Benefits of Taekwondo for kids
The name Taekwondo is derived from the Korean word “Tae” meaning foot, “Kwon” meaning fist and “Do” meaning way of. So, literally Taekwondo means “the way of the foot and fist”. Considered an honorable Korean martial art, it is “the art of hitting with his feet and hands”. Its philosophy is based on five principles: Courtesy, Integrity , Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit .
Taekwondo is a sport that helps children to stay in excellent physical condition. By practicing it, children will have a functional and harmonious development of the organism, making talents like resilience, strength and body integration maximize. Although there is a very popular notion that taekwondo is rather a violent sport and that force is required, it is definitely not like that. It is a channeler in anger management not for exercising violence. Taekwondo is an activity that contributes to the formative process of the child since it complements force and thought.
Kids can start practicing this art starting as young as four years old, because around that age the control of motor skills is achieved. Coaches will have your child learn the techniques of defense and attack as they play and enjoy. Exercises like balancing on one foot, bending, running and jumping will be trained and easily done. Therefore, the practice of taekwondo will help improving the physical condition. All you kid needs to practice is a Dobok – a white suit (pants and jacket) and Ti (its belt that indicates the level of the practitioner).
There are hundreds of cases of children who practice this sport, that have shown positive changes in behavior, both at home and at school, the environments in which they usually develop.
This is because the taekwondo tempers the character of children; for those who are very aggressive help them to become more calm and conscious; while for the introverted and shy children it gives them more confidence, initiative and motivates them to learn to value themselves.
Parents have more than one benefit if they get their children taekwondo classes:
Physically, taekwondo allows maximum development of the body’s own abilities: strength, resilience, force, integration, adaptation, as well as a harmonious and functional development of their body.
Spiritually, this sport teaches its participants the need of perseverance to get personal objectives proposed; and it also encourages values of edification and fellowship. Children learn to respect both the coach and their teammates.
The training process of children will help on:
- Exercising discipline.
- Body coordination.
- Increasing concentration span.
- Creating habits that will help the child in their studies and tasks.
- Endorsing respect and courtesy.
- Helping the child to be more thoughtful.
- Improving self-control and create positive attitudes towards others.
- Strengthening the sense of community.
- Boosting self-confidence and self-steem. As a result, the child will feel secure and convinced of his chances in various situations in everyday life.
- Building core strength.
- Improving physical fitness and encouragement of body growth; due to the development of a good physical condition, providing the body with increased energy, incentives, flexibility, reflexes and excellent motor skills.
- Learning time managements due to the training schedules. This will be reflected in their habits.
The philosophy behind taekwondo promotes competition. The opponents must be located a few feet away and implement the techniques of attack and defense that have previously learned in their class. The purpose is to defeat the opponent without having any other contact than hands and feet. The idea of winner and loser in a fair competition gives kids a more comprehensive behavior of the different situations of life.
Before deciding the club where your kid will train on, you need to know that Taekwondo has two styles:
- The World Taekwondo Federation or WTF
- The International Taekwondo Federation or IFT
If you’re aiming for Olympic glory for your kid, you’ll need to choose a World Taekwondo Federation club. This style concentrates on faster techniques, using narrow stances and linear kicking styles.
IFT on the other hand focuses on more traditional techniques. With lots of power, stances are deeper and strikes are emphasized more.
However, if you are considering taekwondo more as a leisure pursuit and a route to fitness and health, then the style you choose doesn’t really matter. What’s more important is that you choose a club with an instructor that you like, happy students, and a training environment that feels right for your kid.
Always take in consideration that a child who practices taekwondo is subject of demanding routines and needful care, encourage him to have good performance in school, teach him to share with all kinds of partners, offer models with which to identify that highlight values and not absurd heroes.