MARTIAL ARTS FOR BOTH KIDS AND TEENS!

Martial Arts and The Key to Academic Performance

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Last year I had a mother come into the school and told me her daughter couldn’t continue taking class because of the upcoming school year. I was puzzled. “I don’t understand.” I asked. “Why do you think you have to take your kid out of class due to school?”

The mother was obviously overwhelmed as she nervously said, “Because she has started taking AP classes. There is NO WAY she can do that and do this TOO!”

I smiled and then pointed to the Instructors teaching on the mats. “My instructors are in AP classes and they are here a lot more than your daughter.” The mother looked at me with astonishment. “Oh, and several doctors and therapist in the area send us kids because they need help with academics. The lessons we teach here apply to school. Dummies don’t do martial arts!” Needless to say, her daughter continued and did exceptionally well in school and on the mats.

“Dummies don’t do martial arts!”

It seems every school year I see this emotional response from parents. They hear words like Advanced Placement, Magnet School, Homework and Accelerated Program and assume their child now has to study far more than they did before. Sure, they will be asked to do a little more, but not nearly as much as parents think and certainly not more than they can handle.

The reason most kids are placed in advanced courses is because they were bored in the standard courses and can handle the faster pace of class with ease. If it would be overly hard for them, them wouldn’t be placed in the class.

For the most part, the AP course is just going to challenge them at an acceptable level for their grade and age, nothing more. They are not being suddenly thrown into a college level course on the subject matter.

But what bothered me most is this parent’s mistaken assumption that all other activities should cease and desist so her daughter would have time to study. While this emotional response is somewhat understandable, doing it would actually be counterproductive and will lead to a significant decrease in academic ability.

The human body is not designed to sit all day in a classroom and then sit all evening doing homework. In order to perform, both physically and mentally at its best, our body needs to re-calibrate itself. It does that with vigorous physical exercise.

Don’t believe me? According to the CDC: “Physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance. These include enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior. In some cases, more time in physical education leads to improved grades and test scores.

It doesn’t take much effort to find study after study supporting the link between athletic activity and academic performance. Some of my favorite studies have found:

  • Students committed to an athletic program do better with time management and are far more likely to achieve their athletic and academic goals.
  • That vigorous exercise alone could result in as much as a 0.4 increase in GPA.
  • Students with GPA of 3.5 or HIGHER are three times more likely to participate in vigorous athletic activity than students with a GPA under 3.0.
  • Middle School students that are physically fit scored nearly 30 percent higher than other students on standardized tests.

The evidence is clear, if you want your kids to do well in school, they NEED vigorous physical activity. If you really think about it, these studies are no different than the ones corporations have done for years that indicate adults that exercise are more productive in the workplace than those who don’t.

If anyone has ever been to a stress management seminar at work, what is the first thing they tell you? EXERCISE! Why would people think it is any different for kids?

Unfortunately, exercise programs that would increase academic performance are not occurring in most schools. Due to budget cuts, most schools have now either taken physical education completely out of the curriculum or have reduced the amount of time spent in PE to the point it is no longer effective. Even when offered, PE programs are so risk adverse that they rarely rise to the level of vigorous.

That means it is on us, as parents, to get our kids involved in programs that can offer the physical activity necessary to increase their academic performance.

Our award winning martial arts and Eskrima program for kiddds and teens here in Jupiter, Florida could become just that!


If you would like more information about our Martial Arts Program for Kids and Teens don’t hesitate to call us at (561)-222-3903.

Get started today with our martial arts free trial.

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