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Would Karate Help a Child With Anger Problems?

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 25 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Karate Martial Arts Discipline Students

Q.

I am the step mother of a 7 year old boy. He has had a really bad life and seems to have problems expessing his anger. Instead of saying he is upset he gets himself upset and ends up in a lot of trouble.

I'm trying to find ways to help him talk about what's going on. Could you give me any ideas? Also he wants to take up karate but I was wondering if this is a good idea for a child with anger management problems or if it will help him vent them? He is only 7 so still very young.

(S.D, 25 February 2009)

A.

As with many forms of sporting activity Karate requires that participants develop a high level of focus and discipline. The Martial Arts are particularly focused on following a series of traditional rules, which then create the powerful flowing techniques, so behaviour and courtesy are considered to be the foundation of this ancient art form.

Understanding Turmoil

An individual who finds it difficult to control their anger may be expressing inner conflict because they are unaware of positive ways to channel this unexplainable turmoil. Although an adult may be able to understand there is a core reason why their behaviour appears to follow a repetitive pattern, a child will be unable to comprehend how or why this happens. Finding ways for a child to be able to safely channel his/her feelings, emotions, thoughts and energy can become a challenge for any parent. Being able to support the child, by directing focus to a positive means of expression, will help also reinforce trust in the relationship between parent and child.

Good Discipline

Karate, as with all forms of Martial Arts, strictly follows a set of guidelines and principles that help create a sense of belonging, acceptance and understanding between the Sensi – Karate teacher – and student. Different coloured belts are awarded for confidence and aptitude in acquiring skills knowledge and understanding, although students will have to work hard at gaining these rewards.

Karate upholds a strong sense of purpose and discipline and because of this students must be accountable for their behaviour at all times. Actions taken without consideration are not accepted within the Dojo – the room or hall where Martial Arts are taught – and students, regardless of age, must always practice self-control. This strict code of practice ensures that negative emotions are expressed in a positive way and enables students to channel anger in an acceptable form.

How Karate Helps Your Child

If your child has difficulty expressing anger, frustration, rage and other feelings that they are unable to identify in words, Karate provides an excellent outlet for negative behaviour and attitude. Although your child may still not be able to understand why they feel a particular way or what triggers their negative feelings, they will be able to focus on changing behaviour in a positive way. Gaining an understanding that emotions can be used in a powerful, but non-disruptive and non-acceptable way, will encourage your child to alter their behaviour.

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