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Why Martial Arts is the Best Activity to Help Youth Learn to Manage Stress

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Between school, friends, family, and extracurriculars, kids often find themselves juggling many stressful events and interactions in life. Providing kids with the ability to manage and negate their stresses is one of the best tools we can equip them with, both for now and later as they grow into adults. Fortunately, martial arts is one of the ideal environments for learning to manage stress. Here are 3 ways that martial arts can help your child learn to manage their stress for effectively.


1) Stress Relief. One great way to manage stress is to find a physical outlet. Martial arts provides a variety of ways in which kids can release their stress. Kids will be sweating as they get a physical workout, and will likely find themselves utilizing every part of their body-from their head to their toes. Whether they find themselves striking at pads or bags, or maybe learning to focus their mind and body through a form of some type, they will learn to relieve stress while practicing martial arts. Physical exercise will reduce stress hormones, leaving your child’s body with reduced stress, and a new mindset for how to manage effectively in the future.


2) Boundaries and Communication. Many stresses come from a lack of firm boundaries or a lack of communication. In order for kids to learn how to manage relational stresses in a productive manner, they need to learn how to communicate their boundaries, needs, and desires.


Fortunately, martial arts is full of this type of experience. Students will learn to communicate with their partners in order to keep themselves safe, communicate with their coaches in order to seek understanding, and communicate when they need others to help them navigate something they are having a difficult time executing. This constant application will help kids to begin managing their boundaries and communicating clearly in order to reduce relational stresses.


3) Managing Expectations of Self. Learning to manage expectations of oneself is a vital skill to aid in managing self-induced stresses. Martial arts is difficult and challenging. Your child might expect for certain things to come easily to them, or that they will be able to master a skill or technique the day that it is taught. The same can be said of their school experiences. When this doesn’t happen, they might feel disappointed or stressed.


One great aspect of martial arts is the belting system. Children will be able to have a visual representation of the fact that it is okay to not be perfect. They will not be a black belt on day one, and that is normal. With this visual representation in mind, children will begin to learn how to manage their expectations more appropriately. As they do this, they will be able to reduce the stress they were once putting on themselves, and instead find victory in the small wins each day. This will help with any of their life experiences, giving them a framework for creating reasonable expectations for themselves.



If you are looking to equip your child to manage the stresses that they will inevitably face in life, martial arts is the best way to help your child do just that. They will learn to find a physical outlet, communicate their needs and boundaries, and manage their expectations. These three skills are all vital in learning to manage stress. Give your child the gift of stress management by getting them into a high quality martial arts program.

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