Parents Guide To Kids Martial Arts
Every martial arts academy has a pitch for children: it usually involves self-confidence and discipline, and often sounds contrived. However, the reality is that children who are put into martial arts programmes often do experience these benefits, and more. Sometimes parents express the worry that a child who is put into a martial arts program will begin to become violent, or may begin to bully other children, but this is very rarely the case, and it is almost never the case when the child is put into a good martial arts program. In this article, we’ll discuss the most commonly-asked questions that parents have when it comes to putting children into martial arts programs.
So how do I recognise a good martial arts program?
This is a very common question to have, but fortunately, it has a relatively simple answer. Since the 1990s, there has been a booming martial arts market all over the UK. Many of these schools will not offer good martial arts instruction for children. Here are some things to look for:
- • Do they refuse to allow you to try a class—or even a week of classes—free of charge?
- • Do they allow you to watch classes?
- • Do they seem more concerned with contracts than your child’s needs?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then run away! You should also listen to your gut—if the instructor gives you a weird feeling or is making claims you’re uncertain of, check them out online before you enroll.
What kind of martial arts should I choose?
This depends entirely on your child, and what your child is interested in doing. Because there are so many options available, age is really unimportant when it comes to choosing a style. Here is a basic run-down of the available options: Judo: Judo is a Japanese art that involves a lot of throwing the opponent from the feet to the mat. There is also some grappling involved. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: BJJ is the sister-sport to judo. It focuses less on throwing and more on wrestling and grappling. Neither BJJ nor judo allows striking in any form. Muay Thai Kickboxing: Although these are not the same art, they are often combined together. These are striking arts that focus on kicking. Tae Kwon Do: a Korean art that is less contact-heavy than kickboxing, but still allows some contact. It also focuses on kicking Boxing: Boxing is an art that focuses on striking with the fists. No kicking is allowed in boxing. Other “traditional” martial arts: things like Aikido, Jeet Kun Do, Kenpo and Krav Maga may be available in your area. These arts vary heavily from place to place, and if your child has expressed interest in learning one of these, the best way to determine where to train is through the Internet.
Will martial arts make my child violent?
In a word? No. Many things make children violent, but learning martial arts will not. Martial arts, especially with contact sparring, give children an excellent understanding of their bodies, but it rarely encourages them to act out in violent ways.
I’m scared to let my child spar!
If you’ve chosen an art where sparring is an integral part of the learning process, then your child will eventually have to learn to spar. Instructors are always on hand to ensure that children are never in any real danger, and to practice proper safety procedures. If you ever feel that a child’s safety is in danger, it is time to leave that gym and move to another. Accidents do happen, but contact sparring in martial arts should not be more dangerous than football, gymnastics, or other high-impact sport.
Martial arts provide children with a sense of pride and self-confidence, and can be a great tool to encourage otherwise shy children to come out of their shells. Finding a good school and great instructor is integral to the success of the student, but it can be a wonderful, life-long relationship between the art and the student when a child gets the opportunity to begin at a young age. To learn more about our children’s martial arts classes call 01752 262233 or visit http://martialartsplymoth.co.uk/kids