How Martial Arts Helps Kids To Learn Self-control

You want the best for your child, and this is not only aimed at physical things like the best clothes or the latest cellphone. You want your child to be equipped with everything mentally and emotionally so that they can live the best possible life. Characteristics like discipline and willpower can help pave the way to success. Martial art is an excellent conduit to teaching these qualities and many more. 

Temptation Control

Your child’s world is filled with temptation, from finishing the next episode of the series instead of starting homework to rather eating the bowl of ice cream than dinner. Martial arts start teaching your child self-control from the beginning. For example, instead of saying yes to joining their friends after school to watch a movie, they will exercise self-control by saying no, they have class. Martial arts can also be your child’s way of avoiding temptation if they need to stop doing something. If they are thinking about the temptation, they can do their kata’s at home to take their mind off it. 


Keep Your Eye On The Prize

One of the critical components in teaching and exercising self-control is setting a clear goal. Martial arts have multiple goals like the martial arts belt rankings, tournaments and competitions. The sensei will set a clear goal for your child to achieve, like the upcoming competition and the next level belt. Once the focus is placed, the motivation to reach the clear goal kicks in. 


Progress Tracking

Tracking your child’s overall progress in martial arts is easy. Literally, everyone can see it in colour. The belt colours and strips clearly indicate where in the ranking your child is and what the next step will be. The in-between tracking is monitored by the sensei, who will motivate your child and teach them to reach their end goal. Competitions are also a good indication of progress for your child.


With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Martial arts will teach your child all the different fighting skills, like:

  • Karate
  • Boxing
  • Capoeira
  • Kickboxing
  • Krav Maga
  • Kung Fu
  • Muay Thai 
  • Tae Kwon Do 

But even better, martial arts will teach your child self-control by shifting their focus from dominant to defending themselves from their opponent. Brain over brawn, it’s all good and well that you might have the strength, but strategy and skills will win over brute force any day. 


Self-control is about delayed gratification, working towards a goal. You cannot expect to reach your goal in the first class. Doing kata’s over and over again exercises your self-control mentally. Martial arts will help regulate your child’s thoughts, emotions and behaviour through its systems and traditions. It will help your child to make cognitive decisions to avoid or resist temptations of any kind that can derail them from reaching their long term goal. Once the goals are achieved, your child will experience a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem. This will motivate them to start setting their next long term target and working hard towards achieving it.  


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