6 Benefits of Boxing & Kickboxing for Kids
We all want our children to be physically active, healthy, confident, responsible, and out of trouble. Martial arts often play a key role in achieving all of this, plus they are tons of fun! This article will discuss the benefits of boxing and kickboxing for kids.
What is the best age to start practicing martial arts?
Kids of any age can start practicing martial arts. Many martial arts schools and local gyms offer classes for children as young as 3 years old. Depending on the schools and offerings in your area, you can research your options and find a good fit.
It is up to parents what they think their child’s limits are and how much time they have for training. Some parents start training their kids as early as they can walk, but there are also plenty of examples of fighters who started after 18 years of age and reached the top of their sport.
What martial arts are most suited for children?
Boxing, kickboxing, karate, and taekwondo are all great for kids. Boxing may be easier for kids in the United States to learn than other martial arts because the six basic punches are a 1-6 numbering system, whereas other martial arts like taekwondo and karate moves are more often taught in the respective languages from which they came.
Kickboxing comes in at a close second because it mostly builds upon your boxing skills by adding kicks. Keep in mind, kicks may require more physical dexterity that may not yet be present in very young children.
Martial arts, such as karate and taekwondo, feature some aspects of philosophy which may be more useful for grown-ups and young adults. Also, it’s not a coincidence that mixed martial artists often base most of their striking techniques on boxing and kickboxing (or even kickboxing alone).
How do I teach my child to box/kickbox?
We suggest starting your child with boxing first as the techniques are simpler and easier for youngsters to grasp. In all cases, if you are not a trainer or a fighter yourself, we recommend having a professional trainer work with your child. Most gyms and martial arts schools have programs dedicated to boxing for kids.
The 1-6 punch count numbering system is a good first step to learning the basics of boxing. FightCamp offers equipment packages, such as the Tribe package, that include boxing equipment for kids. Additionally, the FightCamp Prospect Path features videos and boxing tutorials for all ages.
Even though the basics are simple, it can take a long time to get down proper technique and form. If your kid quickly catches on to boxing, kickboxing could be their next venture! From there, they can decide if they want to try other martial arts, such as Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and others.
So, what do boxing and kickboxing for children have to offer?
6 Benefits of Boxing and Kickboxing For Kids
There are numerous benefits to teaching children boxing and kickboxing and starting training at a young age. Here are six (6) benefits:
Both boxing and kickboxing provide high-intensity exercise for the body. Training will get anyone into better shape, no matter their age, however training while your body (and mind) are still developing has some special benefits that can’t be achieved later on in life. Kids can learn what their limits are, push beyond them, and still have a lot of fun doing it!
On another note, childhood obesity is now a bigger problem than ever. Boxing and kickboxing training promotes better decisions, especially when it comes to eating healthy. If kids are made aware of proper nutrition and meal planning, they will be able to learn healthier habits earlier in life. Small positive changes made very early in life, result in much bigger and better positive outcomes later on.
Childhood bullying is a constant problem in schools throughout the world. Of course, we aren’t condoning fighting as a solution, but instead, boxing training for kids can help give children confidence and strength to combat bullies and threats in other ways. Martial arts training instills a sense of confidence and toughness, as well as gives children the ability to control themselves when provoked or threatened.
Conversely, if your child is on the other side, exhibiting bullish behavior, the gym is usually able to humble the bullies and help them (safely) see through the eyes of their victims.
3. Discipline & Focus
Our kids live in a world of distraction. In 2017, 2.4 million American children were diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD diagnoses were up over 30% during an eight-year study period between 2010 and 2017 for children ages 2-18.
The ability to stay focused is a valuable life skill in any profession and life in general. Boxing training will teach kids the discipline needed to work at something, whether it be homework, sports, or business, for an extended period of time without getting distracted.
When we are young, often our confidence is based on natural stubbornness and naive optimism.
Experiencing defeat is part of becoming better, and it usually doesn’t take just one fall to learn the lessons. Each time you experience obstacles, challenges, and setbacks, you grow, and in time, you will make progress and build confidence.
Being humbled by boxing and kickboxing from a young age can mean the difference between a person who is one defeat away from a breakdown and a person who is resilient and flexible to whatever life throws at them.
However counterintuitive it may be, martial arts can teach you some of the most valuable lessons about life. One of the key lessons learned in boxing is respecting your opponent and respecting yourself. Even if you don’t win every match and every fight, having respect for your peers and yourself can go a long way.
6. Drive for Achievements
Children’s boxing competitions can be a great motivator for improvement. When kids win at something, they want to keep winning. They have something to prove and are willing to work for it because, in sports, winning is everything.
Achieving goals will give you confidence that can last your entire life. Boxing and kickboxing teach children how important this self-respecting attitude is and how to work hard for what they want.
Martial arts can be a great way for parents to introduce their children to sports, physical activity, and resilience. It’s a workout for the body as well as the mind. It instills discipline, focus, and confidence. It teaches respect for others and yourself. And contrary to popular belief, martial arts does not promote violence.
We encourage you to start your family’s boxing journey today, by joining FightCamp, the best at-home boxing experience, featuring all the equipment you and your child need as well as workouts and training videos for all levels.
The Author: Nikolay Tsenkov is a dad, husband, entrepreneur, and boxing aficionado. He started training late, when he was 26 years old. One of his biggest regrets in life is that he never competed. For several years he has trained alongside national and European champions and professional boxers. He is an avid student of boxing, but enjoys all sorts of martial arts.