Many parents want to get their children involved in team sports because they want their child to be active, make friends, learn how to work with a team, etc. However, not every child wants to play team sports or is able to play team sports. So what do you do to get your child active? One great alternative to traditional team sports is karate classes. Karate classes allow children to gain all the benefits they would see in a team sports program, plus much more.
Good For Health and Fitness
Just like participating in any sport, karate classes help promote health and fitness. Martial arts is a great form of exercise and many people turn to this sport to help them lose weight, increase their cardio fitness, and build muscle. Your child will learn to take care of their body through proper exercise and stretching. They will have a positive outlet for otherwise unused energy and get just as much exercise, if not more, as they would playing any other sport.
If you are looking for a competitive atmosphere, this is still available through martial arts. Many karate schools host or participate in karate tournaments. While this is not a requirement for taking a karate class, many parents and kids love to have the competitive atmosphere of a karate competition to help push them to be their best while also learning about being a good sport whether you win or lose.
Learn Life Skills
Good karate schools teach more than just kicking and punching, they also teach life skills. Some of the many life skills that children learn through martial arts that they can use through their whole life are respect, self control, focus, self discipline, responsibility, leadership skills, confidence, and the list goes on and on. Many people are surprised at how taking a karate class helps their child do better in school and social activities.
Some parents turn to team sports as a way to help their child make friends. Unfortunately, this does not always work. If your child is shy and has a hard time making friends, putting them in a situation where they have a whole group counting on them to perform may not be the best option at first. Although it is definitely a very good thing to help children learn to be responsible and realize how their actions affect others, if you are trying to help your shy child make friends karate is a great choice. They will be able to focus on their own progress while still being able to work in a group of peers who are striving to reach the same goals that they are. Every time your child learns something new or passes off a technique this will give their confidence a huge boost. At the same time, they will still be learning responsibility and how to work with a group through small team-building exercises in class.
No Prior Athletic Background Needed
Many children who do not have an athletic background or any athletic experience struggle in team sports. This can be very discouraging. Karate classes do not require any previous athleticism for students to have a good experience though. Everybody starts at the same level with the basics and builds up from there.
No Age Limit
As children grow older their ability to participate in team sports becomes more and more limited. At a young age it easy for them to become part of a community or recreational sports team, but once they reach high school age it becomes increasingly difficult to continue participating in team sports as they go through team try-outs. Not everyone makes the team. Karate classes however do not have an age limit, there are no try-outs, and it is a fun sport that anyone can participate in at any age.
Great Activity for the Whole Family
Because karate programs do not have an age limit, it allows parents to take class with their children. Unlike team sports, where parents are generally just cheerleaders on the side lines, karate is a sport that an entire family can do together. This gives your family some great bonding time and a common interest.
Finally, karate does not have an “off-season” and because it is indoors it is not weather dependent. Many parents find themselves at a loss as to what to do with their children during the “off-season” of whatever team sport they play. They want their child to stay active and healthy, but struggle to find an alternate activity when soccer or football is over. Karate is great activity for the whole family to do together year round.
Brett Lechtenberg is Utah’s top expert on safety. He has trained thousands of people to