10 Benefits of Martial Arts For Youth
There are endless amount of benefits that come with martial arts, and it's a bit different for the youth.
In this page, we'll go over the benefits of Martial Arts for youth, how it helps them, and how these benefits can last a lifetime.
Table of Contents
- Working Towards Specific Goals
- Life Skills
- Understanding a Team Environment
- Strength and Power
- Self Control
- Mental Health
- Cardiovascular Health
1. Working Towards Specific Goals
In most martial arts there are specific belt ranks that can be achieved when a certain level is reached by the student.
On top of that, there are specific micro-goals that are set out for the student so that they are able to work towards something.
It gives them a big-picture goal, as well as a small-picture goal that works towards the main goal.
It's very easy for younger students to get demotivated, and this ensures that this doesn't happen.
Additionally, they'll learn throughout the process, that this strategy can be used anywhere in life.
If there's something that they want that seems impossible, they can break that big goal down into smaller goals on the way to the large goal, and suddenly it's very possible.
2. Life Skills
Leadership, honesty, discipline, self-discipline, focus, self-defense, integrity, collaboration, respect are skills that immediately come to mind.
These are all skills that will be needed throughout life, and will help them navigate both dangerous and challenging situations, along with helping their decision making.
Decision-making can range from figuring out who will be good friends for them, to standing up to bullies, and to developing into a leader in both the classroom as well as their sports teams.
Instilling these types of life skills early on in the lives of students can be a tremendous benefit.
It will help them
Hand eye coordination as well as foot eye coordination are both important skills that will last a lifetime.
Whether it's to play other sports, typing on the computer, or even walking around on a day to day basis.
Coordination is something that will be used for the rest of a human's life, and being coordinated early can exponentially help them avoid problems down the line.
A reflex is an automatic action that your body does in response to something, without you having to think about it.
Martial arts can help you develop your reflexes, whether it's to avoid being hit, or countering a strike with one of your own.
This can be developed through drilling as well as slow sparring. Practicing situations over and over again can help develop faster reflexes, with 'faster answers' to what your opponent throws at you.
In fact, when there is chaos, your body will always resort back to your training without you having to think about what you're going to do.
5. Understanding a Team Environment
Being a 'Team Player' is a very underrated skill.
Whether it's in a sport, or even in the corporate world, chances are you will need to know how to work together with other people.
Being selfish can be very detrimental in either of those aspects, and martial arts will help you understand this.
Whether you're holding pads for an experienced student, or a beginner, you'll immediately understand the different ways to motivate one another.
Pushing each other (and everyone else in the class) to their physical and mental limits to be the best version of yourself, as well as help them become the best version of themselves will teach you a lot.
Being able to work cohesively with one another, from youth to adulthood, will provide you with a much better overall experience in different situations.
6. Strength and Power
Developing your strength and power through physical conditioning can be a great asset.
As you develop in both strength and power, you'll be carrying more muscle and have to learn how to accurately coordinate with this added strength.
Additionally, you'll learn how to balance using your power with strikes, while still maintaining great technique.
It's very easy to want to hit pads/bags as hard as you can while sacrificing technique, and having sloppy technique.
The best martial artists in the world have developed a perfect balance of all of these skills.
Martial arts will make you stretch before and after training. In turn, you will become more flexible.
More flexibility means less injuries, less pain, improved posture, greater strength and improved physical performance.
8. Self Control
Self control is one of the best life skills that you can develop. Being able to control yourself in emotional situations, will always be extremely useful.
Martial arts will develop self control through all of the life skills that are taught, following the instructor's orders, and sparring in a controlled environment.
Martial arts will help a student understand when to use their power fully, and when to tone it down.
For example, when a student spars a newer student, they will know to take it much easier, as that student has not yet developed the skills to fight at a higher level.
9. Mental Health
WebMD does a fantastic job of explaining the mental health benefits that martial arts provides.
Stress relief. Martial arts can help reduce stress and anxiety by encouraging you to practice deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. It helps train your mind to keep your attention focused while remaining calm and alert. This can be especially helpful when you're trying to do multiple tasks that divide your attention.
Life purpose. People who practice martial arts often feel a sense of calm, confidence, and renewed peace with who they are and their purpose in life.
Physical exercise. Practicing martial arts also offers a nice boost of "feel-good" chemicals like endorphins that lift your mood. And as you master the craft, you'll likely get a boost in confidence, too. It's a great way to channel and direct your energy toward something positive that you can build on over time.
Emotional regulation. By practicing martial arts, you can master your mind and your emotions. That can help you develop greater emotional stability, assertiveness, self-confidence, and lessen aggressive feelings.
10. Cardiovascular Health
Martial arts is a physical activity that improves stamina and endurance as well as mental wellbeing. In addition to enhancing the health of the entire body, this activity directly affects the amount of blood that pumps through your heart with every beat. Strengthening the heart is vital to cardiovascular health.
As martial arts training raises your heart rate, it works your heart to more efficiently pump blood throughout your body – even when you aren’t working out. The less effort your heart uses to pump blood, the lower your blood pressure, reducing your risk for hypertension.
Not all individuals are fortunate enough to experience full ranges of motion. However, martial arts courses are accessible to everyone. People with limited mobility can benefit greatly from this discipline while also increasing self-confidence in their ability to defend and protect themselves. It’s an excellent option for people of an older demographic who want to strengthen and remain active, or those with mobile disabilities looking for a consistent routine and an encouraging community.
Martial arts can help to fight heart health in so many ways. From improving cardiovascular health directly to encouraging weight loss and reducing stress levels, it’s the perfect option. People of all ages and abilities can start a practice and witness results that last a lifetime.