Martial arts helps children develop ‘grit’

May 3, 2014

Grit gives individuals a boost of confidence to conquer any challenge.

The term “grit” is becoming a buzzword. It means having the strength, drive and character to conquer anything – in school, sports and beyond. Children have grit when they pick themselves up after falling or overcome a struggle. Kids don’t develop this quality by succeeding, but by failing.

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said grit is critical for a child to successfully reach his or her full potential, according to Scholastic. Intelligence, skills and grade do matter, but walking around with strength and determination will allow a child to not only succeed, but soar.

Duckworth suggested putting a challenge in front of a child. He or she will have the opportunity to triumph over a difficult circumstance, which will foster confidence in her or his ability to overcome anything.

Place a child in a martial arts class, and they probably won’t grasp a movement right away. However, with a little bit of persistence, effort and sweat, he or she will catch on. That’s what builds grit – the motivation to keep going and striving even when things get difficult.