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Although martial arts have their roots in the necessary self-defense techniques that every fighting-age man and woman had to know in pre-modern Eastern societies, they have evolved far beyond this original purpose. These days, martial arts can be put to a variety of creative and constructive uses and provide children with a fun, and heart-pumping experience.
1. Artistic Expression
As the name suggests, martial arts can be a pure and even beautiful form of physical expression. Like yoga and other “controlled” exercise routines, the broad spectrum of physical disciplines known as “martial arts” helps its practitioners tone their cardiovascular and skeletal systems while engaging in a stress-relieving program of physical activity. When reduced to its essential elements, the concept is beautiful.
2. Boosting Our Kids’ Self-Confidence
Of course, there’s an even simpler justification for teaching kids martial arts disciplines like karate: Children who learn these disciplines at a young age exhibit elevated levels of self-confidence and may be better equipped to face the challenges of a complex modern world. Kids who practice karate derive this self-confidence from multiple sources. What’s more, they’ll remember the physical and emotional lessons that they learn from their karate instructor as they develop into well-rounded young adults.
3. Mental Discipline, Physical Prowess
Karate is well-known for fostering physical fitness in its young participants. However, its ability to instill mental fortitude is often overlooked. The philosophy of karate focuses on the avoidance of physical conflict as well as the last-resort use of overwhelming force to disable opponents. Young karate students tend to take this lesson to heart: Kids who are well-versed in the practice of karate may be less inclined to get into schoolyard brawls or engage in harmful or emotionally-abusive behaviors later in life.
4. Built-in Mentoring Programs
Like a team-sports coach, a karate instructor serves as a willing mentor for his or her students. On top of the physical disciplines that he or she conveys, a karate instructor also imparts valuable life lessons about planning, discipline, conflict avoidance and nonviolence. By the end of his or her career as a karate student, your child is liable to have developed a level of maturity that’s uncommon in his or her peers. What’s more, every student gets to participate in the skill-building exercises that his or her instructor lays out. Unlike some team sports, karate allows for full participation in all of the activities and disciplines at its core.
5. Concentration and Focus
In a world that rewards multi-taskers and looks down on “old-fashioned” disciplinarians, it can be a challenge to teach basic concentration skills to your child. After all, they might be more preoccupied with the latest video games or Internet sensations. Fortunately, karate is a fun, physically rewarding means of imparting goal-oriented behavior and rewarding kids who exhibit unusual levels of focus and concentration.
Have you considered Karate lessons for your child?
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