Children of the 80s and 90s know the movie Karate Kid by heart. It was perhaps one of the most well-remembered martial arts-centered movies in recent history. Nowadays, aside from karate, taekwondo, and aikido, kids are engaging in different disciplines such as gymnastics and children’s yoga. There are two reasons behind this, the first is to encourage kids to be active at a young age, and the second is to instill discipline in them.
In this day and age of the internet, everything is instant and fast. Kids who used to play outside would also rather use their mobile gadgets or game consoles play, totally disregarding exercise and physical activity. On top of that, a lot of kids are becoming more and more spoiled because their parents are away working the entire day. The discipline of engaging in martial arts or children’s yoga will address both these issues. In yoga, the kids are taught not to rush things and to learn to be patient with their own bodies. They will learn how to count their pulses and heartbeat and they become attuned with the deeper rhythm of the universe. No room for temper tantrums here, obviously.
Yoga and martial arts will also teach kids to pull back and not attack. Contrary to what people think, kid’s martial arts do not make them violent or short tempered. In fact, the opposite is true. Martial arts teach kids that fighting is only done as a last resort, because they are aware that they have the power to hurt or maim another human being. If and when they do fight, the focus is self defense and submission, in order to make the opponent stop attacking, not to break an arm or leg.
Children’s martial arts are being offered to children as young as four years old. This is done to catch the child while they are still in their formative years. Values and discipline as well as respect for elders and peers are established at this early age. Having them attend a dojo where they will be taught martial arts will help them find a more valuable and active use of their time.
Yoga, on the other hand, will teach kids patience and proper breathing. It does for kids what it does for adults too – teach them to find their center and restore balance whenever things become too hectic or stressful in the environment that they live in. With more disciplined children, parents and teachers will not be worried as much about bullies and violent kids in school. The key here is to start them really young.
Enrolling your child to martial arts or yoga does not make him/her violent, but it instills him discipline and to be fit at an early age.