Is Karate right for my child?
Self-defense is often the first reason parents enroll their children. In Karate, it should be their last. Martial Arts training is more than a course in kicking and punching. It promotes self-confidence, assertiveness, goal orientation, calmness, and concentration. Yes, it can bully-proof a child, but it will teach the child a responsibility for his newfound skills.
Ernest Hemingway said “That courage is grace under pressure”. Martial Arts teach such grace. The format is simple: apply a small amount of pressure, teach the student how to handle it, and then apply a little more and so on.
Most beginners as taut as bow strings. They flinch at each yell, and close their eyes or turn away at each punch. As the weeks pass, they learn to face such things calmly. This new grace benefits students in ways that extend the Karate School. Parents often notice changes in their children. Martial Arts is a practical course in assertive training. Standing up to an artificial display of aggression makes other encounters seem easy by comparison.
Parent s will find that karate promotes achievement orientation. A good Martial Arts studio is full of positive role models. You find kids who have memorized hundreds of moves. Martial Arts studios are places where extraordinary people are ordinary people who display extraordinary determination. Children exposed to this type of determination have a greater chance of incorporating this attitude into their own personality.
A distinct advantage of Karate over team sports is that every child can participate. Unlink team sports where a youngster may not make the cut or ends up on the bench, Karate lets everyone perform to his or her highest level. It can satisfy a child’s need to belong. Close relationships are formed. A student develops a special attachment to the class that gives the feeling of being unique and part of something out of the ordinary. The feeling of belonging is added insurance against children becoming involved in negative activities.
Children in Karate classes are often leaders in their peer group because of their assertive training. They have an investment in their value system which is essential.
Karate lessons may help children study. Concentration is definitely a by-product of karate training. Movements against an imaginary opponent are a lesson in self-control. Just keeping a 6 year olds’ attention for one hour is a class in concentration.
Karate is goal orientated. Karate offers clear bench marks of progress that are not found in many modern day activities.