Improving Your Child’s Grades Through Karate

Mike McLaughlin,
Yahoo! Contributor Network
May 5, 2009

“Children can learn a lot more than just how to do a good roundhouse kick at their local karate class. The physical lessons in martial arts are definitely important but the mental lessons learned in the dojo can benefit children in many areas of their lives including in the classroom.

Focus – Whether a child is punching a pad or breaking a board, he or she must have a tremendous amount of focus in karate class. When a child learns to focus energy on the task at hand in the dojo, this same focus can be applied to reading a book or completing a homework assignment.

Memorization – Most karate organizations teach a series of forms called katas. These katas require students to remember specific techniques in a specific order. Many karate classes also require students to remember a series of self defense moves that they must perform. The memorization skills developed in martial arts can help children as they prepare for tests in school.

Discipline – Karate classes tend to be very strict when it comes to behavior. Most instructors will not tolerate excessive talking or goofing around in the dojo. Improved behavior in karate class often translates into improved behavior at school. Improved behavior at school often translates into improved grades.

Goal setting – There are many opportunities for goal setting at karate class. Most martial arts systems have a belt ranking system with white belt being the lowest rank and black belt being the highest. This ranking system encourages students strive to reach the next level. This teaches children to work toward the achievement of a goal. A habit of goal setting often develops in martial arts students and they work toward other goals such as getting a high school diploma or a college degree.

Effort – Karate dojos are a place where students are pushed to give 100 percent on a consistent basis. Students are encouraged to kick a little higher or punch a little stronger at nearly every karate session. This encourages them to never accept less from themselves and it makes them realize their true potential. Karate teaches children that they can be far more than average and that they can achieve far better than average grades.

Confidence – As karate students become stronger physically and they begin to realize they can handle themselves in dangerous situations, they become more confident individuals overall. A heightened sense of self confidence will likely benefit children throughout their lives.

Respect – One of the most important words in martial arts is respect. Students are taught to respect their instructors, each other, and themselves. Many karate instructors spend time in class discussing the importance of respecting school teachers and parents. Respect is often missing in many facets of today’s society and when children are taught lessons about respect it can have a major impact on the future of our world.”