10 Amazing Benefits to Teaching Kids Self-Defense
Posted: May 01, 2017
With the right instructor, kids 3 years old and up flourish in self-defense and martial arts training:
1. Improves physical fitness and coordination
2. Teaches concentration, discipline and respect
3. Develops confidence
In a self-defense program, children are constantly learning new skills, and each one is a little more challenging than the one before. Not everything is easy and developing these skills can take practice and repitition. But developing new skills leads to confidence and pride in one’s abilities. A good instructor is also praising children for their effort and good work which builds confidence.
4. Develops assertiveness, tenacity and determination
Mastering new skills, such as physical abilities and self-defense techniques, requires assertiveness, tenacity and determination. Kids have to be prepared to give it a go, keep trying, work through failure, try harder, see others succeed, make small improvements, until they experience success.
5. Develops communication, listening and social skills
Listening and following instructions are fundamental aspects of a self-defense program, and a good self-defense program is going to place a lot of emphasis on teaching children to ‘speak up for themselves’.
6. Teaches nutrition, anatomy and hygiene
In a physical program that encourages movement, it is easy to reinforce why we need to eat well to give our bodies fuel for playing. And a good self-defense program is also an opportunity to teach anatomy (left, right, body parts etc) and hygiene (cut your fingernails, wash your hands etc).
7. Teaches spatial concepts
(Spatial awareness means an understanding of the child compared to their surroundings, such as up, down, forward, backward, in, out, stop, go etc.)
8. Teaches awareness of danger
Children learn to use their eyes and their ears to be aware of their situation, for instance, aware of the road and cars, or keeping close to mom and daddy. This is the most important aspect of self-defense for kids. If they are aware of themselves and aware of things that could mean danger, they have the best chance of staying safe.
9. Teaches gentle solutions to bullying and rough play
Sometimes an ‘attack’ is rough play, like siblings wrestling or getting too rowdy; and sometimes an attack is bullying or fighting which can really hurt. Either way, when we’re talking about kids at home, school or in the playground, the last thing we want is any child getting hurt. So a good self-defense program teaches gentle solutions for when the child is being ‘attacked’ by another child. A good program emphasises using voice and non-violent ways to protect their personal space.
10. Helps kids to stay safe and avoid accidents
And finally, a good self-defense program will be holistic. After all, there is not much point teaching a child self-defense if they don’t know to stay off the road. Through self-defense, we can develop a child’s awareness across a broad range of safety topics, including road safety, water safety, sun safety, electricity, burns, etc and of course, stranger danger and concepts of personal body protection (eg from my top to my toes, I say what goes).
That’s 10 amazing benefits from teaching kids self-defense. Find a good instructor and get started today!
TNT Martial Arts Academy invites you to come and see for yourself why martial arts will make a great addition to benefit your child. We train ages 3 years old to Adults. Register here to try a Free Class in Taekwondo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Click the above right link in red!