Martial Arts training teach children how to have grace under pressure, which benefits youngsters in ways that extend beyond the Karate studio.
Parents will find that karate promotes achievement orientation. A Good martial arts school is an environment of positive role models. Children exposed to this type of determination have a greater chance of incorporating this attitude.
Sense of Belonging
A distinct advantage of karate over team sports is that every child can participate. Unlike team sports, where a youngster may not make the cut or ends up on the bench, karate lets everyone perform to his or her highest level. Although karate is a distinctly individual sport, it can satisfy a child’s need to belong and makes them feel part of something out of the ordinary.
Karate offers clear bench marks of progress that are not found in many modern-day activities. Unlike Little League or Pop Warner football, this achievement can only be reached on an individual basis. Each child sees the result of his effort.
A bully usually has low self-esteem, and a need to feel powerful causes them to seek out others weaker than themselves. A bully senses weaknesses such as an unwillingness to look him in the eye, hunched posture, rapid breathing when confronted, a quavering voice, and uncertainty in replies. Contrary to what parents might believe, martial arts training does not prepare children for a showdown with a bully, it short circuits the bully baiting signals.
Many parents are confused by the film industry’s portrayal of the Martial Arts, in which violence is commonplace. Movies, however, tend to dramatize the Martial Arts’ combat aspects while ignoring its subtleties. Gichin Funakoshi, who originated Japanese Karate, said the ultimate goal of Martial Arts did not lie in victory or defeat, but in the improvement of the participants’ character. This is what the Martial Arts are all about.
Karate is similar to ballet in terms of the physical demands placed on motor coordination. Both the upper and lower body must perform intricate, coordinated movements.
Virtue Over Violence
Some parents harbor a concern that karate promotes violence in a child. According to recent psychiatric studies, however, just the opposite occurs. University of Miami professor Richard Carrera, a clinical psychologist who conducted a study of male martial artists, found that, in comparison to a control group of college students, the martial artists were quiet, conscientious, industrious and able to inhibit aggression and hostility. Some people behave uncontrollably when they feel their dignity or masculine identity is threatened. Maybe they wouldn’t if their identity was well secured.
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