In our last post we talked about how to find the perfect Taekwondo school, however what if you aren’t even to that point yet? What if you are still deciding if “little Tommy” or “little Sara” should learn Taekwondo or not. There are two issues that most parents worry about and the first one is that their child will get hurt while sparring. However, in most reputable schools your child will not spar until he or she has the skills to protect themselves in a sparring session. Secondly, parent worry about their child becoming a bully and using their new found Taekwondo fighting skills in the school yard beating up the less fortunate kids. However, in Taekwondo fighting is taught as the last resort and should only be used in self defense.
Martial arts have often received a bad reputation for being violent or encouraging fighting, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, martial arts, such as Taekwondo, perpetuate healthy exercise, respect and concentration. Taekwondo teaches kids the importance of concentration. Memorizing forms and the hand-eye coordination for punches and kicks can bring even the flightiest kid back into the fold. Taekwondo is obviously a good work-out. It is a whole body work-out and helps kids keep slim and make better eating decisions.
Kids learning Taekwondo quickly begin to learn to have a respectful and positive attitude towards their teacher and towards life in general. They learn to have respect for their elders and people in authority and are encouraged to address them as “sir” and “ma’am”. Kids who participate in Taekwondo also have a higher sense of self-confidence. They are encouraged to be outgoing and to take chances and push their minds and bodies beyond what they normally would. Taekwondo teaches mind over matter and the ability to do anything that one puts their mind to do. Higher confidence means kids will do better in school, be more outgoing and push themselves further in sports.
Taekwondo is also an invaluable self-defense tool. It works in three ways. The first is by improving overall physical ability and flexibility. The second is that a child will learn how to strike with swiftness and strength. Taekwondo does not encourage a child to fight or to pick fights, but instead how to deal with those who might pick fights with them. The third aspect of Taekwondo is that it teaches a child to recognize danger and avoid physical confrontation in most situations.
If you are still wondering whether your child should take Taekwondo, you should consider what your child stands to gain and even more, what he or she stands to lose by not taking it. For example, if you home-school your child, Taekwondo is the perfect opportunity to gain social interaction as well as participation in a physical sport. Even if your child is in public school, Taekwondo will impart much-appreciated improvement in concentration, confidence and physical health.
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