Your Child Study Karate ?
Karate is the kid sport of today. Attendance in schools across the country has
doubled in the past five years driven primarily by the enrollment of 5-10 year olds. This
sudden interest has, no doubt been fueled by the many television series and movies
featuring martial artists such as Chuck Norris, Claude van Damme and the Power Rangers.
While kids become enamored with learning martial arts as a result of these action heroes,
what they can't appreciate is how the study of the martial arts can be a life shaping
Certainly, learning a martial for the purpose of self defense is reason enough to
enroll in a school. We all know of friends and relations who have found themselves
confronted with situations they were ill prepared to handle. The skill and knowledge of a
martial artist provides a capability that is truly unique. A child or adult studying a
martial art is going to be better prepared to handle a difficult confrontation.
Maturity, Confidence and Self Esteem
The study of a martial art like Hapkido, however, is not just about learning self
defense. While this is certainly an objective, young martial artists quickly learn the
importance of self control, discipline, and respect. Young students develop maturity,
sense of self confidence and self esteem well in advance of their years. Psychologists
observing this behavior, attribute this directly to the students enhanced confidence in
their ability to deal with life's situations.
of the first things a new student learns in the martial arts is the importance of the
rules and traditions that must be followed. Many of the techniques being learned can be
harmful to others and self control is extremely important. As students practice with each
other they develop control and respect for their new found capabilities. As a result many
martial artists learn to avoid physical confrontations despite provocation by others. This
ability to walk away from situations with the confidence of knowing that they could have
won is quite powerful.
Respect for Others
In addition to learning self-control, respect for others is another important lesson.
The tradition of a martial arts school requiring bowing to the Master, fellow students and
the Korean and American flag teaches an appreciation of respect. At Master Kwon's school,
students are frequently reminded of the importance of respecting parents, teachers,
brothers, sisters and others.
Karate as a Life Shaping Experience
While young martial artists may believe that they are learning to kick and punch like
their favorite TV hero, there is actually something much more life shaping occurring. As a
parent you should be comfortable knowing that your support of your children in the marital
arts will serve to contribute to their development in a number of important ways.