Martial Arts have long been known to have a positive effect on those that practice. Taekwondo and Tai Chi are two popular martial art forms that can be taught to children starting at a young age. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that emphasizes a mind-body connection using slow, gentle movements, meditation and deep breathing. Taekwondo is a combative self-defense martial art with Korean roots. Both offer great benefits for children and can be foundational to resilience and character development. Below are some positive changes that children have experienced. Learn more about martial arts programs available at the YMCA.
Self-esteem is built through achievement and positive reinforcement. Taekwondo and Tai Chi help children learn to master new skills, set goals, and push themselves both mentally and physically. As they challenge themselves and grow, their self-esteem improves. Your child may start to feel more confident and self-assured in their every-day life. Having a sense of accomplishment and belief in oneself will carry over into all aspects of his or her life.
The fundamentals of Taekwondo and Tai Chi teach a child to be more self-aware and in control of their mind and body. Children are taught in order to achieve their goals, they must focus and be disciplined in their actions. Learning how to be in more control of their bodies will translate into other areas as well. You may notice that your child is able to focus better at school and at home. They also learn to listen to their teachers whom they are taught to respect.
Provides Physical Activity
Taekwondo and Tai Chi are excellent physical activities for children. We all know that exercise is good for all ages and these activities will help children improve muscle tone, strength, flexibility, agility, reflexes, and stamina. It also helps them relieve stress, just as it does for adults. You might see less frustration and anxiousness from your child while practicing these art forms.
Learn Integrity and Respect
Respect and honor are foundational in Taekwondo and Tai Chi teachings. Children are taught to respect authority, their peers, and themselves. They also learn to respect the hard work it takes to move up in belts. They are taught to be honest and take total responsibility for their actions. Instructors become valuable role models as they demonstrate honor and integrity in their own lives. These characteristics will manifest in all areas of their lives.
Setting and Achieving Goals
Learning how to develop and achieve any goal is very impactful for children. Through taekwondo and tai chi, children learn that only through hard work can you meet those goals. They earn belts as they progress through the training, proving their dedication and mastery of skills. With the belts, children can touch and feel their accomplishments – a very real measurement of all their hard work. Your child may soon begin to put this same practice towards school and other activities.
If you are searching for an activity for your child where they will learn discipline and self-worth, give Taekwondo or Tai Chi a try. Families and experts agree that once children start to practice these martial art forms, they see positive changes. The programs offered at the YMCA will provide your child with all of the benefits these martial art forms provide.