Martial Arts and Kids
Martial Arts is becoming one of the top sports to combat the rise of obesity and diabetes in children. In this day and age where computer games and TV have overtaken the want and need to play outside it is important we keep our little monkeys fit and healthy.
Kickboxing is a great way to give children of all fitness levels and abilities a good start. “Many Martial Arts schools pay close attention to how children exercise, their technique, punching, kicking, positioning and posture” said Hazel Amper, a children’s Physiotherapist. “A wide range of children benefit from Kickboxing. From the non-active child to the very active child keen on sport already, this could be a new exercise to try out, it's higher intensity than most exercise classes that they would normally do so they get a lot fitter” she added. Classes are usually adapted depending on the child’s fitness levels so all little monkeys get the most out of every lesson “there is a good warm up in the beginning so blood starts running around the body, muscles are warming up. Then there is the stretching, so the muscles are lengthened out ready for the next lot of exercise. Next comes the kickboxing focusing on kicking and punching working on their technique. Last they play a game, again this is using all the vital core muscles, cardiovascular and flexibility are encompassed throughout the class” Amper explained.
It is important to remember that Kickboxing teaches important skills that are transferable in everyday life in a fun environment. “There is 45 minutes to an hour of high intensity exercise without the impression that it is hard work” added Amper. Children learn Respect for others and themselves, discipline and Concentration, as well as receiving self fulfilment and from attaining belts and reaching goals. Learning self defence in a disciplined supervised environment also teaches a child how to avert a situation and get out of conflict as efficiently as possible. Martial Arts build a child’s self esteem and confidence, they make friends and learn to communicate with other children as well as adults. All of these are integral to build a happy, healthy child and help toward academic success.
“So many conditions or issues that children have especially at that growing phase of their life can be benefited by doing kickboxing classes because of the way the classes are designed. I have referred quite a few children that I have seen at the Physiotherapy clinic to attend the classes because they have really weak core muscles. This can cause symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, and poor posture. They are tight in their muscles and stiff from sitting down all day so to include kickboxing in their daily life where they learn stretches, do a good warm up and can get fit and have fun is brilliant.”