Martial Arts for Kids

Martial arts are a combination of moves that promote body discipline, mental focus and also self-control. This is important in dangerous situations. It is not just for self-defense but also body awareness to help you avoid such situations in the first place.

A person of any age can try martial arts. When this is begun as a child, they grow up training and learning the skills of discipline, respect, communication and confidence that will enhance their entire lives. Most martial arts schools will allow you to sit and watch as many classes as you want to help your child get used to what they will experience in a real class.

You can ask a teacher there for a brief interview. Have a list of questions that you want to ask already prepared. Here are a few examples:

* How old does my child have to be to train?
* Do you teach children to defend themselves?
* How large are the classes?
* Is their individual training for more help?
* What types of tactics do you teach with your style of martial arts?
* Will you teach discipline?

Making the Choice

With most schools, the children have to be old enough to understand and follow directions. Teachers of smaller children already know that they will spend most of their time keeping the kids entertained. They are trained to help them get rid of nervous energy and also teach them something about martial arts in the process.

If your child is having problems with discipline or self-control, martial arts can help with that. They will learn to listen to the teacher and also the consequences of not listening. In time, control is learned.

Many schools encourage parental involvement. This gives the child a chance to share their frustrations and also their triumphs with someone familiar with the sport. Both parent and child can work together to reach new heights in the sport.

Styles of Martial Arts

Here is a brief list of some of the martial arts styles that you can choose from. All might not be available in your area.

* Tai chi – Soft style of martial arts that involves breathing and fluid movements. Most often done by seniors and for fitness.

* Judo – Consists of throwing techniques. You use your opponent's body weight against them.

* Jujitsu – This is a more wrestling type of martial art. You will spend time on the ground rolling around.

* Taekwondo – Involves lots of kicking and blocking.

* Karate (shotokan, shorin ryu) – Involves a lot of hand techniques and stances.

* Karate (goju ryu) – You learn kicks, punches and stances to ward off attacks from opponents.

* Mixed martial arts – Combines many styles of fighting.

Martial arts have many styles and components. All can teach your child to master their body, focus their mind and learn self-respect. While you are learning fighting techniques, the first thing to learn is how to walk away from a fight that doesn’t need to happen. Use the styles above to help you find a good place for your child to begin.