Why Your Child Should Practice Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is not only for UFC fighters or Hong Kong action movies, it’s also an excellent way of combining physical training and mental discipline in one fell swoop. While playing football may be excellent physical training, it’s normally lacking when it comes to conditioning the mind, and, if you and your children are pressed for time, MMA might be the answer.
Agility, self-respect, balance, strength and confidence. They are all something that is vital to both an MMA champion and a young adult.
Note that MMA can be practiced from an early age, and if your child seems hyper or unfocused, having them train martial arts can be a very good way of getting them on the right track.
So what can be gained from MMA?
One obvious benefit is to get moving. In today’s world, obesity and related illnesses are on the rise, and exercise is one excellent way of combating this. Using bodyweight training, cardio and sparring will definitely leave your child – no matter their age – short of breath in the beginning, but as the classes go on you will notice that they have much more energy than before.
Added with the strengthening of muscles and joints, regular fitness work is a cornerstone of any martial arts training. As an added benefit, the equipment requirements are usually very simple.
Being physically fit comes with many advantages, but another aspects of good health is to have a mind that operates at optimal levels. This is where the mental training comes into play; learning how to stay grounded, focused and mindful of your own actions and surroundings is something that is an integral part of this type of training. If you can’t focus, then you also can not outplay your opponent in a sparring match. This translates well into all other aspects of life, such as school, where you need to focus to accurately learn the subjects.
Learning how to fail is an important lesson both in MMA and in life. You will always find someone that can beat you in a contest, and handling this defeat correctly is imperative. In life, we will naturally fail in many areas – and more so if we are prepared to push ourselves – but if we know how to handle defeat, we will recover faster and ultimately benefit from it.
Self-confidence / conflict resolution
When training in MMA each sparring session is in essence a conflict: one body and mind against another. Learning that each conflict can be won, and not to back down, can help shape many aspects of your character: relationships and work can benefit from this later in life.
Even after a match, conflict resolution can be learned: sportsmanship and respect is essential.