J. Nandi, a licensed psychologist, psychology professor, black belt instructor and martial arts researcher, states:
“As a psychologist, I have found that martial arts training often provides many benefits to youngsters beyond that offered by other sports. The introverted youngster often begins to blossom when he or she learns martial arts. The structured drills that involve punching, kicking, and yelling help the youngster overcome shyness and timidity.
The anxious or worried child becomes more confident and assertive as he learns to move and control his body. He learns to work and compete with others in a friendly and safe environment. Self-confidence and self-esteem grow. Many parents report a marked increase in the child's social interactions. The youngster feels less threatened by other children or new situations. As a result, there is often more of a willingness to become more involved with others.
The extroverted youngster has a safe, healthy outlet in which to compete with himself and others. Youngsters are taught how to avoid trouble and challenges. They learn to have enough self-confidence that they need not respond to teasing or provocation from peers.
The aggressive child is taught the self-discipline that aids in keeping anger under control. He or she learns that fighting is merely a way of showing off and that showing off is a sign of low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.
Martial arts training is a gross motor activity that helps youngster develop a sense of integrity about their bodies. Balance, coordination, posture, and general movements improve with martial arts training. The pre-adolescent, in particular, finds that karate training helps him or her cope with the clumsiness that often accompanies the spurt of growth at this age.
Martial arts training also offers an additional bonus that other sports do not provide. Martial arts teaches self defense. In the unsettling times in which we live, a knowledge of how to protect oneself can be crucial. Parents often report feeling more secure knowing their sons or daughters are capable of defending themselves. Encourage and support your youngsters involvement. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results. And, who knows, you may want to try a class yourself!”
-Thomas J. Nardi,
Black belt instructor,
Martial arts researcher.