By Ed Shepherd CHC, CPT
I started practicing Karate when I was 12 years old and earned a black belt at 16. I practiced for hours on kicks, blocks and simulating punches, mastered the take downs and body throws. I won many trophies for light contact sparring and forms (Kata), and my kicking was really good in that I could kick very high and fast.
One of my heroes was from the original movie of Billy Jack, (1971). I will always remember the famous quote where Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack says, “I’m gonna take this right foot, and I’m gonna whop you on that side of your face… and you want to know something? There’s not a damn thing you’re gonna be able to do about it”….”Really?”, “Really.” And then he sends the guy to the ground. That’s what I wanted to do if ever I was in a fight.
The problem is that movies, along with martial arts like Taekwondo, do not simulate what really might happen in an altercation. It wasn’t until my late teens when I started taking kickboxing, as going from no or light contact to full contact was the natural progression to Karate back then, and it was then I realized that I knew almost nothing about “real life” combat situations. I had plenty of confidence when I started, but that was soon eroded when I realized that people hit back without being choreographed. You see, martial arts with all the forms and kicks and throws is almost worthless in “real life” confrontations. Yes, you learn discipline and become flexible with a sport that is an art, but you do not really learn how to take care of yourself if fighting is unavoidable, or if your attacked. Not to the same degree as kickboxing, to be sure.
Growing up with kickboxing has given me goals, sense of purpose and the drive and discipline to go after those goals.I believe there is no program out there that encompasses physical education and character development as kickboxing does.
Below are a few reasons to consider kickboxing for your child over Tae kwon do and the other forms of martial arts.
Kickboxing offers a number of benefits in health, physical strength and self-confidence and help him learn many important life lessons. Below you’ll find 7 reasons why you may want to consider kickboxing classes for your child.
- Kickboxing makes kids more active. Enrolling an inactive child in such a physically demanding activity as kickboxing discourages the sedentary lifestyle modern kids are so get used to and gives him an enjoyable activity that inspires to be physically active.
- Kickboxing foster self-discipline and teaches children to focus. One of the basics of kickboxing is an absolute focus on self-discipline. Behind all the kicks, punches, and knees, children enrolled in kickboxing learn to sit with themselves and see where there weaknesses are and learn what it is to be still and concentrated.
- Kickboxing teaches to take hits. The key of kickboxing classes is in learning how best to take that hit and get back up. In kickboxing your child will learn to take all kinds of hits – not only literal blows but also life disappointment like getting a bad grade.
- Kickboxing is a great way for kids to learn how to set and achieve goals. As most forms of martial arts kickboxing is based around an accomplishment system of colored belts. When your child strives toward each new belt, he is learning valuable lessons about setting and reaching his goals.
- Kickboxing promotes self-confidence and self-respect. The right kickboxing coaches teach children that there are no tough guys. Every child enrolled in kickboxing classes ultimately learns the sense of respect and true confidence. Confidence comes with achievement, so your child’s self-esteem increases with every belt he earns.
- Kickboxing encourages non-violent conflict resolution. In kickboxing kids learn that there is no such thing as “fighting” words. In fact, as most of the martial arts styles, kickboxing teaches children peaceful, conflict resolution skills and emphasize the importance of avoiding a fight.
- Kickboxing improves other areas of your child’s life. The benefits of kickboxing classes don’t end in the gym. The boost in confidence, increased strength and new social skills will also help your child better perform at school, improve his behavior at home and promote good habits as he develops into an active and mentally strong adult.
Kickboxing can be a fun sports activity for kids that helps promote healthy lifestyle and physical strength. KickBox-SuperFIT offers a kickboxing program specially designed for kids. Our KidsFIT program teaches the basic fundamentals of combat and athletics. Kids attending kickboxing classes learn how to properly defend themselves in a wide range of situations. Our kickboxing classes not only teach kids the fundamentals of kickboxing, but also assist with self-confidence discipline and motivation. With the proper training in the encouraging environment, kids have the opportunity to develop a self-esteem and respect for other people and mostly important – for themselves.