5 Ways Martial Arts Help Kids Succeed in School


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Below are 5 ways that martial arts can help your kid's transition to this school year, which also apply to daily life, in and out of the dojo. Their teachers will notice the benefits of karate in their lives.

 

1. Responsibility. Homework, projects, attendance, conferences, are all things that might not be of at the top of our to-do lists, but we have to do them anyway. We have to show up, get it done, and try our best. Parents demonstrating responsibility, teaches kids that we expect them to be accountable too, we are setting them up for success in school and eventually in employment. Quitting karate or other activities when school starts, sends the message that quitting is an option. Modelling hard work and perseverance teaches them those positive characteristics.

In martial arts and life, responsibility is everything. Our students understand that attendance and practice are essential to promoting belt levels. Showing commitment and accountability is the first step to reapinv the rewards of a successful life.

2. Courage. Many people, especially kids, struggle with anxiety, especially when they are facing unknowns like new teachers, classmates, schedules, and new schools. In karate, we often try new things. Students are pushed out of their comfort zones in a safe environment. By encouraging them to face their fears, we enable them to reach goals and accomplish things by tapping into their courage.

We work with children to perform and speak in front of a group, looking an adult in the eye when speaking to them, shaking hands properly and being respectful of others and their property. Completing a routine at first is difficult to memorize, or getting to a belt level that was once only a dream for them instills the courage they need to excel in school.

3. Focus and Self-Control. These are probably the biggest reasons parents as they enroll their kids in the martial arts. Kids often have issues sitting still, keeping their hands to themselves, looking at who's talking, and concentrating on an activity for an extended period of time.

These skills are the foundation of most successful relationships: parent/child, teacher/student, coach/athlete, boss/employee. In order for students to learn, they must first have the tools and the ability to get, and stay focused, and control their bodies appropriately. At school, they need to listen to and sit still, which is difficult for many kids.

Karate teaches kids the importance and focusing (so teachers see that they are listening), and how it can help them retain information crucial to their academic success. Karate is fun, but just like in school, we need to focus our eyes, focus our mind and focus our body to learn. This ability to makes a ton of difference.

4. Self-discipline. School is, by definition, a place for learning, which requires discipline. If kids don’t or won't follow directions, they will find themselves facing consequences that can substantially hurt their success. This is especially true for kids who don't do martial arts coming back from long Summer vacations where they may have not had as many rules to follow.

Our instructors are aware that part of their job is to reinforce behaviors that we want to see both in and out of the dojo. Students know what is acceptable behavior in karate class and that there are consequences for unacceptable actions. This provides immediate and meaningful feedback that they can apply in any setting, including school.

Parents, if you are concerned with any behaviors outside the dojo, please inform us. It is important for us to be leaders in our community, and we want our students to be good role models as well.

5. Relationships. It’s no secret that bullying is a major concern. Playgrounds, busses, and social media are all places where kids experience bullies. It is important for children to have adults that they feel comfortable talking to; sometimes that isn't a parent.

Our instructors look for changes in mood and progress and try to keep an eye out for students who appear to be struggling. We will often step in and ask if everything is okay. It never hurts to have an extra set of eyes monitoring your child.

It is important for kids to be assertive and to stand up for themselves. While we don't advocate for violence, we do teach basic self-defense and anti-bullying skills to boost children’s confidence. When our students learn to control their emotions and begin to master abilities that they didn't have before training in martial arts, those skills translate into confidence in handling bullies. We also encourage students to support others in and out of the dojo who might be getting bullied. Karate kids often develop an alliance which can help at school when kids can feel nervous or isolated.

Kids are resilient. They like consistency and discipline. Keeping your commitment to them by allowing them to remain committed to martial arts, teaches them accountability and that they can rise up to a challenge, and figure out how to make things work.

Removing them from karate based on the fear of over scheduling, even before you test the waters, sets a precedent that that quitting is the easiest option.

We understand that schedules are busy, but before pulling your child out of an activity which is benefiting them in everyday life, give it a try for a while. Reach out to an instructor, and talk to them about your concerns. Perhaps we can develop a plan that can ease some of your worries or address any specific issues you have.

At Infinity, we are parents ourselves so we understand. We want to do our best to help your family see results from our program and find ways that we can benefit the community at the same time. Please let us know how we can help your child get back to school with ease using qualities, characteristics, and values from karate.


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