When parents are considering aikido or other martial arts classes for their children, they wonder if the study of martial arts will encourage violence in their children.
This impression often comes from the way martial arts is portrayed in movies and television shows. Or perhaps they notice a tendency towards aggression in their child already and are afraid martial arts would encourage the behavior.
Will enrolling their child in martial arts turn their child into an angry bully?
The truth is just the opposite.
The proper study of aikido, like other martial arts, actually lessens violence and aggression in children.
Martial arts teaches self-control. A child who is bent towards aggression and hurting others is often reacting to their emotions or situations in a thoughtless fashion. The study of martial arts gives children training in controlled movement and motion. Training in self-control dispels reactive outbursts.
Martial arts teaches respect. In aikido, like other martial arts, there is priority placed on respect for the other students, the instructor, and the space in which training takes place. A respectful child is not a child who expresses unbridled aggression.
Martial arts teaches self-confidence. A child who is self-confident does not seek out a false sense of confidence through overpowering others physically.
The Wisconsin Medical Journal reported the effects of martial arts practice on health. Their findings supported the notion that martial arts do not encourage violence. In fact, the report found that: “Martial arts provide health-promoting and meaningful exercise for millions of practitioners. Benefits from this practice include better overall health and balance, as well as an improved sense of psychological well-being. They do not promote aggression and may be used as a treatment modality for youth who are at-risk for violence.”
The study also noted “a martial arts program for children at risk for violence and delinquency produced behavioral improvements after 10 weeks of training. Levels of aggression and hostility were reduced the longer subjects participated in martial arts training.”
Not only did children in martial arts not become violent, but the study of martial arts reduced their hostility levels!
What about aikido?
There are so many types of martial arts to choose from. Aikido stands out from the rest because of the emphasis on harmony with your opponent. Having harmony as a key value in aikido completes the training that lowers aggression and violence.
See for yourself
Contact us and schedule a free trial class for your child or teen. Or come and observe a class yourself before signing your child up for a trial class. While you observe, note the attention paid to teaching respect, self-confidence, self-control, and harmony.