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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The reasons why people begin studying a martial art are varied. For some it is about learning how to defend oneself from an attack and for others it is about the competitive aspect. And still for others, it is just a fun and interesting way to stay in good shape. When it comes to maintaining good health, participating in martial arts is great because you are able to exercise virtually every muscle in the body. With the current obesity levels in North America, kids classes in martial arts offer an easy way to encourage our youth to exercise.
When you first start learning any of the martial arts, you will usually discover your limitations in terms of flexibility. However, after weeks of regularly stretching as part of each class, and learning different martial art techniques, you will discover improvements in how far you’re able to stretch. This leads to better balance and a lower risk of straining muscles and joints. You will also be making it much easier for blood and nutrients to flow more effectively throughout your body. Your posture will improve, which can reduce problems when you are older, and it will be less likely that you will have lower back pain.
Another obvious benefit that studying one of the martial arts will provide is an increase in your cardiovascular energy levels. This means that your heart will be able to work harder and therefore the chance of developing a heart disease will be lessened. Other risks associated with low cardio lifestyles, like obesity and diabetes, are also minimized by the exercise provided when studying martial arts. Fatigue and shortness of breath are also problems that participation in the fighting arts can help alleviate. Jiu-jitsu books will often mention this increase in health as a benefit to studying jiu-jitsu.
After several weeks of practicing a martial art, you will begin to notice some immediate changes to your body chemistry. The wide range of exercises that martial arts provide will improve the efficiency of your central nervous system and you will notice higher energy levels. Your mood will improve and you will start to feel more self confident, which will continue to help you with your training. You will feel sharper and able to do far more than what you were able to do before, simply from an increase in energy.
If everyone studied a martial art, then there would be a massive drop in the obesity levels currently being seen in North America. If kids classes for martial arts were started in schools, there would be a noticeable change in that the students would be stronger and healthier, and they would feel better about themselves mentally. Taking care of your mind and body is essential for a healthy life and one way to do so is through the study of martial arts.
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