Teaching children that it’s wrong to use violence as a way to end conflict is good training, but making sure they’re able to defend themselves if necessary can be as simple as providing them with some martial arts mats at home to continue practicing what they learn in self-defense class at the studio. The more they learn, the more they want to practice, so having a safe place at home to do that practice will speed up their progress and increase their self-confidence.
Self-confidence gained from practice on those martial arts mats is crucial, as we all know that bullies pick on kids who lack self-confidence. A bully doesn’t even need to know that the kid knows self-defense techniques; he or she will avoid that particular child simply because they project a confidence that bullies fear. That’s a great self-defense mechanism. And one of the best ways to grow that self-confidence is to offer the child a place at home to practice what she’s learning in her martial arts classes at the studio. Of course you’ve done your due diligence and have chosen a studio and an instructor who will instruct and encourage your child in a safe and nurturing environment. Now it’s your turn to encourage that martial arts education by providing a place at home where your child can continue to master her art.
Martial arts mats for kids should be as thick as possible. There’s absolutely no reason at all to skimp on padding when kids and the martial arts are involved. You want your child to be able to practice for as long as he wants, so if he does fall, he should be able to get right back up and continue. That’s why padding is so important. Your studio may have mats that have a textured surface, and those are the best mats you can choose for your child’s home practice area, too. The texture allows for more surface area for the feet to grip, providing a more secure feeling during practice. The best martial arts mats will have both thick padding and a textured surface so the kids are the safest they can be.
All that time your kids spend on their martial arts mats at home is time available to them to grow not only their skills, but their self-confidence, which may turn out to be the best deterrent to school bullies they’ll ever have.