Children & martial arts
In recent years, there has been a real challenge to get children active. Before we had computer games and smartphones, Children went out to play and participated in sports. The problem is inactivity and junk food, means a lot more children are unhealthy and maybe even obese. Martial arts is a good way to give children something to do.
In recent years, there has been a surge in interest on MMA, kickboxing and similar sports. Despite the names, they are not the same of traditional martial arts. Classes for children on kick sports and MMA need to be closely looked into. What adults do is dangerous, and without sufficient training and conditioning, a number of participants of these sports have been seriously injured or have lost their lives. Many have caught infections when they have come in contact with residual sweet, blood, urine and faeces. I think you get the picture. So when the BBC decides to write an article on the subject, I feel that I have to add my to pennies worth.
Traditional martial arts does not focus of kicking and punching from day one. There is a syllabus that includes a number of items, such as warm up exercises, partner work, forms and conditioning. What is good about traditional martial arts is that it combines fitness and teaches people respect, team work, responsibility and humility. These are fine qualities that would help children get through school and also in life. But this is boring right? Well yes, but you'd feel better knowing your your child has been able to avoid being bullied and defended themselves if they were being pushed around. This is where restraint and responsibility comes in. Furthermore, you're not getting that call from school, the police or the hospital. I think you you what I mean.
There is no guarantee what children will do, but with the wrong guidance, it can only mean trouble. When you tell children not to do something, they probably might. Its naive to believe children will not misuse their skills they've learned in class. So parents who want to enrol their children into martial arts, should look at what is being taught and the background. Regarding gradings, these take time to earn and belts should not be the objective. But that is a topic for another day.
Thank you for reading my blog.