Part of our core programming at Project Pneuma is the practice of martial arts. Our boys learn to understand the power of mind over body in our martial art practices. This cultivates our young men into “Pneuma Warriors” with integrity, perseverance, and honor.
Martial arts are an ancient practice that originated in Asia. Originally meant for self-defense, there are many different types of martial arts, including karate, tae kwon do, judo, kung fu, jujitsu, tai chi, and many others.
Today, lots of people do martial arts to build physical and mental strength. For children, martial arts can help boost their self-control and focus. There are lots of reasons martial arts might be a good match for kids who learn and think differently. Here are five benefits.
- Individual Growth: Many kids struggle with the pressure of competing with other kids. But in martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There is no “letting down the team.”
- Boost Self-Esteem: Some kids who learn and think differently feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They earn a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.
- Self-control and Concentration: Attention is central to martial arts. Kids have to stay focused to learn and to do the movements. When a child’s focus drifts, instructors often ask them to take the “ready stance.” This lets them reset and get ready for what’s next.
- Coordination: Doing martial arts movements can help kids get a better feel for their body in space. This is good for kids who struggle with motor skills. It also helps kids understand the power of the mind over the body.
- Releases Extra Energy: It’s a myth that martial arts encourage violent behavior. In fact, instructors often say that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping let kids work out frustration or anger while practicing self-control.
P.S. Project Pneuma is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization