Excerpted from Dave Kovar’s Book – “A Dad’s Toolbox for Better Parenting”

Two KidsThe benefits of enrolling your child in a martial arts program extend far beyond self-defence. Martial arts will help your child in nearly every aspect of her life. It will improve your child’s health, fitness, athletic abilities, confidence, concentration and behaviour.

Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not. Many experts agree that martial arts is good medicine for the escalating childhood obesity, increased violence at school and deterioration of the family structure. There is a reason why Dr. Phil, Jillian Michaels (expert from the television show The Biggest Loser), Tony Robbins, paediatricians, child physiologists and educators the world over all recommend martial arts as one of the most valuable activities in which your child can participate.

Self-Defence – The self-defence benefits of martial arts could be described as practice the fight so that you don’t have to.  As your child trains they will become more confident in their ability to defend themselves. As this confidence increases the need to defend themselves will decrease naturally because they will begin to carry themselves in a more confident manner. They will project confidence to everyone around them and will be less vulnerable to predatory behavior.

Martial arts training includes strategic or preventative self-defence as well as physical self-defence. Your child will learn how to recognise potentially dangerous situations and how to avoid confrontations.

Athletic Enhancement – There is a reason why every professional sports team in every major sport supplements their training with martial arts.  Martial arts training offers several advantages. It is amazingly effective in enhancing general coordination because it uses every part of the body in a balanced way. Upper body, lower body, right side, left side, forward movement, lateral movement and rotational movement are all included in martial arts training.

Fitness – Fitness has three components: strength, flexibility and endurance. Martial arts training demands a balance between the three. Therefore, a child who trains in martial arts will find her weakest areas greatly improved. Because of her greater balance of strength, flexibility and endurance your child will be less likely to injure themselves while participating in other athletic activities.

Health – While martial arts training improves health for people of all ages, it is especially effective for children. It’s great exercise and it’s fun so kids don’t mind doing it. And part of martial arts training includes discussing diet and lifestyle habits so children who grow up training develop healthy habits that stick with them for life.

Concentration – Very few activities engage the mind, body and spirit more than martial arts. Because of this a child’s ability to concentrate is greatly enhanced by his martial arts training. They’ll bring this ability to concentrate to other activities, too.

Respect and Courtesy – Martial arts techniques are, by nature, designed to injure others when applied. Because of this, martial arts instructors greatly stress the importance of respect, courtesy and restraint. It has been proven time and again that children who are skilled in martial arts tend to be extremely respectful, considerate and composed.

Confidence – Martial arts training always increases a child’s confidence for two specific reasons. First, there are no bench sitters. Every child participates and competes against their own potential rather than against the other students.

Second, martial arts training is built on the concept of setting your child up for success by giving them a series of realistic, short-term goals that they can attain quickly while keeping them focused on an exciting long-term goal.

Each time they experience success their confidence improves until they begin to believe that they can accomplish just about anything with hard work and dedication.




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