Martial arts were originally designed to help fighters prepare for combat, but they have come a long way
Most martial arts are based around traditional fighting techniques from Asia and a performed for a wide variety of reasons including fitness, self defence, and even meditation!
A video of Martial Arts for Kids
Information on martial arts in South Africa
Will your kids enjoy martial arts?
Could your child benefit from developing their fitness and mental focus?
Martial arts might be perfect for them. Rather than teaching fighting skills, most martial arts for kids are aimed at helping them to develop strength and agility, and teaching them the values of courtesy and respect. Your child will be taught a series of exercises and movements which are designed to encourage discipline, stamina, and self defence techniques. Martial arts can be great for very active kids who would benefit from calming techniques and may also help increase confidence for shy children. Other benefits include:
- Improved endurance and fitness through exercise
- Increased mental focus
- Teaches kids on respect, both self respect and respect for others
- Teaching self discipline may help children do better academically
- A chance to gain valuable self defence skills which could potentially save your child’s life
- Increased confidence and sense of achievement from working towards different levels and belts
Not sure what age to start your child? For kids’ activities which focus more on the mental benefits of martial arts, children as young as three can have a try. If your child wants to get into a serious martial art, it is probably a good idea to wait until they are a bit older and have developed the attention span and self discipline required to progress. Many instructors recommend starting at around 10 or older.
How can you organise martial arts classes for your kids?
Classes are usually held at martial arts academies and generally membership of the academy or school is required. Costs vary but are usually around R 275 for three months for access to kids’ classes and family discounts are often provided which provide a great way to get involved in family martial arts activities.
There are a few different martial arts that are suitable for kids, including:
Most of the necessary gear is provided but you will need to get them a uniform and belts. Some martial arts may require you to buy a helmet and chest protection. Tatami mats (to help ensure soft landings) are usually provided by the school.
If your child’s goal is to get fit, gain confidence, or get involved in competitions, why not give martial arts a try?