Why Martial Arts Cooaching Is The Best Sport For Young Children
When we suggest Martial Arts as an option to families this is sometimes met with reluctance due to conations with violence and other concerns. Through this article we aim to first give an understanding of Martial Arts as a development tool for children.
Understanding Martial Arts Coaching For Kids
Before diving into Martial Arts classes it is a good idea to gain an understanding of the main martial arts styles:
String and Stand Up Styles: This style of martial arts involves both opponents being on their feet with punching, kicking, blocking, knees and elbows being used against one’s opponent. SOme examples of stand up martial arts are boxing, karate, Taekwando and Muay Thai.
Grappling and Floor Fighting Styles: This style of martial arts involves grappling and ground fighting. The main objective of this style of martial arts is to bring the opponent to the floor, establish a dominant position and eventually achieve a submission. Some of the disciplines involved in this style of martial arts are Brazilian jiu jitsu and wrestling.
Throwing and Takedown Styles: In this style of martial arts the objective is for martial artists to bring their opponent to the ground from a standing start position. This form of martial arts does have some overlap with the previously mentioned grappling and floor fighting styles although in throwdown styles the focus is more based around trying to takedown the opponent rather than focussing on submission. Two popular types of takedown style martial arts are judo and aikido.
Meditative and Low Impact Styles: These style of martial arts are less combative and focus more on the spirituality, meditative and fitness aspects of the sport. As such these style of martial arts are much low impact and includes disciplines of martial arts such as Thai Chi.
Mixed Martial Arts- this provides a combination of all aspects of martial arts where a blend of all of the above martial arts styles can be used to defeat one’s opponent.
Which Type of Kids Martial Arts Academy Will Be Best For My Child?
Having read the above if you are unsure which martial arts discipline might be best for your child then don’t worry, below we look at some of the main disciplines that children’s martial arts training are regularly available in with some of the key benefits and reasons for choosing each one:
Taekwondo is a great sport for the development of key athletic abilities such as flexibility, explosive power and balance. Takwondo places a large emphasis on the importance of kicking so if your child is a keen footballer or demonstrates a lot of leg strength in other activities this could be a good place to start.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a more gentle style of martial arts due to the absence of any form of striking. Of all of the disciplines of martial arts Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often regarded as the activity with the most complexity and as such is a great way for children to help develop their problem solving skills. Due to the nature of Jiu Jitsu the sport involves negotiating a variety of body positions whilst trying to gain control of the opponent without letting them become more dominant.
Through this discipline of martial arts children learn to develop self control as sparring is done lightly and intentionally. Central to Muai Thai is the notion of individual goal setting which helps children learn how to internally motivate themselves which is a great attribute to help your children maximize their potential not only in the context of sport but also academically and personally as well.
In martial arts circles wrestling is generally considered as the most physically demanding discipline. As such giving your children the opportunity to experience wrestling will give them the opportunity to develop unmatched levels of strength as well as physical and mental conditioning.
Mixed Martial Arts
If you are looking for your child to develop into a well rounded martial artist and are keen to get your children involved for the purposes of developing self defense skills then children’s MMA classes could be a good an appropriate place to start. Through these classes children will learn a whole variety of techniques to be used on the ground and also standing up.
The children’s martial arts classes that we offer at Kidster are primarily focussed on Karate although elements of the other aspects of the sport are also introduced to help our children to become well rounded martial artists.
The Martial Arts Belt System
Central to all martial arts is the belt system which offers a tiered ability system for children to progress through. Here are the belts in order of progression:
As children progress through the belts the complexity of the movements and skills being taught come increasingly more challenging.
The Benefits Of Kids Martial Arts Classes
Lets now look at each of these benefits of martial arts in turn now:
Builds Self Esteem
In its nature the practice of martial arts introduces very challenging situations. During children’s martial arts classes your child will learn to deal with adversity and threatening situations. The coping strategies and techniques that are used to deal with these situations help children to build a tool kit that allows them to deal with the challenges of real life more comfortably.
Increased Natural Athletic Ability
Martial arts training for kids helps to develop a variety of transferrable skills that can easily be applied to other sports and ensure that your child becomes a well rounded athlete. Martial arts helps to develop flexibility, balance, accuracy, power, endurance and mental toughness so as such can be argued to develop a broader skill set than any other sport.
The Development Of Respect
Although martial arts is a combat sport central to concept of all martial arts disciplines is the development of respect for the instructor, other students and oneself. Contrary to popular belief martial arts stresses the importance of balance, calm and measured actions so actually reduces the chances of your child reacting violently if things don’t go their way.
A Full Body Workout
Martial arts is one of few sports that uses all muscles within the body and places a strong emphasis on a blend of flexibility, power and endurance. At the end of a martial arts training session children will have likely stretched and strengthen all of the major muscles in the legs, trunk and upper body helping your child to become a well rounded athlete.
Internal and Outcome Based Goal Achievement
Due to the previously discussed belt system Kids Martial Arts Training provides a structure where children learn to strive for external goals. This is blended with the cultivation of internal motivation where the coach teaches children about the pursuit of skill mastery and makes the process of learning become the goal. This approach is applicable to other sports but also other elements of life like academics, business and personal endeavours.
Through Martial Arts children are taught the key principles of self defense. The first principle here is to avoid violent conflict at all costs which will help your child to steer clear of trouble 99% of the time. In the unlikely event that your child is in a situation where they need to defend themselves they will be well equipped to do so with a variety of techniques to get out of a potentially dangerous or threatening situation.
Promotes Positive Interaction With Peers
Martial Arts classes involve a lot of pair and group activities where children have to interact support and co operate with each other often in close quarters. Learning how to work closely with others and how to conduct oneself in a group is a key part of all children’s development journey and all forms of martial arts can help children to do just that.
Increased Focussing and Concentration Abilities
All martial arts disciplines involve the repetition of certain movements until they are perfected. As a result of this this can teach children to stay on task and show perseverance on a singular area of focus for large chunks of time at a time whilst of the mat. Martial Arts instructors further increase this emphasis on concentration by employing repetitive instruction techniques. If your child suffers for ADHD martial arts can offer a stimulating and fun avenue to minimize the effects of this condition and help children to be less distracted both in the classroom and at home.
Less Outbursts At Home
A key feature of Martial Arts is to control one’s emotions and apply force in a controlled way when necessary. Martial Arts incorporates breathing techniques similar to those used in meditation that can help bring children back to the present moment and observe their feelings rather than react to them. This decreases the tendency of young children to be reactive when things don’t go there way and can help children to keep their emotions under control both at school and at home.
The Core Areas Of Our Kids Martial Arts Classes
Now based on the above section I’m sure you’ll agree that Martial Arts has so much to offer for your child both in terms of psychological and physical benefits. The rest of this article focusses on the basic techniques that children should develop, these skills are largely transferrable to other facets of martial arts should your child choose to pursue one of the other disciplines further. The beauty of these exercises is that they can all be performed at home with parent and child and give your child a big head start in their martial arts journey.
Striking and Blocking Principles
Balance and Centre Of Gravity- In order for striking movements to be accurate and hit the desired target it is essential that the centre of gravity of the martial artist remains aligned throughout the movement in order for movements to be executed with goof form. In addition to this children must learn the trade off between adopting a wider base that lowers the centre of gravity and allows for more power compared with a narrower stance which allows for faster movement and successfully identify that right moments to employ both stances.
Power and Speed- The development of powerful striking techniques involves the use of the whole body. As with the majority of sports the way to maximize the effectiveness of movements is to utilize an effective kinetic chain with power being transferred from the ground up into the core of the body before finally a snapping movement of the striking limb. In addition to this marital arts classes help children to understand the difference between power (force and speed) and strength. In martial arts striking movements must be applied at speed and as such children learn the importance of this functional style of movement which is so applicable to other racquet and kicking sports.
Rhythm and Timing- Martial arts often involves the linking together of a series of movements, that speed at which these movements are performed and the way in which they are smoothly linked together is an feature of all good martial artists. As well as being able to perform movements at the right time and smoothly children should learn the right moment to execute these movements in order for the kick or punch to be successful.
Throwing and Takedowns
The main premise behind all martial arts takedown techniques is the goal of moving your opponents centre of mass away from its supports (legs) or moving your opponents supports away from your centre of mass. As children become more accomplished with takedown techniques they can begin to apply the basic laws of physics to understand how pivots, levers and forces affects their ability to takedown an opponent.
Matching Your Strengths To Your Opponents Weaknesses: When grappling children quickly learn to use the strongest parts of their body against weaker parts of the opponents body as a means of gaining a dominant position. This technique is one of the primary reason why stronger athletes can be defeated by more accomplished martial artists.
Using Your Opponents Force Against Them: There is a fabled story in the more low intensity styles of martial arts that an old man is able to defeat a much stronger opponent by using his opponents force against him, sometimes this will involve “being like water” and not resisting the movements of your opponents initially before redirecting that force to gain a more dominant position.
How To Find A Martial Arts Academy Near Me?
Martial Arts is a great sport to get your child involved with for numerous physiological, social and psychological reasons. If you would like to get your child involved in Martial Arts Coaching then why not take a 30 Day Free Trial of unlimited coaching sessions as part of the Kids DXB Kidster program. This unique service will give your child unlimited access to sports coaching in 8 different sports martial arts included!