Learning good sportsmanship is just as important to someone’s training as learning different martial arts moves and techniques. The practice of martial arts involves both mental and physical training, with an emphasis put on meditation, self-reflection, and breathwork, as these can be used to help students better understand themselves and their emotions. In fact, martial arts can help individuals harness their natural strength by harnessing and controlling the power within their spirit and minds, something to consider when the way students behave in competitions can be a factor in determining whether or not they are promoted to the next rank. Here we review just how martial arts teaches children good sportsmanship.

Displaying good sportsmanship is not always easy, and it is not uncommon to see both children and parents getting upset after a loss. Learning how to accept defeat gracefully is an important tenant of martial arts, as is knowing how to display respect (both to oneself and one’s training partners), focus, and self-control. It is these teachings that motivate parents to enroll ther children in karate and other martial arts disciplines, as these are great values for all people to have. This is especially true for children who are troubled and need an outlet to express themselves. Martial arts can teach them how to harness this energy and transmit it into something good, instead of them getting into trouble. 

Here are some ways your child will learn how to display good sportsmanship in martial arts:

  • By representing their club in competition they learn that it’s not just about themselves – if they behave badly it also reflects badly on the school
  • They will learn to treat opponents, instructors, teammates and referees with respect
  • Shaking hands with opponents before and after a match, as well as bowing when required
  • Accepting defeat with dignity
  • Not being overly excited when winning, as this can dishearten the ‘loser’

Furthermore, different martial arts practices each have their own unique teachings. One of the most popular, taekwondo, has its own tenets that students learn. These are:

  1. Courtesy
  2. Integrity
  3. Perseverance
  4. Self-Control
  5. Indomitable Spirit: The strength of spirit that comes from understanding oneself enough to not be broken or disheartened.

It is teachings such as these that help children develop a good, strong character. Practicing martial arts help instill these values in them; working not just the physical body but the mental as well.