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The Difference between Martial Arts and Team Sports

As your child grows up, it can be daunting as a parent to choose the best path for your little one. No one can predict the future and there are so many choices now than there may have when you were a child.

As a kid, I was never exposed to any sport. I was the the bench warmer, always last to be picked at a recess kickball game. So I made a conscious decision that when I became a parent, my kids would learn a sport.

I fell in love with taekwondo in my late 20s. I was not very graceful then. But taekwondo taught me coordination and built my muscle strength. It was great because it was an encouraging environment where I could make mistakes without feeling pressure to make a goal or point. As someone who was not athletic as a child, it really helped to build my confidence.

Team sports are great too. But for me it was too much pressure to even think about losing a point for the team. I remember being on the high school softball team (I think for one semester to get out of general PE). I dreaded having the coach call me out on the field (yes, I was right field). I did not thrive in that environment. But the other girls did. It just wasn't for me. I was not competitive or driven then. I was too insecure.

So how do you know what is best for your child? You have to know your child. Please do not live vicariously through them! You may be more of an extrovert, but your child might not be. They might need to build their coordination or confidence before they try a team sport. Or maybe they are a perfectionist and they get frustrated or really negative if they don't perform as well as they want.

But also, who says you can't do both? They complement each other. We have a lot of students that cross train with us throughout the year. Flexibility, agility, reaction time, explosive strength, coordination is all required in any sport. Many parents will tell me that they see the difference martial arts training has on their child when they do start a team sport.

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