Are the martial arts good for children?

Where I live there’s a great controversy as to whether or not to allow the UFC to hold an event. Politicians are comparing MMA to dogpits or to gladitorial arenas. Too much violence, no skill, too bloody etc. are terms we hear every day. For many parents, just the idea of teaching our child to fight is loathsome. Fortunately, others don’t think that way but I’d like to put my two cents in.
Martial arts demand discipline. In of itself, this is a positive thing to impart to children. In a time where children are getting fatter, softer and prefer their videoscreens to a gym, it’s ludicrous for parents to deny a sport. In the days of the Greeks, boxing, wrestling and the pankration were all taught to children. It was a culture that glorified the human body, the fit human body. It also believed strongly in the human mind and especially in educating it. These Greeks weren’t saints or all MENSA members but they realized that the integration of a fit body with a strong mind produced the best people. There is no evidence that there was any excessive crime or violence in Greece so I hardly believe teaching children “violent” sports debases society. And don’t even get me started on hockey and football!
If I could create a school it would be one that would have the day divided equally between physical activity and academics/skills. Martial arts, especially MMA would be compulsory and other sports would be introduced as they now are. Learning how the body functions, how to protect it and most importantly how to value it should be critical to parents. MMA, taught properly, can do this.

One Response to “Are the martial arts good for children?”

  1. gk says:

    I completely agree. It’s a shame that as a culture, we have devolved in some respects. This is a good example. A healthy body is not valued, when it should be valued at the top. Sitting at home and memorizing materials (rote learing hell) has contributed greatly to very unhealthy children. It is at the point where parents are actually trying to get them out of physical activites, even school PE. Gymnastics and Pankration would be ideal for children to build healthy bodies. The benefits it would produce for other sports is beyond important.

    Healthy active athletes tend to succeed in school more than students who do not participate and/or compete. That is more than enpugh evidence for parents to help their children.

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