As parents, we have a lot on our plates – including the worry and stress of keeping our children safe. Given all the uncertainties in life, including situations beyond our control, the best thing we can do is to equip children with the skills and tools that enhance their personal safety throughout the developmental years as well as over their lifetimes.
Here’s where martial arts training, with a curriculum that focuses on self defense and personal safety, comes in. Below are 5 key benefits;
- Enhances motor skills. The ages of 3 to 7 years old are critical in the development of motor skills, as children in this group possess ideal physical conditions for honing the basic forms of movement through martial arts drills. Younger children especially have an urge to move a lot and want to learn new things, picking up skills such as balance, coordination and concentration through frequent practice and imitating. Often, drills are incorporated in the form of games, along with music, to make them fun and exciting.
- Highlights situational awareness and the avoidance of dangers, including unwanted confrontations. While fighting moves like kicks and punches are taught in martial arts, the focus is to protect the oneself physically from harm. Children also learn how to block, duck down, evade and roll – all to counter an oncoming threat. They are taught that avoidance is key, and this can be helpful in a range of situations, from falling objects to bullying.
- Builds confidence and self esteem. Through drills, teamwork and games, with positive reinforcement and social interactions with their peers, children learn to be confident in themselves and feel empowered through their abilities to make the right decisions, including saying NO and standing up for themselves. They learn that their voices are powerful, and can function as another powerful self defense mechanism.
- Teaches values and principles that are inherent in martial arts training, such as hard work, perseverance and responsibility. Children learn to roll with the punches, literally –and what matters is that they learn from mistakes, falls and disappointments and can get up and keep pushing on.
- Instills the importance of maintaining friendships. Through classroom interactions and training, children learn how their decisions and actions can affect themselves and others, and how to think things through and make good choices. This helps them work as a team, which often improves their attitude and outlook.
With a personal safety-focused curriculum through martial arts, Mantis offers the follow programs for children and teenagers:
Mantis Motor Skills Academy
These classes for children ages 3 to 7 years feature exercises designed to develop gross & fine motor skills. The youngest children (ages 3-5) learn under the music and movement concept with our own original songs and games.
Mantis Martial Arts For Kids
These classes cater to kids ages 6 to 12 years, and the program is what our popular camps at Get Growing Farm in Bangkrachao are based on. We focus on enhancing motor skills as well as teaching children to apply fundamental martial arts movements into their personal safety in various situations and in the face of everyday hazards. We also teach children how to be aware of their surroundings, how to fall safely, how to manage risk and fears, how to work in teams, etc. – all while having fun, enjoying free play and making new friends.
Mantis Personal Safety
This program brings challenging exercise routines to a preteen and teenager (& even adult) audience, with an emphasis on self defense and personal safety. The ongoing course builds strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination, and goals for students include becoming more physically fit, gaining flexibility and feeling confident that they can manage and apply the most effective skills to enhance their safety and wellbeing in everyday life. Part of this program includes a supplementary medic first aid training course, with CPR and other life-saving skills, that provides successful participants with a certificate from the American Heart Association.