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      9 Reasons Martial Arts is the Perfect Family Activity

      When you are looking for a great family activity, it is important to make sure you are choosing an activity that will entertain everyone of all ages. Great family activities are those that add to family fitness. Finding a sport that everyone can enjoy can be a difficult task at times. However, Martial arts are a great activity that can add to your family fitness. Here are nine reasons why this is the perfect family activity.

      Setting goals with your family is healthy

      Advancing in martial arts, like karate and judo, is one of the best parts of going to lesson after lesson.

      Getting all the way to black belt can take a very long time and getting new belts is a fun way to set goals with everyone in your family. This is what keeps families coming back class after class.

      Working towards physical goals leads to working on other important goals. Working on goals towards college, financial planning, and family readiness is much easier after you have already practiced setting goals before as a family.

      Exercise helps everyone stay happy

      When families exercise together, they feel happier.

      It is proven in studies that exercise will release endorphins that make you much more upbeat and less depressed in your life. Attending classes regularly will allow your family to release these endorphins on a regular basis and raise the overall level of happiness in the home. Once you start exercising, it is easy to get addicted to other physical activities like swimming, hiking, baseball, and golf.

      This is a great way for a family to bond

      When everyone in the home is working on a common goal, it is easy to find common ground.

      Having something each week to look forward to with your family is a great way to get everyone excited to spend time together. The car rides, long lessons, and practice sessions will help all of the members of your family spend more time together and bond. When everyone is trying to learn something together, the breakthroughs will create some amazing bonding time.

      Learning together as a family is one of the best ways to grow closer to one another.

      Compete friendly with each other

      The world is a very competitive place. It is important to teach your children the importance of competition before they leave your home.

      Classes and belt advancement is a fun way for siblings and parents to compete without the stakes being too high. Friendly competition can help bond your children closer together as well. They will learn to work with each other to achieve common goals that will help them to grow as individuals.

      Create memories that will last a lifetime

      While it is fun to hang out at home and watch movies every once in a while, engaging in family activities outside of the home are where you are going to create the most long lasting memories of all. When families engage in activities together, it is easier to create memories that will last a lifetime. Your children will look back fondly at their time spent at the school and remember it well into their adult years.

      Filming and taking photos of lessons and competitions can be a great way of remembering all of the fun family times that were had during these activities.

      Start a habit of sharing your interests

      When all of the members of your family start sharing their interests for the first time, it can be easy for individuals to propose the idea of trying out their hobby. It may turn out that your whole family would love skiing or going to the skatepark together.

      It is always a great idea to try out the hobbies and interests of your family members as an entire unit. This is a great way to bond and find new activities that everyone can enjoy together. Your family might discover that they are into creative endeavors as well like music or filmmaking.

      Keep your family safe with the art of self-defense

      The world we live in is becoming more dangerous every day. It is important to teach your children the skills that they will need in order to protect themselves in this violent world. While the skills learned in these classes are never supposed to be used for bullying or intimidating others, they can be very important when any type of self-defense is needed.

      The better skilled your family becomes in these forms of self-defense, the more confident they will feel in the world. This level of safety is especially important when your family is traveling abroad.

      Again, while these skills should never be used for harming others, it is very important to be able to protect yourself in the event that someone is trying to harm you or your family.

      Everyone at any age can enjoy martial arts

      There are some sports that parents can’t have as much fun with as their children. Skateboarding, downhill biking, and wakeboarding are just a few examples of sports that might not be as fun for parents. However, anyone at any age can really start to enjoy learning the art of self-defense.

      Close the generational gap

      It can be difficult for parents and children to understand each other. However, when regular activities are on the schedule, it gives family members the ability to get to know one another. Parent’s and children’s music can be shared and talked about in the car and deep conversations about important issues can happen as well.

      Getting on the same page as your children doesn’t have to be as difficult as it might seem. Taking a little bit of time to understand what your kids are into can go a long way. This time spent together will be a way to really get to understand the culture of your children.

       

      Why Martial Arts is Great for a Child’s Development

      Children martial arts classes are an excellent complement to traditional team children sports offered by schools. For a variety of reasons, your child can achieve greater physical fitness and development when the usual sports like basketball, football, or baseball are pursued in conjunction with martial arts. Parents may wonder “What is the right age to expose the young one to this ancient and timeless method of achieving fitness and discipline?” Most experts say that by the age of six a child should be ready to understand and participate competently in martial arts. If you’re not convinced of the fitness benefits inherent in this idea, keep reading.

      Discipline and Repetition Equals Fitness

      It’s fascinating to watch a children martial arts class in progress, especially if you are able to witness your own child improve his or her strength, power, balance, and coordination over weeks and months of practice. With this activity, fitness is achieved through discipline. Most people understand that the more times you repeat something, the better you get at it. Practicing martial arts moves and routines is no different, and there aren’t many things in a child’s life that he or she will practice more times than the requirements of training for the next belt.

      This physical expression of “practice makes perfect” burns each single move or routine into the muscle memory, allowing subsequent repetitions to be performed with more power and fluidity as the weeks roll by. This is how discipline contributes to children’s fitness in a tangible way. Increase in the former leads to a higher level of the latter.

      When sparring is added to the mix, the potential level of children’s development goes up even more. It takes balance and coordination to throw oneself into the fray of a controlled battle against a peer. Even though it is a competition, there are still rules and protocols to follow and doing so requires more fitness than to simply lose one’s mind and dive into a sparring match with no self control.

      Nobody Sits Down

      It’s a reality of team sports that not everyone gets to play all the time. The bigger, faster, stronger kids tend to get more playing time while others sit on the bench waiting for their chance to contribute. It’s no knock against team sports; there are valuable lessons learned completely unrelated to actual time in the game. The point is that it’s different in martial arts. Everyone participates to the fullest extent and reaps the maximum possible benefit from taking part.

      In team sports, the majority of the action goes to those who physically develop faster, and late bloomers are left on the bench to wait their turn. A late bloomer who gets into martial arts, though, may be able to close the gap with more skilled peers and improve his or her fitness and coordination to the point that they earn more playing time in their favorite school team sport.

      While a child might not have enough opportunity to hone their skills and coordination in team sports, a martial arts class is an entirely different beast. Participants will practice their skills daily and from the beginning of practice to the end. Though different colored belts are used to designate those who have demonstrated a higher level of skill, any child with the drive to practice can reach the next level.

      Battling Childhood Obesity

      Childhood obesity is considered an epidemic in much of the developed world and in the United States in particular. Regardless of which martial arts style chosen, no child in the class goes without being put through his or her paces daily. Warm up calisthenics and stretching, active games, sparring, and practicing moves fill the time between the start and end of a practice session. Defeating obesity through fitness is all about movement.

      Children’s fitness is developed on a couple of different fronts. First, their muscles naturally develop through regular physical strain, while, at the same time, a stronger cardiovascular system can’t help but do the same. A martial arts class is an almost continuous block of activity that lasts up to an hour or longer. Even the most active of team sports (like basketball) can’t match that level of action, broken up as it is by breaks for quarters and timeouts and the shuffling in and out of substitutes. Even the best players aren’t on the floor the entire game.

      Defending Yourself Takes Effort

      Every organized martial art spends a substantial amount of time teaching various forms of self defense. For many of the same reasons we’ve mentioned, time spent in the focused moves of learning effective tactics to take care of one’s self in a dangerous situation relies on a premium level of fitness. At the same time, there may be nothing more critical to children’s development than to learn how to stay safe and alive in the event someone tries to do them harm.

      In a conflict, assuming the skillets are roughly equal, who is more likely to come out on top? We’re going to crawl out on a limb here and suggest it will probably be the one with more strength and faster reflexes – in other words, a higher level of physical fitness.

      The Bottom Line

      While this article focuses primarily on the physical fitness benefits to be gained by participating in martial arts, it’s difficult to separate out a single aspect of this sport for the sake of examination. The philosophy behind any martial art is rooted in a few thousand or more years of dedication to achieving as close to perfect control over body and mind as humanly possible. As your child moves into the vicinity of five years of age, a thoughtful parent should consider exposing him or her to martial arts in addition to traditional team children sports to see if there is any natural interest.