Martial Arts & Team Sports – A Winning Combination for Your Child!  By Jason Klein @ByJasonKlein

Can’t decide between Martial Arts or Team Sports for your child?  You don’t have to!


Like a good punch-round kick, Martial Arts and Team Sports complement each other perfectly.  Don’t worry, the time your son or daughter spends in the Dojo won’t take away from their ability to improve on the field.  Instead, it’s an investment in their mental and physical abilities that will translate seamlessly to any other sport they choose to participate in.


Here are five benefits your little athlete will enjoy when training in Martial Arts and playing Team Sports at the same time.


1. Self Confidence.  Team Sports can be intimidating.  Kids are held accountable by their coaches, teammates and even some over-aggressive parents, speaking their mind from the sidelines.  With age, kids face the realization that not everyone makes the team.  Often, a roster spot doesn’t even guarantee playing time.  It can be a difficult thing for shy or uncertain young athletes to undertake.


Martial Arts provides a low-pressure environment for young children.  Everyone “makes the team” and gets to participate, regardless of abilities or gender.  Kids are rewarded for their hard work with positive instruction, feedback and new belt colors when they hit milestones.  This positivity can build self-esteem and will help your child better handle the pressure that often accompanies Team Sports.


2. Activity & Strength.  Team Sports are seasonal.  What is your child doing during their off-season to improve, or simply stay in shape?  The time they spend sitting in front of a screen won’t help their performance in front of their team’s coach.


Martial Arts keeps kids active and focused.  It’s an incredible combination of cardio, plyometrics and stretching that will develop your child’s balance, body-awareness, reflexes and core strength – all benefits that will improve performance in other sports.


3. Discipline & Respect.  Top athletes are typically the ones who demonstrate the most self-control.  They listen to directions, show respect for others, and are accountable for their actions.


In the Dojo, children are instructed to pay attention to their Sensei and wear their uniforms properly.  Bowing to show respect for their peers is common – as is a traditional greeting of gratitude: “OSS!”  Kids are taught to do what is right, rather than simply doing what they feel like doing.  They are encouraged to clap for others and exude good sportsmanship – just like in team sports.


4. Self-Defense.  Today, bullying comes in many forms.  Your child could be harassed in the classroom, on the playground or when sitting behind a screen at home.  It could also happen on the field of play.


On the mat, kids learn the best ways to avoid confrontation but are educated on how to best stand up for themselves should it be inescapable.  They learn to respect their opponents and study different techniques to help them get out of harm’s way.  This builds confidence that will help them deal with adversity in other sports.


5. Commitment.  Martial Arts requires tremendous dedication from you and your child.  Regular attendance improves consistency and performance.


Athletes who participate in Team Sports devote themselves towards group goals like winning a game or a championship.  Likewise, Martial Artists must commit towards their athletic ambitions.  Regular practice improves skills and expedites graduation towards their next belt color.  Learning how to apply themselves to a specific cause will help in all aspects of life, including Team Sports endeavors.


Jason Klein is an author, a writer, a husband and the proud father of two athletic girls.  He can be found watching his daughters train at Marti Martial Arts Academy, or on Twitter @ByJasonKlein.

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