Today’s children are overwhelmed by technology, surrounded by all kinds of social media and able to stay connected to their friends in the blink of an eye. Rather than getting a healthy dose of physical activity, too many of them are constantly glued to a phone or tablet screen.
If you’re looking for a way to get your child out of the house, away from technology and doing something active, martial arts is a great way to do it. When it comes to physical activity, many Americans have increasingly turned to martial arts to keep their children. In 2016, more than 3.5 million Americans aged six and older participated in martial arts. The American Heart Association recommends children have at least an hour of physical activity every day and activities like martial arts are a great way to meet that requirement.
Just one hour of moderate intensity martial arts can burn up to 500 calories. On days when children may not have a martial arts class, they can always get a pad or some foam carpet tiles and practice their skills at home.
When it comes to martial arts and getting your child involved, there are many to pick from. You can choose karate, kick boxing, taekwondo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu just to name a few. Let’s take a look at five ways that your child can benefit from taking Jiu Jitsu classes:
- Discipline: Martial arts like Jiu Jitsu are build on the principles of discipline and respect. Having both of these things requires kids to have training to pay close attention and those are things that are built up through repetition. BJJ classes teach kids the value of learning from their instructor, in much the same way they learn from their teachers in school. As kids learn the fundamentals of BJJ, they’ll enjoy learning new skills and soaking up knowledge from their instructor.
- Confidence: Martial arts like BJJ teach many important life skills, but one of the most important is the ability to defend oneself. As a child learns the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu and how to properly defend themselves, their confidence will grow in spades. One of the biggest benefits of Jiu Jitsu specifically is that it teaches kids real-world movements. Kids may see martial arts movies on TV and see all sort of flashy moves, but BJJ teaches a balance of competitive moves and street (think real-world) movements. Take striking for example. BJJ teaches neutralization of a situation and controlling attackers rather than attacking uncontrollably.
- Better movement: Another benefit of Jiu Jitsu is that kids are able to develop better coordination and awareness of their bodies. Doing this can pay off now and also in the future. Kids will learn the steps and physical requirements needed to pull off a series of moves and can use that knowledge when they play other sports. Developing coordination and awareness helps keep kids comfortable as they learn martial arts and can help them later in life in pursuing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Finding a new hobby: Martial arts require discipline and coordination, but that doesn’t mean kids can’t have fun. When they have fun, they’re more excited to learn and it gives them something to look forward to each week. Video games and technology can be fun, but it’s important for kids to take up other hobbies. It gives them interested, helps them development both mentally and physically and helps fuel a love of learning.
Learning like a martial art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be a lot of fun for kids, but it can also teach them many important life skills. They’ll learn the importance of discipline and respect, which will help them when they embark on their future careers. They’ll develop a love of learning and of staying active. They’ll foster new friendships and learn the importance of teamwork. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll gain confidence and learn how to defend themselves with practical movements designed to end bad situations quickly.