People are often surprised we chose to start our daughter training in martial arts at such a young age and they often ask why. Given the myriad of benefits we’ve seen in our daughter, it made me realize that this is not a question that can be answered in a quick 2-sentence sound bite. Over the next few weeks I will be writing a series of posts on the positive benefits of martial training (in no particular order) from a parent’s perspective.
I have terrible coordination. Remember the kid who couldn’t pat his head & rub his stomach at the same time when they tested us in school? Yes, that was me. I couldn’t pass a field sobriety test right now and I haven’t had a drink in over a week. I also used to suffer from an affliction medical experts call ‘skinny white boy disease’ or in layman’s terms: ‘no rhythm’. Fortunately working with musicians for 20 years helped with that, though I still tend to be a mess in everyday life. If you’ve seen Ozzy Osbourne interviewed in the documentary ‘The Decline and Fall of Western Civilianization Part II, The Metal Years” you know what I am talking about. Don’t believe me? Come on over for breakfast and a round of Dance Central 2. Beware I have been practicing “Nothin’ on You" and can kill it….on easy, and I make great blueberry-white chocolate chip pancakes. Alas I digress………
Determined to save my daughter from growing up with the motor skills of Gerald Ford, we decided that martial arts would be an ideal activity to help mitigate her genetic clutzy-ness. If hangin’ with bass players & drum machines could help me (I kid, there are still real drummers out there – whazz up Crackin’ the Skins Craig!) imagine what serious martial arts training, starting at a young age, could do for my daughter? Sounds reasonable, right?
Has it worked? Does she have the agility of a student at the Jackie Chan Boarding School for Preternatural Prodigies? No not quite, but she is only 7 yrs old so I’ll give her another year to get it together – or else! Joking aside, she is definitely less accident-prone and more confident in her physical prowess than I ever was. There is nothing that she won’t climb, a ledge she won’t try to walk on and very little that’s too high to jump off of, all much to her mother’s dismay. I am pretty sure she was the only person on her soccer team to score goals with her left foot this last season. They were serious strikes too, not weak sauce kicks that managed to dribble their way past some non-martial arts doing goalkeeper. To me that’s a pretty good indication that yes it has worked.
So does martial arts training improve coordination? To borrow a phrase from the Mythbuster’s , I’d have to say that this claim has been CONFIRMED.
See you next time.
Anzia is fearless in this thing we call life... She sure has come a long way in such a short time.
A pleasure to have in class, a pleasure to watch growing into the fiery young lady we know today..
Hey Phillip --- can you believe it? I can't find pictures of her from when she started. do you have some? i am sure you do:) would love to see her at that age again. I believe she started when she was three, right? and now she is flying around. pretty great. thanks for sharing your insights and experience.