I’m excited. Tonight my 12 year old grandson tests for his brown belt in karate. If I were dictator, I would have all kids in martial arts; they are the best training for overall development. My granddaughter has a big soccer tournament this weekend and I love going to her games (volleyball too) but for overall mental, emotional as well as physical conditioning, you can’t beat karate. I don’t mean to disparage boxing, wrestling, etc., but the martial arts of East Asian origin have such a strong spiritual component that so many of our kids lack. The Christian and Islamic and Jewish faiths lack, IMHO, that element of spirituality to favor religiosity and piety. There should be no conflict between those faiths and martial arts; martial arts just provides the centering and focus that simply are not addressed, as far as I know, by those religions.
In the mental health center I worked in, one of my clients who was bringing his sons in for help, was a karate instructor. His sensei was a guy my wife knew, so we wound up getting together and eventually, the boys’ father and I set up a karate program for the kids in the mental health center. At most times 20-40 kids were coming and the program went on for some years, long after I departed. I guess it was my legacy.
IMHO, that sort of thing is so useful. An example: the grandson testing has a diagnosis of autism~aspergers, which usually connotes physical awkwardness, lack of coordination; but in testing, my grandson scored in the 90th percentile in motor coordination, the result, I am sure, of the years of training in karate. Such training on a daily basis would relieve some of the pent up energy so visible in the classroom as well as helping kids to a respectful stance toward other people formal signs of respect, something rejected by the 60s culture for good reason but a valuable part of any culture.