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Information for Beginners

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In a media culture that seems to glorify violence and bravado the idea of enrolling your child in martial arts training classes doesn’t always seem like a good one. While martial arts-centered action films seem to be filled with violent and unacceptable behavior, you may be surprised to learn that martial arts’ training is actually quite safe and can be very beneficial to kids. In fact, listed below are 10 reasons why you may want to consider martial arts training for your children.

1. Fostering Self-Discipline – One of the central tenets of all forms of the martial arts is an absolute focus on self-discipline. Today’s kids are so accustomed to receiving instant gratification that lessons in self-restraint and discipline aren’t always easy to come by. Kids with a traditional karate background, however, are continually reminded of how essential self-discipline is.

2. Boosting Socialization Skills – Kids who don’t always thrive in highly social environments may find it easier to get to know people and make new friends when they’re in a room filled with peers who share a common interest. The kids on the playground may not always have much in common, but devotees to the martial arts are able to get to know one another through shared pursuits.

3. Encouraging Physical Activity – Limiting screen time is a great idea, but an enjoyable alternative makes it easier to enforce. Enrolling an inactive child in a physically demanding pastime not only discourages a sedentary lifestyle, but also gives her an enjoyable activity that inspires her to keep moving.

4. Learning to Set and Achieve Goals – Most forms of martial arts are based around an accomplishment system of colored belts that signify the wearer’s degree of skill. When your child strives toward each new belt, he’s learning valuable lessons about setting and reaching his goals. Karate’s belt rank system helps students learn how to handle challenges and disappointments.

5. Increased Self-Esteem – Confidence comes with achievement, so your child’s self-esteem level will get a boost with every new move she masters and every new belt she earns. Kids who struggle with a low sense of self-worth usually become more confident as their skill level improves and they move on to more challenging material. Easy passing, or quitting, when it gets difficult lowers self-esteem, while working hard and truly earning a new belt builds self-esteem.

6. Instilling a Sense of Respect – Students of the traditional martial arts are expected to demonstrate respect for their instructor as well as their fellow students. Today’s kid culture doesn’t always include respect for authority, adults, or those in advanced positions. Respect and receptiveness go hand-in-hand; therefore a respectful attitude is essential for optimum learning.

7. Encouraging Non-Violent Conflict Resolution – Thinking that karate instruction promotes violent behavior is justified if your only experience with the activity comes from television or movies. In fact, many traditional styles emphasize the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.

8. Improving Listening Skills – In order to master the skills she’s being taught and advance through the belt ranks, your child will have to develop effective listening skills. Kids who aren’t always adept when it comes to paying attention to what they’re told benefit from karate instruction because they must actually perform the routines they have been taught.

9. Developing Teamwork Skills – Although karate is an individual journey it is mostly practiced in a group setting. Working together and doing ones part to make the entire class, the best class, is an important life lesson for kids to learn. Traditional karate nurtures the “service to others” mindset, as senior students are encouraged to help their juniors master the material and acclimate to the dojo environment.

10. Improvement in Other Areas of Life – The benefits of martial arts training don’t end in the dojo. The boost in confidence, increased fitness level and new cooperation skills will also help your child navigate the academic and social aspects of school, affect his behavior at home and have an all-around good influence on him as he develops into an adult.

Getting Started:

We offer a very generous introductory program in our Topsham, Maine location. Our trial program consists of two weeks of free lessons (four classes). This gives you ample opportunity to evaluate our program to determine if it meets your family’s standards of excellence. Kindly ‘contact us’ with your e-mail and phone number, and we will help you with the appropriate class times for your introductory program.

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