8 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids

When parents reach out to learn more about kids martial arts, they often have a variety of questions and concerns. Many of them wonder if taking part in martial arts will make their child violent or cause them to get into fights. While other parents want to know if it will distract them from school or other responsibilities.

While the easy answer to both of these questions is a resounding “No”, it’s important to dive deeper into the benefits of martial arts for kids.

Believe it or not, it’s not all about punching, kicking, and throwing each other on the ground. It is about finding a balance between mind, body, and spirit.

Martial arts like Jeet Kune Do were created to develop a wide range of mental health benefits like self-control and focus, while also improving physical strength, flexibility, and endurance. Between the physical exercises and emotional instruction learned in martial arts schools, your child will develop a deep understanding of skills that will help them for the rest of their life.

On top of these health benefits, children learn how to defend themselves, feel safe, make friends, and be happier.

Let’s take a look at four mental health benefits and four physical health benefits your child will see in a martial arts class.

Mental Health

Developing confidence and surrounding yourself with good people are two key aspects of maintaining good mental health. The art of Jeet Kune Do places a large emphasis on quieting your mind, improving focus, and enjoying the journey of learning martial arts. Below are four key skills we teach to improve your kids' mental health.

1. Discipline

All too often, the word discipline is associated with the word punishment. But in reality, discipline should be involved long before punishment is ever necessary. It is a learned skill to establish self-control, cultivate good habits, and stronger will power to do what is right.

In our Jeet Kune Do martial arts for kids, discipline isn’t about punishment or retribution, but about teaching and preparing. The training is designed to open young students’ minds to the best way they can handle certain situations and scenarios.

Mental health benefits of this key training style pay major dividends in a child’s ability to learn self-discipline. They’ll be able to maintain control of their emotions, resist negative impulses, and better manage their overall behavior.

2. Focus

The same way a dull knife must be sharpened to accomplish its tasks, a child’s mind also needs to stay sharp as they go throughout the daily routine of their life. As things like technology continue to take over bits and pieces of our world and our attention, it is vital to find ways to counteract it.

The most recent statistics have shown that more than 6.4 million children in the United States between 4 and 17 years old have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While some may turn to medication and counseling, others have also brought their children to martial arts schools for help.

Through constant practice and sustained repetition, young students have learned how to clear their minds and focus on one task at a time. These basic, but powerful, principles go far beyond our dojo, remaining with your children in their classroom and even in their home life.

3. Confidence

Due to the continued problems of both cyber-bullying and physical bullying, many children have low self-esteem and minimal confidence. These negative feelings can be catastrophic to a young mind, often leading to depression, anxiety, anger, and guilt.

While many may not consider using martial arts for mental health issues like these, it is arguably the best way to boost a child’s confidence and improve their self-esteem. They believe in themselves more with each new achievement and feel more confident as their body gets into better shape.

Above all, they’ll be able to socialize with other members of the dojo and make new friends. These social aspects will give your child more confidence in their ability to talk and communicate with other people.

4. Respect

One of the first things taught in kids martial arts classes is the art of respect. From the Jeet Kune Do salute to listening to their instructors, they learn the importance of humility and honor.

It is crucial that each child understand everyone on this earth is different and to respect those differences. They will see a drastic improvement in their lives and have better interactions with other people on a daily basis.

Developing respect makes all other aspects of martial arts easier including discipline, focus, and confidence as mentioned above.

Physical Health

Being healthy makes it easier to feel confident and to focus in school or other important aspects of life. An active lifestyle means more energy to tackle the tasks that come with our everyday routines. Here are four physical health benefits your child will learn from a martial arts class.

1. Strength

While Jeet Kune Do isn’t about hitting the gym and lifting a bunch of weights, the exercises that students do have a tremendous impact on their strength and overall muscle growth. From full-body workouts and core training to developing cardiovascular strength, the physical health benefits of martial arts are unmatched by any other sport.

As students improve their conditioning, fighting stances, and footwork, they gain more power in their arms, legs, and abdomen. Each exercise focuses on multiple muscle groups at once to tone all parts of the body.

The continued practice and repetition of each move causes muscles to fatigue, which following a rest period leads to growth and improved strength.

2. Healthy Weight

Recent trends have shown that the national childhood obesity rate in America is nearly 20% for kids between 2 to 18 years old. While genetics and metabolism play a partial role in those numbers, one thing that every health professional agrees on is the importance of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Instead of running around a boring track for miles on end, why not put your kids in a martial arts class, where they can gain new skills, gain confidence, and take part in a fun, active atmosphere?

Martial arts instructors are professionals who allow each student to go at their own pace while continually urging them along enough that they see results. Styles like Jeet Kune Do can burn hundreds of calories in a short period of time, leading to healthy weight loss and a better physique.

3. Stamina

When training in martial arts, you are taught how to complete a range of short burst moves over longer periods of time. These techniques are designed to increase endurance, allowing your body the energy to keep going.

As children learn Jeet Kune Do, their entire body is engaged, triggering large and small muscle groups. These continuous actions build their stamina and lung capacity, giving them the strength to do more and more.

To develop more endurance, martial arts schools use jump ropes, pushups, sit ups, and other cardio activities that are designed to get the heart beating.

4. Flexibility

Pay attention to the way you’re sitting or standing right now. How is your posture? Are you hunched over in a chair? Maybe you have your neck bent down to look at your phone as you’re reading? Did you know that poor posture can lead to neck pain, muscle strain, tension headaches, and much more?

One of the best ways to enhance your posture is by improving your flexibility. Stretching is immensely important in martial arts for kids. It prevents injury, increases their range of motion, as well as improves overall performance and blood flow to muscles. These practices will also have physical benefits to your child’s posture, avoiding those potential health issues it can cause.

In every martial arts class, stretching is a key part of each instruction. Effective routines are followed to stretch arms, hamstrings, core, and other vital muscle groups before the classes begin.

Thinking About Enrolling Your Child in Martial Arts?

If you’re on the hunt for a kids martial arts program with all these benefits and more, we have the perfect place for you. The NY Martial Arts Academy has been teaching the effective style of Jeet Kune Do since it first opened in 1985.

We have trained over 10,500 students in this unique approach developed by martial arts legend, Bruce Lee. Some of our instructors have been trained by others who were taught the art by Bruce Lee himself and now share their knowledge with students both young and old.

After a short couple of months in one of our children’s programs, your kids will become more fit, improve their focus, and become more disciplined. Each of these crucial skills will last a lifetime and help them be a better person each and every day.

With four convenient locations across the New York area, we’re sure to have a place for you. To learn more about our kid's training programs give us a call today at 347-721-3288 with any questions!

Helpful Head Movement Drills for Self Defense

There’s a saying in the martial world that says, “Either you move your head or he’s gonna move it for you.” Effective head movement is used to avoid oncoming attacks and also to set up strong counter moves. It can...

Bruce Lee: The Greatest Martial Artist of All Time

It is widely accepted by fighters and other people around the world that Bruce Lee was the most influential martial artist of all time. From his famous action movies to his unique martial art of Jeet Kune Do, the legend of Bruce Lee has held...

The 3 Benefits of Martial Arts Wellness Programs

Attracting talent to your organization is more difficult now than it has been. With more flexibility favoring employees, you must offer a fully laid out benefits package. This approach may appear costly, but it will help you attract and retain...

A Martial Arts Journey to Health and Fitness

Written By Jessica Militello When Chris Shea first joined New York Martial Arts Academy in 2017, he had just embarked on a serious commitment to revamp his health and fitness habits. Two years later, his determination and discipline to making...

Is Jeet Kune Do the best self-defense for you?

Is Jeet Kune Do the best self-defense for you? By Jessica Militello     In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of the four locations of New York Martial Arts Academy, passersby regularly stop and take out their camera phones to...

Why Every Woman Should Do Martial Arts

Many physical activities from sports to adventure hiking tend to get branded as masculine things to do. This limited perspective ignores the benefits that any person can enjoy from these activities. Martial arts provide many opportunities for...

Why Martial Arts Is the Best Way to Get Fit

You know that martial arts may come with several lifestyle benefits such as disciple and the ability to pay more attention to detail. Did you know, though, that the sport is for more than teaching you how to calmly yet sternly defend yourself? There...

Best Martial Arts For Self Defense

Imagine being attacked. How would you protect yourself? Violence should be avoided, however, some circumstances leave one with no choice. Your body is the only weapon that you’ll have with you at all times. Having the ability and skill to...

Who Can Benefit From Martial Arts Classes?

Martial arts is not only a means of self defense, but also a great way to exercise and get complete peace of mind through mental focus. Many people procrastinate going to the gym each day and disregard their physical (and mental) health because life...

How Much Time Do Kids Martial Arts Classes Demand?

Martial arts classes can be a great way to get your kids active and involved in activities outside of school. Even though extracurricular activities can be great for your kids, they are often time-consuming as well. Many parents wonder exactly how...

A Brief History of Martial Arts

Asia is considered the hub of the world of martial arts by many people. However, this does not mean that martial arts was born in Asia. While martial arts may not have been necessarily born in Asia, many prominent forms of martial arts come from the...

What to Look for in A Martial Arts School

  Choosing a martial school takes the same approach as choosing a regular school for your child. Just because the martial school entails kicks and punches, rather than English and Mathematics, it does not mean that modern day scrutiny of...
Page: 123456 - All

Helpful Head Movement Drills for Self Defense

There’s a saying in the martial world that says, “Either you move your head or he’s gonna move it for you.” Effective head movement is used to avoid oncoming attacks and also to set up strong counter moves. It can...

Bruce Lee: The Greatest Martial Artist of All Time

It is widely accepted by fighters and other people around the world that Bruce Lee was the most influential martial artist of all time. From his famous action movies to his unique martial art of Jeet Kune Do, the legend of Bruce Lee has held...

Why Martial Arts Is More Than Just Kicking

  Martial arts was initially seen as combative and puzzling. It was mostly learned and practiced by adults and was chiefly about self-defense. Martial arts has ever since grown from that stage of tiny dirty schools to schools teaching...

Fencing without a foil?

Bruce Lee often called his art of Jeet Kune Do, fencing without a foil.  In this entry we will be discussing what he meant by that statement.   If you take a look at fencing and Jeet Kune Do, you will not a few similarities.  One of...

Finding a Little Bruce Lee in All of Us

A slew of Bruce Lee types, embracing both men and women, could soon be making their way through the streets of New York--but with an added physical dimension; expertise in rough, tough and often savage street fighting.  In brief, those bad...

Doing Your Own JKD Thing

By Cass Magda   JKD has its own identity and follows a design with a purpose. It is a system. A JKD man's movement is definitely different and distinguishable from other martial arts such as Thai kickboxing, wing chun, or karate. The physical...

Getting To The Roots of JKD

By Cass Magda   In the Tao of JKD Bruce Lee said, "I hope that martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which single...

Jeet Kune Do: The Way of The "Stopping Fist"

Jeet Kune Do is training and discipline toward the ultimate reality in combat. The ultimate reality is returning to one's primary freedom, which is simple, direct, and nonclassical.  A good Jeet Kune Do man does not oppose force or give way...

Jeet Kune Do's Five Ways Of Attack

1. SDA (Single Direct Attack) A direct attack is composed of a single movement. The objective is to go to the target by the most direct route. Although it is the simplest of the attacks, it is the hardest to complete successfully because the...
We’re offering adult live-streaming classes from 7 pm to 8 pm every Weeknight and Saturday at 12 pm.
Kid's classes are Tuesday and Thursday from 6 pm to 6:30 pm.
Classes are live on YouTube and Instagram