Why Martial Arts Is Not Just Another Kid’s Recreational Activity


I just want to let you know about the difference between martial arts and other kids’ recreational activities.

How Martial Arts is Different

Because I hear about this sometimes from parents who mistakenly think that they’re just kind of all the same. You’ve got Martial Arts or soccer or swimming, baseball and that just kind of all the same, they are all just kids’ recreational activities and that’s just simply not true.

Those recreational activities are great. I used to play baseball; I used to play soccer when I was a kid. They’re great but they’re really just for fun for the most part. I mean most kids are not going to grow up and being professional soccer players or baseball players or dancers or anything like that. So those things are great. They are for fun. However, martial arts is a personal developmental process.

Martial Arts Offers Long Term Benefits

The kinds of things that kids are going to learn in martial arts class are going to benefit them throughout their whole lives. And obviously there’s the physical self-defense component that, say, a young man grows up he will know how to defend himself and his family. Later on in life obviously there’s that physical component but there’s so much more.

We talk about the benefits, especially, the long term benefits of martial arts training; it’s really hard to beat. Think about things like how to handle pure pressure, building confidence, how to deal with bullies both in school and as an adult too, knowing how to take care of your family if something happens.

The kids are trained to learn. We train them to make this kind of a habit so that it will benefit them throughout their entire lives.

And then also explicitly teaching things like respect, courage, discipline, focus, grit, perseverance, goal setting, dedication, these are things that we teach explicitly in our kids’ martial arts class. The kids are trained to learn. We train them to make this kind of a habit so that it will benefit them throughout their entire lives. And I think these kinds of things are simply invaluable. I mean where else can you learn things like this? I really don’t know of anywhere else so you should think of the martial arts program as something entirely different from other forms of kids’ recreational activities.

Martial Arts Supports Academics

Really, martial arts is something that supports academics. You learn things like goal setting, perseverance, dedication that really does give the child what he needs to get through life, to get through college, to get through tough times in their marriage, whatever, to physically defend themselves – these are the kind of life skills that you really don’t get anywhere else and this is the kind of thing that’s really going to benefit a child in the long term.

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.