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Saw this blog and it echoed what I discuss with parents every day. As a father of three, I know what is important for us as parents. Check it out...

A very typical scenario in our martial arts school is a parent will walk in, call, or send us a note through Facebook or our website saying their child needs confidence and they thought martial arts would be a good thing to help.

The good news is…they are right! Martial arts does wonders for kids with low self-esteem and low confidence. In fact, martial arts can be the “magic pill” for many kids suffering from bullying.

In a day when a child is bullied every 7 minutes, and 160,000 kids miss school every day because of bullying, something needs to be done.

A new statistic says that 50% of teens have been bullied online. This is new and one that many parents have zero experience dealing with from their childhood.

So they question remains, how exactly does martial arts training actually do the trick?

How does it bring a child’s confidence level up?

How does it bring their feeling of self-worth up?

How does it give them the comfort level to go out and live their life?

A good martial arts school takes a 3 prong approach to helping kids”

Strong Spirit
Strong Mind
Strong Body

Martial arts training teaches kids to have a strong spirit. What is a child’s spirit? It’s their personality, their attitude, their style, and their swag! I was taught years ago in business that your personality is one of your biggest attributes. No one can be a better you than you.

Many kids think their personality or their style is not cool or they don’t feel like they fit in. In martial arts, we make sure that every child knows that they do fit in, and they are surrounded by like-minded kids that are dealing with the same challenges and have the same goals.

In martial arts we remind students that bullies, more often than not, don’t want to physically hurt you but they want to hurt your feelings, most of the time to make themselves feel good. We train students to say to themselves during these tough times, “You can’t take my spirit away from me!”

By teaching our students that no one has the right to make them feel inferior, this is the first step.

Strong Mind

We know that we all act better than we react. Meaning if kids are caught off guard by a bully or they simply don’t know how to fit in with the other kids, they will feel inferior.

In martial arts training we use many affirmations that, over time, start to train a child’s brain and psyche. For example, it’s common to hear phrases like this in a martial arts school:

Champions don’t give up they…turn it up!We don’t quit when we are tired…we quit when we are done!Always team up…never give up!Last one…best one!
When we say things over and over again with passion and emotion, they become real. We believe in them. Martial arts trains kids to think and act like a champion!

In regards to bullying, we need to teach them everything up front so they have a plan. They need to know what to do when the bully approaches, what to say, how to stand, how to look them in the eyes, and communicate with a strong voice.

Learning these skills and practicing them over and over again through different drills and scenarios gives children real confidence. Again, we all act better than we react. We are giving them a plan!

Strong Body

Martial arts training is the best sport in the world for many reasons. It incorporates all 3 areas of fitness (flexibility, strength, and endurance) and they are learning valuable and practical self-defense skills.

Said another way, it’s fitness with a purpose.

When children workout regularly, they feel better about themselves and their self-esteem naturally goes up (the same is true for adults). On top of that, when you are working out and learning to properly strike and move your body to defend yourself, your self-esteem goes through the roof! It did for me!

On top of that, martial arts training teaches goal-setting and goal getting. Kids will learn how to set goals for stripes and belts, and are given an action plan to achieve those goals.

When they feel progress in their training, whether it be through a pat on the back from an instructor, a stripe, a belt, or the instructor highlights the student in class to demonstrate a technique, their confidence sky rockets!

So does martial arts training do the trick? Absolutely! Does it happen over night? No way.

Think of it this way, does food taste better when prepared in a microwave or a crock pot? Obviously the answer is the crock pot. What takes longer to cook? The answer again is the crock pot.

It doesn’t happen in a day, but it does happen day by day, and over time your child will grow into a champion in and out of the martial arts school!

To learn more strategies to help your child deal with bullying, visit us at www.selfdefensecenter.com or www.gracievictor.com
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