For centuries, various forms of martial arts helped to shape the bodies and minds of warriors. Culturally, martial arts carry numerous tenants making it significant for the developing of health, a strong mind, self-esteem, and self-defense.

It is a popular misconception that the practice of these sports is just for fighting and violence. While combat exhibitions are a part of the activities and the ability to defend against attackers is taught, these are not the central purpose of the practice of these ancient skills. The legendary expert, Bruce Lee, said, this is “ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock out the guy in front, but to knock out your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups.”

When you understand that these skills come from the attitude of strength in self-control as opposed to strength through violence, it is easy to see how learning one or more forms can improve your child’s self-confidence along with health, focus, and discipline.


Because your child will learn about the mind and body connection, this training is well suited to build up confidence. As your child learns new skills and interacts with instructors and peer, their comfort level will increase and with it their self-confidence.


• SHOWS A CHILD WHAT THEY CAN ACCOMPLISH- Often, children hear so much about what the adults in their world believe they cannot do, that they do not see the potential and capabilities within themselves. By mastering a technique or overcoming the challenges involved in a class, children see their own potential.

• ATTENTION AND AFFIRMATION FROM AROLE MODEL- While it is crucial for parents to build self-esteem in their kids, the rest of the world may not support those efforts. Your child’s instructor will provide praise of your child’s efforts, point out small successes, and offer positive reinforcement.

• DISCIPLINE- An inescapable lesson here is discipline. Your child will learn the importance of being reliable and dependable as well as develop a sense of pride in showing what they are learning. Additionally, children who have a clear sense of others’ expectations and boundaries are able to become less dependent on the adults in their lives. This is because they understand and can apply the rules and feel secure in their own abilities to function independently.

• RESPONSIBILITY AND SELF RELIANCE- This goes along with discipline in that a child can perform to their fullest when they know what they should do and how to do it. Having mastered things that once seemed impossible, a child’ self-worth will grow.

• A BALANCED VIEW OF THEIR SUCCESS- While learning, no one ever succeeded at all things attempted. By learning through adversity and continuing to work towards their goal, your child will learn that failing at a task is not the end of the world. Likewise, they will feel confident enough to see successes as good but not the only thing that matters.

• SECURITY- Even though your child will learn about much more than physical activity, the fitness, and strength gained will help your child as they move through their daily life.


From a historical standpoint, there are literally hundreds of kinds (and variations of kinds) of these abilities. Many of these are a good fit for children to study, and some are best left to adult students. A key to making a good choice is understanding the focus of several kinds of styles and deciding which type meshes best with your child’s personality and capabilities.


1. JUDO- This type focuses on using an opponent’s aggression against them. Essentially Judo evolved from Jujutsu, a form of defense developed in the late 15th century. A Judo class would teach your child concentration, control, and timing while using the opponent’s body weight and momentum against them. Your child would likely get a lot out of Judo if they are interested in throws and learning defensive moves. Experts often suggest this type for children who have problems with bullies.

2. KARATE- Students of karate are taught to incorporate what they learn as a part of their lifestyle. In addition to full body training, students learn to kick and use striking techniques as well as how to break boards. A child who would like to learn striking and is not shy about competing would enjoy karate.

3. TAE KWON DO- The most popular form for children and adults, Tae Kwon Do blends kicks, strikes, and throws. A majority of people believe it is the perfect form of these arts because it trains students in several techniques and offers opportunities for competition. A child with a competitive nature would enjoy Tae Kwon Do.

Do you believe your child could benefit from the many ways this training can build their confidence, mind, and body? Consider setting up a few trial visits to local schools to find the right fit. This gives your child a gift that will last a lifetime.