After school programs like sports and musicals can be beneficial in their own way – but martial arts for kids teaches incredible life lessons and success skills that other after school program just don’t offer. It’s about fitness with a purpose and helping your child become the absolute best version of themselves, inside and out.
We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Levittown parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you, like #2! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts For Kids Helps Them Focus
If you’re like the majority of modern parents, you may have noticed that a lot of kids struggle with staying focused and concentrating. Some of it’s just part of being a kid, some of it has to do with more screen time leading to less control over attention spans, and some of it can be genetic for kids with attention issues.
There’s good news, though- a lot of students with attention problems see massive improvement with consistent martial arts classes. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that we use to develop character and build incredible life skills.
Our instructors are like ninjas, sneaking in quick games and activities to build focus over time. But aside from games, the act of martial arts itself requires discipline too. To master the physical moves, kids need to be still, listen intently, and concentrate on what they’re doing. 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 start to see great results. This ultimately helps them achieve better grades and become more confident, which you’ll read about in Reasons 2 and 3. (Cool, right?)
Reason #2: Better Grades Are Possible With Martial Arts For Kids
Did you know that martial arts classes can help your child get better grades? 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 (see Reason #1).
With this laser focus, our students become more “indistractable”- they have better control of their bodies and are able to pay attention more easily, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can concentrate on the tasks at hand.
Better focus leads to better listening, so the information is “sticking” better, and they 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! Yes- it really is that effective. Now you may be starting to see why parents love martial arts classes!
Reason #3: Martial Arts is An After School Program That Builds Confidence
Believe it or not, sometimes your child’s after school program can lead to a decrease in confidence because she’s comparing herself to others on her sports team or in her debate club. If your child isn’t especially athletic or they’re particularly shy, it can be challenging 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.
Why martial arts is great for this particular kind of child is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students are focused on their own progress and their own growth. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game… but to the previous versions of themselves in order to become the best versions of themselves they can be.
In this way, our students can see in real-time how awesome it feels to set goals and get goals, 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.
Additionally, our students learn to be real cheerleaders for their peers and support each other whenever they need it. This is one of the best things about teaching martial arts for kids- seeing the way that 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
Most after school program are about an end result- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. This is where martial arts is the most different from other programs. Achieving a new belt rank (“winning”) is not our sole focus. Remember how martial arts is a tool for self-development? Pairing that with the individual nature of the sport (individual sport in a group setting), our instructors are able to hone in on each student and help them with their own unique journey. Our kids then start to see their 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 nurturing them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
One of the greatest life lessons martial arts teaches us is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor teaches with integrity. They know what it’s like to be frustrated or upset, but they also know how valuable it is to keep going! 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 kinds of lessons just aren’t as common in other after school program.
Reason #5: It’s Just Fun!
The fifth reason is that martial arts for kids is just plain fun! Our awesome instructors make each lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are centered around 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 not only help the kids stay engaged with our lessons, but they also help our students connect fitness and positive emotion, a connection that they’ll carry with them for life.
This big focus on fun is also how our instructors manage to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning something- they’re too busy having a blast!