The reason why Martial Arts is a beloved art form and way of life is because of the beautiful paradox that it presents. Martial arts is all about learning to fight so that you don’t have to.
Yes, it is true. The main and most crucial lesson that Martial Arts teaches is for one to know how to master his or her own self. It’s about being able to discipline yourself and not giving in to your basic, primal instinct to fight or inflict violence.
This is why Martial Arts is especially beneficial to be taught to children, most ideally at a very young age so that the values and character will be instilled in them early on.
Does Martial Arts Make Kids Prone to Violence?
Let it be known that all kids are playful and have a tendency to engage in playful banter every once in a while. Whether at home with their siblings, in the streets with playmates, or in the classroom or playground with their schoolmates.
And chances are, they will playfully punch or kick each other not because they are inherently violent, but because it’s part of a child’s locomotive development to move these bodily parts in a way that can inadvertently hurt other children.
This is especially why Martial Arts is very helpful to be taught to kids at such a young age. Training - specifically with a Sensei or Master - will help direct the child’s excess energy into a more positive way.
Kids who are enrolled in Martial arts are more poised, collected and careful with their actions and gestures, unlike unruly kids who just go about with their day, flailing their hands and feet carelessly.
This is because Martial Arts teaches students perseverance, obedience, self-control, respect, and discipline.
By virtue, all forms of Martial Arts are founded on principles that promote and adhere to respect, loyalty, dignity, discipline, and honor. It is the gentle nature of Martial Arts coupled with the ferocity of battle that creates this careful balance that grows inside every martial artist or student.
Martial Arts Training Fits Every Child’s Personality Type
Because Martial Arts is a person’s journey to perfect his or her own character, there isn’t a personality that best suits training. It can be applicable to all types of personalities since you are not conforming to any personality archetype apart from your own.
Martial Arts can be as beneficial to aggressive or rambunctious children as they are to quite and shy ones. Across the board, classes are strict. Students are trained to respect their masters. They have to learn to be still and patient, and this produces perseverance and self-restraint on the primal level.
Self -control is best applied to aggressive children who tend to bully others or dominate in a particular circle. They are taught to be sensitive, obedient, and respectful of others. Because Martial arts teaches a student how to develop a strong, inner self-confidence, students who are normally loud and boisterous learn how to be quietly confident and not express themselves through physical violence or prove themselves through battle.
On the other hand, more introverted kids learn to express themselves more extrovertedly through socializing with other kids, conversing with confident, and even improving their posture.
Other Life Lessons Kids Get from Martial Arts
Children can learn a great deal more about life and the world from Martial Arts. This way, they will be engaged more with the community and not just focus on learnings that benefit them personally.
Apart from being physically active, burning off energy and staying healthy, which are the obvious benefits, Martial Arts also teaches children to relate more with others in their environment. They don’t become what most kids are nowadays, which are sheltered, over-protected, and lack exposure to the real world. All these other kids do are play video games and stay indoors. This is not a healthy approach to life. Not at all.
Martial Arts also allows children to learn the value of togetherness and learning from others in their community. When in class, students can see the strength of others and learn a great deal about healthy competition without the perils of comparison. Each has his own strength to be nurtured.
So the belief that teaching children martial arts produces a violent nature in them is contrary to what is the real experience of Martial Arts students. The idea that Martial Arts causes aggression and pushes kids to be physically violent is a grave misconception.
Hopefully, we can spread real awareness about this common misunderstanding and help more parents realize the virtue of enrolling their children in Martial Arts.
The tremendous benefits listed above are more than enough reasons to encourage Martial Arts at a young age. Not only are they doing something productive and meaningful, but they are also becoming part of the solution in society rather than the problem.