After school program like sports, music, video games… These are all beneficial after-school activities in their own way. But martial arts for kids is about so much more than just physical movement. It’s about overcoming challenges and preparing your child to be the best young adult they can possibly be.
We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Mississauga parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you, like #2! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts For Kids Helps Them Focus
Stepping outside of after school program for a second, we can say with confidence that a lot of kids struggle with focus and concentration. Some of it is of course, just part of being a kid, some of it has to do with shortened attention spans with increased screen time, and some of it can be genetic for kids with attention issues.
There’s good news, though a lot of students with attention problems see massive improvement with consistent martial arts classes. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that we use to develop character and build incredible life skills.
Through fun and games in class, our instructors are able to sneak in quick activities that help build focus consistently over time. But aside from games, the act of martial arts itself requires discipline too. To master the physical moves, kids need to sit still, listen to their instructor, and concentrate on how to coordinate their bodies and minds.
Once they’ve done this, our instructors use positive reinforcement to continually praise them for paying attention. Soon, the students understand the connection between receiving positive feedback and staying focused, and they start to see great results. This ultimately helps them achieve better grades and become more confident, which you’ll read about in Reasons 2 and 3. (Cool, right?)
Reason #2: Better Grades Are Possible With Martial Arts For Kids
Did you know that martial arts classes can help your child get better grades? Here’s how it works: Through a combination of consistent practice and fun games and activities, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills (see Reason #1).
With this newfound focus, our students start to become more “indistractable” they have better hand-eye coordination and sharper attention spans, meaning they squirm less in their seats in class and can focus on the tasks at hand. Improved focus means improved listening, so they’re retaining the information better than ever before, and completing their assignments with a higher quality of concentration.
They’re retaining more information, they’re able to recall better on tests and quizzes, they’re scoring higher because of this heightened recall, and voila- better grades! Yes- it really is that effective. Now you may be starting to see why parents love martial arts classes!
Reason #3: Martial Arts Is An After School Program That Builds Confidence
Believe it or not, sometimes your child’s after school program can lead to a decrease in confidence because she’s comparing herself to others on her sports team or in her debate club. If your child isn’t especially athletic or they’re particularly shy, it can be challenging to find an after school program where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” or being self-conscious in front of others.
What’s great about martial arts is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our kids stay focused on their own progress and their own growth. They learn how to compare themselves not necessarily to others, which can be a losing game… but to the previous versions of themselves in order to keep improving. In this way, our students can see in real-time how awesome it feels to set goals and get goals, and they can understand the discipline and perseverance it takes to become successful. Those are skills they’ll take with them for the rest of their lives.
Additionally, our students learn to be real cheerleaders for their peers and support each other whenever they need it. This is one of the best things about teaching martial arts for kids, seeing the way that our kids become friends and cheer each other on. For those who struggle with low self-esteem, getting that support from both their instructors and their peers can be very gratifying and even start a lifelong path of confidence and happiness.
Reason #4: Our Martial Arts Instructors Are Positive Role Models For Kids
If you think about it, most after school program are about an end result- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. But martial arts for kids is different. Achieving a new belt rank (“winning”) is not our sole focus.
Remember how martial arts is a tool for self-development? Pairing that with the individual nature of the sport (individual sport in a group setting), our instructors are able to take the time to hone in on each student and help them with their own unique journey.
Our kids then begin to look to our instructors as positive role models and our instructors are more than happy to fill the role! They have dedicated their lives and careers to bonding with the kids and encouraging them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
The beauty of martial arts is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor teaches with integrity. They know what it’s like to be frustrated or upset, but they also know how valuable it is to keep going! We show our students how to get back up when they’ve been knocked down, always stay humble no matter how far they progress, and how valuable personal development and a commitment to growth can be. Those deeper lessons just aren’t as common in other after school programs.
Reason #5: It’s Just Fun!
The fifth reason is that martial arts for kids is just plain fun! Our awesome instructors make each lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are all about non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep kids interested and continually learning in these critical years of growth and development.
Fun activities and games also help our students make the connection that physical fitness and movement are sources of positive emotion, a connection that they’ll carry with them for life. All of this focus on fun is also a way for our instructors to sneak those life skills, like focus, confidence, and discipline, into each lesson. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning something they’re too busy having a blast. Join our After School Program Now!