videogames or surf the internet to exercising and participating in indoor extracurricular activities. Martial arts fitness is a great solution to getting child excited about getting out of the house and staying active.

As we all know that children of this age have a great deal of energy, a very short attention span, an ability to learn something new, a love of games and play and varying level of coordination.

Karate for kids is a unique and invaluable process of  physical, intellectual,. emotional and social development, that extends far beyond the learning of self-defense skills. Learning these collective processes early  helps the child develop into a mature, well-rounded and responsible individual.

Karate benefits span a spectrum of physical, intellectual, emotional and social development, all of which are   developed and improved through martial arts training.

Physical benefits

Physical fitness:- Karate is an exercise to bring into balance the mind, body and spirit. Karate Classes usually begin with warm-ups, stretching and breathing followed by intense exercise building strength, flexibility, coordination and strengthens internal organs and immune system of body. Physically active children have fewer chronic health problems than kids who are sedentary. Karate stimulates the natural growth in children, increases the metabolic rate, and provides a way to relieve their tension and stress in a productive way.

Self-Defense: – Self-defense is another physical benefit of learning martial arts. Learning how to protect themselves as kids will help kids stay safe as teenagers, and eventually as adults.

Self-defense is taught not just as defense against others, but also as defense against negative influences in life.

Intellectual benefits

Focus and Concentration:- Karate is based upon acquiring skills by listening, watching and performing intricate movements which involves great deal of focus and concentration along with high level of mind-body coordination. Kids are taught to clear their mind and be ready for an instruction to follow sequential moves at any moment.

Through step by step repetitive movements, personal attention, positive reinforcement, adherence to rules, group reinforcement and a sense of belonging, child improves in his/her ability to focus at tasks given.

Discipline: – Discipline is needed in all aspects of life and at all ages. It imposes order upon our random and chaotic life. It allows children to express their energy in a controlled way, and karate training teaches them to channel their energy by developing keen focus and concentration and teaching them to take accountability for their actions and be responsible for their results.

Young children are often naturally impulsive, which can cause them to make decisions based solely on their emotions. Over time, the disciplined teachings of children’s karate can enable them to make clear and appropriate choices throughout their life.

Listening Skills: – Listening skills is vital to the success of learning martial arts. Children are trained to listen for the commands keenly, follow instructions and react quickly to them. This ability then overflows into other aspects of their life.

Children with special needs, such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), learning difficulties and hyperactivity are often recommended to participate in martial arts for kids because of the clear benefits in its structured training techniques.

Emotional benefits

Goal Achievement: – Students are promoted through a series of belts from white belt to black to signify their improvement.  Promotions occur approx every four to six months after hard practicing of karate moves and technique that really motivate students.

Karate training encourages children to work toward the achievement of a goal. Each child progresses at their own pace, and no one is ever judged in comparison to others. Each child’s accomplishments are celebrated in a way that promotes motivation to achieve more, and recognition of process as part of the achievement. This enables children to learn to exceed their limitations by striving to continually improve themselves by taking one step at a time towards their goal.

Self-esteem:- Belt ranking and award systems are the keys to building self-esteem. When kids earn their belts, it gives them a great sense of accomplishment that really improves the way they feel about themselves. After each belt test, kids receive feedback from the examiners, which includes learning about their strengths and weaknesses and receiving directions for further growth as a martial artist. Additionally, each belt serves as an award for completing a short-term goal, which frees kids mind and helps them focus and interest on completing the next goal.

Social benefits

Leadership: As a culmination of the previous benefits of martial arts – self confidence, self control, discipline, focus and goal achievement – comes Leadership. Karate develops the acute mental focus required for realizing the available options and using them to their optimum utilization at a moment’s notice in every sphere of life. All the above mentioned traits are attributes of a leader.

Karate  is ideal for children who do not do well in team sports, giving them the ability to flourish this activity, while combining physical and mental practices.  Children learn to face challenges in a fun supportive manner not just as an individual but as part of a group.

Respect: – Respect is the key foundation for martial arts training. Martial arts begins with respect and ends with respect. Martial arts class provides an excellent environment for them to    learn self-respect, respect for others, and self discipline. Students are taught to respect their instructors, each other, and themselves.

Respect is often missing in many facets of today’s society and when children are taught lessons about respect it can have a major impact on the future of our world.