Many children act out and display aggressive behaviors because they lack the ability to accurately express what they’re feeling. Without the emotional maturity and discipline to handle and express their frustrations, they often act out physically. Unfortunately, this is viewed as aggression.
A primary reason that martial arts helps those who don’t have control of their emotion is that it not only teaches kids how to be in control their bodies, but also how to control their frustrations.
Using mental conditioning, martial arts gives them the tools to better manage their feelings. And with greater confidence in themselves, they make better choices on how to express their feeling.
Isn’t martial arts aggressive?
It sounds like a paradox: participating in an aggressive sport will make a person less aggressive. But the core of martial arts dates back thousands of years and preaches the importance of self-control - something aggressive children lack.
The physical aspect of martial arts, which some mistake as aggressive, is actually designed to instill discipline. It’s not about kicking and punching, but instead about developing one’s own technique to master specific maneuvers. This requires focus, dedication and the ability to embrace one’s emotions, especially when things don’t go the way you want.
Regulating emotions through proper actions
Martial arts also focuses on managing impulsive actions as well as hostility and aggression, while building a person’s character that is honorable, non‐violent and respectful.
Overly aggressive children don’t think before they act. By improving concentration and self-awareness as well as emotional stability and self-regulation, martial arts empowers these children to stop and think about the action they want to take, before they actually take it.
Managing and understanding unique challenges
Our instructors aim to understand the root cause of each person’s aggressive behaviors and use compassion and patience to teach these children how to best express themselves. In addition, they hold the students appropriately accountable for their behaviors along the way. The result is a marked decrease in aggressive behavior.
And often, they may not enjoy team sports, where their skill level may not match that of their peers. Martial arts is a sport where the student can take an active part in setting personal goals and the milestones to achieve them.
Children with ADHD, developmental delays, spectrum disorders and other disabilities that cannot be seen with the naked eye experience a different type of frustration that many cannot appreciate.
Physical strength benefits mental health
Studies have shown that exercising several times a week can help children control their emotions. Mind and body go hand in hand, especially in the dojo. If the mind is clear and calm, the actions of the body follow suit.
By giving students an outlet both physically, through exercise and training, as well as mentally, by building focus, stamina and flexibility into one’s thinking, martial arts addresses aggressive behaviors at the root. Each student learns to manage their emotions and gains confidence by setting and working towards personal goals.