By Steve Doss
Admit it. When the going gets tough at home, we've all plopped the kids in front of the television and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, we can get started on dinner, maybe check email or sort that massive pile of laundry.
But when your five-year old yells at you "Mum, Kids Rule!" or your ten-year old horrifies you with language that would make a sailor blush, you realise there must be something amiss with what these family programs really teach our kids. And sadly, it's happening all over the media today, from sports to cartoons, and our children are learning things that we, as parents, vowed we would never teach them. Old fashioned values like respect and self-discipline, seems to have been forgotten, replaced by the dreaded "bling bling" pop culture of today.
Just the thought of your angelic three-year old morphing into a designer-clad, smart-mouthed, money-worshipping, me-obsessed, lay-about is enough to make any parent consider that threatening military school brochure, but there is a solution out there to consider, Martial Arts training!
From Ninja Turtles to The Karate Kid
You and your kids have all seen the flying kicks, battle cries and mighty chops of their favorite TV characters, as they beat the bad guys to submission but, you may ask, how on earth can these acts of violence teach my child anything worthwhile?
First, know that what you see on television (save perhaps the Karate Kid) is a far cry from what real martial arts are all about. The fact is, martial arts training is based on non-violence.
Originating in Asia (mainly Japan, China and Korea, although Thailand and Vietnam have their own practices as well), martial arts range from a variety of types and styles, all of which are based on well-rounded, moral teachings. The beauty of learning martial arts is that it encompasses not just the physical aspect of the "sport," but mental and emotional lessons as well.
Comparing that to other kid's activities and sports, where fierce competitiveness and "winning at all costs" seems to be the order of the day, it's not surprising that many children grapple with issues of self-esteem and misplaced aggression.
Martial arts for kids, builds confidence and self-esteem as well as self-discipline, respect, concentration and courtesy.
Martial Arts is ideal for children who do not do well in team sports, giving them the ability to excel in this activity, while combining physical and mental practices.
Many do not realise this, but it is a fact that martial arts training is safer than most school sports.
Children with special needs, such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), learning difficulties and hyperactivity are often recommended to participate in a martial arts program because of the clear benefits in its structured training techniques.
Now imagine your child actually learning valuable life lessons, skills that they will take throughout life, laying the foundation for a happy, well-adjusted and fulfilled adult life. If only karate for kids was popular when we were growing up!
Steve Doss has taught self-discipline and focus to thousands of children through the martial arts.