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5 Benefits that Audax Martial Arts can bring to Kids... Especially Girls!

Audax’s kids martial arts teaches great life skills and character building lessons. Young girls have no problems training, learning and growing alongside the boys in our Kickboxing classes. Whether they are athletic, assertive and excel from the beginning or they need to break out of the social confines of “girliness”.

With trust, guidance and by meeting the challenges of our teachers, our martial arts encourages growth. I’ve watched many girls become fierce kickboxing athletes.

Not not just kids, many moms end up putting on the gloves. One example was my student Jessica, who after watching her son Damien train for a few years, not only did she end up training, but also became a fierce fighter.

Either way, martial arts benefits are many. Here are 5 of them.

Benefits of martial arts

Martial arts for kids has many benefits, but practice can be especially rewarding for girls. With support and reinforcement from their parents, girls reap the same benefits as boys. Even more so for girls who realize that they can rival boys in martial arts training.

1. Psychological benefits:

In a society that’s obsessed with pop-culture and celebrities, which I believe especially influences girls, martial arts provides a grounding environment for kids. They receive many cognitive, social and emotional benefits that translate into other areas of their lives. We have a modern approach to training but we also kept parts of the structure of traditional martial arts that instills focus, self control, listening skills and discipline. Students bow and acknowledge their teachers, training partners and here at Audax, even the parents. This practice demonstrates respect, humility, and honor…

Character traits and values that are hard to find in the images fed to our youth through media and elsewhere. Through the mentorship of trusted, positive teachers our Martial art program for kids is an opportunity to cultivate friendships with peers with whom, beyond practicing the same sport, learn the same values, such as respect, courtesy and helping each other. Our group dynamics encourage teamwork and builds social skills

2. Physical Fitness and Skills:

Martial arts can be a way for girls to become physically fit and healthy. There is very little down time in our classes and alongside the skills they learn, strength and conditioning is an intricate part of their training.

The athletic abilities developed in martial arts carry over into other sports. These abilities include muscular strength, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and balance. Even if it’s not athletic, let's not forget the most important one; self-confidence. We also encourage our students to adopt healthy eating habits, engage and play in outdoor activities.

For the ones with a more competitive nature, we do offer the possibility to compete. Competitors are of course always paired according to experience and age. There is also a great diversity of rules with different areas of attacks and levels of contact. People can compete in light-contact tournaments all the way to hardcore K1 or MuayThai rules. Even people that wish to only compete in light contact Kickboxing can become a world champion. Kickboxing is also now recognised by the International Olympic Committee and is in the process of becoming an Olympic sport.

3. Self-Defense:

My take on self defense might be a bit different than what “the market” makes you believe. My opinion is that most self-defense “techniques” don’t work. Whether it be because of the application of the technique or the context. I believe in teaching stuff you can and will actually use in our classes. We focus mainly on Kickboxing/Thaï boxing techniques.These have been battle tested in all combat sports. Like the famous Bruce Lee said; “fear not the one who learned 10 000 techniques, fear the one who has practiced one 10 000 times.”

Alongside these we teach our students to identify potentially dangerous situations, be self-aware, how to use your voice, de-escalate a situation and get help…There is a “secret” saying in the combat sports community ; You don’t need self-defense when you know how to fight. You gain a special confidence, it’s empowering regardless of gender.

As a parent you might feel a little bit of relief knowing that your girl can hold her own... She can employ loud, direct verbal communication, her body language asserts her confidence and resolve to face the situation. Bullies choose their victims, passive targets that seem less of a challenge. When kids know that your girl will speak up and throw down, it’s less likely that she’ll be targeted.

4. Life Lessons

Girls learn many valuable life lessons in martial arts. These lessons build character and provide experiences they can draw from as they mature. The physical aspect presents kids with opportunities to be challenged physically, mentally, emotionally and overcome adversity.

Our character building values teach them honor, respect and integrity.

There’s no substitute for the experience of having to go on when you’re tired; or seeing how you respond to an adversary who’s stronger or more skilled. The process of learning new skills, practicing them, making mistakes, failing, losing, winning and success are all experiences that girls draw strength from throughout their lives. Our students learn the values of hard work, dedication, persistence, courage, and resilience. The tangible rewards for all of these are improved skills and being promoted to the next belt level. It’s also an opportunity for girls to learn how much they have in common with the boys… and for the boys to gain respect and learn that girls are fierce.

5. Because it's cool and Fun !

The popularity of fighters like Rounda Rousey, who after winning an olympic bronze in Judo, went on to become UFC champion and a WWE star, or our own local World Champion boxer Kim Clavel, is inspiring a new generation of girls who probably wouldn't have taken interest in martial arts.

These legitimate accomplished champions add mainstream appeal to combat sports, especially among female athletes. We can agree that martial arts can be brutal. No one should be forced or pressured to compete, even more so in combat sports. But let’s not pretend that for some of us, including both boys AND girls; punches, kicks, sweeps and throws are all pretty cool moves. It’s just fun to practice. Regardless of what society implies, both boys and girls enjoy “play fighting” with their parents, siblings, and friends in a fun and non-threatening way.

I will conclude here but there is of course a benefit number 6-7-8-9…

Give us your impressions and benefits of martial arts, for girls and boys, young and old in the comments.

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