After school programs like sports and musicals are all beneficial in certain ways — but martial arts for kids has really special advantages that other after-school activities just don’t offer. It’s about learning valuable skills like focus, discipline, perseverance, and making fitness fun. We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Houston parents choose martial arts for kids and some of them may surprise you, like number 2! Read on to find out more.
Reason 1: Martial Arts for Kids Helps Kids Focus
There’s good news, though. A lot of students with attention problems see massive improvement with consistent martial arts for kids as an after-school program.
Why? Well, the benefits of the after-school program are actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that we use to develop character and build incredible life skills. Through fun and games in class, our instructors can 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’re able to get the moves down, our instructors praise them, using positive reinforcement to create a reward connection between paying attention and being celebrated.
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. Karate after school programs can help your child achieve better grades. How, you may ask? Here’s how it works: Through a combination of consistent practice and fun games and activities, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills.
With this improved focus, our students develop better control of their bodies and can pay attention more easily, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can concentrate on the tasks at hand.
Improved focus means improved listening, so they’re retaining the information better than ever before, and they can sit down to complete their assignments with a higher quality of concentration.
And because the information is “sticking” better, they’re recalling that info on tests and quizzes, they’re scoring higher because of this heightened recall, and voila: better grades! It is that simple and it does work!
Reason 3: Martial Arts is an After School Program that Builds Confidence
Every parent wants their child to be confident in themselves. But sometimes, grouped after school activities can lead to kids comparing themselves to others. If your child isn’t especially athletic or they’re particularly shy, it can be difficult to find an after school program where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” or being self-conscious in front of others.
Martial arts is great for this particular kind of child as it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students don’t have to worry about being the best of the best — they just have to focus on being better than they were yesterday. They learn how to compare themselves not to others, but to the previous versions of themselves to progress and achieve. In this way, our students can see in real time 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 the rest of their lives.
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 — seeing our kids become friends and cheer each other on. For those who struggle with low self-esteem, getting that support from both their instructors and their peers is a gratifying and even life-changing experience.
Reason 4: Our Martial Arts Instructors are Positive Role Models for Kids
If you think about it, most after school programs are about the result — the show in drama club, the games in sports. But martial arts for kids is different. “Winning” the belt ranking is not our sole focus. Remember how martial arts is a tool for self-development?
Pairing that with the individual nature of the sport, our instructors can take the time to hone in on each student and help them with their unique journey. Our kids then begin to look to our instructors as positive role models and our instructors are more than qualified to fill the role! They have dedicated their lives and careers to 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 can teach from a place of integrity and relate to students when they’re feeling frustrated or upset! We show our students how to get back up when they’ve been knocked down, always stay humble no matter how far they progress, and how valuable personal development and a commitment to growth can be. Those deeper lessons just aren’t as common in other after-school programs.
Reason 5: It’s Just Fun!
This one’s a no-brainer — martial arts for kids is just fun! Our awesome instructors make each after-school lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are all about non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep kids interested and continually learning in these critical years of growth and development.
Games and activities also help our students connect fitness and positive emotion, a connection that they’ll carry with them for life. All of this focus on fun is also a way for our instructors to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning something since they’re too busy having a blast!