There is a lot more to Muay Thai than punching and kicking. Sure, that might be the way many of these ancient styles are portrayed on television, but the truth is: combat techniques are only a small part of Muay Thai. Learning Muay Thai is a lifestyle that teaches people valuable skills and traits they need to successfully navigate through life.
Muay Thai is particularly beneficial to children since it teaches them these invaluable skills while their minds and personalities are still in a developmental stage. Once these core values that come with Muay Thai is instilled in young children, these things typically stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Here are some important habits children develop when they start learning Muay Thai:
Instant gratification has become the norm in today’s society, and that has led to an increase in children who have a hard time sitting still and focusing on a single task. An inability to focus is an issue that can affect your child socially and academically.
With Muay Thai training, children learn how to calm their minds and focus only on the instructions being given by their instructors. Instructors commonly use an attention command – that requires them to be motionless — throughout classes to give children ample opportunities to relax and absorb all the information they are being bombarded with during class.
The children will eventually learn how to improve their focus by calming down and relaxing before doing things.
Here is another one of those values that comes with Muay Thai training. Self-discipline is one of the most difficult life lessons to learn, but it is something that sticks once a person learns to appreciate its importance. According to research conducted by Duke Psychology professor Terrie Moffitt, children that are not taught the importance of self-discipline early in life tend to have problems reaching their true potential and achieving their dreams. The research also indicated that these children were more prone to financial difficulties and health issues later in life.
Meanwhile, children who became disciplined early in life tended to be shielded from these issues. The results of these studies likely aren’t that surprising to most people. A child who is disciplined is more likely to study regularly, complete homework on time, keep a tidy room, and meet all of their other obligations. These ethics will carry over when the child goes off on his/her own for University, and when him/her eventually enters the workforce.
Those who aren’t taught discipline tend to be chronic procrastinators who often find themselves in bad situations they’ve put themselves in.
Training Muay Thai hones the importance of being disciplined. Everyone starts as a white belt/singlet, with virtually no knowledge of any techniques and drills. With time, the person’s knowledge base grows as they progress through the ranks. All of a sudden, techniques that once seemed impossible to perform are now executed without a thought. The growth children experience as Muay Thai teaches them the importance of being disciplined and that sticking to things pays off.
3) Improved Social Skills
Another important benefit of learning Muay Thai is the opportunity to meet new people. This is a significant benefit for kids and adults alike. Children have varying social skills, and some need a bit more practice than others.
With Muay Thai training, children get to interact with other kids in different age brackets. It gives them access to a more diverse selection of peers to interact with than they sometimes get at school or during other extracurricular activities. Being able to communicate effectively with others is one of the most important skills a person could have. The extra opportunity children get to improve their social skills and work with groups will pay dividends later in life.
4) Improved Fitness
Getting children to drop their mobile phone, tablets, and video game controllers can be a daunting task nowadays. Modern technology has changed the way we all interact with one another, and kids now find themselves in a world where they don’t even have to get off the couch to have a good time.
Unfortunately, that can have some negative effects on the child’s health. Children who do not regularly engage in physical activities are more likely to end up being overweight. Being out of shape can lead to a host of health issues.
Learning Muay Thai gives children the opportunity to break a sweat and push their bodies while doing something they enjoy.
Confidence is one of those attributes most people wish they had. It is the belief in one’s ability to accomplish any goals you set for yourself. Confidence is also one of those things that children pick up when they start training Muay Thai. It comes with each obstacle the child overcomes on the mat. A technique the child once struggled with that has now become second nature or being able to perform a drill for a couple of minutes longer than he/she could do before.
As the child progresses through the ranks and earns new color belts/singlets, he/she will begin to embrace the reality that he/she can accomplish anything they set their sights on. This confidence will be very helpful to the child for the rest of his/her life. It will give him/her the courage to set difficult goals for themselves.
Muay Thai classes also teach children one of the most important things a person can have: the ability to defend yourself if the need ever arises. It teaches children how to be bully-proof. The confidence, social skills, and improved fitness children gain from learning Muay Thai make them less likely to be targets of bullies in the first place. If the need to defend themselves ever arises, Muay Thai training gives them the tools they need to safely end the confrontation.
Given the fact Australia currently has the highest rate of cyber-bullying in the world, parents here have an obligation to ensure their children are well-equipped to deal with this troubling trend.