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Anyone that studies martial arts has probably walked in on the tail end of a kid’s class at their school. There is no doubt that the kids are adorable in their uniforms and that their honest effort is admirable and serves as a great example to anyone. The kids are always full of energy and one cannot help but be uplifted by their positive spirit. Kid’s studying martial arts is a good thing. There is no doubt that kids have a place in martial arts, but with the growing emphasis on children, are martial arts in danger of becoming a children’s activity?

Kids Learning Martial Arts

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For most martial art schools the children’s programs are a necessity if you are going to stay in business. The kids program is usually larger than the adult program at most schools. Lately, I have noticed that I run into more and more adults that have put their children into martial arts programs, because they did it as a child themselves.

I always ask, “Why don’t you still study?” They usually give me the traditional adult excuses of being too busy, and too old, but it is the seemingly accepted notion that children do martial arts and not adults that gives me pause.

Are we raising kids to think of martial arts as a childish thing? Is it just another activity to do until a new soccer season rolls around? Where is the idea of lifelong learning? One of the many benefits for a person who studies martial arts, especially a child, is that they always are learning and refining their knowledge. If we want to create adults that will have a level of commitment to life’s challenges, shouldn’t we start early? It would be tragic to me if the idea of lifelong learning, being the eternal student, became antiquated.

If one of the lessons a parent wants to instill in their child is discipline, they should first exercise the discipline of attention to mastering one thing before moving on to another. Since there is no end to the knowledge that one can learn in martial arts, parents should be thinking of the long haul to get the most out of the endeavor. Once started, stick to it, and see how far they can go.

Choose a Good Martial Art School

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Choosing a good school will help make the experience worthwhile. I always advise parents to check out the school, ask lots of questions, and always consider the teacher as the most important thing before a final decision. Regardless of the art, the teacher will make the biggest impact.

So what do you look for? Look for a teacher that is attentive, and genuinely loves what they are doing. See how they resolve conflict, and also how they reward good behavior. (Do they recognize good behavior?) One aspect that many people overlook is: Can the teacher actually teach? Listen to the way they explain things and consider how effective they are at conveying information. An easy test is to try the class yourself. Be brave and do it.

Since I didn’t start studying martial arts until I was an adult, I am envious of those that have the opportunity to start when they are young. I just think of all of the great life lessons that I could have learned if I could have started earlier. It is a great idea to start your child in martial arts, and if they are enjoying it and doing well, why pull them out to start some other random activity?

martial arts

Martial arts are great for children, and for all of the reasons that parents think they are and more. I don’t think that there is anything better to teach self-discipline, resilience, or accountability, however, I have always viewed martial arts as an incredible lifelong pursuit and it could be an amazing start for a young person.

Children are the future of everything including martial arts, so if you find a good place to study and your child is learning and having a great time, don’t abandon the program when basketball season starts. Hopefully, the student will take their martial arts training all through their life and they will know that you never have to stop learning, because there is no season for martial arts.

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