Taekwondo For Kids: A Wonderful Sport

Many people when they think of martial arts, consider it to be strictly a fighting sport that is only appropriate for adults and older children. Take Taekwondo for example. Here is a sport that focuses heavily on punching and kicking. It is hard to imagine kids doing that kind of thing in a structured class. However Taekwondo for kids is more than just learning to hit. It is an excellent means to get good physical activity, it will help children develop mental acuity, it lets kids naturally develop confidence in themselves, and finally the structured nature of the classes promote focus and respect.

kids taekwondoAs mentioned above Taekwondo provides children with a wonderful amount of physical exercise. A typical kids class lasts about 45 minutes and the instructors will have the children working extremely hard throughout the entirety of that time. For the younger kids however, the instructors do not make the exercises seem like work. Rather they create in class games mixed with normal exercises that help the children build strength and develop the coordination necessary to excel in the sport.

For instance one common game that young children might play in a Taekwondo class is the classic game of tag. From the outside observer looking in this might seem silly, but in reality tag promotes many of the base elements that will make a person good at martial arts down the road. It helps the child learn avoidance techniques, makes them think about what their next moves should be, and forces them to move quickly. These are all elements that are crucial to martial arts. Beyond this when a kid gets tagged out it usually results in a punishment like doing 10 push-ups before they can enter back into the game.

One thing that should be pointed out about Taekwondo is that the focus is never on violence. The purpose of teaching this martial art to children is to give them the means to defend themselves if it becomes absolutely necessary, but more important learning the sport gives them the confidence to approach virtually any situation in their life in a calm and reasoned manner. One thing that should be stressed about virtually all martial arts schools that have children’s classes is that they spend a lot of time teaching the kids when it is and is not appropriate to use the skills that they have learned in class.

Taekwondo for kids is not as focused on the fighting aspect of the sport like it is for people who are older. The focus is really on the physical and mental development of the child in question. At the end of the day, whether the kid stays in the class for one year or ten, they will be much better for it. The exercise, both physical and mental is excellent. For a child to excel at this sport they have to spend as much time studying in order to memorize terminology and forms as they do anything else.

A Parent’s Guide To Kickboxing For Kids

It is important for children to be very active, which is one reason that you should consider kickboxing for kids. More and more people are enrolling their children in these classes. Before you go and sign up, here are a few points that need to be considered.

The Instructor

kickboxingThis is the most important factor when it comes to a kickboxing program. You may not believe so, but it is. How can you trust that your child is in a class that is suited to them if they don’t have an effective instructor? When you go around looking for a kickboxing class for your child, take them along and see how they mesh with the instructor. If it seems off at all, you should probably seek another class.

Age

While you may have heard that there is nothing wrong with children kickboxing very early, this is very wrong. It is best of you didn’t place your child in these classes until they are at least eight years old. Younger children do best when there is no contact involved. You should question any training facility that offers enrollment for children much younger than that.

Training Type

There are two types of kickboxing for kids, cardio and contact. If the only reason that you are enrolling your child in the class is to get them in shape, it would probably be a good idea to stick with the former since it is similar to aerobics. Contact kickboxing is great if you want your child to learn self-defense techniques. You should think really carefully about this to make sure that you are choosing the option that is best for your child.

Injuries

It may be worrisome to think about your little one being hurt while in class, but this is not something that happens very often. In fact, less than one percent of all of the children that are enrolled in kickboxing classes have sustained an injury. Most of the hits that occur in class are very light and are not likely to do any real damage.

Competitions

It is healthy and normal for children to get involved in competitive sports, but this is not recommended for every child. Talk to the instructor of any class you are considering to see how serious they are about competitions. Unfortunately, there are some instructors out there that will coddle the children that are ready to compete and give less attention to the others. You should definitely see this as a problem, particularly if you have a child that is very sensitive.

Kickboxing is like other forms of martial art in the sense that it can be used to defend yourself and/or get your body into shape. If you are looking for an exciting way to add more fitness to your child’s life, this is a great way to do that. Before you go out there and enroll your child in a class, make sure that you consider all of the points that were made here.

MMA For Kids: A Growing Trend

mmaAre you a fan of MMA or mixed martial arts? If you’re not a fan, you might be thinking how do kids and MMA mix? Two fighters kicking and punching in a cage, and the sport can seem downright brutal in some ways. Perhaps you’ve witnessed one of these brawls on television between two professional fighters. The fact of the matter is it’s an extremely popular sport and has been adapted to kids just like regular martial arts, boxing and all other sports. And, no doubt among kids, it is a fast-growing sport.

Children as young as five are participating, and an estimated 3 million kids have joined the ranks. Yes, there are critics, but this trend, in its infancy, is rapidly gaining favor. What do kids get out of this? They learn how to use self discipline, they get exercise, they learn how to play fair, and much more. In a world where kids are increasingly spoiled, glued to video games and exposed to all kinds of dangers, mixed martial arts sounds like a great idea.

Critics have panned the movement and tried to create their own movement, displaying photos and captured moments to try and portray the “danger” of kids participating in mixed martial arts. However, many stories exist of how MMA for kids  has benefited many individuals.

One such story about an older teen connecting with his brother is very touching. The teen was about to graduate and move off to college and was very athletic. His younger brother was very introverted and did not have much of a connection with his older brother. However, after his older brother got involved in mixed martial arts, the younger brother developed an interest. They both started attending classes, and the introverted younger brother entered his teens with needed discipline, a connection with his brother and a purpose.

There are many other stories like these involving mixed martial arts helping kids. MMA might have a certain stigma and image and seem like its not for kids, but MMA for kids has been adapted to their needs and provides them with necessary skills for growth and development. Think about the growing number of children who are raised in single parent homes without a father. There is nothing wrong with this, but at the same time father figures and discipline are then found in teachers, preachers, other family members, etc. Engaging in mixed martial arts is a sure fire way for these kids to get the father figure and discipline they need.

Another growing trend is obesity in children. MMA provides kids a vigorous exercise regimen. So maybe drinking water, staying physically active and getting excited about something besides the latest video game and junk food is exactly what these kids need. With a movement involving a very physical sport, there will always be critics, but no doubt mixed martial arts has provided necessary needs to many children. Each situation is different, so perhaps it’s not the right activity for all kids, but it sure has made an impact on many others and will continue to impact more lives.