It’s not difficult to look for extra-curricular activities for your kids in Singapore. Throw a stone, and it’s likely to land in front an establishment offering activities that build kids up in mental, physical, and psychological ways. Most of these activities are also available for children of all ages, some as young as 1-2 years of age.
Granted, it is natural to want to get children started on intellectual learning because of the fast-evolving education system in our country. However, as coaches and teachers of the martial arts, we have seen how martial arts has helped to develop children in a holistic manner. Beyond prepping them for better reflexes, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, a good martial arts class gives children many opportunities to develop their character for a prosperous soul. Here are some benefits of martial arts that we at FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts focus on imparting to our young students every day.
1. Learning to honour other people.
In Kids Martial Arts classes at FaMA, our Instructors and Assistant Instructors emphasise on character skills such as teamwork and respect. These skills are inculcated through small habits such as giving attention to the speaker, environmental safety and awareness, and acknowledging and shaking hands with partners during sparring sessions. The message that our classroom leaders send is this: that we need each other. Even if one person is to enter a competition and they step onto the tournament mats alone, it is through the numerous training sessions with other classmates that allows that individual to have the confidence and ability to perform well. Beyond helping each other become good competitors, teamwork and respect in martial arts allow children to recognise that they are not the only people in this world with feelings and needs.
2. Learning to appreciate progress and not the end goal.
It is easy to slip into a goal-driven mentality in the things we do. It’s not uncommon for a child to ask: “Did I win?” during a sparring or drilling session on the mats. We all want to know that our efforts have paid off in the form of achievement or victory.
However, martial arts teaches kids that many worthwhile things in life are enjoyed through a process, and not by reaching a certain destination. We are not ashamed to say that at FaMA, coaches and professors laud children for their effort. They demonstrate that encouragement and praise are due for small little victories, such as being able to remember one more detail or step, or being able to overcome a challenging situation. And when bigger achievements come - such as stripes, belts/prajieds, or competition medals - the whole team celebrates, because everyone has witnessed the journey of the martial artist together. It is the journey that makes the end goal sweeter!
3. Learning self-confidence.
Martial arts classes allow children to try new things in a safe space. It can be as simple as answering a question in front of the whole class, or a slightly more challenging situation such as sparring with a bigger and more experienced classmate. There is always a slight chance that they may not succeed or get it right the first round, and sometimes this can result in some tears. However, a good martial arts environment allows them to fail, be afraid, or be disappointed, without condemnation, comparison, or judgment. Coaches and professors are there to provide correction with firmness, and encouragement with constructive feedback.
These situations give children the confidence to put themselves out there, and to learn to see that failure and mistakes are part of life, and not associated with their value and identity.
4. Learning physical fitness and awareness.
Martial arts is a fun way to get kids into a fit and healthy lifestyle! One to two hours a week of training can help them improve their fitness, movement and mobility, and reflexes - these are great attributes to develop from a young age.
Most importantly, martial arts teaches them fortitude and self-respect. Falling is inevitable, and they are taught to stand up. They will encounter dangerous or threatening situations in life, and they are taught to react better (learning how to break falls properly), and create healthy boundaries (learning to say stop, tap, create distance from threats, or ask for help).
In this day and age, it is not uncommon for young ones to be entertained through digital devices such as phones and tablets. Whether you are a parent or caretaker who encourages such activities, why not give your children an alternative which allows them to develop their body, mind, soul, and spirit? A good martial arts programme will allow your child to partake in all of that.
Curious to know how martial arts can benefit your child? Sign them up for a FREE one-week trial at FaMA and let your child’s experience speak for itself.
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts training facility located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai, Fitness and Kids Martial Arts programs are led by experts in their respective fields. Whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for everyone.
Kids Martial Arts
Our Kids Martial Arts classes offer a choice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and/or Muay Thai programmes which have been specially designed for Children of all skills levels. Several studies have suggested that Children who participate in a sport experience positive development in their self-esteem and confidence, which supports our belief that the skills Children learn through our Martial Arts programmes here in Singapore will benefit them beyond their time in the academy.