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10 Reasons Martial Arts Classes Are Great for Kids

Is your kid a bit shy, or likes to tell you what to do? Does your child have trouble focusing? Would getting up off the couch or spending some time away from the TV and phone be good for them? Does your child seem very angry?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the questions above, your child may be a good fit to take martial arts here at Maryville Taekwondo in beautiful downtown Maryville, TN. But don’t take our word for it, check out this list of benefits martial arts classes have for children. Or you can learn more about classes at (865) 379-9997.

10. Your kid gets great exercise. In addition to drills, sparring (with padding of course) and exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups and more, we also do obstacle courses designed to improve jumps, kicks, and speed.

9. Children learn focus. This benefit is especially nice for parents of children with ADD or ADHD. In today’s world, a kid can just be high-energy and have trouble focusing in a world of distractions.

8. Your child will learn to challenge themselves. A lot of schools today give out awards like candy: perfect attendance, great spelling, marvelous hygiene, you get the idea. Martial arts practice takes place in a quiet room with a mirror. Students get to see themselves progress, and actually learn their strengths and weaknesses.

7. They will learn to accept rejection. Whether it’s missing the target, taking a hit, or getting up off the floor after a throw, they’ve done it. Learning to accept ‘No’ in a world full of ‘Yes’ is a huge character builder for little ones.

6. Self confidence is one of the biggest benefits of training martial arts. Children learn to value themselves based on their progress and achievements.

5. Self control. This one is fun because it’s one of the founding principles of Taekwondo, the martial art we teach. Self-control is a valuable lifelong skill, just ask anyone without it.

4. Learn to deal with bullies or resolve conflict. Most martial arts emphasize respect for the powerful, life-changing consequences of violence. We train to fight, but hope to never use that training outside of a class. Students learn that words are no reason for a fight, and to control their anger issues.

3. How to cope with stress or pressure. Whether it’s driving to work and getting cut off by another car, or studying for an upcoming test to pass a class, all of life involves pressure. Students learn to be calm during actual sparring or fight training.

2. Belts. Let’s face it, some kids out there just want to earn new belts and ranks as they progress in their training. Unlike sports which give out trophies based on teamwork, martial artists earn belts based on their own accomplishments.

1. Respect. Especially in Taekwondo, respect is a big part of learning the martial art. At the end of class everyday, we tell our students to bow to the flag, bow to each other, and bow to your instructors. Respect is important to instill in children, as it helps them cope with all the people they need to respect, especially their parents.

We hope you enjoyed these 10 reasons to take martial arts! If you have any questions, or you ever want to try out a class in beautiful downtown Maryville, please give us a call at 379-9997.

Karate Versus Tae Kwon Do

To start with, let’s address how both of these martial arts developed. Karate is often a general term for martial arts, the same way ‘Coke’ has come to mean soda, but it’s also a specific martial art. This is why you sometimes hear people say they’re taking ‘Karate’ class when what they mean is Judo or another martial art. At Maryville Tae Kwon Do, we teach Taekwondo, but here in the South a lot of folks call everything ‘Karate.’

So what is ‘Karate’ and how does it differ from ‘Taekwondo’ (which is often called ‘Korean Karate)?

Karate is from Japan; it developed from Chinese Kung Fu that was brought to Okinawa.

Taekwondo is from Korea; it came from karate and older fighting styles in the area.

So, what do they have in common?

Both styles of martial arts are good for self-defense.

Both use the different colored sashes to mark rank.

They’re both ‘hard style’ martial arts; they use tactics relying on force against force.

How are they different?

Karate is a Japanese martial art, while Taekwondo is a martial art which is also a combat sport.

Karate is primarily about strikes, punches, and parries. Taekwondo emphasizes strong and graceful kicks.

Karate classes will sometimes train with nunchaku and bo staff, while Taekwondo classes don’t usually offer weapons training.


The Karate stance is lower and the legs are slightly bent which allows for quick force for punches & strikes. The Taekwondo stance tends to be higher and have straighter legs. Karate seems to be able to effectively throw punches and strikes.

Karate has some of the Japanese formalism, with emphasis on uniformity and moving together as a class. Taekwondo has more emphasis on sport – eventually becoming the Olympic level style of full contact at speed similar to boxing, in that there is a referee and rules for matches.

Tae Kwon Do

In Taekwondo the emphasis is on kicking, as well as it being a sport. Taekwondo is one of the fastest martial arts. Taekwondo is the most popular martial arts style with over 70 million worldwide practitioners. Taekwondo teaches self-defense, coordination, balance, and discipline as well as showy kicks.

Taekwondo is an Olympic event.

The meaning of the word karate is ‘empty hands.’ The rough translation of Taekwondo is “the way of the foot and fist.”

So, which is better?

If you ask our Tae Kwon Do instructor, I’m sure he’ll say, “Maryville Tae Kwon Do is better!”

It really depends on what you are hoping your child will learn. Taekwondo has huge emphasis on teaching kids respect as well as self-defense, and our older students have the advantage of some of our real self-defense moves (from Silat & Kung Fu).

Obviously we prefer, Tae Kwon Do. If you ever have any questions about our children’s Taekwondo classes in Maryville, we’re happy to answer them at 379-9997.