Martial arts training can lead to a number of benefits for children, including a boost in confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, karate, tae kwon do or jiu jitsu lessons can help kids defend themselves against verbal or physical bullying.
While some parents may be resistant to enroll their children in martial arts classes because they think it teaches them to fight, the training gives kids the ability to fend off bullies without resulting in a fist fight, according to an article in The Sioux City Journal. Many schools have zero-tolerance policies for hitting and kicking, and some programs aim to teach kids self-defense that does not violate school rules.
In fact, jiu jitsu involves joint locks and choke holds instead of kicking and punching. If kids resort to standing up to bullying by hitting the culprit, they could end up in trouble. Martial arts training gives children true confidence, which can help kids avoid being the target of bullying. Bullies will not go after other students who radiate confidence. Learning martial arts techniques can give kids the ability to handle situations verbally before they result in violence.
Bully Proof is a national program that teaches kids to manage situations without using physical force by applying confidence and discipline. Since many students have been the victims of physical or verbal bullying, these techniques can ensure children can protect themselves. The program involves the kids detailing incidents of bullying they have witnessed at school and explaining how those situations could have been handled.
Benefits of martial arts extend beyond confidence
In addition to heightened self-esteem, martial arts training can help children learn the power of respect and discipline. Respect is the top priority for students before they start learning any kicks or punches.
"Respect comes before anything physical, before learning techniques," Nick Rogers, a professional mixed martial arts fighter involved with Bully Proof, told The Sioux City Register. "I think respect is lacking in society today. Respect for parents, elders, law enforcement and each other."
Self-discipline is a significant focus in martial arts training. Children who get involved with karate or jiu jit su at a young age can improve socialization by meeting new friends. Martial arts is valuable for a child's development.