There are an endless number of reasons to get involved in the martial arts. Learning defensive skills, getting lean and fit, and self-discipline are but a few of them. These arts came about as a way of defending one’s self and honor while not being the aggressor in a battle. The skills of mastering defensive moves, counter-attacks, and self-restraint are great for giving people a sense of confidence any time in their lives they pick it up. Since the practice focuses on skill and agility versus force, anyone can master the craft successfully and be fully capable of defending themselves if it came down to it.
What surprises a lot of adults that get involved with martial arts is how lean and fit they end up becoming. Not to mention the increased flexibility and agility. Increased range of motion is a benefit as well, which will help many older people return to the way they felt years earlier. Martial arts also provide a great deal of insight into one’s spirituality and emotions. Mental training is as much a part of the arts as physical training, since it takes a focused mind to master the many skills.
Kids who pick up on a program will find that they are calm, more relaxed, and more focused. They (and you as a parent) will notice their grades getting better, and will start being more attentive and disciplined at home, doing homework and chores without being told. The discipline gained from a martial arts program will resonate in every part of their lives, now and in the future.
There’s been a recent resurgence in martial arts. This could be for any number of reasons, but the sincere interest in ninjas and a slew of recent 3D adventure films depicting martial artists has certainly not hurt. The media is presenting martial artists as honorable and noble, and many children want to subscribe to the same philosophy. Get the whole family involved in a program. There are different skill sets and abilities needed for each one, so there’s no reason at all why mom, dad, and the kids can’t all take up the training.
Grand Master John W. Rankin