With the huge popularity of mixed martial arts tournaments like the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride and K-1 among others, it is not surprising that the number of classes that cater to teaching kids the martial arts is increasing. Yet it is not just the popularity of tournaments that has increased the number of classes available. The focus on health and good social interaction means there is a market out there for extracurricular activities that teach young people how to live healthy and well.
The main benefit that kids martial arts provides is an increase in health and fitness. In North America, with the obesity of children on the rise, having a fun activity that will keep the pounds off is very important. Typically, kids classes are held two or three times a week, for an average of an hour a class. This is a great addition to a child’s gym glass in school, and will also increase their fitness and strength levels. Most classes involve a number of exercises, as well as sparring sessions that use all the muscles in the body.
Children who study martial arts tend to have more self-confidence. Learning techniques that enable them to protect themselves and defeat those bigger and stronger will naturally be a confidence builder. In addition to the self-worth that is created, learning a martial art will put them in with a group of other people doing the same thing and this can help them learn about teamwork, while also sharing experiences with others.
There are problems that sometimes occur when children study and learn martial art techniques. The main one is the misuse of the techniques that they are taught. Most of the classes will have a strong emphasis on only using the teachings being for defense. However, some students may take advantage of the skills they are taught and use them for inciting violence and bullying others. When this happens it casts a negative light on all who train in a martial art and so instructors and parents should ensure that the children in their care do not misuse what they have been taught.
If you decide to let your child study martial arts, then you are giving them the chance to move towards a healthy lifestyle and a more confident outlook on life. As their parent, however, you should stay involved enough to make sure that he or she is moving in the correct direction, and is not misusing the skills that they are being taught. The positives tend to far outweigh the negatives so it is well worth checking classes available for your kids in your area.
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