Building a child’s character takes time and effort. While you can always find some good recommendations for RV toilets, for example, sometimes it is difficult to find the best recommendation for helping your child build the necessary skills for life in general. Every child has different qualities and weaknesses and their environment can differ from kid to kid.
Parenthood often comes with a lot of responsibilities and it can sometimes be overwhelming. It takes a lot of time to provide your children with the love and comfort they need to grow up in a healthy environment. Physical activity is an essential part of growing up healthy, but building a strong character is also essential.
Over time, encouraging your kid to engage in sports activities has been documented to be good practice for building their discipline. Martial arts are well known to make people practicing them build up many other qualities besides discipline. Muay Thai is one of these martial arts and we will tell you all about how your child can benefit from practicing this sport.
What is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is also called Thai boxing and it’s a combat sport that involves fists, legs, elbows, and knees, that is why some people call it “the art of eight limbs”.
In the 19th century, King Chulalongkorn had a great impact on the history of Muay Thai because it was his favorite sport. Since the country was not involved in any war, Muay Thai was used as a way of keeping fit and healthy, its purpose being purely recreational.
Now, Muay Thai is part of the International World Games Association and there is even a University World Muaythai Cup which is held every year in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok.
Its techniques involve punching, kicking, foot-thrusts, knee, elbow, and clinch and neck wrestling. It also includes techniques used in defense against attacks that involve blocking, which is a very important element in Muay Thai. Anticipation, disruption, evasion, and avoidance are also used as defense mechanisms, as well as parries.
Knowing how Muay Thai works and how it can change the lives of adults might make you wonder: how can it help children? You are going to read all about it in the following lines.
Discipline, the key to success
As adults, we have come to realize that nothing is accomplished without discipline. Researchers are studying self-discipline and are trying to develop programs and techniques to enhance it. Most research says that the best time to develop self-discipline is when you are a child. These habits will accompany you through your adult life.
We know from great artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci that great things can not be accomplished without practice. But regular practice requires a lot of discipline. It is hard to keep your motivation to practice every day, and studies suggest that the only thing that keeps you going when you are not in the mood is self-discipline.
Practicing Muay Thai makes children realize that their continuous efforts will eventually be repaid by continually developing new skills that give them a sense of accomplishment. This feeling will make them want to do more and will wire their brains in such a way that they will be able to apply self-discipline in all fields of their life.
Raising children’s attention
While practicing Muay Thai, you have to pay attention to the opponent. You have to be aware of the time he is going to make his next move and you always have to be aware of your body. The position of your body, as opposed to your competitor, is very important in combat sports.
Research has shown that mindfulness has a great impact on people’s attention span. Paying attention to your body, to how it moves, to how it is positioned, can increase your ability to pay attention to all sorts of life situations. This ability will help children develop their awareness and pay more attention to their surroundings.
Engaging in any kind of sport is known to have you develop a stronger body, but knowing how to defend yourself has the effect of diminishing fear levels. In schools, bullying is a widespread phenomenon and most of the ones who are being bullied have low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is a cause and an effect. It’s a vicious circle. Bullies pick their targets among children who they feel are weak. They are easy targets because they can not respond. But research has concluded that bullied children develop lower self-esteem and that can affect the life of your child as they become grownups as well.
Knowing how to defend themselves gives children a sense of confidence that can protect them from this phenomenon. They are less likely to become a target and, even if they were to be bullied by other children, they would know how to defend themselves.
This will increase their sense of autonomy and self-respect and will allow your child to become a strong adult. They won’t always feel as they have to depend on your protection and they will develop a sense of independence which will permit them to grow as an individual.
Muay Thai and self-defense
Muay Thai is considered to be one of the best sports to master for self-defense. It engages a lot of the opponent’s momentum and it is well known to use a lot of techniques that are suitable in real-life situations.
Mastering a self-defense technique is a good skill to have for women as well as for men. Your kid who will become an adult that knows how to defend themselves in any situation will be a more relaxed and balanced adult and will thank you for providing them with the opportunity to master it for the rest of their life.
Learning to resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner
A calm child will always have more to gain than a child who gets angry all the time. Through their early years as well as in adulthood they will be confronted with a lot of situations that can result in conflict. Knowing how to react to these situations is a very useful skill.
Muay Thai involves a lot of mind and self-control. Engaging in a fight can lead to injury for your child as well as for their opponent and it is always best to avoid it. Practicing Muay Thai teaches children to be calm and resolve situations without violence. It also teaches them to fight only when it’s strictly necessary and they have to defend themselves.
Like most combat sports, Muay Thai is focused on developing a great body condition. Without well-trained muscles, you are not able to do the moves at the highest level of accuracy and at the right speed. That could lead to injuries so, as a result, most Muay Thai practitioners have a great physical condition.
For this reason, Muay Thai training involves skipping rope, running, weight training, but most of the time trainees use their body weight and medicinal balls. Keeping your body fit also involves healthy eating, that’s why Muay Thai is known to promote overall health.
As a conclusion
It is always best for children to engage in sports activities. It is not always enough for them to run or to skip rope. Teaching them how to develop other skills that will help them in the long run in their day to day activities will do much more for them than letting them do whatever they want.
In general, all sports allow children to develop a sense of accomplishment and some sort of discipline needed to practice every day, but most sports don’t develop the awareness of their body and the ability to be aware of their environment and the possible dangers that surround them.
Parents will not always be able to be around their children. That’s why children have to become responsible and they have to know how to react when they are faced with situations they’ve never been in while they are not in the company of their parents.
In the century we live in, everybody is busy, most of us have a nine to five job and sometimes it can be very difficult to always be present and influence our child to take the right path. That’s why teaching them to develop the skills that Muay Thai brings to the table is the best gift you can give to your child.