As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children and teach them to protect themselves when we aren’t around. All the way from “Don’t talk to strangers,” to “Have an autodial on your cell phone for 911” to “That was a ‘stop’ sign, not a ‘slow down slightly before gunning it across the intersection’ sign.” But when danger actually looms and the brain dumps adrenaline into the bloodstream, all our wise counsel amounts to nothing; when it really counts, actions always speak louder than words.
Take Action To Protect Your Teen Now
Besides worrying about their physical safety, one of the hardest parts of the hard job of being a teenager’s parent is helping them find a place to fit in. Teen martial arts classes offer a uniquely equal, yet also achievement-based environment that’s socially welcoming to persons of any size or shape who is willing to put in the work. Your child doesn’t need to have the strength of ten men, or be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound to succeed both practically and socially at martial arts. Many teen martial arts deliberately emphasize using a superior foe’s own size and strength against them, to offset differences in physical size and strength both on the street and during classes.
5 Reasons Martial Arts Classes For Teens Make Sense
A recent federal crime prevention report states that young people aged 12 to 19—more than 40 million Americans annually—are the most frequent victims of all major types of crimes, including violent felonies. Much of this violence occurs during peer-to-peer contact, disproportionately in circumstances relating to unsupervised school-hours interactions (bullying), and dating. When we can’t be there to protect our kids, many parents are choosing to find a martial arts school in a traditional system such as Taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, or Kenpo to help them get the job done.
Kids today either have their seats in school chairs and/or their faces buried in a gadget. ‘Childhood obesity’ is an actual thing now. Kids are developing grown-up diseases like diabetes and high blood-pressure because they aren’t properly motivated to get up off the couch and interact personally with the real world. Martial arts for teens gives them a year-round motivation that provides a full-body workout, strength and endurance training, and muscle-building exercises at the same time as an excuse to put on cool combat gear and whack their best buddy with a big padded stick.
Nothing succeeds like success. And in the early stages of most adolescent-oriented martial arts, personal victories are celebrated loudly, at length, and in front of peers. At the same time, a rigorous code of individual conduct is enforced during lessons, a code the student internalizes through repetition, while their focus is on the physical aspects of the discipline. The message is communicated that hard work and self-discipline and the successes that follow cannot be separated from the philosophical discipline being taught and demonstrated by the trained instructors and staff. They are all part of the same package, like a cable-TV bill, but in a good way.
If you can remember how stressful adolescence was for you, imagine how much harder it must be today. Teens encounter stressors at school, home, work, even downtime is fraught with unwelcome hassle. Any adult can tell you that a great way to deal with stress is to exercise regularly, yell really loud and hit something repeatedly, a combination of techniques conveniently at the heart of most martial arts workouts. Additionally, the positive support group established as the teens work and learn and progress through the ranks together is invaluable. The kids who have persevered through these programs and are living the philosophies being taught such as respect, problem solving, integrity, and self confidence, just to name a few, are the exact kind of kids we want ours hanging out with.
It would be plain irresponsible in this day and age to sponsor a physical fitness or self-defense program for children or teens that didn’t include an anti-bullying curriculum. Teen martial arts programs are among those who have taken the lead, as their founding philosophies already forbid demonstrating bias against any individual, mistreating any person or group, or excluding others from participation in activities. Because of such beliefs and instruction, martial arts schools also tend to create welcoming communities for students of every demographic designation. There are no ‘others’ in a martial arts class.
And obviously, the value of your child learning how to safely and responsibly defend themselves against actual physical bullying cannot be understated.
Teen Martial Arts Disciplines At-A-Glance
There are almost as many different martial arts disciplines and schools as there is time to list them, which is why it’s important to make sure the school you select has classes specifically designed for teenage students. Some of the disciplines most geared toward the average teenager’s set of needs—self-defense, self-discipline and physical fitness—are Karate, Kung Fu, Judo and Taekwondo.
Karate: A Japanese mode of self-defense employing hand strikes and kicks.
Kung Fu: A combination of Chinese fighting styles, Kung Fu is a form of exercise with a spiritual emphasis proceeding from focus and self-discipline.
Judo: A Japanese form utilizing abrupt movements and mastery of leverage to bring an opponent to the ground and defeat them there.
Taekwondo: A Korean martial art that emphasizes punches, jabs, kicks, and blocking.
Find The Right Teen Martial Arts School For You!
No two martial arts schools or programs are the same. Don’t head out, planning to marry the first frog you kiss! Sit down and take in a class or two. Most schools offer introductory rates and classes, and even allow visitors to observe a class for free, without any sort of obligation. There is almost always someone available to explain the academy’s programs with you, including answering questions about class times, specific programs available, fees, gear required, extracurricular activities, etc. Take the time to find the right martial arts discipline for your teen, it shouldn’t cost you a thing.
Most studio owners, unlike, say, fast-food franchisees, get into the martial arts business because they believe in the ‘product.’ They’ve seen what martial arts has done for them and their loved ones. They are believers, and are happy to share with you what they have discovered. Moreover, they work with teens every day and are familiar with teens’ issues and behavioral challenges and have tailored their teen classes to address them.
Martial arts for teens is no substitute for good parenting, but they do make an excellent partner. Let us help you find the right school for your teen by clicking here. Then just take a moment to answer a few simple questions, and based on your responses, you will be presented with a cross-section of martial arts schools near you, all of which already meet your criteria.