Article on the benefits of Taekwondo for Kids
Why kids do better with Taekwondo
I have been teaching Taekwondo for over 27 years (yes I’m getting old) and in that time I have seen time and time again the benefits that Taekwondo gives to a child.
Intimidation is usually a good de-motivator for a child to take up a sport. They are used to their comfort zone, with their parents or siblings, on their devices and toys. But eventually the parent wishes them to take that next step, get out of that comfort zone, have their personality come out and build their confidence as they may be soon going to school.
I find a lot of parents with kids that struggle with motivation or self confidence look to martial arts. Team sports like soccer and footy is perhaps a little too big an initial step, also parents struggle figuring out what some of their kids enjoy. Martial Arts like Taekwondo specifically are good at bridging the gap between finding the right activity and getting them out of their comfort zone.
Many parents stress about getting their kids active, we at Red Dragon Taekwondo to take that stress away.
At Red Dragon, when a child comes in for their initial free trial, all the attention is initially directed to them. We try entice and excite the child by introducing what being a ninja is all about. Ninjas is typically targeted to 4-7 year olds, the ages being a guideline not a rule.
We introduce ourselves and gauge their level of enthusiasm by asking for a high five. Whether we get one or not normally influences what we do next. Getting one means we can introduce our paddle, show them how we perform kicks (which kids love to do) and get them to throw some. We marvel at the power and focus they can display, because, if you get a kid enthusiastic, they can do amazing things.
If they are still shy and withdrawn, we ask they sit and watch the class with mum and or dad. If they feel comfortable, they can come join the class with a parent that way they have their security near them as they are introduced to the class. Not all kids get up during that first free trial, if that is the case, we ask the parents to bring them again and postpone the trial to a later date. Usually they warm up to the idea of giving it a go.
When they do, we marvel at what 4 and 5 year olds can actually achieve. We have a section of the class where we get the parents holding the paddles for their kids. The kids who have trained for some time can usually generate a decent amount of power for their size. Sometimes it blows the parents away. Seeing this reaction does wonders for the kid’s confidence and re-affirms why Taekwondo was a great choice for them.
Our theme based classes with game oriented activities makes the learning process fun, most kids don’t realise they are learning new skills of avoidance, blocking, agility and general fitness to go with their kicks and punches.
The stories I hear from parents really give me a lot of satisfaction. Parents say:
“my daughter got top 3 in the cross country at school, they don’t do any other exercise except general play and Taekwondo, so thank you for developing that competitive instinct and fitness for them to achieve that.”
Sometimes the benefits take a little longer to come to fruition, look at one of my Black Belts Danny. As a kid he was shy and picked on, a little overweight and not good at sports. In Year 12 he got his BlackBelt and became school captain. His parents attributed to Taekwondo as being one of the major contributors to building his own self esteem and confidence. He is now going to university and his life is generally positive.
Some parents say that the Ninjas class is too babyish, I want my kids to be tough. Really, do kids need that sort of pressure at such a young age? Let them have fun, develop their passion for their chosen sport as that is what creates longevity and good habits. Parents mistakenly think our ninjas program doesn’t foster toughness in the kids. We see it all the time, when the kids mature (usually around age 8) we move them to our Junior Dragons program that introduces contact sparring, self defences and promotion to higher belts (moving away from the stripe system). These kids do extremely well, they are very well prepared and usually thrive way more than other students new to the class at that age.
It’s worth noting at Red Dragon, we don’t do the shorter format classes that other clubs do. Our Ninjas do a full hour class and our Dragons Classes are one and a half hours. The reason is, we want to push the kids. I have kids whom initially start, love the classes but struggle to keep up. But they love what they are doing (cause it’s fun and we engage them to feel part of the teaching process like asking questions “who can show me how we do this…” or “give me a suggestion for a good exercise here”. The kids are very involved in the decision making process hence there is little reluctance to take part and push themselves. With the they get fitter and more confident in what the do. Hence that initial challenge starts to get smaller. They then thrive.
If you have a child that you think may benefit from the way Red Dragon builds confidence in kids, why not call Master John today. You can contact him on 0419 165 416 or book for a trial via our website at reddragontkd.net. It could be the best decision you can make for your child today! Book today and get the rest of this School Term Free, if you join for next term. Act now as we are limiting this offer to the first 10 to book.