The after-school program that your child’s school offers can be beneficial in its own way, but martial arts for kids teaches incredible life lessons and success skills that other after-school activities just don’t offer. It’s about overcoming challenges and preparing your child to be the best young adult they can be. We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Irmo 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 Kids Focus
If you’re like the majority of modern parents, you may have noticed 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 shortened attention spans with increased screen time, and some of it can be genetic for kids with attention issues.
The good news is that we’ve found that a lot of students of kids martial arts classes who have attention problems benefit greatly from consistently attending the karate after-school program. Why? Well, the benefits of this after-school program are 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 build incredible life skills.
Our instructors are like ninjas, sneaking in quick games and activities to build focus 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’ve done this, 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 focus better all on their own. 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 After-School Program
A lot of parents have no idea that the martial arts after-school program can help their children get better grades. How, you may ask? Here’s how it works: Through a combination of consistent practice and fun games and activities, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills (which we talked about in Reason 1).
With this laser focus, our students become more “indistractable”- they have better hand-eye coordination and sharper attention spans, meaning they squirm less in their seats during class and can concentrate on the tasks at hand.
Better focus leads to better listening, so the information is “sticking” better and they complete their assignments with a higher quality of concentration.
And, because they’re retaining more information; they’re able to recall better 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 if they’re particularly shy, it can 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.
What’s so awesome about martial arts is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our kids stay focused on their progress and their growth. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game, but to the previous versions of themselves; to become the best versions of themselves they can be.
In this way, our students can see in real-time how awesome it feels to set and meet goals, and they can understand the discipline and perseverance it takes to become successful. Those are skills they’ll take with them for the rest of their lives.
Additionally, our students learn to be real cheerleaders for their peers and support each other whenever they need it. 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 have low self-esteem or just feel down about themselves, 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 Instructors are Positive Role Models for Kids
Most after-school programs are about the result–the show in Drama Club, the games in sports, etc. 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 take the time to hone in on each student and help them progress along their unique journey.
Our instructors then become positive role models to our students, bonding with the kids and nurturing 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 always show our students how to get back up and keep going no matter what. How to stay humble, no matter how far they progress. That double lesson of perseverance and respect is just not as common in other after-school programs.
Reason 5: It’s just fun!
This one’s a no-brainer–preschool martial arts classes are just plain fun! Our amazing instructors make each lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are centered around non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep kids interested and continually learning in these critical years of growth and development.
Games and activities also help our students make the connection that physical fitness and movement are sources of positive emotion, a connection that will serve 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!