In today’s fast-paced life, parents are constantly facing the dilemma of choosing the right sport for their child that would both benefit them and get them off their IPad and video games. Being a kids’ martial arts instructor and a champion who walked this path by himself as a child, Captain Mahmoud Zakaria highlights the benefits.
Engaging children in martial arts for kids has numerous positive effects on both the physical and mental and emotional state of the child.
Physically, children build core muscles and improve fitness levels. Needless to mention the change in the physical composition of the child, parents are interested to learn about all the underlying changes in the character.
Martial arts build a child’s confidence and self-esteem as they become physically able to defend themselves in bullying situations. However, martial arts tackle the mental and emotional aspects by teaching the child to use a ‘not fighting’ approach whenever possible. The mind and body coordination creates a more tough character to face today’s challenges. As an instructor, I am highly aware of the importance of teaching confidence and hence children are constantly encouraged and praised.
Children are also taught to deal with their peers in a controlled setting, learning about both self-respect and respecting others. As the child becomes physically able and socially interactive, they become ready to face all the different challenging environments of today’s world. A confident child is no longer a target for bullies. Children learn to deal with differences and accept and appreciate all their peers.
Today’s kids, tomorrow’s champs!
Types of Martial arts to enroll your kid in
- Boxing: A form of martial arts that involves punches. It increases strength and improves endurance.
- Kickboxing: A form of martial arts that involves punches and kicks. It develops flexibility, coordination, focus and self-defense skills.
- Muay Thai: A form of martial arts that involves striking with kicks, knees, elbows and punches. It helps in gaining confidence, better fitness, coordination and speed and agility.
Children starting at the age of 4 are involved in a general martial arts class that involves being exposed to all the techniques of the three forms (kickboxing, boxing and Muay Thai). Between the ages of 8 and 10, children can start being specialized based on their strengths and/or certain interest.