Martial arts classes like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo and Jujitsu promote socialization, concentration, self-discipline and fitness. Participating kids of all ages learn a wealth of vital skills, and when parents team up with their children, they demonstrate the importance of these benefits through support and encouragement. Parents can impact and encourage positive behaviors in preschool and kindergarten aged children through participation in these activities.
The busy lifestyle of many families today leaves little time for serious family bonding. Often this occurs for five minutes in the car on the way to school or a few minutes in the kitchen at night over a quick dinner. Taking a parent/child martial arts class together will give parents an opportunity to play and learn side-by-side with their children, creating a unique bond and developing a connection that they can share together for years to come.
Participating in martial arts is a great way to promote physical fitness for the entire family. Practice builds strength and increases flexibility. Practice together in class, and set aside some time to practice together at home. Families may not always feel like they have the time available to work out, but scheduling the time for a weekly or twice-weekly class together will help get everyone moving. Participating in the martial arts is also a good way to encourage physical fitness in children who don't particularly like traditional sports; it involves less cardio activity, but more concentration and strength.
Martial arts classes build confidence in several ways. Classes are structured with both long term goals and short term goals. As parents and children learn to overcome obstacles and reach their goals, they become more confident in themselves. Additionally, the teamwork and socialization involved encourages family members to take pride in themselves and to respect others, which creates a self-confidence that will carry through into other aspects of daily life, including school and other extracurricular activities.
Self-defense is an important skill for both parents and children to have. While some critics claim that martial arts encourages fighting, more often, people who are equipped with the ability to defend themselves are less likely to become violent. When a child knows he can defend himself if necessary, he is better equipped to handle difficult or dangerous situations. Parents might find some comfort knowing that if their child is the victim of bullying or another act of violence, he will be better prepared to handle himself.