How Martial Arts Teaches Kids Self-Discipline

There are numerous benefits of martial arts for kids, including improved physical health and a boost in self-confidence. Martial arts can also teach children self-defense skills that can help them ward off bullies and protect themselves from violent attacks. More importantly than fighting off others, however, martial arts teaches kids how to become masters of themselves: how to control thoughts, emotions, actions and responses.


Why Self-Discipline Is Important in Youth

Today's youth face many challenges in their home lives, as well as in school and societal environments, including violence, drugs, bullies, peer pressure and more. Schools and parents may or may not try to address these challenges, and may or may not be effective in correcting problematic behavior.

Recent studies show that those who participate in martial arts for kids learn proper behaviors, grow more sociable and pay better attention in class. One study in particular found that martial arts can give violent adolescents coping skills for navigating dysfunctional family relationships.

For many adolescents who do not have a trusting relationship with their parents, martial arts can provide a safe haven. Many students come to view their instructors as father- or mother-figures. While learning one of the traditional disciplines, adolescents also learn to respect others as they begin to focus on, understand and control their internal emotions.

These self-discipline skills are crucial for youth facing the turmoil of adolescence, school, family and other challenging environments. Here's are seven ways that martial arts can help kids develop them.

1. Setting Goals

Many martial arts for kids incorporate a belt ranking system that typically starts with a white belt denoting the lowest skill level and black the highest. This means of ranking encourages students to work at attaining the next level, which teaches them how to set and achieve a goal. By developing the habit of setting goals, students are learning to work for and succeed at other goals in their lives. These goals may include earning a high school diploma or attending college.

2. Improving Focus

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels

Children learn how to focus their energy to complete tasks, such as splitting a board or punching a target. They have to concentrate on completing these seemingly simple actions using the proper martial arts form. Practicing this type of concentration can also help them focus on completing homework, reading assignments, and more.

3. Learning Discipline

Instructors of youth martial arts typically do not allow chatting or inattention in class and are quick to call out bad behavior. By instilling discipline in the martial arts arena, students learn to pay attention to the instructor and refrain from misbehaving. These good behaviors typically transfer to the school setting, where students often begin earning better grades as a result.

4. Stepping Up Efforts

Child walking to school by himself because he is now a boss who sets his own goals. Martial arts helps teach goal-setting.

Students are constantly encouraged to put a little more effort into learning and practicing the arts by punching harder, kicking higher and challenging themselves. This atmosphere of encouragement to always strive for more sets the stage for students to expect more from themselves and pushes them to a greater understanding of their potential.

5. Teaching Respect

Respect is a crucial concept in martial arts for kids, where students learn to respect their teachers, opponents and other classmates, as well as themselves. Instructors take the time to teach students in nearly every class session about the importance of showing respect to their parents, teachers and others.

6. Boosting Self-Confidence

In time, students begin to see improvements in their physical strength and understand that they are learning skills and methods for responding to dangerous or stressful situations. This realization boosts their self-confidence and impacts how they relate to and interact with others in their lives.

7. Aiding Memorization

Girls working on homework. Martial arts helps improve focus for school and life.

Martial arts incorporate a series of forms, or movements, which must be completed in a specific order. Whether the moves are for self-defense or fighting, students need to memorize the order in which to perform them. Practicing this type of memorization can also pay off for children studying for classroom tests and quizzes. Children who have attention or learning difficulties in particular can benefit.

Enjoying Lifelong Advantages

While martial arts for kids offer a host of key physical benefits, they can also help children develop healthy minds and emotions. The skills, both physical and mental, taught in kids' martial arts classes can be used as the basis for learning the much greater ability of self-discipline. This trait will serve them well throughout their lives.

SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Bruce Lee's "10,000 Kicks" Challenge – Complete 10,000 Kicks in 10 Days and Feed The Children

Bruce Lee's secret to self-mastery is hidden in the following quote, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Discipline, dedication and perfect repetition over time are the keys to mastery. To get results like Bruce Lee we need to train like Bruce Lee.

Keep Reading Show less

If there's a martial artist in your life who's hard to shop for, look no further than this list of the best holiday gifts from the world's leading magazine of martial arts.

The holidays are right around the corner and there's no better time to shop for the ninjas in your family! Black Belt Magazine doesn't just provide the history and current events of the martial arts world, we can equip you with all the best products too. From beautiful belt displays, to stylish gloves, to collector's edition books, keep reading to check out this list of the top five gifts to kick under the tree this year.

Keep Reading Show less

ONE Championship has formally announced its final two live events for 2020, and each will be headlined by ONE Super Series World Championship matches.

The first will be ONE: Big Bang on Friday, December 4, when Roman Kryklia defends the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title against Murat "The Butcher" Aygun.

Also in action, top featherweight contenders Garry Tonon and Koyomi Matsushima meet in the co-main event in Singapore in the hopes of securing a title shot in 2021. Matsushima is the #3-ranked contender in the division, with Tonon not far behind at #5.

The anticipated organizational debut of Amir Aliakbari will also happen at ONE: Big Bang as he meets Russia's Islam Abasov and India's Ritu Phogat clashes with Jomary Torres before the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix kicks-off next year.

Two weeks later, ONE: Collision Course gets underway on Friday, December 18.

ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament winner Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym gets his shot at Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship.

Nong-O’s Craziest Fights In ONE Championship www.youtube.com

American Lowen Tynanes returns against former featherweight king Marat Gafurov in a lightweight tilt.

Fellow American Troy Worthen steps back inside the ONE Circle to try, and breakthrough the bantamweight rankings against #3-ranked Yusup Saadulaev as both men try to leave an impression heading into the new year.

Both events will return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

As the new year inches closer, ONE looks to be in a prime position to continue its extraordinary string of success with exciting martial arts action.

The final two live events will air free on the B/R Live app.

ONE: Big Bang

ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Championship: Roman Kryklia vs. Murat Aygun

Koyomi Matsushima vs. Garry Tonon

Marat Grigorian vs. Ivan Kondratev

Kairat Akhmetov vs. Danny Kingad

Amir Aliakbari vs. Islam Abasov

Ritu Phogat vs. Jomary Torres

ONE: Collision Course

ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship: Nong-O Gaiyanghadao vs. Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym

Marat Gafurov vs. Lowen Tynanes

Yusup Saadulaev vs. Troy Worthen

Amir Khan vs. Dae Sung Park

Chan Rothana vs. Xie Wei

Raimond Magomedaliev vs. Edson Marques

Half human. Half vampire. Experience the sharper, darker, and slicker Blade now in 4K Ultra HD! Click to see more!

The martial arts action classic Blade is back in 4K Ultra HD, and it will make you feel like you are watching Wesley Snipes in person! The film is available for purchase TODAY (December 1st), but you have a chance to win the Digital Movie courtesy of Black Belt Magazine. All you have to do is share this article on your social media page and tag Black Belt Magazine and the appropriate page for Blade or Warner Bros.

On Facebook, tag @Black Belt Magazine and @BladeFilmsOfficial. On Instagram, tag @BlackBeltMag and @WarnerBrosEntertainment. On Twitter, tag @Black_Belt_Mag and @WBHomeENT for a chance to win! You must also include the hashtag #Blade4K to be eligible to win the FREE download.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter