Combat sports for children can be extremely concerning for most parents. With so many other sports such as basketball, swimming, and tennis, combat sports such as boxing, karate or martial arts can be looked down upon as they are known to cause violence.
However, if you look into the basics of combat sports, you can see that it can be perfect for your child. Like other sports, it builds physical strength, keeps you in shape and also requires practice, effort, and discipline.
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Martial arts is a great discipline to focus on for children as it teaches them to harness mental strength, physical endurance as well as coordination and communication skills.
Yes, combat sports have a higher risk of injury and also run the risk of bodily harm, but when practised correctly and mastered, combat sports can be rewarding in many ways. They aren’t just ideal for children, but for all people, regardless of age or gender.
Popular Combat Sports
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Jim Jitsu
- Muay Thai
Benefits of Combat Sports for Children
1. Increased Strength and Endurance
Martial arts are physically demanding and are sure to get your child just as active as they would with other sports. Every combat sport will vary in terms of which body part it will rely on more, but no matter which one your child performs, it is sure to get their heart rate going.
Combat sports require lots of cardio, the use of strength as well as endurance. Apart from building mental toughness as well as discipline, this type of training will surely help your child to increase their overall speed, strength, and endurance levels.
2. Weight Management
Combat sports is just as much a cardio exercise as other sports and exercises. It requires lots of physical movements in short spaces of time as well as developing practising breathing. The high intensity of martial arts may help in burning fat and toning the body.
Particularly Karate, boxing, and Muay Thai as they are run at a higher intensity. What’s great about martial arts is that it can be as intense as you want it to be. If your child is aiming to lose weight, gain weight or simply looking to maintain a healthy weight, martial arts can be adapted for them.
3. Mental Strength
Mental toughness is one of the main benefits as to why combat sports are so popular. Although it is physically demanding and requires large amounts of efforts, it is perfect for building mental endurance and courage.
Professional levels of martial arts result in competitions. This requires mental strength, optimism, and courage. Learning how to fight will test your child and see how far they can push themselves. Unlike most other sports, losing in a martial arts competition can have dire consequences.
Developing mental toughness to head into those competitions as well as getting through them will require great amounts of mental endurance and courage. Both admirable traits they can benefit from throughout their lifetime.
4. Discipline Inside and Outside the Gym
When your child finishes their practice, they aren’t just going to switch off and turn to bad habits. To be successful in a particular combat sport, you must be disciplined outside the gym just as much as you would inside it.
This means watching what you eat, getting enough rest, trying to protect yourself at all times as well as protecting those around you. This doesn’t just encourage your child to improve their trade in the gym, but to improve their entire quality of life.
This is why a lot of martial arts such as karate, judo, and Chinese Kung-fu teach just as much philosophy as they teach physical training.
5. Self Defense
Self-defence is usually one of the main reasons why parents will enrol their children in a combat sports class. Unlike any other sports your child could be playing, combat sports are the only types of sport that will teach your child to protect themselves at any time — the means fending off bullies at school or attacks from strangers.
Most combat sports will teach your child to defend themselves without harming others. However, combat sports are perfect for developing excellent self-defence skills. Having the knowledge, discipline and practical training on how to protect themselves can benefit them and others close to them greatly should they be under any harm.
6. Better Understanding and Responsibility for Violence
If your child’s only exposure to violence is from TV, the media, or what people tell them, they will have little understanding of what violence is. They will also misinterpret what fighting is about and how it fits in our society.
If we entrust the media to teach our kids what violence is, it can be harmful in their development. Learning martial arts and combat sports teaches kids how to put violence in its place.
How to turn the art of fighting into something constructive and healthy as opposed to detrimental and destructive. This will help your child to stay safe from danger as well as preventing difficult situations from getting physical.
7. Have Fun
What most people forget is that combat sports are fun. The above points are meaningless if your child doesn’t enjoy it. If it isn’t for them, they’ll never learn much from it and will be wasting their time.
However, if your child enjoys it, the rest will be easy. Combat sports are an excellent way for children to learn, meet new friends as well as blow off some steam.
Keep in Mind
Like all sports, combat sports also run the risk of injury. This means that you need to ensure your child is properly warmed up and down before and after training. Combat sport, when used for the right reasons, can be very rewarding.
However, when used for the wrong ones, it can be harmful to those around you. Just like when your child picks up any certain hobbies or interests, be vocal with them.
Ask them what they like about it, any particular experiences or reasons as to why they enjoy combat sports. The last thing you want is for your child to be getting into fights or causing harm to others.
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