With the days getting shorter and the nights darker it's time to think about an indoor activity that's fun exciting and where your kids will learn something new and make friends of their age.
Why should parents enrol their kids in a Martial Arts class?
Whatever the temperament of your child, martial arts can help to teach them important life lessons.
Many parents think that Martial art classes are about kicking, punching and fighting; in reality martial art instructors teach children how to avoid conflict, learn self defence and improve their physical fitness. Martial arts is particularly beneficial as it can aid physical, spiritual and mental development.
For aggressive children martial arts can be used as a tool to manage their temper and learn respect in all aspects of their lives.
Martial Arts classes improve children's confidence
Many other circumstances such as bullying and illness can cause children to suffer from a loss of confidence. This loss of confidence can be very difficult to treat; however, many parents have found that martial art training can help re-build a child's confidence.
Martial Art classes: the fun way to keep fit
With schools cutting back on their physical education classes, children may not be getting enough physical exercise at school. Figures indicate that more than a third of teachers reported a reduction in the amount of time set aside for PE and extra-curricular activities over the last two years.*
Help your child fight obesity
With an increasing number of children being overweight, Martial Arts classes are the ideal way for parents to help reduce obesity in children by keeping them active and moving. As well as this it can help to teach respect for your child's own body.
Help your child to learn how to focus
Today everybody's lives are filled with distractions- the internet is one of the many challenges that parents face.
Children now have an array of gadgets at home; being constantly 'plugged in' can have a negative effect on a child's ability to focus.
Children attending martial arts classes learn to focus and concentrate. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged, and focused.
Learning to overcome adversity
Martial arts classes teach children how to take the knocks and get back up fighting. Parents understand that life is not a bunch of roses. Everyday we struggle taking the hits and disappointments in life. The key is in learning how best to take that hit and get back up. Getting back up is the hard part. Learning how to respond, manoeuvre, and anticipate is the key to success.
Ironically, for children encountering how to take a hit and respond appropriately is perhaps the best way for children to learn.
Teach your child respect
Respect is a word used widely in martial arts clubs; if you don't respect an opponent you are likely to be out manoeuvred and lose a fight. Martial arts teaches children the value of respecting other people and earns respect. This is formative stuff which can have a long term beneficial effect of the success of children as they progress through their lives.
Self defence training for children
Most martial art teaching revolves around avoiding conflict, walking away from a fight and recognising situations before they become a problem. Most self defence training is theoretical and is taught in a classroom; it teaches students how to avoid conflict and bullying.
Why parents and families should enrol
Everybody can get something out of joining a martial arts club. Importantly for children it shows support, fun and gives a sense of worth within a community. Many clubs offer special incentives for families to join.
At what age can I send my kids to a club?
Martial Art classes start from four to six years (depending on the club) with classes for children after school or at weekends and during school holidays.
What type of Martial Art class is best?
The short answer is any. For a typical six or eight year old the point is to learnt he basics and get them moving and focused. The key to choosing a club or martial arts teacher to suit you is to fix up a visit and see how your children get on with the school and their instructors.
Contact the local martial arts club and arrange a visit. There are lots of martial arts clubs listed on the Martial Arts Near You website there's bound to be one close by.
When you visit a club ask other children and parents about the classes and tuition and check they have the necessary qualifications, checks and valid insurance.
* The Smith Institute surveyed more than 1,000 teachers and school sport officials as part of the 2013 report.
Click the link below to find a Martial Arts for you child.