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Martial Arts Benefits for Children – More Than Just Self Defense

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Martial Arts Benefits for Children – More than Just Self Defense
Janice Ervin
Western Governor’s University
WGU Student ID: 362454

Martial Arts Benefits for Children – More than Just Self Defense Martial Arts has an extensive history covering many centuries, several continents and dozens of styles, including Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Jui Jitsu, Aikido, fencing and sword fighting and even archery. The majority of martial arts history is seen in methods of fighting and self-defense. We think of the Samurai in Japan and their legendary combat skills, or the European upper class and their gifted fencing skills. Interest in the martial arts in America became popular in the 1960’s with the popularity of movie star Bruce Lee and later with cartoons such as the “Mutant Ninja Turtles”. In fact, we rarely see martial arts portrayed in any other light than that of fighting and self-defense. In fact, martial arts, by definition of the term, is “military art” or the art of self-defense. However, martial arts has much more to offer than just a form of self-defense. In fact, martial arts can be beneficial to students of all ages, and particularly to children, in improving physical conditioning, enhancing academic performance, and developing self-control. Martial arts are often grouped as hard or soft styles or traditional or modern. Some styles have a focus on striking techniques versus grappling techniques, and a method of training. For instance, Aikido which is translated as “the way of unifying life energy”, is a method of using the momentum of the attacker and redirecting the attack with throws and pins. Meanwhile, Taekwondo, which is translated as “the way of the foot and hand” is a style that focuses on kicks, strikes and blocking from a standing position, as well as the self-control of pinpoint accuracy. During this paper, I will specifically reference Taekwondo as I…...

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