You’ve heard time and again about martial arts and children, and everything you’ve heard is one hundred percent true. Children who practice Karate or any of the traditional fighting arts are equipped with the tools to succeed in life. The fighting arts are more than simply a method of self defense, they are a means of personal growth and development, mentally, physically and spiritually. A kid who plays soccer is a kid who plays soccer, but a kid who practices Karate is a martial artist.
To be clear: Don’t confuse Karate, Judo or Tae Kwan Do with something like soccer or little league baseball. The martial arts are more than simply a sport or an after school activity. Training in the fighting arts is a way to develop your own skills in life well beyond athleticism. A martial artist is someone who is equipped with the ability to follow any other path they so choose.
Children actually pick these sort of skills up at a much quicker pace than the majority of adults. Starting young in Karate training is, then, perhaps the most effective way to begin the journey.
If you’re worried that karate is dangerous for children, quite the opposite is true. Injuries can be sustained in the dojo, but major injuries are incredibly rare, and far less common than more severe injuries on the football field or even in track running. In youth sparring matches, the kids wear full body padding to reduce the risk of injury, and it’s clear that it’s really more of a game of tag than it is a real fight.
The art is designed as a means of fighting, but more importantly, it is designed to be a system of self discovery and development. This is where the emphasis is. What a sensei offers his students is guidance on a path of personal growth, not just some skills you’ll need to “beat a guy up” if you get in a fight.
Children who learn karate are less likely to get into fights at school, and when they do, they are armed with the ability to end a fight with minimal harm to either party.
To put it another way, a kid who knows a fighting art will not be as likely to get into fights at school, and if they do, it only takes one fight to prevent further fights from occurring. A young man or woman who knows the fighting arts is capable of ending a fight without either side sustaining any injury. There is a lot of focus on submission moves and holds in order to simply bring a conflict to an end with nobody being hurt.
The only real risk in putting your children into the dojo is that… When they come home after their first promotion and you see their report cards, you see how they’ve been behaving with your friends, you see the progress they’ve been making in life and at school, you’ll probably want to sign up yourself, so make sure you have time on your schedule.
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