Martial arts classes for kids are about so much more than just self defense. We say it all the time, but it’s completely true. Martial arts has a myriad of benefits to offer kids of all ages, but in today’s blog post we’re going to discuss just one particular benefit- leadership.
Kids Martial Arts Classes Foster Discipline
It all starts with discipline. Think of some of the greatest athletes of all time- their best advice is always “never give up”, “stay with it,” “don’t quit.” These aren’t just cheesy aphorisms.
Those athletes are the greatest not necessarily because they’re the most talented, but because they’ve learned discipline. They’ve learned that doing things they don’t want to do, like hitting the gym twice a day or eating well, will give them the results that no one else can get. That discipline is what makes them the best.
So how do we teach our students discipline? Simple. When your child comes to their martial arts classes with Ultimate Martial Arts, they’re not just learning punch and kick combos. They’re also playing games and doing different activities that sneakily teach them life skills and build character, courtesy of our awesome instructors.
Even better, we use positive reinforcement to make sure those good habits stick and stay effective. For discipline, for example, we’ll positively reward them for staying still and quiet and listening to their instructor. As you’ve probably seen in your own children, kids nowadays have shorter than usual attention spans and get bored easily … So we also use disguised repetition to keep students interested and engaged. We’ll play games where they have to repeat different moves a bunch of times, and over time this format helps them bulk up their discipline muscle to succeed to their fullest potential.
One of the coolest things about martial arts is that these habits that we teach them every class, actually stick. There comes a time when we don’t have to discipline our students, and they naturally discipline themselves. They absorb that self-discipline and strive for excellence, pushing through tough or frustrating times, going above and beyond to reach their full potential, using positive self talk… These are amazing transformations for us to witness, and it’s how lasting leadership is fostered in our classes.
Better Grades for a Better Future
It’s not too hard to connect the dots between better discipline and better grades, right? Think of it this way- if your child’s grades aren’t the best, it could be because they’re just not focusing.
Things are distracting them in the classroom, they’re fidgety, they’d much rather be on their devices… That discipline they learn in martial arts class is going to keep them focused on their schoolwork until it’s done, even when they would soooo rather be doing something else.
Once discipline is established, another tool we use in martial arts to help with better grades is focus. Just like with discipline, we’ll play different games that positively reward focused attention in the right places – on the instructor and on the task at hand. Because we have rules in our studio, and those rules are reinforced by the environment (uniform, instructors, etc.), your child is more likely to listen up and respect those rules here in our studio.
One of these rules is that they listen thoughtfully to their instructor or a peer when he or she is talking, just as a baseline form of respect. No phones or electronic devices are allowed on the mat – it’s only your child, their instructor, and their friends, all having fun as they learn these awesome skills. Once your child has developed that focus and released some of that desire for instant gratification, they’ll mentally link focus with positive emotions (I learned how to kick the paddle by focusing really hard! That was awesome!) and then apply it to all aspects of their life, including their grades.
That positive association will help them direct their attention in the proper direction- their homework. And then focusing on their homework means better homework scores, higher absorption of the material, and voila- better grades!
How Better Grades Makes Your Child a Leader
It’s also easy to see the connection between better grades and leadership. Even if your child’s grades improved just the slightest bit, it would be because of their success skills that they’re implementing all on their own.
That’s the sign of a leader- self-leadership first. When your child is making progress thanks to their own efforts, their teachers will start to notice. They’ll receive more positive attention and praise, which will just motivate them even more to lead themselves and build those habits of success. The rest just comes naturally!
Whether they’re captain of a sports team, president of their student council or volunteering in their community, your child’s discipline skills (and all the other skills they learn in martial arts, like respect, perseverance, and focus) will help them become the absolute best they can be. The confidence they feel from being awesome is just the cherry on top!
Martial Arts Classes Help Kids with Their Mindset
So now that we understand that discipline and focus can have a massive impact on your child’s success, let’s talk about mindset. Mindset is basically how you talk to yourself, so it’s also known as self-talk.
When you’re a child, everyone around you is talking to you, and you learn to internalize what they’re saying. If you’re always hearing that you’re dumb, you’re going to believe that you’re dumb and then grow up telling yourself that you’re dumb.
If you constantly hear that never giving up is the key to success, which is what we teach in martial arts classes, you’re going to believe it and tell it to yourself when you want to give up. Our instructors are totally on the ball when it comes to mindset, and they make sure that each child knows exactly what they’re capable of- which is anything that they’re willing to work hard for!
A perseverant mindset is really what sets a good and great leader apart, and that’s what we teach in martial arts. Think back to the last ninja movie you saw, and you’ll recognize that martial arts is NOT easy. Ask any student, new or old- moving your body in a new way and getting the moves down pat can be pretty tricky.
When a student isn’t getting something, it’s the difference in their mindset that will determine their outcome. The student who tells themselves that they’re dumb and can’t do it, won’t get it. The student who tells themselves to keep going and never give up, will. And that’s what we teach in our martial arts classes. We make sure our students know that they’re capable of success on and off the mat, and this fosters true leadership in every one of them.
Help Your Child Be Their Best- Join Us!
Discipline, focus, perseverance, mindset- these are just a handful of life lessons that kids learn in martial arts classes to help them become true leaders. If you want your child to be the best version of themselves they can possibly be for years to come, join our Heathmont martial arts classes for kids risk-free and see for yourself what our Ultimate Martial Arts Child Greatness program can do! Your child will LOVE it!