There are many activities available for children and martial arts can be one of the premium choices. As an extracurricular activity, some of the benefits of martial arts are that self defense training is not subject to seasonal scheduling and focuses on each individual child’s development. Martial arts also encourages goal oriented training, with a well established reward system. This is extremely important to children’s growth as they develop into well-rounded and well-adjusted individuals.
Another benefit is competition. Most martial arts have competitions where children and adults can participate. A child, who is training at one of our Charter Schools, will benefit from participating in a competitive event nearly every month. In AKKF System and Charter Member Schools we help and encourage kids to participate as an option in any AKKF event, NASKA event, or other rated tournaments. All Charter Studios have testing procedures where the children earn higher level belts as they progress through the art of Karate. These well defined goals help to impart to each student a sense of accomplishment which, in turn, enhances their self-esteem and self-confidence.
In terms of physical development martial arts provides a perfect way for children to develop strength, flexibility, and coordination. In our system we work on developing the body for self defense techniques and weapons training and this requires a rigorous battery of techniques and drills. The founder of the A.K.K.F. is Louis Casamassa; he believes that all children, regardless of age, will be taught weapons and fighting, in order to prepare them for their ultimate goal of Black Belt… As a child or adult student progresses through the A.K.K.F. System, they gain coordination, speed, and power with each movement, whether it is for empty hand or weapon styles.
Mental development is another benefit of studying martial arts and parents will see this development in their children as they continue to train. Focus is another benefit of martial arts as most martial arts teach complex forms which challenge students, especially children, while they enjoy training. Concentration is also developed as students learn complex movements and perform them under the pressure of reflex drills or sparring exercises.
Another benefit of martial arts is the development of critical thinking. Each class should utilize multiple opponent exercises to develop strategic and tactical thinking and discussions regarding your studios, theory, philosophy, and principles this is an integral part of training.
A fighting spirit is another benefit of studying martial arts. While training, each student will be confronted with challenges that may be difficult and may leave the student with a desire to quit, or to feel that it is “just too hard”. Your instructors must coach each student through the challenging times, and the child will come out of the challenge with an indomitable spirit and a sense of self motivation that will help him or her conquer greater challenges in life.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of martial arts training for children is the sense of ethics that martial arts encourage. Martial arts are essentially the military secrets and warrior traditions of different civilizations. Part and parcel to this noble tradition is a code of ethics that is present in virtually all our Charter schools and traditions. Central to these are honesty, respect, courtesy and discipline.
The AKKF’s (American Karate Kung-Fu Federation) Code of Conduct is composed of ten components. Each value is meant to guide and develop a warrior’s ethic in the practitioner. These components are Honor, Respect, Truth, Justice, Ethic, Loyalty, Discipline, Rule, Brotherhood and Conduct. The intention of the code is to develop each student with not only the ability to use their martial arts, but also the ability to distinguish appropriate situations for the use of their skills and knowledge.