| Emmielia Zaini |
TAKING advantage of children’s essential urge to move and ‘wiggle’, some 33 children recently participated in 018 Mixed Martial Arts Academy’s first ‘Kids Kickboxing Trial’ for children aged six to 15.
Kickboxing is becoming a popular sport with the rise of mixed martial arts. It is a group of combat sports focussed on kicking and punching. The first kickboxing class for children was conducted by a certified Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing instructor, Master Haji Ismadey bin Haji Hussin, along with assistant instructors, Coach Dean and Coach Dinie.
The main objective of the class is to motivate children to stay active in sports. A physical activity such as kickboxing can strengthen muscles and bones, and improve cardiovascular fitness. Starting them young can improve their flexibility, balance and coordination which help correct their body postures.
The group setting also helped encourage the children to be more socially active. The peer-to-peer activities can enhance their communication skills and also create opportunities to make new friends. Being present in a social group can release anxiety and stress from a hard day at school and even a good break from addicting gadgets like mobile phones and game consoles. The class trains every participant to be alert and disciplined while physical competence can develop their self-esteem and confidence.
It is also important to change the common misconception and mindset of some parents that learning martial arts lead to aggressive and violent behaviour. All martial arts including kickboxing are built on traditional moral codes such as honour, discipline and respect.
The art is about teaching a student about self-control and perfecting their character. Kickboxing can be a thrilling family-friendly activity that focusses on fitness, self-development and team support but the ultimate goal is to train the children to be alert, attentive and to show respect to the instructor, parents, peers and others.
Educating the importance of a disciplined and active lifestyle can bring a difference to a child’s upbringing and life skills.
The academy hopes that the kids can develop passion for a new-found hobby that is not only healthy but character-building orientated. In anticipating the rise of children’s participation, the academy looks forward to raise more kickboxing athletes who can represent the academy for future competitions.