You always thought you had raised a perfectly normal, responsible child, but there they are, leaping over the furniture, chopping their hands in the air, yelling and kicking... What's going on?! Well, either they saw a martial arts demonstration at school or they've gotten a heavy dose of Saturday morning cartoons. In any event, the end result is pretty much always the same: "Mom! Can I take karate lessons?" "Oh brother," you say to yourself, right?
Well, why should you entertain the idea of martial arts lessons? Let's see:
I'm not going to deal with the subject of self defense here. I think the Bible gives us good answers on that issue and it's up to you as parents to dig in and decide if that's something you want your kids, (or yourself) to learn.
There are obviously many physical benefits which develop coordination and motor skills tremendously, but personally I have found the greatest benefit to students, whether young or old, is character development. Here's why:
Because the student wants to learn the physical
things, (to punch, kick, break bricks, etc.), he's willing to enter a completely
different world for several hours a week and submit to a completely different
set of rules, too. Everyone wears the same uniform and nobody wears shoes,
so immediately all the fashion garbage is peeled away leaving only a group
of equals, ready and eager to learn. Everyone is required to bow to each
other all the time and answer "Yes Sir" and "No Sir" to the guy with the
black belt. They submit to a strict rule of discipline and almost militaristic
regimen of training with punishment for disobedience being endless push-ups
at the word of the instructor. No one is allowed to talk unless spoken
to, and the ultimate respect of everyone else is required at
Isn't that amazing? Your kids, who usually freak-out when you ask them to do anything, standing perfectly at attention, silent, listening intently to every word and following every command of the instructor without question! And they want to do this!
And what's even more amazing is that as they continue their training, little by little, those qualities of respect, humility, self-discipline, self-control and much more will slowly start to leave the classroom with them. And someday it won't matter anymore if they have their uniform on or not. They'll have developed and internalized those qualities to become a part of their character that will help them and bless others for the rest of their lives.
Martial arts lessons can be a fabulous learning
environment where things can happen to kids, (and adults) that can happen
nowhere else. And when you combine that with the study of God's Word and
the modeling of lives dependent on Christ, it's a very good thing for all
Prof. Ron Hagelganz, Senior Instructor
Whole Armor Martial Arts