Mental Effects of Martial Arts on Children

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Mental Effects of Martial Arts on Children The Eternal Grand Master of Songahm Taekwondo, Haeng Ung Lee, once stated, “A black belt is a white belt who never gave up,” to demonstrate that achieving something like a black belt requires a lot of perseverance. Students who are enrolled in martial arts are instilled with virtues like this. Martial arts has been around for thousands of years and has grown and evolved to adapt with the needs of the world at the time. Also, martial arts benefits children in a positive way by increasing their self-control, self-confidence, respect, among numerous other virtues, and, contrary to popular belief, it actually lessens aggression in children, not increases it. Law (2004) explains in his paper on the Choice Theory that the behavior of all people is driven by their belief that it will fulfill their needs. The most basic physical needs are food, water, and shelter, but the Choice Theory focuses on the five most important mental needs such as: a sense of belonging, power, freedom, survival, and fun. He also explains that a person’s total mental health can be shown as their ability to meet those needs. Taekwondo is not only just for adults, as it was in the beginning, but it is for kids too. Also, some taekwondo classes have begun to introduce a style of classes that involve not only adults but also children in the same class. The atmosphere that is created in the class allows for the classes to not be an activity for just children, but it can be a family affair because the children are of equal status with their parents during class; they are both subordinate to the instructor. This strengthens the bonds between family members by giving them something that they all have in common. (Law, 2004) The first of these mental needs is a sense of belonging. Although martial arts increases the bonds between children and their parents,

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