Why Martial Arts (Karate) is Great for ALL Types of Kids!
For the Full Article.
What Martial Arts Can Offer Kids With Learning and Attention Issues
There are lots of reasons martial arts can be a good match for kids with learning and attention issues. Here are nine potential benefits (of karate):
Ask Master Mom – Amanda Olson
- They focus on individual growth, not on team competition. Many kids with learning and attention issues struggle with the pressure of having to compete with other kids. So traditional sports may not appeal to them. But in martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”
- They offer concrete, attainable goals. Some kids with learning and attention issues may feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They’re awarded a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.
- Routines are broken down into manageable chunks. A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But kids learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next and eventually put everything together into fluid movements. All of this gives working memory a workout, but in a way that kids may find manageable.
- They emphasize self-control and concentration. Attention is central to martial arts. Kids must stay focused to learn and to perform. When a child’s focus drifts, instructors will often ask them to take the “ready stance.” This position allows them to reset and ready themselves for what’s next.
- They can help with coordination. The deliberate, repetitive movements of martial arts can help kids develop a better feel for their body in space, which can be useful to kids who struggle with motor skills. This may also help some kids understand the power of the mind over the body, which some find to be valuable for kids with ADHD.
- They provide structure and clear expectations for behavior. Good martial arts instructors have clear rules and constantly reinforce them. They also emphasize good behavior in and out of class. Some even send kids home with behavior charts their parents must sign. (If you like this idea, here are printable behavior contracts you can try.)
- They can provide a safe outlet for excess energy. Contrary to what some might expect, martial arts don’t encourage violent behavior. In fact, instructors often emphasize that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping can allow kids to work out frustration or anger, while also practicing self-control.
- The environment is accepting and communal. Respect is a core value in martial arts. Students are expected to show it for their instructor and their peers. Negativity is generally not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.
- They’re just plain cool! Kids with learning and attention issues can often feel awkward or socially out of the loop. But lots of kids think martial arts are cool. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re wearing martial arts gear and breaking boards in half.
From the Olson Family
We would first like to say, “Welcome!” It is our goal to provide the best martial arts (karate) training in a safe and encouraging environment. As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well. Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond. The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence.
What it Takes to become a Martial Arts Black Belt
It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt. Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important. It shows you don’t quit, you don’t give up. That you have what it takes! Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to: like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want. We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own. However, we are not surprised by their success. We already know they have what it takes to live their dream.
Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have. Our proven character development and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict. Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right. Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities. People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.
Let us Partner with You!
Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle. Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying. We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life.
Sincerely, Glenn, Amanda, Keith and Katie Olson