I took my first martial arts lesson at age 9. By the age of 13, when my friends were experimenting, when peer pressure seemed at an all time high, when I just knew my brain power had far surpassed my father’s, and when I couldn’t pass any reflective surface without gazing in wonder at what it beheld, I was firmly and deeply entrenched in my identity as a martial artist.
The classes anchored me, in fact, they were just about the only place where I could stand completely still for any extended period of time (except, of course, if front of the TV). The instructors emphasized respect, courtesy, and a code of honor that nobody else I knew seemed to care about. For me, that was good. It made me feel unique.
In a good martial arts school, your child will feel like a part of “the team.” And this team, if they’re good at what they do, will have daily talks about compassion, about respect for self and others, about kindness, and about non-violent conflict resolution.
But equally as good as the philosophy can be is the fact that your little one will be training, as in legs flying, rolling, punching, blocking, jumping, and spinning. Each maneuver has an effect on your child’s brain and, of course, their body. When I watch the young people in my classes doing what we do, I always think about how good it is that they’re here, doing something so constructive and positive.
I also reflect back to when I was a child –and that’s usually followed by a silent “thank you” to my parents.
Football, soccer, baseball, tennis, and guitar were all fun, but not one of them affected me as my martial arts lessons have. If you’re a parent, I would highly recommend enrolling your child in a good school –and you might even consider some classes for yourself.