"Having a Kick With It May Mean Kids Stick With It"
Drive around L.A. today and you won’t go far without seeing a studio offering TaeKwonDo, Karate or some other form of martial art to white-robed kids. The signs in the windows often promise self-confidence, respect and physical fitness.
With summer vacation upon us, many parents are looking for a fitness activity to help get their kids off the couch and away from the television or video games. Ideally, the activity will be something that children will stick with beyond the summer. But what if it could also make your children better listeners? And what if it could help kids who are hyperactive or diagnosed with attention deficit disorder?
Although there is no scientific proof that martial arts training will make your kids lose weight, listen more attentively or focus their attention, some physicians and others believe that such classes are well suited to accomplishing these goals.
“When a child learns about his body.and also learns discipline, it can’t help but benefit all of his everyday habits, ranging from school work to eating,” ‘says Naomi’ Neufeld, a pediatric endocrinologist who runs KidShape, Los Angeles-based childhood weight Management Program.
“Martial arts is about many things,” adds Bong’ Kyung Kim, a TaeKwonDo Grand Master who runs the Beverly Hills Martial’ Arts Center. “There is a mental aspect, a physical aspect’and a spiritual aspect. Children are learning physical skills but, equally important, they are learning respect, a sense of order and self- confidence. And, of course, they are having fun.”