Having taught sports for quite a number of years I find that karate has no match as one of the best activities that children should participate in. The more reason is that, Karate provides the basis for a solid foundation for children to form their personality and attitudes.
However, one of the most important factors for this setup is providing the right instructor. Children are easily impressed and can be misled to confuse martial arts with aggression, especially if the training consists of dangerous applications intended to hurt others. Clubs that embrace such practice have a high rate of injuries which when sustained at a young age will be permanent throughout one’s lifetime.
On the other hand, a good teacher will provide excellent instruction to all the students without any preference to individuals. He or she would set the example in the dojo by constantly training and showing excellent technique. Hopefully their example will also consist of composed, relaxed and patient manners. An aggressive teacher would only promote aggression or other negative qualities that directly affect our internal health.
Karate provides 3 main benefits in the development of children. That is the mental, moral and physical development.
In terms of mental development, Karate builds concentration, focus, clear thinking and decisiveness.
Karate also has tremendous moral benefits as it helps to form distinguished characters. In fact true karate students are always noted as patient, disciplined and calm individuals. This is because karate builds confidence and self-control.
Physically karate is an excellent activity for the body. Not only for children but also for anyone with an open mind willing to train. Karate builds tremendous strength through stronger bones and muscles, and also stamina. It especially helps the body to become less susceptible to sickness and injury.
As a teacher, I would introduce karate in all the schools in Malta as I believe that the discipline would carry on in their everyday lives. Karate would help children learn how to deal with the many challenges facing them in today’s society. It would build the strong foundation needed on the principles of effort, self control, patience, honesty, courage, good manners and true friendships.
The aim of the Shotokan Karate-do Association is to teach the art of karate through technical skills and lifetime learning concepts. This is done in a safe and disciplined environment, where the children can develop their physical abilities, social skills and character through martial arts.