Are you thinking about putting your child into a martial arts class?
Not sure what it will involve?
There is a misconception that martial arts teach people to be violent, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, people who train martial arts are some of the most humble, calm and controlled people you’ll ever meet.
This is just one reason why more than 6 million children in the US train martial arts.
Read on to find out why training martial arts for kids is a great idea.
The Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
Here we go!
1. They’ll Learn Respect
No matter which martial art your kid chooses to learn, you can be sure that they’ll learn to be respectful.
Respecting your teacher is integral to martial arts. This is particularly true for Muay Thai, which has strong cultural roots.
In Muay Thai, students are required to show respect by bowing to their teacher in what is called a ‘wai’. Traditionally, this is even done to equipment like a punching bag before striking it, as it is considered to be a form of teacher.
In that same vein, it’s considered disrespectful to mistreat equipment like gloves and pads by throwing the on the floor.
Before fights, fighters perform a ritual known as the ‘wai kru ram muay‘ to show respect to their teacher and country and bow to their opponents before and after.
2. They’ll Learn Self-Control
As well as respecting your teacher, it’s also important to respect your teammates.
While martial arts generally involve punching, kicking and throwing, classes are controlled environments and instructors pay close attention to members to make sure they do it in a safe way.
Others in the class are seen as partners rather than opponents, and by working together by sparring, they’re helping each other.
In any good martial arts gym, sparring is light and technical, and it’s unacceptable to try to hurt your training partners.
If participants begin to hit too hard, instructors will de-escalate the situation and separate people if necessary. Over time, they learn to control their movements so as not to hurt each other.
3. They’ll Work in a Team
While martial arts are generally not team sports as they are performed alone in competition, training involves a lot of teamwork.
When martial artists train together, they get a strong sense of camaraderie and form bonds as training partners.
If your child enrolls in a class, this is something they’ll benefit greatly from.
They’ll also make lots of new friends.
4. They’ll Develop Confidence
One of the main benefits of learning a martial arts is that it builds confidence.
When you first walk into a gym and it’s all new to you, you may feel insecure and unsure of yourself. However, as you learn new skills and see that your body is capable of doing much more than you realized, you can’t help but become more confident.
Martial arts gyms are environments of support, respect, and acceptance, where people build each other up.
If your child struggles with self-esteem, it’s a great idea to put them in a martial arts class.
People often start martial arts just as a way to keep fit, but eventually go on to compete because they feel so empowered.
This was the case for Muay Thai world champion Melissa Ray, who started Muay Thai to lose weight and went on to win multiple world titles.
5. They’ll Learn Discipline
In order to develop any skill, discipline is required.
People who train martial arts know that they have to form good habits and maintain discipline in order to thrive in their sport.
Whether their goal is to work up a ranking system and do grading for a belt, to compete, or just to get better, they have to use discipline to achieve it.
If they start skipping class, they’ll lose an opportunity to improve as well as let their training partners down.
Not only this, but if your child finds a martial art they love, they’ll enjoy class so much that they won’t want to miss it.
If they eventually choose to compete, an even higher level of discipline is required. Training will be more intensive, and since martial arts are generally weight class sports, they’ll have to take control of their eating habits as well.
6. They’ll Be Active and Healthy
One huge benefit of any sport for your child is that they’ll keep active.
In a time when more and more children are glued to mobile devices and addicted to sugary treats, this is more important than ever.
If you’re a parent who’s concerned about your child’s health or level of physical activity, enrolling them in a martial arts program is a great way to counteract that.
Martial arts classes can burn a huge amount of calories. In fact, an adult can burn around 1,000 calories in one Muay Thai session.
Kids can have so much energy that it’s hard to know what to do with it.
If your child is a little hyperactive, martial arts is the perfect way for them to spend their energy. They’ll come home from class completely tired out.
That’s one reason why martial arts for kids is great for parents, too.
7. They’ll Learn Self Defense
While having to use the skills learned in martial arts in a real-life situation is viewed as a last resort, it’s always better to be able to protect and defend yourself than not.
In a martial arts for kids class, your child will learn techniques that can be used if the need to fight arises.
See our post on why everyone should have some self-defense training.
Give It a Try
There are lots more physical, mental and social benefits of training martial arts. Many of these are important for life outside the gym as well as in training.
Read our reviews to see why people love training at OC Muay Thai, and come down to the gym and see for yourself.