There are many martial arts to choose from, but when looking for the best fit for a child it is important to find the most well-rounded program that combines realistic self-defense skill development with a positive environment and a character development component.
First consider self-defense. According to youth safety expert and owner of Nexus Martial Arts & Fitness in Wareham, MA, Stephen Whittier, many people think all martial arts are the same, or that they are all interchangeable with "karate" or "tae kwon do"; however, he prefers to divide the various martial arts styles into two general categories: "theory-based"
Unfortunately, the majority of the martial arts disciplines being taught to children are theory-based;
Ironically, in any competitive sport this would never be the case; kids are used to scrimmaging in practice so that they can perform in a game or competition. In a program that teaches real self-defense to kids, they would be safely and progressively training to use their skills in a realistic format that allows them to develop more quickly and more technically.
A well-rounded program will teach children not only the defensive and offense aspects of the most proven striking martial arts (with elements of boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing), but also the highly effective grappling techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Taught correctly, both of these aspects can not only be practiced safely, they can be trained in a fun and healthy environment.
So, a true self-defense curriculum would include the core physical skills of being able to strike and defend against strikes, to be able to take an opponent down to the ground and defend being taken down, and to also be able to defend oneself on the ground.
Along with these physical aspects, Whittier states, it is also important to develop the proper character and positive personal qualities of a martial artist. This will help children to build a high degree of confidence, self-discipline, perseverance, and sense of personal responsibly. These are not only key to achieving goals in the martial arts, but are also very important for success in other aspects of life that extend beyond martial arts training.
When looking for a quality marital arts program, consider which has a record of both developing competent martial artists and a proven curriculum for helping kids to develop life skills and leadership qualities.
Parents want the best for their kids, but also realize that they cannot be there every minute to protect and guide them. Finding great kids martial arts classes with a comprehensive program of self-defense and character development will ensure that they have prepared their children the best for responsibly dealing with bullying, potentially dangerous situations, and for successful goal setting in life.
For more information on youth martial arts, anti-bullying and character development programs, contact Nexus Martial Arts & Fitness at 508-295-5427 or visit http://www.WarehamKarate.com.