Karate has so much to offer!
In my twenty-plus years of involvement with this martial art, I have seen how it combines so many benefits into one.
It fulfills a child’s need for extracurricular activities but also gives them an outlet to explore both mental and physical capabilities.
Karate helps teach children how to express their energy in the right arena, to learning humility and respect for others. Along with developing a healthy habit to wait for their turn, kids also learn how to be patient and develop their social skills accordingly.
In this article, I’m going to take a deep dive into 17 benefits that karate has to offer to your child and why it is important to get them involved!
1. Learn How to Defend Themselves Alone
We are living in a world where bullying and harassment have become extremely normal.
Realistically, we cannot protect our children 24/7. There are times when your child will be alone and unsupervised.
At times when you cannot directly protect your child, you can still keep them safe by teaching them self-defense.
Karate is a type of martial arts that helps your child defend herself in any situation of conflict. There are different techniques taught in a karate class, include punching, kicking, and blocking and these are exactly what your child needs to protect themselves during a dangerous situation.
These aren’t things that would encourage your child to get themselves involved in fights because karate doesn’t just teach defense techniques but also prepares your child to manage her anger and maintain respect for others.
2. A Productive Outlet For energy
If you feel that your child has a lot of pent-up energy and is looking for an opportunity to let that extra energy go, then Karate is a great option!
As a child grows, they will need a productive activity such as Karate to be able to learn how to express and manage their emotions.
So not only is it an outlet for extra zeal experienced by a hyperactive kid but it also creates a balance between emotional and physical energies.
In case your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, I suggest that you getting your child involved in karate is bound to help them concentrate and focus.
Special children who are unable to pay attention for long have shown significant improvements by taking karate lessons (Source). Please do consult your pediatrician beforehand.
3. Building the Right Posture
At this early, delicate age, it is essential to build the right posture for your child.
Once the child develops the habit of incorrect posture, it is very hard to teach them the correct posture and even if you do teach then, it is very hard for them to implement that in their real-life permanently. This is why karate is the perfect way to go!
Karate is a full-body workout; from arms and legs to your abdominal muscles – all of the muscle groups are utilized while training for and learning karate.
These full-body exercises help improve the child’s flexibility and balance, encouraging them to adopt and maintain a good posture.
Having a good posture rules out all the chances of neck and back pain which are very common in children these days. If you look at the benefits of karate, you will notice that most of them are interlinked.
4. Healthy Weight Management
Unless the diet of your child is very unhealthy, weight should not be a major concern. However, your child must also remain active and fit.
To make that possible, you can encourage any sport or physical activity that helps him or her stay active, but I would personally recommend Karate.
Why chose karate? Well, because karate takes care of more than just the body. Karate includes exercises that help burn fat and control the excessive fat deposits in children.
Along with that, it also keeps your child mentally active and improves their focus and concentration.
5. Makes the Child More Active and Flexible
The warm-up sessions that go along with the Karate sessions are perfect to improve the flexibility and movement of your child.
These sessions include a lot of stretching that helps your child with mobility. You will be surprised at the various postures your kid will be able to form.
As we progress through the karate sessions and its many movements, you will be surprised to know that karate teaches them to understand the situation quickly and react to it accordingly.
By learning how to balance themselves in the different postures and positions, the child gets to be more agile which is vital for her overall health and wellbeing.
6. Builds Stamina and Strength
Karate is a complete workout that makes all the muscles in your body move.
This itself strengthens the muscles and builds the stamina of your child. Apart from push-ups and stretches in the warm-up sessions, the horse stance position itself is a powerful exercise that surely burns fat and makes the muscles stronger.
Building stamina and strength in a kid is very important.
Doing so makes children feel a lot less tired and lazy, and it keeps the heart and blood pressure rates under control as well.
Once the child develops an interest in the sport, even on days without the training sessions, they will look for outlets to exercise and burn any fat they gain.
Watch these kids as they go through some serious karate training in this short video!
7. Muscle Toning
Karate helps the child to get in optimum physical shape.
It is one form of martial arts that helps the kids manage their weight, strengthen their muscles, and improve their overall stamina. But the list doesn’t end here.
Along with the strengthening of the muscles, karate helps your child with muscle toning as well.
Muscle toning is required to increase the general agility, flexibility, and movement of the muscles in the human body. The different karate stances affect you differently, but each exercise improves the coordination of muscles.
8. Body-muscle Coordination
The coordination benefits are not just limited to the muscles but the senses as well. Karate is an exercise that benefits the child mentally, physically, and spiritually too.
The child has to stay in a certain position for a few seconds which helps them in being more patient.
The hand-eye coordination, that is so essential for karate, will help your child in writing, driving, and many other activities in future life.
9. Limits Screen Time
In today’s digital world, it is extremely essential to limit your child’s screen time for the sake of their own health.
With everything virtual, this is a quite tricky task for the parents.
However, if you enroll them in a karate class, you will be able to take them away from the screen – whether it is the cellphone, laptop, or TV at least for some time.
Once they are out, I am sure they will feel so fresh and happy on their return from the karate sessions that no video game could ever replace that feeling!
These karate sessions are not only important for their physical activity but also their social needs.
When children meet new people, they get to learn a lot from others and the environment. They are able to have a greater range of exposure which helps them grow into more productive human beings.
10. Helps Develop a Healthy Sleep Routine
Access to different screens messes up with the sleep schedule of children and having a good night’s sleep is essential for their growth.
Once you enroll your child in a martial arts session, you will be free of this task too. If your question, how? Well, here is the answer!
Indulging your child in a physical activity that involves a lot of stretching and movements, any kid is bound to get tired. In the case of karate, they have to have a separate warm-up session of about 15 to 20 minutes.
Karate raises your heartbeat alongside the other health benefits discussed earlier, which lend a helping hand in inducing sleep in children.
Also, if your child is diagnosed with any sleep disorders, try sending him/her to practice karate, but of course, after consulting with your pediatrician.
11. Goal Orientation
Karate requires the participant to be highly dedicated and devoted to the sport.
Starting with the white belt, the child will have to surpass many levels to finally reach the black belt. And unless the child learns to be goal-oriented or develops the willingness to play till the end, it is going to be a complicated run.
It is important to send your child to learn karate at the young age of 6 or 7 because he or she has not had a chance yet to fully form their personality, so it’s much easier to mold them.
A major role is played by the parent’s will as well. They have to be supportive and keep pushing the child to perform better every day. In other words, be there to morally support the child at all times.
12. Makes the Child Disciplined In All Parts of Life
Managing emotions, time, and reactions – all fall under the umbrella of discipline.
If you have watched live karate, or even in movies, you know there’s a lot of bowing before the participants begin the actual fight.
This step itself has a significant impact: it makes the child respect the people around her and feel gratitude towards them.
Karate also requires the child to maintain a certain posture and position for a few seconds which again makes them calm and patient, hence, simultaneously training the body and the mind.
With these crucial lessons in time management, karate trains the subconscious mind to be extra careful and be more disciplined in their lives.
A self-disciplined child stands out in a group as he or she depicts the manners and principles learned throughout their journey through karate.
13. Focus and Concentration
Building the attention span of a child will help them in all phases and facets of life – from acquiring education to running their business or working in a job.
But building that is not an overnight thing. It requires your child to be mentally tough and spiritually strong.
Karate techniques that include punching and kicking, and even breaking a brick, are all learning experiences.
They teach the child that once he is focused and concentrates fully to achieve the goal, he will be able to do it.
These activities help improve the child’s cognitive responses and make him more vigilant towards his surroundings.
Once the kids learn these tricks, I am sure it’s going to have a huge impact on their life. As research shows, karate has had a significant role in motor and cognitive development in children (Source).
14. Help Manage Stress and Makes the Kids Calmer
You might have heard that to release stress or avoid it, a person should involve themselves in physical activity.
The same is the case with children. As parents, we often overlook the fact that our children may also have difficulty in managing stress, or that they can be stressed at all.
Helping kids to learn the various methods of stress management such as breathing exercises, yoga, or karate can go a long way in preparing the child to deal with the anxiety that you might not even know about.
This will in return calm your child and help them realize how important managing their mental health is for themselves and the people around them.
Humbleness and kindness are two characteristics that the child learns with stress management.
15. Learning Basic Principles of Life: Humility, Respect, and Patience
As beneficial as karate sounds, it requires years of training, practice, and dedication to finally reach the next level.
There are many examples of top martial artists who have had a remarkable level of commitment to their art that today their names are known by all. Karate teaches patience to kids and in my view, the parents as well.
You might be wondering how respect and humility are achieved through karate? When your child starts training at a karate academy, he/she will be supervised by a professional who is likely an accomplished martial artist himself.
As the other students in the academy would do, your child will also learn to respect his instructor.
Later, when he meets different martial artists or even learns about the different techniques introduced by various trainers, he will be humbled and will gain respect towards them.
Karate has a belt ranking, with each upgrade, the techniques, and the difficulty level increase. If the child is not willing to learn and respect their fellow students and instructors, surviving would become difficult.
16. Builds Confidence and Self-esteem
Confidence is not something that can be taught to a child or even an adult. It is a feeling that comes when an individual feels worthy and valuable.
Karate is a good place to start and make your child feel confident and strong. Apart from the physical strength that karate provides, it enables the child to be mentally strong as well.
For instance, when the kid learns different techniques of self-defense and knows he or she can tackle any difficult or dangerous situation alone, they are more likely to be confident when participating in activities that are new to them.
With confidence comes self-esteem.
Once the child knows how to fight back, and starts getting appreciation from the supervisors at the training academy, they will feel that they have accomplished something in life, which in turn boosts their self-image.
17. Makes Your Kid Socially Active
With today’s hand-held gadgets and technologies, children have literally stopped leaving their homes after school to take part in or enjoy different physical activities such as playing in the park, going to football matches, or riding a bike in the neighborhood.
Even worse is the fact that they have tended to limit their social life to just school friends.
The friend circle of a kid highly impacts his/her life choices so it is very important to surround your child with other goal-oriented children. For that reason alone, karate classes are your best choice.
When a kid is learning to excel at karate, everyone – from the trainer to the parents – is actively involved in achieving something big for the child.
The environment, thus, is very motivating and encouraging. When your child reaches their big goal and starts participating in competitions, the social presence will enhance and your child will be much more confident and happier.
Now that you have read the various benefits karate has to offer to young children, I am sure you will consider enrolling your son or daughter in a karate academy as a means to develop both their physical and mental skills.
With everything that is happening around the world these days, kids may be suffering the most. Karate is bound to provide an ideal outlet and a change in the environment which are very important for a child to grow into a healthy adult later.
Social exposure and productive activities will aid their mental and physical development and assist them in maintaining a nice balance in life. Karate is not so much a sport as a way of life!
- Felmet, M. B. (1998). The effects of karate training on the levels of attention and impulsivity of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The University of Toledo.
- Alesi, M., Bianco, A., Padulo, J., Vella, F. P., Petrucci, M., Paoli, A., &Pepi, A. (2014). Motor and cognitive development: the role of karate. Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal, 4(2), 114.