Today, there are about twenty-three million people practicing karate around the world. So, what’s in it for kids? Overall, karate teaches children the mastery of the core principles needed to succeed later in life which are –
Courtesy and respect
Karate kids are trained to show respect by giving the sensei a respectful “Yes, Sensei!” response when asked a question.
Everyone remembers the lessons the film Karate Kid taught us about the striking differences between Japanese and western positive reinforcement. Repetitive drills often regarded as boring for western people, are the cornerstones of Karate training. It is through repetition that muscle memory is acquired and perfected in order to develop an automatic response arsenal. Children are praised and encouraged by their Sensei every time they perfect the drill. This gives children hope and the will to succeed in reaching higher levels towards the black belt goal.
Focus, responsibility & self-discipline
In an online karate class setting, students use mimicry to do kicks, punches, blocks and focused eye movements, as the sensei calls out the drills. In this passive learning phase, one experiences total immersion, building strength from inside out. Reacting freely without conscious thought is very hard to achieve. Thus, the point of performing drills regularly help children improve intensity through concentration. If your child is hyperactive or have attention deficit disorders, the drills can be very helpful. Teamwork also helps children respond to the team’s needs over his own, an important skill kids need in life.
In Karate, children are taught to never attack first. There is a misconception that using martial arts is a great way to win a conflict. It is not. On the contrary, the karate philosophy is centered on defense not offense. Through this principle, karate discipline teaches children how to solve conflicts pragmatically without using violence. Activities like karate are a fun way for both boys and girls to achieve fitness and focus. Some parents may think they also promote violence, but that’s a myth, according to experts. The martial arts actually help teach self-discipline and socialization skills. In fact, many parents whose children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success with these programs because self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids.
A typical online karate class for kids begins and ends with a bow to the teacher. After a warm-up, students practice the art’s particular skills, which may include kicks, punches and blocks. Each requires concentration and strict attention. Progress is often marked by the belt system, which takes the beginner from a white belt through a variety of colors until black. Testing for each new level is a good exercise in setting and achieving goals. But, say experts, it’s the respect kids learn, whether from bowing or standing still and waiting for the next command, that can be the most important benefit: It often carries over into school, helping to improve behavior and even grades, according to recent research.
Karate is one of the few activities that truly makes children stronger, from the inside out. Aside from dynamic techniques practiced in this timeless martial art, karate empowers children to step outside their comfort zone, embark on a lifetime learning journey and, above all, grow in quiet confidence. Cumulative time spent practicing this martial art, being surrounded by positive mentors, builds resilience in children so they grow to become confident community-minded adults.