Martial arts, a way to keep kids active

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
Children do warm-up exercises in class before training at Black Dragon Martial Arts in Prairieville.

With the growing obesity problem in the country--especially when it comes to children--much of the blame is put on poor dieting with fast food playing the key role.

However, one major contributer that people have seemed to lose sight of is exercise and kids' attempts to stay active. Today, there is so much technology that can grab the attention of the youngsters like: a TV with hundreds of channels, video games, the Internet, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

But there are many extra-carricular activities out there that kids can take part in and enjoy that demand them to go out and stay active. One of these activities that can be tremendous to their development is martial arts.

Ken Ducote, owner and chief instructor of Black Dragon Martial Arts in Prairieville and Louisiana State Director for the Tactical Hapkido Alliance is certainly aware of the problems that can result from kids not staying active.

"Getting out and exercising is very important. Years ago, when we were children, you'd go outside and play all of the time," Ducote said. "But these days, kids are just sitting on the couch eating junk food and playing video games. That's not just hurting them shape-wise, but it's making them lose the ability to engage with others."

Ducote thinks martial arts is a perfect way to remedy this and keep the kids in shape and on track.

"Martial arts is very positive in keeping kids in shape," Ducote said. "There is a study out that shows martial arts helps kids stay on task in school and helps them stay active. It's been found that one hour of Taekwondo can burn up to 700 calories, so it's very good for cardio-conditioning."

Regardless of how many calories the kids may burn taking part in martial arts, Ducote is just happy that he can do his part and help them achieve goals not only physically but mentally as well.

"It's very gratifying. Whenever you can help keep these kids in shape, help them develop and plant seeds, it's always great," Ducote said.