Children are often attracted to the art of karate because of what they have seen in movies like “Kung Fu Panda” or the “Karate Kid.” The high flying kicks and punches they see onscreen excite them. Parents are often apprehensive about enrolling their kids in a sport that, on the surface, seems to be all about kicking and punching people. However, karate contains an inherent code of conduct that offers many benefits to a young child, not the least of which is a greater sense of self-discipline.
Of all the various martial arts programs that are available to kids, karate is among the best. Motor skills take time to develop, and karate, with its broad, sweeping blocks and kicks, is easier to master for young children than other martial arts. Parents will appreciate the enhanced sense of self-discipline that goes hand in hand with the physical aspects of karate training.
Practice Makes Perfect
Karate, like any martial art, requires hard work to master. While martial arts can be a lot of fun, we demand that our students work and apply themselves to improving as martial artists. The sense of satisfaction children gain from setting and achieving goals in class offers a valuable lesson in self-discipline. In today’s culture of instant gratification, karate helps make kids aware of the potential rewards of sticking to something even when it is difficult.
Respect, Self-control and Self-discipline
In a children’s martial arts program, we practice a culture of respect. That includes respect for our teachers, our fellow students and our selves. One of our ultimate goals is for students to carry that sense of respect with them outside of the karate studio into the world. We have seen that this sense of respect leads to kids developing a better sense of self-discipline in many different aspects of their lives including schoolwork, interactions with peers and even around the house.
Mastery of Technique and Mastery of the Self
As children work to master the techniques taught in martial arts schools, they become more in control of their bodies. Kids who may have been awkward or ungainly before can suddenly move with a grace and ease. Parents of children who might have been overweight see those same kids begin to slim down and move with a newfound lightness and finesse. As children improve and begin to master these karate techniques they often discover a new kind of mastery over themselves. Part of it is physical, but that often carries over into a mental and spiritual awareness of the importance of self-discipline.