Martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the heck out of the guy in front of you, but to knock the heck out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups.

Bruce Lee said it all. You want to know yourself? You want to build your own character? Martial arts might be the answer, for both adults and kids.

martial arts for kids confidence franklin tennesseeAs a martial arts instructor, more than once I’ve seen how wonderful martial arts can be for kids. For instance, many parents whose children have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success with martial arts classes because it teaches self-control and self-focus, skills that are generally underdeveloped in kids with ADHD. Martial arts actually teach self-discipline to anyone…including kids! Simply observe how a class begins and ends with a bow to the teacher: without realizing it, kids are learning how to respect authority. It is one of the reasons why your child should practice martial arts, but it’s not the only one…Here are the reasons why you should definitely think about martial arts for kids:

Martial arts encourage physical activity and teach how to breathe
Like any other sport, martial arts obviously get kids active. Martial arts offer many benefits but one of them is getting extremely fit, so it is a great source of health for your child. Plus, in martial arts, breathing is very important: you can tell how someone fights just by observing how s/he breathes. If your kid learns how to breathe, he will be able to calm down more easily under pressure.

Martial arts practice is a moment of focus and stillness
If any sport or art is a great way to take some time away from our busy and connected lives, martial arts allow you to get to know yourself through focus, silence and stillness, as Bruce Lee pointed it out: behind the punches, kicks and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are. Martial arts practice show kids that stillness and focus moments lead to self-knowledge.

Martial arts teach how to take hits
For that matter, kids also learn how to take hits (whether it’s a blow or a disappointment caused by losing) through the practice. In life, it’s the same but it seems easier for some people to get back up. Kids should all practice martial arts in order to accept the fact that they can get hit or fail, and learn how to get back on tracks. And learning how to get hit is maybe the best way for your kid to learn how to avoid it. If you know your enemy, you can fight it better.

Martial arts boost self-confidence
By teaching kids how to know themselves better, martial arts boost self-confidence. And recognizing that other kids may be stronger is the beginning of some kind of maturity. Also, every time your kid will earn a belt or master a new move, his/her self-esteem level will get a boost. Kids who tend not to believe in themselves usually become more confident as time progresses while they are attending martial arts classes.

Martial arts is about setting and achieving goals
Most forms of martial arts are based on a colored-belts system, according to specific achievements that meet specific levels and skills. Each time your child earns a new belt, he is also learning about setting and reaching his own goals.

Martial arts teach conflict resolution
If you still think martial arts promote violence, you are completely mistaken and I don’t blame you. Some parents are afraid of martial arts because of what they could have seen in movies. In fact, many defensive styles teach kids peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and emphasize the importance of avoiding physical altercations.

Martial arts develop socializing skills
One other great thing about martial arts is that it often requires kids to pair off and to build their skills together…a friendship does not take a long time to get created!

Those are the main reasons why your child should definitely enroll in a class. Martial arts help kids grow by teaching them life values and how to behave in certain situations. Your kid will for sure emerge greater!

Harvest Martial Arts is a traditional martial arts school that teaches Han Mu Do and fitness classes to both adults and kids, located in Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee, offering a broad range of classes and a very accessible schedule. Han Mu Do provides more than just a self defense focus. The Student Creed’s three tenets are optimism, balance and harmony. These tenets will be taught and emphasized as students develop inside the school and throughout their lives.