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Martial Arts for Kids: Why It's Essential as They Head Back to School

By Steve Holly

The back-to-school season is upon us, and as parents, we're always seeking ways to better prepare our children for the academic year ahead. While you might be considering new backpacks, pencils, and notebooks, there’s another recommendation you might not have thought of: martial arts. Integrating martial arts into your child's routine can offer benefits that reach far beyond the physical, and here's why.

1. Discipline & Focus

Martial arts is not just about the kicks and punches. One of the core teachings of any martial arts form is discipline. Students learn the importance of dedication, practice, and focus. This discipline, once internalized, translates wonderfully into the classroom setting, helping your child concentrate on assignments and manage their time efficiently.

2. Self-confidence & Self-esteem

Martial arts training often involves overcoming challenges, be it a complex move or breaking a board. As kids achieve these milestones, their confidence grows. This self-assuredness can be a game-changer in school, aiding them in presentations, group activities, or even just raising their hand in class.

3. Physical Fitness

In the age of screens, ensuring that kids have an active outlet is crucial. Martial arts provide a full-body workout, improving cardiovascular health, flexibility, strength, and coordination. Not only does this keep them physically fit, but regular exercise has been linked to better cognitive function and improved academic performance.

4. Bullying Defense

While we hope our children never face bullying, the reality is that many do. Martial arts equips children with self-defense skills. But more importantly, it teaches them restraint, discernment, and the importance of avoiding conflicts. Often, the confidence gained from knowing they can defend themselves can deter potential bullies.

5. Stress Relief

Going back to school can be stressful. New subjects, teachers, peer pressures, and homework can all contribute to a child's stress levels. Martial arts can be a therapeutic outlet, allowing children a space to channel their energy and anxieties productively.

6. Social Skills & Teamwork

While martial arts might seem like a solitary activity, there's a significant amount of group work. Whether it's practicing techniques, sparring, or group forms, children learn to work together, trust their peers, and develop communication skills.

7. Setting and Achieving Goals

From achieving new belt ranks to mastering complex techniques, martial arts are all about setting and achieving goals. This mindset, once ingrained, can translate to setting academic goals and working diligently to achieve them.

8. Respect & Courtesy

Martial arts place a strong emphasis on respect - respect for the instructor, the dojang, fellow students, and oneself. This instilled respect can translate to a deeper appreciation and civility towards teachers, classmates, and the school environment.

In Conclusion:

As parents, our ultimate goal is to equip our children with tools and skills that set them up for success, both academically and personally. Integrating martial arts into their back-to-school preparation can be a step in that direction. So, this season, as you shop for school supplies, consider adding a martial arts class to the list. Your child might just discover a passion that benefits them in the classroom and beyond!

Steve Holly is the Co-Owner and Chief Instructor at Family Kicks Championship Martial Arts in Lewisville, NC. Visit their website at to learn more about them!

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