“Mum, can I start Taekwando classes?”
This familiar ask will be well known to many parents but what exactly is Taekwando and how does it differ from other forms of martial arts?? There are several types of martial arts, originating in different countries, and as a parent where do you begin?? Some of these are included below, as a starting point, but there are many other types not included below.
- Taekwando (Korea) – This style is about self defence and attack using a lot of high kicks and hand movements.
- T’ai Chi (China) – A gentle form of martial arts, focusing on breathing and slow movements.
- Karate (Japan) – This style involves punches, hand, elbow and knees strikes and kicks.
- Judo (Japan) – This style focuses on grappling, joint locks and throws.
- Jujitsu (Japan) – Joint locks, grappling and throws are also the main focus here to reduce the attackers force.
- Aikido (Japan) – Aikido focuses on self defence without injury to the attackers. It uses joint locks, throwing and other similar techniques.
- Kung fu (China) – There are many Kung Fu styles but these focus on strikes and kicks.
Apart from the social interaction, there are lots of benefits associated with practising martial arts. Physical activity encourages fitness, strength and flexibility. Children also learn about respect and have better discipline and focus.
Whilst some people may think this sport encourage fighting, many styles actually emphasise how to deal with conflicts without using violence. There are several clubs in Cardiff teaching these styles to children but for specific details about the pros and cons of each style it is best to speak to the instructors teaching the sport to children, before deciding on whether it is the right one for you and your child.