KARATE – BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR CHILD AND YOURSELF.
Most often parents think of karate for their children first, before themselves. What are the benefits of karate training?
Parents often want to enrol their children in karate to improve their grades at school, teach them self-discipline and respect for adults, get them into an exercise program, instil a sense of self-confidence or simply because they are being bullied in school or on the playground.
Let us review the benefits of karate training by first discussing a few fundamental principles for you in order to maximise your investment of time and money in enrolling yourself or child.
Karate in itself will not “fix” whatever you are singing up for: Whether it be for discipline, focus, better grades, self-confidence etc. karate can only supplement whatever goal you may have. For example, can karate help your child with better grades at school? No question. But if your child does not have positive role models and teachers outside of karate, is allowed to let studying take a back seat to other activities or have a learning disability, karate in and of itself will not single-handedly correct it.
Parents need to stay involved with their child’s progress: The best chance of success for your child is to be as involved in their karate practice as you can be. Speak with us when you enrol your child and outline the things you would like us to assist your child with. Sit and observe the classes. Listen to what the Sensei is saying and help to reinforce it at home. Ensure they attend classes regularly. Give us updates and feedback on what is happening to them at school and home. It is a partnership. We only see them when they are with us.
Stick with it: it is important to stay committed to training over the long term. Key lessons and behaviours are not learnt in a day. For example, if one of the goals for your child is to teach them focus and the value of hard work and then you stop bringing them to class because they are “bored” or they think it is “too hard”, does that not just reinforce the very thing you are trying to avoid? We do our best to make classes fun and enjoyable to kids, but there is no escaping the fact it is hard work. Skills are learnt through practice and repetition do not give up after a month because they tried to and want to do something else now.
Be very wary of schools that offer “black bets” programs: what value does the promise of a guaranteed belt level hold if they truly have not earned it yet? The reality is that few people (kids or adults) truly make it to that level. It takes a lot of dedication, steadfast attendance and daily/weekly practice in the dojo and at home to ever reach that level. We do not just grade kids every 4 months to collect an extra fee. We grade them when we think they are ready, period. However long that may be.
We love to get new students, however we are more concerned with building a sustainable long-term relationship with you and your child than just collecting money from you every month or worse, trying to sell you something that is not true.
Now let us discuss some of the benefit of karate training for you and your child.
Leadership Skills: Both self-leadership and leading others when you attain higher belt levels and are responsible for helping to teach lower belt rank students.
Self-Confidence: Not only how to defend themselves if being bullied but also the confident that comes with learning how to attain goals and achieve them. Doing things and learning new skills they never knew before.
Respect for Others: A key foundation for martial arts training.
Self-discipline: Karate requires a lot of self-discipline both at and outside the dojo in order to maintain and elevate your level of proficiency as a martial artist.
Concentration: Karate is based upon listening, watching and performing intricate movements which involves a great deal of concentration.
Learning the Value of Hard Work: One of the most important skills learnt by children. Karate is not easy and nothing is given to you. You learn to work hard to attain belt levels and this takes dedication, time and patience. This is always something I hear parents say is lacking in kids today.
Socialisation Skills: Learning how to treat your dojo classmate, Sensei and adults with respect and courtesy.
Improve Physical Fitness: Karate involves the 3 pillars of a good exercise program, strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training and is quite vigorous. Few exercise programs can provide the level that martial arts can all at the same time.
Provide Positive Role Models for your child: Through the Sensei as well as through the other adults and even children that are training and have stuck with it.
Restraint: Learn how to defend yourself and then learning how to avoid confrontation and hopefully never have to use it outside the dojo involves a great deal of maturity and restraint for bother children and adults.
We hope this article will help you in determining if karate or any other martial arts program is a good fit for you and your child, whether it be at our dojo or elsewhere, any traditional martial arts training at school where these values are practised on a daily basis and benefits are emphasised can only benefit you and your child.