After school programs like sports, music, video games… These are all beneficial after-school activities in their way. But martial arts for kids is about so much more than just physical movement. It’s about fitness with a purpose and helping your child become the absolute best version of themselves, inside and out.
We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Tacoma parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts For Kids Helps Them Focus
With the rise of technology and screen time, it’s no secret that a lot of kids struggle with staying focused and concentrating. Some of it’s just part of being a kid, some of it has to do with more screen time leading to less control over attention spans, and some of it is due to plain old genetics if attention issues run in the family.
What’s cool is that martial arts for kids helps students with attention problems and trouble focusing. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that people have been using for hundreds of years to develop character and learn vital life skills.
Through fun and games in class, our instructors can sneak in quick activities that help build focus consistently over time. But aside from games, the act of martial arts itself requires discipline too. To master the physical moves, kids need to sit still, listen to their instructor, and concentrate on how to coordinate their bodies and minds.
Once they’re able to get the moves down, our instructors praise them, using positive reinforcement to create a reward connection between paying attention and being celebrated. Soon, the students understand the connection between receiving positive feedback and staying focused, and they start to see great results. This ultimately helps them achieve better grades and become more confident, which you’ll read about in Reasons 2 and 3. (Cool, right?)
Reason #2: Better Grades Are Possible With Martial Arts For Kids
Yes- it’s true. Martial arts classes for kids can help your child achieve better grades. How, you may ask? Here’s the breakdown: Through fun games in class and consistent practice of the martial arts moves, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills (see Reason #1).
With this laser focus, our students start to become more “indistractable”- they have better control of their bodies and can pay attention more easily, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can focus on the tasks at hand.
Improved focus means improved listening, so they’re retaining the information better than ever before, and they can sit down to complete their assignments with a higher quality of concentration. And, because they’re retaining more information, they’re recalling that info on tests and quizzes, they’re scoring higher because of this heightened recall, and voila- better grades! Yes- it is that effective. Now you may be starting to see why parents love martial arts classes!
Reason #3: Martial Arts Is An After School Program That Builds Confidence
Every parent wants their child to be confident in themselves. But sometimes, group after school activities can lead to kids comparing themselves to others. If your child isn’t especially athletic or they’re particularly shy, it may be difficult to find an after school program where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” or being self-conscious in front of others.
Why martial arts is great for this particular kind of child is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students don’t have to worry about being the best of the best- they just have to focus on being better than they were yesterday. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game… but to the previous versions of themselves to keep improving. In this way, our students can see in real time how awesome it feels to set goals and get goals, and they can understand the discipline and perseverance it takes to become successful. Those are skills they’ll take with them for life.
Additionally, your child can learn to support their fellow students and be a cheerleader for another person’s accomplishments. This is one of the best things about teaching martial arts to kids- seeing the way that our kids become friends and cheer each other on. For those who struggle with low self-esteem, getting that support from both their instructors and their peers can be very gratifying and even start a lifelong path of confidence and happiness.
Reason #4: Our Martial Arts Instructors Are Positive Role Models For Kids
Most after school programs are about a result- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. But martial arts for kids is different. “Winning” the belt ranking is not our sole focus. Because martial arts is an individual sport in a group setting, our instructors can hone in on each student and help them progress along their unique journey.
Our kids then start to see their instructors as positive role models- and our instructors are more than happy to fill the role! They have dedicated their lives and careers to bonding with the kids and encouraging them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
What’s so awesome about martial arts is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor can teach from a place of integrity and relate to students when they’re feeling frustrated or upset! We show our students how to get back up when they’ve been knocked down, always stay humble no matter how far they progress, and how valuable personal development and a commitment to growth can be. Those deeper lessons just aren’t as common in other after school programs.
Reason #5: It’s Just Fun!
The fifth reason is that martial arts for kids is just fun! Our amazing instructors make each after school lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are all about non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep our kids engaged and learning and sprinkle fun games into the mix to add an element of surprise.
Fun activities and games also help our students connect fitness and positive emotion, a connection that will reward them for the rest of their lives. All of this focus on fun is also a way for our instructors to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning something- they’re too busy having a blast!