5 Ways Martial Arts Will Help Your Child

Martial arts isn't all about kicking and punching. Violent TV shows and movies might be responsible for some of the bad rap that the sport gets; in reality, martial arts
will help your child much more than it will hurt.

Whether your kid is bursting with energy or shy in most social situations, martial arts can go a long way toward developing qualities and habits in your young ones that can last a lifetime.

Fitness

It's no secret that obesity is a problem for our youth. The problem most parents come across is finding an activity—beyond video games or television—that their children are excited about. Martial arts can provide the outlet your child will look forward to. Signing up for three or four classes a week can develop lifelong habits that'll keep him or her fit and healthy—just ask Bruce Lee.

More: How to Use ACTIVEkids

Discipline

Children today are used to instant gratification, and teaching self-restraint is often a challenge for parents. No matter which martial art you choose, one of the central tenets will be a focus on self-discipline, which is important for developing a strong work ethic and the skills needed to avoid physical confrontations.

Hand-Eye Coordination

All that kicking, punching, and blocking won't just burn up a lot of energy—it will also help to develop your child's coordination. Balance, agility, and focus are all requirements of a martial arts student—and the benefits will transfer to other areas of your child's life.

More: 4 Ways to Get the Most Out of ACTIVEkids

Self Confidence

Many martial arts classes invite all age groups, sometimes even adults. If your child is shy or timid around older children, martial arts classes can instill confidence that will benefit him or her well into their adult lives. They will learn how to respect themselves and their peers, and that the size and shape of the person isn't as important as what's on the inside.

Learning to Relax and Breathe

In today's busy world, it can be tough to relax. The key to most relaxation techniques—just as it's the number one focus of martial arts—is learning how to control your breathing. And if you're child can learn how to breathe correctly during physical exertion and under the pressure of competition, relaxing the mind and body in other aspects of his or her life will be a cinch.

More: Downloadable Coloring Books for Your Child

Active logoFind an activity for your child

About the Author

Marc Lindsay

Marc Lindsay is the Cycling Editor at Active.com. When he's not at work, you can find him riding his bike. That is seriously all he does.

Marc Lindsay is the Cycling Editor at Active.com. When he's not at work, you can find him riding his bike. That is seriously all he does.

Discuss This Article