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Why All Kids MUST learn Martial Arts

 

I believe that martial arts education is essential for all kids. The reason I believe this is because the lessons learned in martial arts, our 'teacher's syllabus,' are crucial life skills that kids need as young adults (and as senior citizens!). They will use and apply these skills in the process of living and gaining enlightenment. Yet, these skills are not taught in public schools nor are they easily taught by parents. Though parents try to teach some of the life skills and principles that are part of martial arts, principles such as patience, honesty and effort, there is another skill that kids need but parents don't teach.

 

Heroes of Self Defense and Protection

You may notice that many kids are attracted to those characters in books and entertainment that are best able to solve their own problems. Usually these characters are super heroes or scientists with superior technology. Kids look up to these heroes because they can defend themselves or because they can defend what is morally right, or because they can defend friends and family. Heroes have overcome their fears and kids are drawn to that quality.

 

That quality is worthy of our admiration and we should work toward helping kids develop it in themselves. The most fear inducing problem that kids may encounter is someone wanting to harm them.

 

You may recall your experience as a child of being afraid of someone because they might hit you. When kids don't feel intimidated or paralyzed by fear it clears up their minds to better deal with more subtle forms of aggression such as peer pressure or intimidation.

 

The hardest Part of Self Defense

The hardest part of self defense to teach is how to react after you get hit. Why do kids need to learn this? Young kids can be prone to intimidation and peer pressure. As they overcome their fear of the grossest manifestation of hostile aggression, getting hit, they will be better able to deal with those subtle forms of aggressions such as peer pressure and intimidation.

 

Teaching kids how to react after getting hit is hard for parents to do, because in order to teach and learn counter attacking you must actually get hit. Which parent do you know who actually shouts, 'Dodge, Block, Kick!'? Well, I do that with my kids, but that is because my two kids (2nd and 6th graders) are students in my own kung fu class.

 

Martial arts instructors help students learn how to hit and counter in a safe environment. Such simulations of strikes and counters are not as aggressive as they would be in reality certainly not as dangerous. However, practicing safe hitting and counter-attacking that makes contact teaches self-defense, hones awareness of surroundings, builds self-confidence and self-reliance, strengthens the body and sharpens the child’s mind.  It teaches the child how to think things through, make decisions, be persistent and follow through.  These are all highly valuable skills throughout life.

 

Sparring

Kids learn how to spar and what happens when their sparring partner hits them. They gain the reflexive skills and the idea that when someone hits me, "I don't have to cower and crumble...those aggressive attacks from my opponent neither stop me nor hurt me."

Once kids learn these valuable lessons, and the earlier they learn the better, the deeper ingrained becomes the idea of overcoming their fears. This is important because we want our kids to feel that they have the strength and confidence to stand up for themselves and what is right.

 

In learning Martial Arts, they are learning so much more than just self defense, there are other sports that involve contact. It is not just that the kids are gaining  discipline and principles that they will use for the rest of their lives. It is that they are learning not to freeze in fear when someone gets aggressive with them. This is a lesson that can save their lives, just ask 9 year old Calysta.

 

All parents, when reading the story of Calysta, would pray their own kids would react like she did. Calysta Cordova engineered her own safety when she was attacked and kidnapped by a man already charged in previous assaults on children. Calysta kept her eyes open looking for an opportunity to escape her kidnapper and when the chance came she risked the temporary safety of staying with the kidnapper and instead challenged him in front of another adult to gain her freedom from her kidnapper. Once there was an adult in sight Calysta took the chance to fight for her own safety. If you are not familiar with the story of Calysta you can read about her story as well as see a short video clip here.

Girl Who Outsmarted Alleged Kidnapper: 'I Got my Fight From Daddy'

 

Kung Fu!

It is more than self defense. Kung fu develops a healthy exercise habit that keeps you happy and healthy through out life and gives a positive reinforcement of the lessons that parents want their kids to learn

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The Challenge of Master Cui

Taste the Air

The Heavenly Taoist's Praying Mantis Strikes

Why All Kids MUST learn Martial Arts

My First Taiji Tournament

A Barbarian Splits Wood

The Tiger Swallow Flies to Brasil

Little Four Hands

Zhong Lu Fan Che

My Trip to Shandong

First Rule of Pugilism

Mind Posture-Body Posture

The Magic of Tai Chi

Secret Spear of Shaolin

FIst of Luohan

Iron Door Bolt

Tyrant Pulls the Bow

Invitation to Brasil

The Golden Hook Hangs the Jade Vase

Pluck the Star Exchange the Moon

Intuition through the Kick of Zhong Ji Fist

Two Thousand Years of Mantis Warriors

Kung Fu Fit for an Army

Stealing a Horse

Entering the Sea of Awareness

Jing Ke the Undercover assassin

One Step Three Punches

Double Palm Strike of Mantis Boxing

General Yu and the Escaping Pirates

Tai Mountain Crushes the Top

The Barbarian Surrendering Maneuver

The Yin Yang Hook of Plum Flower Mantis

Long Punches and Short Elbows of Iron Fist

Weituo Offers his Vajra

The Mandarin Duck Kick

Dig Out the Cave

Hide the Peach Under the Leaf

Dangerous Flowers of Double Saber

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Wang Lang and his Pair of Swords

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Kicks Of Peng Lai

The Double Sealing of the Mantis

Defeating the Legs

The Shaking Step of Mantis

A Weekend in Tennessee

Shaolin Eighteen Movement Stick

Clever Leaping and the Folding Elbow

The Luan Elbow of Shaolin Luohan

The 400 Year Old Iron Fist

Seizing the Opportunity

Sparrow Brushes the Water

The Waist Chop of Mantis Boxing

The Revolving Wheel of Water and Fire

The Rising and Falling of the Mantis Fist

Pan Zhou-The Coiled Elbow

The Method of Stick Fighting

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