My children have been in Martial Arts more than half of their lives, eons before I ever heard the word “prepper.” It’s not something I dreamed of before my children were born. I know of expectant mothers who insist their children will do this or study that. No, it was nothing that contrived. It was much more of a serendipity situation. I got an email from a homeschooling group that there was a couple teaching “karate in the park.” More than 7 years later I have one black belt, one red belt and one brown belt in Tae kwon do.
In my opinion all of these are great life skills, and it just makes sense to my husband and me to teach them to our children no matter what the future holds. There are a number of different Martial Art disciples all a little different but all instill these values. There are a number of different things to look for when looking to study Martial Arts.
10 Reasons for Your Kids to Learn Martial Arts
- Confidence: When you’re confident you can defend yourself, and don’t come across as an easy target that most bullies look for. Also, if you have accomplished something a little difficult then you have confidence that you can move onto a new level, not just in martial arts but in any area of your life.
- Defense: My boys may not be able to take on any opponent in the world. However, they have learned techniques to help them defend themselves in hostile situations.
- Learn How to Take a Punch: This is a difficult concept for a mother to get her head around let alone accept. The best defense in most situations is to run, flee or remove yourself from the situation. If there is some reason you have not left the situation it usually means your opponent has thrown the first punch and is on top of you or has attacked you in some way. If you know what it feels like to take a punch and keep your wits about you, you’re chances of survival are much greater.
- Discipline: This is another point that ripples throughout a child’s life. However, to master the different levels of any martial art you’ve got to have physical and mental discipline. Martial arts give children practice using the body and mind in harmony.
- Endurance: Martial arts is a sport, you build strength and endurance.
- Leadership: Part of becoming a black belt and higher is teaching beginning students. My older son is now teaching younger students and this is part of his training.
- Health: We have an epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. Martial Arts is a great way to get moving and burn off calories.
- Fight in a Controlled Environment: This one was hard for me as a mother. Of course at first it was cute. My little five year old child sparing with another five year old was nothing more than two clumsy kids trying to hit each other. My oldest son sparing during his black belt test was stomach turning. But my boys have the experience of fighting and they’ve learned it in a controlled environment without getting hurt. (at least hurt too badly)
- Situational Awareness: This goes along with confidence and defense but studying martial arts requires that you always be aware of your environment.
- Ability to Assess an Opponent: If you can determine that your opponent is weak in an area you can use that to your advantage in any hostile environment. This is an invaluable skill.
Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast discusses how to find the right instructor and goes into more detail about some things I’ve mentioned. You can find his podcast here.
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