Teaching kids how to move through life, both as children and as adults, is an essential goal for any adult working with children. That includes parents, teachers, and coaches.
One of the trickiest things to teach is conflict resolution. Kids of every age, from toddlers to teenagers, may struggle to develop conflict resolution skills, which go hand in hand with communication skills.
While some people mistakenly think that martial arts training teaches conflict, in fact, the opposite is true. Conflict resolution techniques are an essential part of martial arts classes. Here’s what you need to know.
What Does Martial Arts Training Have to Do with Conflict Resolution?
In any martial arts class, kids learn how to punch, strike, and kick. Parents sometimes worry that their kids will be more likely to get into a fight after learning a martial art but in fact, the opposite is true. Kids who study martial arts are less likely to fight because martial arts training provides skills that help them resolve conflicts without a fight.
Martial Arts Classes Build Self-Discipline
Any time two students face off on the mat, they are practicing how to read body language and learning about resolving conflicts. Our martial arts instructors encourage kids to identify and remain in control of their emotions and physical reactions. understanding that the only thing they can control is what they do.
Martial Arts Classes Improve Emotional Control
Kids may be little, but they have big feelings, and they may struggle to control them. Martial arts training provides a healthy way for kids to learn about their own feelings because it comes with built-in calming strategies. By helping kids listen carefully and practice effective communication, martial arts training gives kids the tools they need to stay in control of their emotions.
Martial Arts Training Builds Self-Confidence and Inner Strength
Kids’ conflict resolution skills play a key role in any martial arts class. Kids practice communication skills, both with instructors and their fellow students. As they gain control of their bodies, they also gain control of their minds. They have the confidence to recognize their abilities and the inner strength to engage on the mat in a calm and controlled manner.
Martial Arts Training Teaches Kids to Read Body Language
Teaching kids to master any martial art involves teaching them to read body language. That’s because part of any sparring match includes understanding an opponent’s intent by looking at their stance and movements. Kids who study martial arts also get a lesson in problem-solving as they learn how to address their own conflicts at home or at school.
Martial Arts Training Provides a Safe Space for Kids to Learn About Conflict
Each student in a martial arts class has their own problems that require resolution. Martial arts training can turn kids into problem solvers, giving them new ideas about how to deal with conflict.
Conflict resolution for kids happens naturally in a martial arts setting because it provides them with real-life examples of conflict resolution from an early age. In a way, any sparring exercises can be role-playing conflict resolution games where kids learn how to read body language, control their emotions, and build strong self-discipline that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Why is Conflict Resolution for Kids Important?
Conflict resolution for kids is essential because conflicts are part of everyday life. During the school year, kids face conflicts in the classroom and on the playground, as well as in extracurricular activities. As they grow, they’ll face conflicts in volunteer situations or when they get their first job.
When kids know that taking a few deep breaths, tapping into their emotions, and applying the self-discipline they learned on the mat can get them out of most situations unscathed, they will use what they learned to avoid conflicts instead of seeking them out.