While I can think of hundreds of reasons why everyone should take karate, I’m especially passionate about these five.
1. Physical Benefits:
Children who take karate are learning a healthy lifestyle by staying active, which, as most parents know, is difficult to do in the age of video games and facebook! Staying active burns calories, increases good cholesterol, decreases bad cholesterol, increases flexibility, increases hand eye coordination, improves fitness, maintains healthy joints and keeps the heart rate up, all while learning how to defend yourself! Proper martial arts training should be fun and educational, all while increasing a child’s self confidence, which can in turn manifest itself in many positive ways of a child’s life!
2. Self esteem:
Self-esteem is built because students in karate classes, at first, have short term goals (learning a kick or a form). These goals are realized after a few short months and are rewarded with a new belt. The student realizes that the effort and work put forth in the martial arts class pays off, in this case, a new belt color. This series is repeated again and again on the journey to attaining the coveted black belt, but along the way, self-esteem and self-confidence in growing, along with the child.
3. What Bully?
Bullying is a well documented and growing problem in schools these days. And with no signs of slowing down, martial arts training can give much needed tools to the child on how to better deal with bullies and bullying situations. Martial arts teaches children to stand up for themselves and for others if there is a bullying situation.
4. What is a stranger?
Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing a child, even for a minute. Maybe in a crowded mall, or at a theme park. Most of the time the child is fine and found in a few minutes. But what if the worst case scenario has presented itself? Martial arts teaches “stranger danger” intervention techniques. Can a child physically defend themselves from an adult? Probably not. But a child can learn how to recognize dangerous situations and also how to deal with them accordingly.
5. Mental Health:
Apart from self-esteem, there is an old Karate saying that states that “Karate is only 25% physical and 75% mental.” Truer words were never spoken. The ability of a Karate student to learn how to deal with physical stress in a controlled environment gives the benefit of increased mental health because the student develops the ever important “I can do it” attitude. The “I can do it” attitude is imperative in developing leaders and strong individuals who don’t see a limit to what they can accomplish.