By Bridget Sautel, 3rd dan
One quality that every parent wants there child to have and hold onto throughout their life is self-control. There are many ways this quality can be instilled in a child from early on, but there are some ways that work better than others and have more of a lasting effect. Taekwondo, which is a Korean martial art, is one of the most effective ways to teach a child self-control and self-defense. There are many reasons why children, and adults, need Taekwondo in the first place but it is also necessary to see how martial arts will change a person in the process. The outcomes and permanent changes that become very apparent make all the reasons why kids martial arts is so fundamental to a children’s life very clear.
There are a lot of reasons why a child would benefit from the martial art of Taekwondo and these same reasons apply to adults. One of the most obvious reasons to begin something like this would be to be able to stay fit and in shape. While strengthening the mind and thinking skills, the body is also being worked out and is physically being strengthened from day one. This way the body is kept healthy, and a person will be able to control their body and habits in better ways. Another important reason for taking part in Taekwondo would be the level of respect that the student is taught from the very first class. Not only are the students taught to respect their instructors and other adults, but also their fellow classmates and all types of people, ages, and belt ranks. The most influential reason is that aspect of self-control. This applies to being able to control the body, but also the mind and spirit. The child will learn and practice how to have a longer attention span while they are doing something they are learning to love. There are only a few reasons and explanations of the benefits from children's martial arts.
There are many changes and differences that a person will notice about themselves or their children after being in martial arts for even a short period of time, but especially long-term. One of the most credible differences seen will be that the self-control carries over to school, work, and social settings. It also contributes to interactions with people and how certain situations are dealt with, with the additional knowledge. The lessons that are learned at Taekwondo will be used in other situations that may have been difficult or hard to deal with before, but now have logical reactions and ways of dealing. Another difference is a good sense of consistency, meaning that every week the student will come to Taekwondo class and participate no matter what is going on in the outside world. Along with this is that quality of perseverance and learning not to give up when times are hard or you’re feeling a little exhausted. This especially will carry over to work and school and being able to persevere through these hard times and follow through. While doing a martial art, it will always be very visible to see how you’re improving as a person and the best thing about it is there is also room to improve and move up. The changes and differences in an individual’s actions and ways of life will be very obvious.
The outcomes and changes that will become apparent include not only self-control, but also self-discipline. It will be noted that doing the hard things like giving a speech in front of a big group, or meeting new people, will become a whole lot easier than before. Taekwondo improves confidence levels immensely and along with that comes the self-directed learning. This will also improve school work and every day work dealings. The changes will be noticeable from the start of practicing kids martial arts and will continue throughout the whole length of the training because the learning possibilities are never-ending.
Not only does Taekwondo teach a child self-control, but also self-defense, self-discipline, integrity, courtesy, perseverance, and many other countless qualities that a child needs in order to become successful. Self-control will be applied to every part of everyday life and used everywhere, not just in a Taekwondo setting. This way, a martial arts student is able to acquire every angle of the quality of self-control and hold onto it throughout an entire lifetime.