Jan 12, 2022
I started training martial arts when I was 12 years old, and in that time it has completely changed the trajectory of my life...
I started training martial arts when I was 12 years old, and in that time it has completely changed the trajectory of my life.
I started out as a shy kid who was bullied for being overweight and awkward, and years of martial arts training has made me into someone who I’m proud of being today.
After 7 years of Jiu-Jitsu training and 12 years of training in combat sports, I finally have had the opportunity to give back and start teaching kids Jiu-Jitsu in addition to my own training and competitive career.
As someone who’s been both a student and teacher in kid’s martial arts, these are the 7 reasons that I believe that every child should be exposed to martial arts training.
With martial arts training, it’s not just about learning to fight or learning to be tough. It’s also about learning to respect your opponents, your peers, your instructors, and even yourself.
Fighting can be dangerous when it’s not done carefully. That’s why it’s so important for kids to be exposed to fighting in safe environments like martial arts instead of on a schoolyard when no one is paying attention.
The respect you learn from Jiu-Jitsu will help your child in every aspect of their lives, whether they choose to be a competitor, a casual practitioner, or even a coach one day. Respect is the basis of all martial arts training.
As a coach, I’ve never really been someone who likes to yell, but I still make it a point to have a class that is structured and disciplined.
Learning this discipline will help your child in school, other sports, and all other aspects of life.
The reason that martial arts are so good at building discipline is that they are both fun and challenging. Martial arts teach the values of discipline in a fun environment that most kids will never be able to learn in math class or by doing chores at home.
However, after martial arts training, your kids will understand why these other aspects of life require discipline too.
The hard truth is that kids today are not as active as they once were.
According to the WHO, 80% of children around the world aren’t physically active enough.
Martial arts are a great outlet for kids to get active in a safe environment that fits their busy lives.
If you train at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy, for example, there’s like a class for kids nearly every day, meaning that your kids can train a few times per week and still go to band practice, see friends, or participate in the school play.
Martial arts are a versatile and great workout option for people of all ages.
The idea that "martial arts build confidence" has been said so much that it might seem like a cliche, but that’s just because it’s very true.
When I started training, I was scared to raise my hand in class at school. Speaking up for myself seemed more daunting than anything in the world.
However, after learning to fight and putting yourself through a challenging experience like sparring or wrestling, these normal anxieties start to feel trivial. If you do this for years, the next thing you know, you’re confident.
By showing up to the gym every day, you learn to believe in yourself, trust your abilities, and understand your worth.
For kids who are growing in the age of social media and heavy internet usage, learning to believe in themselves can change their lives.
I wish I could tell you that no one will ever pick on your child and that they’ll never find themselves in a situation where they might need to fight.
However, this just isn’t the case. That idea is not based on reality.
Kids are kids, and even if it’s not their fault, they might find themselves in a situation where they need to know how to protect themselves without getting hurt.
Training martial arts gives kids the confidence to handle themselves in conflict, but it also gives them the confidence to get out of fights without hurting themselves or the bully who might be picking on them.
This skill is invaluable for all of life.
Before I started training in martial arts, I viewed problems in my life as roadblocks.
I was overweight, and I thought I was stuck like that. I wasn’t confident, and I thought that was how it was going to be for me forever.
Martial arts (wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu for me) taught me how to solve problems with a clear mind.
Training is challenging, and the adversity that your child will face will help them to grow while remaining in a safe environment. Problem-solving is the most important skill any young adult can learn.
I still talk to friends who I met when I started training at 12-years-old.
Martial arts not only help kids meet other kids who are like them, but it also helps build friendships that might last a lifetime. The friends you meet while doing something difficult like wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, or any other martial art will be stronger than you know.
These friendships are worth their weight in gold.
Training martial arts is actually much less dangerous than not training.
Signing your child up for martial arts classes will help them in so many ways, and we just covered a few of them here in this article. Training martial arts is challenging but safe. It’s an individual journey, but no one has to go through it alone.
Getting your black belt is difficult but attainable.
Martial arts can be the tool that your child uses to take control of their life and become an adult that you’re proud to raise.
The best thing that my parents ever did for me was when they put me in martial arts when I was 12-years-old after I got cut from my school basketball team. I’ve been on this journey for more than a decade, and I’ve never looked back.