You are probably considering the prospect of enrolling your kids in a taekwondo class (maybe you already have) but you are unsure if this would be a good decision to make. So, is taekwondo good for kids?
Taekwondo is good for kids as it offers physical and mental benefits such as physical fitness, self-defense, discipline, respect, self-control, and many more. Learning taekwondo can make them stand out from their peers.
Taekwondo usually sits on the top of parents’ lists when it comes to choosing martial arts for their children, and there is a reason for that.
Taekwondo amazingly affects the mental and physical health of both children and adults.
Children can learn important life skills such as discipline, teamwork, self-confidence, respect, leadership, self-defense, etc, which is simply amazing.
Taekwondo is also an excellent activity for young children because it helps them to build strong and healthy muscles early on, lower their cholesterol, and improve their cardio.
Children who participate in taekwondo have a reduced risk of childhood heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis, even as they leave childhood and become adults.
So, if you are unsure about enrolling your children in taekwondo classes, you should continue reading to see some of the amazing benefits that this martial art has to offer your kids.
We will also be looking at some of the risks and potential concerns involved in kids’ taekwondo classes.
Let’s dive in!
Why Is Taekwondo Good for Kids?
Here are some of the reasons why taekwondo is good for children.
It Builds Confidence and Self Esteem
Taekwondo is a good way of instilling self-confidence and self-esteem in your kids. Here is why.
Taekwondo is an individual sport that often focuses on individual progress, not team progress. So expect their confidence level to improve as a result.
Taekwondo also encourages kids to be loud.
During Taekwondo training we love to yell, and while it may seem uncomfortable and silly at first, it’s a great way for kids to release any negative feelings that they may be holding in.
This way, they learn not to be too self-conscious when it comes to being vocal.
Their confidence level would receive a further boost as kids are normally encouraged to interact with other students and also perform in front of a crowd during tournaments and events.
They Will Learn Discipline and Respect
Taekwondo classes can help your child learn to respect and self-discipline, especially if he is wild.
There is a strong tradition in Taekwondo of respecting the dojo, or classroom, as well as the teacher.
When your child enters the room, their instructor will likely ask them to address them in a formal manner and bow to them.
In addition, taekwondo gives your child the opportunity to express anger healthily and productively, as he learns to control it and channel his temper into motivation.
Research has shown that primary school pupils who learned Taekwondo improved their self-regulation and showed reduced signs of aggression toward others.
So, taekwondo can help control aggressive behaviors in your kids.
They Learn to Defend Themselves
Although Taekwondo has earned a reputation for being a competitive sport, it is an effective tool for self-defense.
This martial art emphasizes kicks over all other techniques and since the legs are usually longer than the arms, it is a great martial art that they can learn to keep would-be attackers from getting close to them.
Develops Physical Fitness
Taekwondo just like most martial arts and fitness classes can greatly improve your child’s physical fitness.
Participating in taekwondo can help your child;
- build stronger muscles, bones, and joints
- build strength, speed, stamina, and balance
- develop flexibility and mobility
- improve coordination
- combat obesity
- increases cardiovascular endurance
- develop sharper reflexes
No doubt, taekwondo classes are a great way for kids to get their wiggles out.
After just a few weeks, expect to start noticing their reflexes getting faster and their muscles getting stronger as they learn to kick, punch and block.
And as they practice more, your little ones will develop balance and gain core strength.
Taekwondo has the power to build and develop focus in kids, teaching them how to calm the mind and develop a singleness of purpose.
This is not to say that children start tuning out certain elements of reality.
Rather, they learn to prioritize and channel their thoughts on systematically completing tasks.
Taekwondo consists of a task-oriented training structure which in turn helps children learn how to centralize their focus by improving their attention span.
Kids in taekwondo can achieve that through better control of the mind, meditation, and finer attention to training detail.
Taekwondo practice naturally encourages students to concentrate to learn and perform well.
And this skill is beneficial in everyday life since the focus is required for pretty much everything we do, including school.
Being able to focus becomes even more important when the kids reach adulthood and must work at a job, drive a car, or study in college.
Taekwondo can create this foundation.
They Learn Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution techniques are an essential part of taekwondo classes which can help your child learn how to peacefully resolve conflicts in their everyday lives.
Even adults sometimes have difficulty resolving conflicts healthily.
And despite popular belief, martial art such as taekwondo is not about getting into fights, but about avoiding them.
Parents are usually concerned about the potential for violence in these classes for their children.
However, most taekwondo instructors teach kids to deal with bullies peacefully, teaching them to use their skills to deflect potential harm to themselves and others.
Taekwondo can help children control their behavior and emotions, so the first step to defeating an opponent is to talk them down sternly and confidently.
You might think that because taekwondo is an individual pursuit, it has nothing to do with teamwork.
But you’d be wrong because these kids all have shared goals.
Yes, in taekwondo classes, kids pursue individual goals as they work to win belts and stripes but they do so as part of a team.
Taekwondo is learned in a group environment for a reason, and working with other students gives the kids the right platform to learn about teamwork.
Upon reaching a certain level, most martial arts require students to practice moves on each other (known as sparring).
Working together is far more beneficial than training alone, so students must learn to work together.
And as they advance in their martial arts journey, they also learn to respect, support, and encourage each other.
Improves Academic Performance
Taekwondo can also help boost your kids’ grades.
While the physical benefits of taekwondo are spoken about frequently, an extremely undervalued aspect of a child participating in taekwondo is the positive results seen in the classroom.
According to a study, kids who attended Taekwondo classes performed better and received higher ratings from teachers.
In Taekwondo, students learn and take part in proper and respectful behavior when in the dojang and outside of it.
Each student also has his or her uniform which they are to maintain and remember for class.
This helps them to take pride in their actions and accomplishments within each class giving them a glimpse of what they can do if they stay disciplined and open-minded.
Thankfully, these traits translate directly to the classroom where children must follow the rules of the classroom, remember their homework and supplies, and work hard to achieve good grades.
Taekwondo is not just a physical activity, it is also known for its benefits on the mind.
This can therefore help your child grow into a well-rounded person as they learn important life skills like humility, patience, respect, and mindfulness.
They also learn to feel calmer, persevere through tough situations, stay focused and also develop good listening skills.
They can Make Friends
Taekwondo, just like many other sports, is an avenue for your kids to meet other children and make new friends as they learn the art.
As they make new friends, this will motivate your kids to continue going to classes, encouraging each other to keep doing their best to keep improving.
Taekwondo can also be a fun sport for shy or introverted kids who struggle to meet and make new friends as there is usually lots of fun and energy going around.
Taekwondo Classes Are Fun
In Taekwondo, kids are kicking and punching, improving strength and endurance, practicing forms, and learning self-defense.
Although this should sound like work, kids usually get a great workout and have a blast doing it.
Classes are full of variety, so it is almost impossible for you to be hearing the dreaded “I’m bored!”
Taekwondo Potential Concerns for Kids
We’ve comprehensively looked at many of the benefits of practicing taekwondo, and these are benefits that touch nearly every aspect of a child’s life.
But are there any pitfalls to watch out for in a child learning taekwondo?
Well, there are pros and cons to anything, but it would be a little difficult to find reasons why your child should not participate in a life-changing art like taekwondo.
However, here are a few concerns that you should know of.
Possibility of Injuries
Engaging in a combat sport like taekwondo is inherently more physically dangerous than book reading or some other type of sedentary activity.
It is not uncommon to find bruises and strained or sore muscles.
Kids can also sometimes suffer from pulled muscles or even broken bones. This happens less frequently though.
However, as bad as an injury can be, far worse is a sedentary lifestyle for your child which can be more damaging.
A sedentary lifestyle like this can lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other major killers.
It Requires Time Commitment
The time commitment in taekwondo can be a little intense both for you and the kids.
This is probably so for every other sport that you want your child to excel in.
Sometimes it can be as intense as attending several classes a week.
Although time commitment to training is great for their mental and physical health, it can however lead to poor performance in other areas, such as school.
Therefore, parents must ensure that their children also have adequate time for homework and other responsibilities.
Also, some kids may want to compete, which can be a time-consuming activity.
During tournaments, kids spend most of their time waiting for their turn. So, if you are going as a spectator, you should bring a book.
Wrong Sense of Security
Some children, as they grow in their abilities, may begin to take unnecessary risks since they feel like they can take care of themselves.
For example, instead of avoiding a dangerous neighborhood, they might walk through it.
This is one reason the quality of an instructor plays a significant role.
A good instructor would normally teach self-confidence while also emphasizing the need for risk management.
It’s Easy to Get Discouraged
Taekwondo is an art where you really cannot predict how fast a child will learn, no matter how well they were taught.
Some students progress slowly while others learn faster and the slow learners often get discouraged to keep learning.
Slow learning in kids during taekwondo classes can sometimes be the fault of a child for putting less effort into training or maybe because they are mentally or psychologically challenged in some way.
So, it is important to choose a dojo with high-quality instructors who are skilled and experienced in helping kids with similar difficulties succeed.
Is Taekwondo Good for Toddlers?
Generally, Taekwondo is not suitable for toddlers as they are yet to develop the physical and mental state necessary for practicing in a demanding sport like a martial art.
Since toddlers are children between the ages of 1 and 3, taekwondo is not yet suitable for this age group.
Taekwondo is technical, requires a lot of practice and thought, and is just not meant for children younger than 3 years old.
Generally, a toddler’s physical and mental development can’t handle martial arts until he or she is about 5 or 6. There are a few exceptions, but not many.
So, you are going to frustrate a toddler if you try to impose martial arts instructions on them.
If you want such a child to develop through physical exercise, it is better to spend a lot of time with them running around and playing soccer or some other sporting activity.
But if you insist on taking the child out of the house, there are adapted martial art programs for toddlers that often go by names like “Little Ninjas” or “Tiny Tigers.”
They introduce martial arts concepts, but in a fun and very flexible environment.
Done properly, this can get a child ready (along with the physical and mental development that’s necessary) to start learning martial arts when they come of age.
We tried a kids’ taekwondo program with my son when he was about 2.
He didn’t like it, so we took him out of it as we didn’t want him thinking “I hate martial arts.”
4 years later, we tried again, and he liked it and has been improving and enjoying it for the past 5 years now.
So, don’t try to introduce a toddler to actual taekwondo (or other martial arts) classes before you’re absolutely positive about the child’s readiness.
Again, most won’t be ready until at least age 5 or 6. Even then, closely monitor their reactions.
Stress is bad for toddlers, so if you decide to sign them up for Taekwondo classes, make sure they are enjoying it and not stressing themselves out about it as that is the only way they can train properly.
Is Taekwondo Good Exercise for Kids?
Taekwondo is a good form of exercise for kids because it is a full-body workout that helps them achieve physical and mental fitness.
If you are looking to sign up your child for a taekwondo class, it would be a waste of money to sign them up for another fitness class.
This is because taekwondo training is a beneficial form of exercise that helps repair vital areas of the body.
Children can get a full-body workout, as well as improve their cardio, balance, coordination, flexibility reflexes, agility, and endurance.
Also, the physical activities they engage in often release dopamine, which is a hormone that enhances positive emotions, which can help the mental health of kids.
By staying fit and active, they can feel better in their everyday lives as they have more energy for school and other extra activities.
Taekwondo can also be a great alternative for children who do not enjoy direct fitness classes or other sports.
Taekwondo is Good for children with Special Needs
Taekwondo is also suited to the unique developmental needs of people with special needs.
This is because taekwondo training is a great therapeutic practice that can help with the physical and/or intellectual delays, challenges, and disabilities usually faced by people with special needs.
Traditional martial arts in general, are therapeutic.
In a study of over 30 children with autism, it was shown that children who were involved in either martial arts and/or Kinesiotherapy experienced significant improvements in social communication and cognition, language, hyperactivity, longer attention spans, temper tantrums, better sleeping patterns, and more independence.
David Rosenberg, the owner of Kicking the Spectrum, which is a martial arts program for kids with special needs, told NY1:
“When people with special needs figure out how to kick or punch, or even something simple, like jumping or ducking, the level of achievement and happiness that they get is just amazing.”
Taekwondo classes are more than just a respite for working parents and can be a vital part of a child’s life, teaching values and instilling upstanding character traits that they often carry over into adulthood.
So, Taekwondo is a good sport for your child’s overall physical and mental growth.
Hi, my name is Godwin. I am a passionate martial artist with black belts in Taekwondo and Karate. I have over 15 years of martial art experience. I created this platform to enable me to help you learn martial art the right way.