7 Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids & Teens

Published 30 March 2022 at 19:54

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7 Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids & Teens

It’s hard being a parent (understatement of the century). The painstaking effort we put into finding our children the right schools and extracurricular programs are all aimed at one thing: to give them their best chance in life. But with so much focus on academia, it’s important to find a counterbalance - and that’s where martial arts come in.

So what can martial arts do for your children, and why should you include it in their already busy schedule?

Teens learning how to block a knee to the stomach in a bullying scenario

1. Teaches self defense.

While bullying statistics in Singapore are comparatively low, all it takes is for one encounter to deeply affect your child. Just as “low crime doesn’t mean no crime,” the same can be said for bullying. In self defense systems like Kids’ Krav Maga, children learn verbal tactics to shield against harassment and prevent situations from escalating, as well as practical techniques to use in the event of a physical confrontation. As teaching in Krav Maga is scenario based (e.g. what to do if someone grabs your shirt), they’ll walk away each week with an immediately applicable skillset.

Learning self defense from a young age also ensures that as your children get older and start moving around more independently (e.g. travel / student exchange programs), you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that your children are equipped to defend themselves.

Students learning how to do a back breakfall in wrestling class

2. Sets the foundation for healthy habits.

An hour or two free of phones, laptops, gaming consoles, tv - “digital detox” isn’t just a term for adults. Building an active habit from a young age helps children understand how to balance their virtual/physical life. It also sets them up for a healthy adulthood, even if they become less active later on.

On top of that, physical conditioning drills in martial arts classes teach good fitness fundamentals, such as the right way to execute a bodyweight squat. Or how to safely break your fall if you’re pushed/accidentally trip. From the very start, children learn to exercise in a way that prevents injury in the present and in the future. The same way we teach children how to spell words properly so they can write well, we teach children how to exercise properly so they can grow well.

Wrestling drill that combines technique and flexibility training

3. Strengthens the body and refines motor skills.

Striking, blocking, kicking - these are all martial art elements that practice coordination and balance. As your child’s training level advances, so will their fine and gross motor skills. Techniques like high kicks and rolls in Krav Maga, or the gymnastic-based warm ups in Wrestling, work to improve your child’s agility and flexibility, which in turn promotes good joint and spine health. In general, martial arts provide well-rounded physical activity, ensuring that your child improves in cardiovascular fitness, builds physical strength, and maintains a healthy weight.

Friendly grappling “fight” as part of a Krav Maga determination exercise

4. Develops valuable social skills.

At the core of every martial art is respect, discipline, and patience. In a world where instant gratification is too often king, martial arts motivate children to work hard over time in order to achieve a goal (such as a higher rank or mastery over a more complicated technique). Children are taught a strong respect for authority, as well as for their peers as they learn to practice restraint when training with their friends (rather than letting ego or emotion take over).

Learning these behaviors early ensures that children grow up with a strong foundation in social skills, increasing their ability to effectively communicate and work with others. These are skills that will transfer not just to their academic life, but to their future careers.

Shy wrestling student overcoming his fear of grappling with coach’s support

5. Builds resilience, confidence, and self esteem.

The biggest challenge a lot of children face is the fear to even try, for fear of losing. And that’s because losing in just one event can cause their whole self-image to collapse. The truth is, the key to self esteem isn’t in the wins, but in how children embrace and improve from losses.

In martial arts (like Youths’ Wrestling), children have wins and losses regularly as part of sparring and grappling drills. This helps them understand that winning once doesn’t mean you’ll always win, so you can’t be complacent. Similarly, a loss isn’t a defining feature of personal failure, but just an opportunity to grow. In this way, children learn how not to be discouraged by mistakes, and how to stay determined in the face of any difficulty.

Study and exercise go hand in hand… like spectacles and strength ;) 

6. Boosts brain power.

Just in case you thought martial arts only had physical benefits! Newer studies, such as that conducted by the University of Granada in Spain, have found that children who exercise and are physically fit actually have improved academic performance. Physical activity stimulates brain development, boosting the level of gray matter in the part of the brain that affects learning and visual processing.

Warm up game in kids’ Krav Maga with plenty of running and laughs!

7. FUN.

With the increasing pressure of school, fun is an often overlooked necessity. (Yes, necessity.) As in any system, overwork can cause it to overheat and melt down. Every system needs time to cool off and recharge. For children, martial arts is the perfect outlet for stress relief: no textbooks involved and a great release for all their pent up energy. It’s also a good tool for stress management, as kids are gradually exposed to more difficult training scenarios (such as sparring) that teach them how to keep cool and problem-solve in high pressure situations. Once again, skills that are transferable to their everyday life.

Whether for self defense, fitness, character building, or just a fun weekend activity, martial arts can play a great role in your child’s developing years. And who knows? Your whole family might just find their passion together ;)


Who Are We?

The CoActive is a top-notch yet affordable martial arts studio conveniently located in the city center of Singapore, within walking distance from Outram and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations. With the rising costs of living and growing insecurity caused by covid, our mission is to provide quality fitness at affordable rates to help you and your children preserve your physical and mental health in these difficult times. Our programs in Youths’ Martial Arts & Adults’ Martial Arts are run by world-class coaches certified from respected international and local organizations.

Why Should Your Kids Train With Us?

Globally Certified Coaches in Krav Maga

Our Krav Maga Kids and Krav Maga Teens programs are taught by high-level instructors who hold a specialized Kids & Teens Instructor Certification awarded by the leading international Krav Maga organization, Krav Maga Global (KMG). Our instructors are well trained in providing a safe learning environment for your children, plus a good dose of fun!

Singapore National Champion Coach For Wrestling

Our Wrestling Youths program is run in affiliation with the Wrestling Federation of Singapore (WFS), established authority for all local wrestling activity and development of national athletes. Our Coach, Aaron Koh, is not only the WFS Secretary but a multiple-time National Champion himself, dedicated to cultivating a new generation of champions.

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