7 Reasons to Consider Martial Arts Training for Your Child

Back in 2002, my two oldest boys and I started on our journey in one of the most fun things we've ever done: learning karate. I wanted something that the "men" in our family could do together, and we found it in martial arts. Fifteen years and four black belts later (my youngest son later joined us in our studies), we are all just as hooked today as the when we first walked into the dojo (Japanese for "school"). This study is exhausting, fulfilling, refreshing, and inexhaustible — all at the same time.

The following are just a few reasons why you might want to consider enrolling your child in a martial arts school. (Of course, you also need to beware of schools that are more interested in your money than giving your kid a quality education in karate, taekwondo, or judo. So, check out my article from last year in what to look for in a good school.)

1. Your child will gain self-confidence.

Of course the main reason for most people taking karate or jiu-jitsu is to learn how to defend themselves against larger opponents. That was certainly my motivation when I was a kid in the 70s (plus I wanted to learn all those cool moves that Bruce Lee would do). Once I learned how to put a larger opponent in an arm bar, or that a palm heel strike to the face could potentially knock someone out ... well I got pretty confident that I could defend myself.

That confidence grows as kids learn more difficult skills, and participate in tournaments. When your child can do a jumping, spinning back kick and break a board, or when they win a trophy for performing a difficult form with a bo (an Okinawan wooden staff), they will gain more and more confidence.