Kung Fu and Kids

“The young children, everybody should go to a martial arts school. Why? Because as soon as they go to a martial arts school, they learn discipline. They learn respect. You can tell the [difference between the] children [of the] same age – six years old – one in without martial arts. [With martial arts training], you know the difference. One is jumping around. One is very quiet.” – Jackie Chan
The idea that martial arts teach kids violence is a myth. Not only does it improve physical ability, but also increases confidence and discipline that carries over into school…  – By Bryan Schatz

Posted September 4, 2012

More than anything, children are known for their boundless energy. If your child is running around the house, jumping into the air and throwing karate kicks, it’s time to harness that energy.

Parents who are concerned that martial arts teach violence need not be, as most are based on teachings of non-violence, and utilize self-defense techniques only as a last resort. A typical hour-long class begins and ends with a bow to the instructor. A warm-up gets them started before moving on to learning specific techniques that require concentration, self-control and cooperation with other students. Physically, children improve their balance, strength, hand/eye coordination and enhanced response times.

But that’s only one element. The real benefits come in the form of social and behavioral gains. According to a 2004 study conducted by Psychologist Dr. Matthew Morand, “Children who engage in martial arts improve in social behaviors…Martial arts are a socialization process that can become a therapeutic activity.” Moran also found that martial arts, more so than any other sport, improved academic and behavior performance of non-medicated children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Many martial arts schools offer leadership and anti-bullying courses for kids in conjunction with their martial arts programs, which is an increasingly important issue for young children. According to the National School Safety Center, approximately 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students, 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school, and 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying. When kids learn how to defuse tense situations, or otherwise protect themselves when things are out of their control, they become agents of change rather than another statistic.

By practicing kicks and punches in a controlled environment, not only will they receive the various physical, emotional and social gains, but you’ll also get to stop worrying about the lamp accidentally getting kicked off the table.