IMPROVING CHILDREN’S ATTENTION SPAN WITH MARTIAL ARTS PRACTICE
January 02, 20232 min read
Increasing attention spans to more extended periods of time is part of a child’s natural cognitive development. As they become toddlers, preschoolers, and then elementary students, their ability to focus for periods of time will only continue to increase. If they are unable, school can become a challenge for them, their classmates, and their teachers.
When a student joins ourchildren’s martial arts program, they may not have the ability to easily pay attention to their instructors. But, over time, through our teaching methods, and the leadership of other students around them, their attention spans with strengthen and lengthen.
How Does Martial Arts Improve Focus and Attention Span?
A great question, and not as short of an answer as you might think.
A lot is going on in the world. Children are busy, moving from one thing to the next. And children are curious. This curiosity makes it easy for them to be distracted when attempting to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. They are so used to go-go-go, and focus can be a skill that is hard to learn in everyday activities. Martial Arts classes help a child learn how to focus and lengthen their attention span in multiple ways:
Firstly, a child that has energy to burn is going to have trouble focusing. Martial arts are physically demanding and give children a safe place to burn that energy. And refocus it into something productive.
Teaching children that their behavior is a choice, is eye-opening. In Kung Fu class, they will figure out that they can choose to stay on task, follow directions, and not be tempted to act out, goof off or give attention to any distractions. This ability to discipline themselves is invaluable as they grow older and face peer pressures and become more responsible for their own obligations.
Staying focused and attentive is a requirement for showing your instructor respect. If a child is constantly speaking, looking away, or not listening, the instructor will gently require they refocus. Through traditional martial arts practices and customs, your child will learn how to show respect from day one. Being quiet, eyes on the instructor, and proper greetings will become a daily habit. The very first stance is “ready position” for a reason. In this stance, your child will be quiet, focused, and ready for instruction.
Mental Clarity & Focus
Kung Fu class demands focus. Through this focus, a child will gain mental clarity as they must stop their minds from wandering on to other subjects. To succeed, they must be able to not only calm the mind but to clear it of distractions. This mental clarity is what allows them to focus, or the focus creates mental clarity, but the two work together to strengthen a kid’s attention span over many practices and lessons.