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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Starting Martial Arts as a Teen–What Parents Need to Know


Cobra Kai and Karate Kid have boosted teen interest in martial arts. And parents will be happy to know that in addition to providing a great workout, Taekwondo training builds character and creates community. Life-long habits are established during the teenage years. Therefore, enrolling teenagers in Taekwondo classes is a smart parenting decision that can have life-long positive effects.
It’s never too late for a teen (or adult) to try a new sport or activity for fun and fitness. Whether your teen is a couch potato or competitive athlete, Taekwondo classes offer many benefits and rewards. 
Martial arts programs focus on self-control and de-escalation. Further, students learn powerful self-defense and combat moves, and practice them in a controlled environment. Practicing self-defense skills may be useful in the unlikely event of a physical confrontation. 

Are the Teenage Years Too Late to Start Taekwondo?

Martial arts can be a great physical outlet for a teen who isn’t interested in popular team sports like baseball, basketball, and soccer. Starting martial arts doesn’t require any prior experience or a specific skill set. Further, students advance at their own pace and can enjoy the benefits of an individual sport and the camaraderie of group training.

Famous Martial Artists Who Started Training as Teens

  • Bruce Lee, probably the best known and most highly acclaimed martial artist ever, began training at age 13.
  • Cynthia Rothrock, martial arts film legend, was 13 when she began training. Rothrock subsequently earned Black Belts in Tang Soo Do, Taekwondo, Eagle Claw, Wu Shu, and Northern Shaolin. 
  • Film legend Chuck Norris started training in martial arts at 18.  
  • Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger and James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies fame, started martial arts training at 22.

My Child Lost Interest (or was never interested in) Sports

By high school, young people have often settled into a path: The Scholar, The Athlete, The Band Kid, The Geek, The Artist. But the teen years are way too early to get into a rut–or to become sedentary. In Martial Arts, students train to become better than their yesterday-self, in a group setting. This makes Taekwondo the perfect sport for those who prefer setting individual goals, for those looking to try something new, or athletes interested in an amazing cross-training discipline.

My Child is Already a Great Athlete

Teen martial arts classes can be a great experience–if your child is interested and puts in effort. Before enrolling your teen in martial arts classes, ask them what they hope to gain. Find programs that are a match for your teen’s abilities and interests. 

Will learning martial arts make my child violent?

Teen Taekwondo training provides myriad benefits for middle school and high school aged students. Participating in a martial arts program enhances physical fitness, teaches self-defense strategies, and instills traditional values such as honor, hard work, and respect. In short, Taekwondo is good for the body and the mind.

Benefits of Learning Taekwondo as a Teen

  • Conditioning. The martial arts are a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles. Throwing punches, kicking, and jumping are a fun way to stay fit.
  • Flexibility and agility. Practicing martial arts increases flexibility and agility, thereby improving coordination skills.
  • Posture. Good posture is beneficial for health and can make an individual look and feel better. Learning forms (poomsae) improves both posture and balance. 
  • Weight. By burning calories and toning muscles, martial arts help teens maintain a healthy body weight. 
  • Stamina. Since martial arts provide a full-body workout, training increases overall stamina and endurance.
  • Mental health. In addition to improving physical fitness, martial arts can improve mental and emotional health. As teens learn self-defense moves, martial arts boost self-confidence, reduce stress, and help with concentration and focus.
  • Set and Achieve Goals. The study of martial arts requires students to pursue goals on a regular basis. Each belt earned, represents goals achieved.
  • Respect. Students treat their instructors and fellow students with respect at all times.
  • Belonging. Because of the benefits of learning listed above, students may find it easier to meet people and make friends. Martial arts gives teenagers a place where they belong, building camaraderie and lasting friendships.

How to Have the Best Experience with Teen Taekwondo–Tips for Parents

The most important factor in choosing a martial arts school is finding an instructor who is a match for your teen. That’s because teaching style and perspective can be a big influence on your child’s experience. If you’re looking for Teen Taekwondo near Novi, Northville, or South Lyon Michigan, we invite you to visit our martial arts school.
Taekwondo is a highly effective cross-training discipline. Cross training is a way to alternate your workout routine in a way that can improve performance, mental outlook, and overall fitness. Cross training is used by athletes of all levels. Some sports that are known to benefit from Taekwondo as a cross-training discipline include soccer, football, and baseball

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