Violence. It’s all around us.
More and more children are coming home with busted lips and black eyes. Bullying is at an all time high in our society.
Will your child be the victim of more bullying? What about stolen lunch money and swirlies (yes, they still do this to children! So old school…)
No matter the reason, children need to learn to defend themselves. And not only defense, but discipline and anger management.
Personally, my answer to all this is…
Martial Arts or MMA
We’ve all seen The Karate Kid and, at some point in our lives, wished we have a Mr. Miyagi in our corner.
The truth is that, in a way, we do. Through the masterful artistry and craft that makes up the martial arts world, your child could find that perfect teacher and mentor.
So perfect, in fact, that they help shape the very men and woman your children will become.
But, not all Martial Arts is created equal. So, before you run out and start comparing enrollment fees, please take a moment to read my article.
I want to talk a little about the different forms of Martial Arts and how to pick the right Martial Arts teacher for you and your children.
How To Pick Martial Arts Styles.
To help narrow down your options, the first thing you should do is consider your interests and your goals.
How formal would you like your little one to train?
Is this mostly for fun and to learn some discipline or do you have longer term goals?
For example, you may be mostly interested in helping your little one learn self defense, get exercise and learn about another culture.
Take a moment to write these down.
And don’t be afraid to talk to your child. See what they want or how they feel about it. Odds are, if they think fighting could be “cool” they’ll actually pay attention and learn something while they’re there.
In addition to considering your personal interests, you will also need to examine the area of focus and the level of formality of various martial arts systems or styles.
Some styles, for example, focus on a particular type of movement, while others focus on certain weapons. Furthermore, some styles are more formal than others.
Those that are formal will place a greater emphasis on things such as style of dress, training etiquette and ceremony, while others will be far more informal in nature.
An informal martial arts training program may be something as simple as cardio kickboxing, while Kendo would be on the other end of the scale.
While every school and teacher is different, a general guideline of the most formal styles to the least formal styles would be:
- Tae Kwon Do
- Kung Fu
- Tai Chi/Bagua/Hsing-yi
- Krav Maga
- Jeet Kune Do
Finally, before choosing the perfect Martial Arts training style, you need to look and see what is in your area. Obviously, the more formal training probably is not available for children but, no matter what your goals, be sure to interview the different instructors.
Make sure you are both on the same page and that your personalities match.
How to Pick the Right Martial Arts Teacher for You and Your Child
Choosing the right person to train your your little fighter is just as important as picking the style. I have personally witnessed the harm and corruption the wrong instructor could have over an impressionable child. So, here’s what I suggest:
- Do your research! Look into their social media and call their references.
- Discuss how much one on one training each student receives. How big are the classes?
- Before giving a dime to someone you just met, observe one their classes. Bring your little one, too. If they like it and say “I wanna do that” then you may have just found the right place. Also, watching the instructor’s coaching style will help in deciding whether or not their students respect them or not.
- Proves the claims! Does the instructor just bark out orders or does he practice what he preaches? Example: If the instructor is 100 pounds overweight with a sloppy look but requires good diet and appearance for his students, would you trust what he says?
Use your better judgement. Help your children through those difficult school years and protect them from bullies. Self Defense knowledge can make or break a young person.
Personally, I put my boys in Tae Kwon Do and it’ snot because they are getting bullied. It’s for discipline and that “just in case” moment that they need to defend themselves.
They love the class and although they can be a bit irritating shouting out all the stuff they’ve learned, I can smile and shrug it off, knowing that they are not only enjoying it, but also learning and want to continue learning.
Bullying is all over the place and sometimes your child won’t mention it to you, You should seriously consider putting your kid in some type of martial arts, so that you can have that peace of mind too.
I am not a fan of bullying and although we don’t wish it upon any of our kids, it is definitely out there. This is not a solution for it, but it will definitely help your child if he or she encounters one. Your thoughts?