Children's martial arts has become very popular in the past few years with the rise of the UFC and mixed martial arts gyms opening up everywhere. Every parent wants the best for their child, but how do you prepare them for all the tough challenges that they face in today’s world? How do you teach them the motivation, discipline and theappropriate attitude necessary for success? Teaching children the basic traits like goal setting, motivation and self-esteem, at a young age, can have a huge impact on what that child accomplishes in later life.
Abraham Maslow was a famous psychologist who proposed that people have 5 basic levels of needs. His theory suggests that we must satisfy lower level needs before we can move on to achieve higher level needs. Following Maslow’s theory, we need to feel secure and protected from the outside world before our mind can focus on attaining higher level needs, such as self-actualization, prosperity, success, self-respect, and self-fulfillment.
The root benefit of martial arts training is learning the skills of self-defense. Martial arts provides children with the knowledge of self-preservation and security, enabling them to concentrate on academics without distractions and anxiety stemming from insecurity, thus moving on to higher level needs.
Breathing and meditation, self-esteem, respect, and setting goals are 4 important areas that mixed marital arts focuses on.
Breathing and meditation-Martial arts training incorporates various breathing techniques. Some may be classified as forms of meditation. As chidlrenprogress with their training, they learn to master their breathing, which can affect their physical state. These “meditational” experiences help students deal more effectively with daily stress and pressures associated with exams, quizzes, and deadlines, keeping them relaxed and focused to produce better results.
Self-esteem-Self-esteem is having a positive impression and respect of oneself. Students who have strong self-esteem are more likely to succeed in school, or at any goals they set. Martial arts training teaches childrenthe importance of mental discipline, which develops strong character traits such as self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect. Martial arts instructors nurture a student’s self-esteem through positive reinforcement of achieved goals. Physical activity improves health and appearance that are also linked to one’s self-esteem. It is easier to have a positive impression of yourself when you look good and feel good.
Respect-Respect for teachers, parents, adults, and fellow students is an important part of martial arts training. Children learn to respect those with higher knowledge, which promotes positive relationships with authority figures outside of our school as well. As childrens' martial arts knowledge develops, it is equally important that they learn humility when respect for their knowledge is reciprocated.
Setting goals- Martial arts training teaches children that you can achieve a long term goal by breaking the goal down into many short term objectives. These objectives represent interim goals that need to be accomplished in order for the long-term goal to be realized. Children learn the importance of goal setting strategies, which are invaluable scholastically, as well as in life. It doesn’t matter if you are a child in pre-school, grades school, high school, or college; martial arts can impact your scholastic results. Martial arts children learn that success requires commitment, determination, and hard work.