The Importance of Karate for Kids
When it comes to raising children, each generation of parents has faced a new set of challenges than the ones before it. We worried about basic health and conditions for centuries. Now many of us are lucky enough to live in a time where our children's basic necessities are met but the worries are far from over. From the pull of online games to the worries of bullying to the draw of Netflix, raising kids is still a challenging endeavor, even if it’s challenging in different ways.
Karate can be an essential part of a child’s all-around development. Time and time again, we’ve seen kids come into our dojo and improve their focus, their fitness, and their attitude. After more than 25 years of learning, here is what we see as the most important benefits of karate for kids:
Nobody likes to think about the possibility of their child needing to defend themselves. While they’ll certainly learn some of those skills, the true benefit comes from the increase in confidence that a child gains in knowing that if needed, they have the right skills to practice self-defense. The confidence boost doesn’t stop with the children, either. Spectating parents get to see first hand that their child is growing and becoming more capable with each lesson.
Fitness and Weight Reduction
Who can blame kids for feeling the pull of good-tasting, cheap fast food? It’s often just as hard for parents to stay away from the same cravings. Unhealthy food is abundant, and marketed in just the right ways to make an increasing number of us fall into the trap. In addition to learning healthy eating habits, karate is a great workout for children. It provides the opportunity for movement without the structure of seeming like a workout. It’s fun, and helps children relieve some stress.
How do we instill a “never give up” attitude in our children? It might be through consistent encouragement. Or perhaps leading by example and showing some grit in the face of a difficult problem you’re facing in your own life. There are goals inherent in karate that teach children what’s so important about putting in effort towards a task or improvement. Whether it’s that next belt, or being able to perform a technique that they previously hadn’t been able to do, children start to build the foundation of tenacity in karate.
Life Lessons Through Karate
Raising children has never been easy. And karate isn’t going to take away all of the problems that parents face. What it can do is provide a groundwork for the basic skills and lessons that will help children throughout their lives. In the right karate class, they’ll learn just as much from their peers as they will from their instructors. And seeing the confidence and rising sense of self-worth that children get pursuing their karate goals makes some of the other challenges we face seem smaller in comparison.