Posts Tagged ‘kids martial art’

Train the mind as well as the body?

September 29, 2010


“Train the mind as well as the body?”
(reprinted from American Health Magazine)

“Many parents are enrolling kids in martial-arts classes hoping they will learn discipline and self-defense and get a healthy workout. But a new study suggests Western methods for teaching martial arts may make kids more aggressive than savvy. Reason: Many courses ignore the ancient philosophy and just teach body moves.

At Texas A&M University, Dr. Michael Trulson divided 34 teens prone to delinquency (as determined by psychological tests) into three groups.

For six months, group A spent one hour, three times a week learning the ancient Korean martial art, Tae Kwon Do. Along with self-defense, it emphasizes setting goals in life, respect for others, honesty, humility, responsibility and honor. Group B spent the time learning a short-cut modern version of Tae Kwon Do (no philosophy), while Group C got no training at all.

Results: No change in Group C, but the kids in the two martial-arts groups responded in radically different ways. Those in Group A, who got the version emphasizing body and mind, got all the benefits: less anxiety, higher self-esteem, improved social skills, stronger values and, best of all, below-average levels of aggression. But kids in Group B (body only) got worse and their aggression shot way up.

Advice to parents: If you enroll kids in a martial-arts class, stick to tradition. Training the body without the mind may be a path to trouble.”

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