Many adults are more than eager to place their children in classes, like martial arts, for example, but very rarely do these parents become more than spectators. I often ask myself why. The health benefits of karate or any other organized class or sport are astronomical and health is not the only benefit. I encourage parents to become students and attend classes, with or without their children, for many different reasons. Yes, it would be nice to get more business, but more importantly, parents need to be a role model for their children. If parents put importance on being physically fit and on being part of a group or a team, etc., the child learns from this. And a child who is encouraged to become physically fit and be involved in sports is much more likely to be successful in their endeavors. The best way for parents to demonstrate the importance of physical activity is to show it by their actions.
If a parent drives their child or children to a class two, three, five days a week, why should they just sit and watch when they can get involved, get active, and learn? Most parents have a list of excuses – they don’t have enough time, they don’t have enough money, they are completely uncoordinated, etc. The list goes on and on. So, let’s tackle them one by one.
- If you have enough time to drive your child to a class or sport, you have enough time to participate in one yourself.
- If you are worried about having enough money for lessons, speak to the instructor or teacher. Many instructors provide a family rate or reduced rates when there is more than one participant.
- If you are uncoordinated, why not work on gaining an awareness of your body that will alleviate this symptom?
Now let’s look at just a few of the benefits of participation in sports, particularly karate:
- You will improve your flexibility.
- You will improve your stamina.
- Your energy level will increase.
- Your fitness level will improve.
- You will be stronger.
- You will increase your mental focus.
- You will encourage strong family values.
- You will have the opportunity to serve as a mentor for other children.
- You will gain confidence in you abilities to try and learn new things.
- You will have stepped out with courage into a new territory.
The next time you take your child to class, read the brochures and find a class and time that works for you. Speak to the instructor and tell them your fears and reservations. Take the step toward a new you and a new family!
If you are looking for a martial arts class where family is the focus, please join Sensei Sam Larioza at Ohana Karate.