Martial Arts for Preschoolers
You might be asking, “Is 3 years old too young for martial arts?” The answer is, it depends on what you are looking for. Here at Championship Martial Arts, our 3 and 4 year old program focuses on teaching coordination, focus, social skills, respect, responsibility, and preparing them for kindergarten. If these are skills you would like your child to learn, then absolutely martial arts will be great for them.
Preschool children are still developing their fine and gross motor skills. Through age appropriate activities, martial arts can help them improve their balance, learn how to recognize their rights and lefts, move their arms and legs independently, and reach important physical milestones. Getting the appropriate amount of physical activity starting at a young age will set them up with healthy habits to last a lifetime.
As we all know, teaching our children how to focus can seem like a daunting task. A key component of martial arts training for preschoolers is helping them learn to focus. They are taught to focus with their eyes, ears, and body through games, martial arts skills, and age appropriate mat chats. Parents are often involved in class to reinforce how focusing at home is just as important.
Developing good social skills is crucial for young children, especially as they are preparing for preschool and kindergarten. Sportsmanship, confidence, eye contact, speaking up, patiently waiting their turn, etc are just a few things we teach at Championship Martial Arts. Every three months we have a belt test for the Little Ninjas and they are expected to take turns standing in front of the class and performing what they have learned. This is a great opportunity for them to practice being confident and focused while they are performing and patient while they watch and cheer on the other students when it’s their turn.
Have you ever noticed how adept at talking back three year olds can be? They are learning how to communicate and finally have words to express themselves. This can lead to a seeming lack of respect at times. Really they just need to learn how to use their words and actions appropriately. Respect is a major component of martial arts. Each class starts and ends with a bow, showing respect to themselves and the instructor. They are taught repeatedly how to show respect at karate and at home as they learn to raise their hands and patiently wait their turns.
Every lesson includes opportunities to talk about responsibility. When working on punch combos, we stress the importance of keeping your hands up to protect your face. This is your responsibility, just as it is your responsibility to pick up your toys when you are done playing. This is a lesson that is repeated in just about every class, and it is amazing to see how well it sinks in.
If you are looking for an activity to help prepare your child for preschool, kindergarten, and life in general, consider enrolling them in martial arts. You will be setting them up for a lifetime of success.