An after-school program like sports and musicals can be beneficial in certain ways, 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 possibly be. We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Ashburn 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 focus and concentration. Some of the issues here have to do with just being a kid, whose brain is still developing. 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.
The good news is that we’ve found that a lot of students who have attention problems actually benefit greatly from a consistent after-school programs. Why? Well, kids Taekwondo classes 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 learn important life skills. Through fun and games in class, our instructors are able to 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’ve done this, our instructors use positive reinforcement to continually praise them for paying attention.
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.
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 a combination of consistent practice and fun games and activities, 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 hand-eye coordination and sharper attention spans, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can focus on the tasks at hand. Improved focus means improved listening, so the information is “sticking” better, 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! It really is that simple and it really does work!
Reason 3: Martial Arts is an After-School Program that Builds Confidence
Believe it or not, sometimes your child’s after-school program can lead to a decrease in confidence because they’re comparing themselves to others on their sports team or in her debate club. If your child isn’t the most athletic, or they’re somewhat shy, it may be challenging to find a program where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” or being self-conscious in front of others.
What’s great about martial arts is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students are focused on their own progress and their own growth. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others–which can be a losing game–but to the previous versions of themselves, in order to progress and achieve. In this way, our students can continually see how awesome it feels to set goals and achieve them, and they can understand the discipline and perseverance it takes to become successful. Those are skills they’ll take with them for life.
Another perk is that 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 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 Martial Arts Instructors are Positive Role Models
An after-school program is about an end result – the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. But martial arts for kids is different. Achieving a new belt rank (“winning”) is not our sole focus. Remember how martial arts is a tool for self-development? Pairing that with the individual nature of the sport (individual sport in a group setting), our instructors can hone in on each student and help them with their own unique journey. Our instructors then become positive role models to our students, bonding with the kids and encouraging them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
The great thing about martial arts as a whole is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor teaches with integrity. They know what it’s like to be frustrated or upset, but they also know how valuable it is to keep going! 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 sense of respect and discipline is just not as common in other martial arts after-school program.
Reason 5: It’s Just Fun!
The fifth reason is that karate after-school program is so much fun! Our awesome instructors make each lesson fun and engaging. Our kids self-defense classes are centered around 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.
Games and activities also help our students connect fitness and positive emotion, a connection that they’ll carry with them for life. This big focus on fun is also how our instructors manage to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. These are just some benefits of after-school program. The kids don’t even know they’re learning something–they’re too busy having a blast!