Four ways Taekwondo supports children’s wellbeing
Four ways Taekwondo supports children’s wellbeing
The Jadir Taekwondo Association shares how Taekwondo can support the well-being of children and youth, within and beyond the sport.
- Taekwondo helps kids succeed in school
Attending class, completing homework, studying more efficiently, and learning important life skills are just some of the benefits that Taekwondo provides children in the realm of academics.
School is a pivotal part of children’s lives and is crucial to their development and future. Taekwondo helps children thrive academically and improves their cognitive and academic performance. Through Taekwondo, children stay physically active, which keeps the brain healthy by boosting cognitive performance, facilitating the growth of new neurons, and improving concentration and memory.
Students from Jadir Taekwondo Association (AJTKD), a charity supporting youth from underprivileged areas in Brazil, learn and memorize various moves, techniques, skills, and philosophies to train. These skills and experiences can improve memory to help children learn and remember their school content.
However, succeeding in school does not only mean thriving academically. Taekwondo is a sport that helps young individuals strengthen and reinforce positive lifestyle choices, offering new pathways to learn skills that they carry on into school, life, and work. Through Taekwondo, children develop social and leadership skills.
AJTKD helps provide opportunities for children where they learn together through group activities and form bonds with one another. AJTKD’s students learn how to set goals together, work towards their goals, and achieve them through teamwork. Similarly, these important life skills are applied in school where children socialize with others and work in groups. Additionally, Taekwondo can help with conflict resolution where children settle disputes with respect and peace rather than violence and aggression.
- Taekwondo helps prevent drug abuse in youth
Peers may encourage their friends as they participate in drug use, and saying no to drugs isn’t always easy. At some point in their lives, children will be exposed to drugs and their temptations – this is particularly an issue for youth in socially vulnerable situations, who are more susceptible to drug use.
The foundation of Taekwondo is grounded in two elements – discipline and respect. These two pillars are the foundations on which students reach a new level of Taekwondo graduation and achieve a new belt colour. Specifically, dedication and movement repetition is required to improve martial art movements. Through these activities, children develop self-discipline and self-restraint, traits and values that they instil in their own lives. Consequently, youth learn how to resist the urges to give in to peer pressure, and get involved in substance use and violence.
For 20 years, AJTKD has been using Taekwondo to support children and young people at social risk for drugs. Through AJTKD’s primary drug prevention work in the Fight Against Drugs Program that began in 2002 as well as their events on the International Day to Combat Drugs, the association has been educating youth about the dangers of drugs.
- Taekwondo supports children’s physical and mental health
Keeping our distance from others, covering our faces with masks, and not being able to do regular things in our daily lives that we were so accustomed to has become our new reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has had catastrophic impacts on the mental health and well-being of young people all over the world.
Through Taekwondo, AJTKD has been helping youth improve their physical and mental health, giving them opportunities and abilities to improve their lives, especially during these difficult times.
Taekwondo helps kids become more physically active and helps the body in various ways, such as improving flexibility, cardio, and improving blood circulation. Additionally, physical activity releases dopamine, a hormone that enhances positive emotions, which can help the mental health of kids. Particularly, through the COVID-19 pandemic, Taekwondo can be an outlet for stress for kids, alleviating the pressure they may be feeling.
Taekwondo improves focus, concentration, and can increase self-confidence and self-esteem within kids. Through meditation, breathing exercises, discipline, and self-introspection, Taekwondo can help children become healthier in all aspects of their lives.
- Taekwondo empowers young girls
In sports as in life, there is a gender divide between men and women, where women are often stereotyped as weaker and less competent. However, girls in self-defence and martial arts programs such as Taekwondo continue to disprove and debunk these harmful perceptions of gender norms. Taekwondo breaks down barriers, empowers girls to become the leaders of their own lives and spread their impact to their communities.
At AJTKD, gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the forefront of many programs. AJTKD empowers young girls from underprivileged communities by providing them with knowledge and skills as well as opportunities for self-development. Taekwondo and self-defence classes become a safe and inclusive space that is always available to young girls.
AJTKD has been leading their “Fight for Women Project” where they provided young girls from underprivileged communities opportunities to engage in physical activity and self-defence classes to live healthier and safer lives. From the skills, knowledge, resources, and lessons learnt from Taekwondo and AJTKD, young girls become empowered and are inspired to transform this world into a place where true equality exists.
Jadir Taekwondo Association (AJTKD) is a non-profit organization that empowers youth in social vulnerability in Brazil through the power of sport. Aligned directly with UN Sustainable Development Goals, Jadir Taekwondo Association helps and inspires youth in profound ways that transform their futures.