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Many parents balk at the idea of enrolling their child in a martial arts program. This is understandable; after all, most parents would prefer not to put their child in a situation where he or she could be on the receiving end of punches or kicks.

Thankfully, you’re not likely to find a martial art that puts young kids in the ring after just a few lessons. Instead, most educators spend years training young students before they’re in any sort of combat or sparring situation. Studying a martial art is incredibly safe for kids and poses no more risk to young students than any other sport does.

Unlike other sports, however, studying a martial art has the potential to drastically shape and improve your child. Kids who study a martial art overwhelmingly improve in other areas of their lives outside of their physical fitness. Here’s how a martial arts education can drastically improve your child’s confidence, discipline and overall well-being.

Raising The Confident Child

In a world full of bullying and low self-esteem being seemingly the norm among young people, the confident child seems more like a mythical creature than an actual living young person. However, it is absolutely possible to raise a child who displays high self-esteem and is confident in his or her own abilities, no matter how bad the current climate might seem.

Regularly studying a martial art will help your child to develop a sense of confidence. This happens thanks to the structure of the curriculum, which emphasizes taking the time to slowly develop a mastery of a new skill or move, instead of simply learning how to do things haphazardly so that you can move on to the next lesson, which happens in many other sports and athletics. This slow learning process means that victories and advancements are the results of a lot of obvious hard work, which thereby helps to teach your child that he or she is capable of whatever they put their mind to, which ultimately builds confidence.

Disciplined On The Mat, Disciplined In School

Discipline used to be a virtue that we taught our kids and is still something that is installed in children in other countries, particularly those in Asia. However, the West has largely moved away from trying to actively create disciplined kids, with many parents arguing that it’s preferential to allow kids to grow and develop at their own leisurely pace.

While developing at one’s own pace might be great for reducing stress, it’s not so great for a child’s academic performance and ability to stick to a task. Due to the aforementioned slow and gradual education style, a martial art is the best way to teach a child how to become disciplined and how to learn to really commit to the tasks and activities that they set out to complete.

By practicing a martial art, your child will come to understand that there are no shortcuts in life and that in order to achieve their goals, they have to put in the time and effort. This will carry over to your child’s academic life and you can expect to see good performance on tests and projects.

Teach Your Child Respect

No one wants a robot for a child, but a lot of kids today could stand to learn a thing or two about respect. We live in a world where people seem to be ruder and display less etiquette than ever before, so it’s no wonder that this is being passed down to the younger generation.

In any martial art or combat sport, respect is paramount. Students are taught to respect the instructor, each other, the very sport itself and most importantly, themselves. Students are also taught that there is nothing brave or impressive about rudeness or bravado and that respect is earned through hard work. This is a fantastic and important lesson that will help your child to do well as they move throughout their academic career and life.

Instill Healthy and Active Habits

Obesity and chronic inactivity are becoming serious issues in this country. Sadly, it’s our youngest citizens who are being the most negatively affected. A child who is inactive and obese in their youth is very likely to grow into an inactive and obese adult.

Aside from the mental health benefits, enrolling your child in a martial art will help to keep them active and greatly reduce their risk of obesity later in life. Regular physical activity is essential for a child’s development and a martial art is a great way to ensure that your child gets the physical activity that they need to thrive and stay healthy.

Give Your Child The Tools They Need To Do Well

Sure, enrolling your child in a martial art might sound a little scary, especially if you’re the overprotective type. However, martial art poses no greater safety risk than any other physical contact sport. Plus, unlike other sports, there are myriad mental health benefits on top of the physical benefits. A child who regularly studies a martial art is a child who is disciplined, confident and respectful. These are all qualities that are sadly lacking in so many young people today, so give your child a boost in academia and in life by enrolling them in a martial art today.