Most martial arts schools have some of these dynamics to build confidence in their classes:

1. A ranking belt system that gives children a sense of accomplishment that comes from setting reaching goals. Ranking systems also is a way to help children build a realistic understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, which could be essential for building confidence.

2. A physical fitness component that builds strength and flexibility , giving children a deep connection with their bodies.

3. A sparring in class, where children develop skills to stay present and calm in the face of the unexpected.

4. Techniques ( sequences of movements specific to each style) practice offers children the chance to increase their learning skills and integrate their minds and their bodies.

5. A unified group of children in uniforms, practicing together gives them a sense of belonging to a group which is essential for self-esteem.

6. Guiding principles set out by the teacher or the system aimed to build character in each child. Principles often include courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.

In my opinion, a good martial art school also offers:

1. An awesomely fun, playful and engaging experience. Children always learn better when they are having fun. When kids are happy, they naturally exude confidence.

2. Individual attention. Children need positive mirroring, no matter how big the class.

3. Practical self-defense strategies which include ways to physically defend against common grabs. The confidence that comes with knowing you can defend yourself physically, if necessary, is priceless.

4. Verbal self-defense strategies that are practiced regularly, including how to deal with bullies and how to set limits. Once a child masters speaking up for themselves, the way they carry themselves will change dramatically.

5. Role models who are loving, kind and respectful.

6. The opportunity to become a leader and a role model for newer students. In some martial arts schools, more advanced students start to help and teach newer students soon after they begin their own training. Leadership qualities are nurtured early on.

About Joao Crus