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From Dave Kovar

How Can Martial Arts Help Children To Become More Courageous?

Some kids are naturally fearless. They were just born that way. Others can be quite timid. Some children have had bad experiences that have made them fearful. Either way, it is important to understand that true courage isn't fearlessness, it's overcoming fear. And that's exactly what Martial Arts teaches children to do - overcome their fears. As a child progresses through the ranks, they are given a series of challenges that are within their ability to overcome. Some examples might be board breaking, sparring, performing self-defense techniques on a larger opponent or demonstrating solo in front of their peers. As a child experiences success in these endeavors, this success helps them to more easily face other fears, therefore helping them to become more courageous.

How Does Martial Arts Help Children Excel In Other Sports?

There's a reason why many professional athletes from multiple sports cross train in martial arts. It is a perfectly balanced form of exercise using the right side, the left side, upper body, lower body, lateral movement, circular movement, rotational movement, strength, flexibility, endurance, timing, and eye/hand coordination. For children who are involved in a specific sport, Martial Arts is the perfect off-season training activity

How Does Martial Arts Training Make Children Less Violent?

It is amazing how often you might hear parents say that they would like to get their child involved in martial arts, but they don't want them to become violent. In almost every case, the reverse is true. Martial Arts does not make children more violent, it makes them less violent. There is a quote that you will often hear in the Martial Arts, "Practice the fight so you don't have to." By practicing martial arts, children become more confident. Therefore they are less likely to become a target for bullying. Also, Martial Arts gives children a safe environment in which they can embrace their shadow, blow off some steam and relieve stress. On top of that, as a child develops a stronger self-image, they are less likely to feel the need to prove themselves. With a stronger self-image, they also become less interested in tearing others down.

What Modern Children Need (in my opinion),

In my nearly 40 years of teaching martial arts, I've had the privilege of working with literally thousands of children and I continue to be impressed with the positive impact martial arts can have on them.

In recent years however, I have become aware of a trend that concerns me. Today's children seem to be way less fit and more prone to injury than the children of past decades. I ask a doctor friend of mine about this recently and his comment was that there seems to be an increasing number of fluke injuries among children. His observation is that the sedentary lifestyle of today's child is causing major issues with the way their bodies are developing. I asked him what he felt we could do about. His answer was that kids just need to be more physically active. They need more unstructured play time.

Now I'm not a doctor, but I have had years of experience with young children and I couldn’t agree more with my friend. For children to develop properly, they need to run, jump, crawl, climb, and somersault on a regular basis. (By the way, I might be a bit biased, but martial arts does all these things and more.)
As parents, there is nothing more important than working time in to your child’s busy schedule for unstructured, physical play. So the next chance you have, turn off the TV, unplug the phone and get your kids outside for some good old fashioned fun. Or better yet, get the whole family involved in Martial Arts. You will be glad that you did.

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