5 Reasons to Teach Your Child Martial Arts
With crimes against children, especially the girl child, rising steadily, it is a good idea to begin training your child in the art of self-defence right from an early age.
By Arun Sharma
Teens jump out of moving auto after driver tries to abduct, molest them — The Indian Express (Oct 7, 2017)
Now, class teacher arrested for sexual abuse of 3-year-old — The Times of India (Nov 22, 2017)
These are just two of the numerous headlines appearing in newspapers, not just in India but across the world almost every day. And, the number of incidents that go unreported due to various reasons is believed to be much higher.
While our society discusses ways to make life safer for children, it is a good idea to also teach them self-defence skills like martial arts. Not only do these skills help them protect themselves during times of crisis, but learning martial arts also teaches many life lessons. Here are a few compelling reasons to teach your child self-defence skills:
- Increases alertness: Learning martial arts tunes the mind to stay alert, read the situations and anticipate danger, use strategies to escape harm, and, if need be, inflict damage on another to save oneself. Because of the increased level of alertness, an individual can avoid getting into dangerous situations.
- Helps stay fit: Most martial arts require bringing into action the different muscles of the body. As a result, practising martial arts helps exercise the entire body and tone up the muscles, which helps an individual stay fit. Staying physically fit also decreases the chances of being harmed as no predator likes the idea of attacking someone who is fit and can fight back.
- Increases confidence levels: Having the ability and the skills to counter a threat, and feeling fit and healthy can boost the confidence levels of any child.
- Instils discipline: Learning martial arts requires regular practice, focus and concentration. This helps to instil a sense of self-discipline in the child.
- Teaches to set and achieve goals: In most martial arts, there are different levels of expertise. At each level, the learner is self-motivated to strive to learn the skills necessary to take him to the next level. Doing this teaches him to set and achieve goals.
- Instils a sense of respect: Respect is one of the core values of martial arts. A child who aspires to learn martial arts has to listen to and follow the instructions of his master. Also, while sparring during practice sessions, she has to first greet her opponent and ensure that she doesn’t cause any harm to her. All these helps instil a sense of respect in a child.
- Instils healthy attitude towards work: Learning any martial art requires years of toil and hard work. With every little improvement, the standards are raised higher, and the child will have to work harder than before. This teaches the child to put in hard work and understand never to give up.
- Improves concentration and memory: To accomplish any feat in martial arts, like breaking bricks or kicking an object placed high above, an individual has to focus his mind on the goal to achieve. Also, body movements in martial arts are taught in a certain order and students need to memorise them. Thus, while learning martial arts, the child also learns how to focus his mind on the task at hand and applies his memorisation skills.
Learning martial arts is an effective way for children to not only protect themselves, but also learn other very important life skills. It empowers children and builds their self-esteem, which helps them grow up into mentally tough and confident adults.
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