Mixed martial arts provide a whole host of benefits for children, from physical to mental ones. Not only this, but because children train with other children, they also learn what it’s like to be a part of a community, and may even develop long lasting friendships. Let’s explore some of the things MMA training will teach your kid, beyond forming bonds with others.
MMA training takes kids through quite a few physical exercises, which increase in difficulty as the child gets more skilled. Because of this, while the conditioning your kid goes through may seem harsh, you shouldn’t worry, because it’s only as tough as the child can handle. Nevertheless, with constant physical exercise, which is quite demanding, children experience improved strength.
Now, improved strength may not seem like a big deal, especially when it comes to children, but in reality, it brings about a host of other benefits. Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving. When muscles are strong, they also protect the bones, keeping them strong and healthy. That’s because when muscles do their job properly, less pressure is put on the bones. Not only this, strong muscles require less oxygen, leading to a better functioning heart, since less strain is put on it.
Interval training, high intensity cardio, and skill training with a partner are the main ingredients of MMA training. Of course it’s not a mystery why children come out of these sessions with better endurance.
Once again, you may be thinking, “Okay, so what’s so great about endurance?” Thing is, endurance also contributes to bone health, in pretty much the same way strength does. Higher endurance results in better muscles, which in turn, allow the bones to develop and increase in density.
Stronger Immune System
This one’s really just a consequence of better endurance, but it’s such a big one, that it had to be talked about on its own. As a parent, you’re probably all too familiar with just how weak a child’s immune system can be. Whenever flu season rolls around, you probably already have all the medication ready. Indeed, it can be very easy for children to get sick, especially because they spend so much time around other kids.
The good news is that with better endurance comes an enhanced immune system. What happens is that with endurance training, the body starts producing more proteins that are needed in the creation of both white blood cells and antibodies. White blood cells are the little soldiers that fight against viruses and bacteria, which is why it’s good to help the body make them.
Decreased Risk of Injuries
Let’s face it: children are not the most coordinated beings. It makes sense, since their bodies are still trying to figure things out, and by the time they have, they’ve grown, and almost the whole process needs to be started over. The good news is that with MMA training, children work on staying balanced on their feet, and controlling their body movements, which, in time, results in a better coordination and balance. This means that they are much less likely to fall and hurt themselves, cutting down the number of injuries you as a parent have to deal with.
There’s nothing for a kid like knowing that they have learnt some pretty impressive skills, and that they’ve done that all by themselves. This gives them a sense of achievement that few other things can give them. Not only this, but knowing that they can defend themselves in case something happens is also a tremendous confidence boost.
Feeling of Safety
This one is closely tied to the confidence benefit that we just talked about, but it is also important enough that it deserves to be discussed separately. Children can be mean, and as much as a parent doesn’t like to think about it, their own kid could be bullied, whether it’s at school, in the park, or anywhere else.
While MMA training doesn’t encourage aggression outside of the sessions, it also teaches them the skills needed to protect themselves, if they have to. Knowing this leads kids to feel safer, since they are aware of the fact that if a bully tries to harm them, they are well prepared to defend themselves.
Better Emotional Control
First off, MMA training provides the perfect controlled outlet for children to release all their aggressive energy, which results in them not feeling the need to release it in their day-to-day life. Moreover, MMA training focuses heavily on self control. Several studies have linked this type of training with reduced aggression, which is great news for parents. However, one thing to note here is that this benefit was usually seen after children had spent more than just a few months training, as this sort of things is learned over long periods of time. Because of this, you shouldn’t expect your child to come back home after the first session, with a completely different attitude.
Another benefit of MMA training had to do with anxiety levels, which several studies noticed to have been reduced. There could be two main causes of this: first of all, the feeling of safety we talked about before could easily lead to a lowered anxiety, especially if the reason the anxiety arose in the first place had to do with personal safety issues. Second, exercising has been proven as a great way to reduce not just anxiety, but depression as well, and MMA training is, after all, a form of exercise.
Several studies have found that children who practice MMA have an improved cognitive function. Indeed, in this sort of training, the ability to focus all of a child’s attention on one task, and one task only is highly exercised. Because of this, over time, children who take part in this sort of training are better able to avoid distractions. Not only this, but according to one study, children who practice MMA also saw benefits in memory. Indeed, paying attention is crucial for both forming a memory, and for being able to access it later, which could explain this result. Nevertheless, an improved attention can lead to better school results, which is a great benefit.
Children who practice MMA training draw many benefits from it, but they all lead to the same result: they are better prepared for life. Whether we’re talking about school achievements, physical shape, or mental state, they all seem to be improved in one way or another by this practice.
Article Submitted By Community Writer