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 learning valuable skills like focus, discipline, perseverance… and making fitness fun.
We gathered up our top 5 reasons why Longwood parents choose martial arts for kids- and some of them may surprise you! Read on to find out more.
Reason #1: Martial Arts For Kids Helps Them Focus
If you’re like the majority of modern parents, you may have noticed that a lot of kids struggle with focus and concentration. Some of the issues here have to do with just being a kid whose brain is still developing, some of it has to do with shortened attention spans with increased screen time, and some of it is due to plain old genetics if attention issues run in the family.
What’s really cool is that martial arts as after school program for kids actually helps students with attention problems and trouble focusing. Why? Well, martial arts for kids is actually about way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool that people have been using for hundreds of years to develop character and learn vital 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 focus better all on their own. 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
Yes- it’s true. martial arts classes as after school program for kids can help your child achieve better grades. How, you may ask? Here’s the breakdown: Through fun games in class and consistent practice of the martial arts moves, we teach them how to improve their focus and attention skills (we talked about this above in Reason #1).
With this laser 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 they can sit down to complete their assignments with a higher quality of concentration. And, because 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! It really is that simple and it really does work!
Reason #3: Martial Arts is An After School Program That Builds Confidence
Every parent wants their child to be confident in themselves. But sometimes, group after school program can lead to kids comparing themselves to others. If your child isn’t the most athletic, or they’re somewhat shy, it may be difficult to find an after school program that suits them where they don’t have to worry about “letting the team down” in any way.
What’s so awesome about martial arts is that it’s an individual sport in a group setting, so our students don’t have to worry about being the best of the best- they just have to focus on being better than they were yesterday. 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 become the best versions of themselves they can be.
In this way, our students can tangibly see 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 life.Another perk is that your child can learn to support their fellow students and be a cheerleader for another person’s accomplishments. 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 feeling confident inside and out, 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 the end result- the show in Drama Club, the games in sports. But martial arts for kids is different. “Winning” the belt ranking is not our sole focus.
Martial arts is an individual sport in a group setting, our instructors can take the time to hone in on each student and help them progress along their own unique journey. Our instructors then become positive role models to our students, bonding with the kids and encouraging them through positive reinforcement, positive self-talk, and a focus on progress, not perfection.
What’s so awesome about martial arts is that every black belt was once a beginner… so every instructor can teach from a place of integrity and relate to students when they’re feeling frustrated or upset! We always show our students how to get back up and keep going no matter what- and how to stay humble no matter how far they progress. That sense of respect and discipline is not something you see in other after school program.
Reason #5: It’s Just Fun!
This one’s a no-brainer- martial arts as after school program for kids is just fun! Our amazing instructors make each after school lesson fun and engaging. Our classes are all about non-stop activity. We break each class into different sections to keep our kids engaged and learning and sprinkle fun games into the mix to add an element of surprise.
Fun activities and games also help our students make the connection that physical fitness and movement are sources of positive emotion, a connection that will serve them for the rest of their lives. 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 know they’re learning something- they’re too busy having a blast! After School Program.