Can Martial Arts Get Your Kid A Scholarship? Our True Scoop

Is it possible that enrolling your child in martial arts at a young age will help them get a scholarship when it comes time? Martial arts can be a great opportunity for your child to build character, but will it be helpful down the road when it comes time to pay for college?

Martial arts can get your kid a scholarship. It is a great extracurricular activity that can be used when applying to scholarships of any type, as well as ones specifically for martial arts. The long term dedication that martial arts training requires is highly desirable to board decision makers.

Martial arts provides a multitude of important lessons that will help your child succeed in life, as well as in school. If you’re on the fence about the benefits of martial arts, you may have some questions on how it will help. Luckily for you, we’ve put together various ways that martial arts can get your child a scholarship.   

Scholarships for Continuing Martial Arts in College

If your child enjoys practicing martial arts, they may choose to pursue the continuance of it in college. There are a few colleges that offer martial arts and have scholarships set up specifically for the sport. 

The Mike Swain Scholarship was established as a great example of a scholarship offered by San Jose State University for children who wish to join their Judo team. The Texas A&M University Judo Scholarship is another good option for continuing your child’s Judo career throughout college. 

Although rare, some colleges, like the University of Bridgeport, allow your child to major in martial art studies. When your child receives their B.A, they will have learned

  • The historical background
  • Different languages
  • The cultures of societies where it originated
  • The psychosocial dimensions

Enrolling your child in martial arts at a young age will allow them to develop the discipline and skills needed to continue the sport throughout college and possibly receive a scholarship for doing so. 

Martial Arts Is A Great Extracurricular Activity for Most Scholarships

When applying for scholarships, most academic and non-academic scholarships will ask the students to write down any extra-curricular activities they are involved in. You can learn more about the application process from FSA here. However, here’s the scoop: Martial arts is an excellent activity to make your child stand out. 

Colleges and universities like to see martial arts on the application form because of the skills and values children learn while participating in it.

What Are the Skills Scholarships Are Looking For?

When you enroll your children in martial arts, they develop multiple skills and values that scholarships look for during the application process (you can read more by checking out this other article on character traits the blog). A few of these include:

  • Respect
  • Discipline
  • Integrity
  • Honor
  • Camaraderie
  • Maturity
  • Humility
  • Loyalty
  • Self-control

Kids that can exemplify these different values are more likely to get a scholarship than those who don’t. People who award scholarships search for kids who are serious about their future and have the skills needed to succeed in college.

Most everyone understands that martial arts requires discipline and fortitude. These are highly valuable skills in higher education, as well as ‘the real world’, and make your child competitive in the scholarship pool.

Both our daughter, Lexi, and son, Brandon grew up martial arts kids, practicing from the time they were toddlers through their teens. We have no doubt this played a huge part in them both receiving scholarships to major universities (specifically, Old Dominion in Virginia for Brandon and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for Lexi).

Of course our children had good grades and did well on their SATs, but so do many other kids also competing for the same scholarships. What set Brandon and Lexi apart from the flock? Martial Arts training!

Here is a snippet of Lexi’s scholarship recipient letter from LSU. Geaux Tigers!

After all, colleges know that kids who are mature and able to discipline themselves in order to do martial arts for many years not only won’t fall apart under college pressure, but have what it takes to actually succeed in academia…and thus, worth the university’s risk for scholarships! 

Martial Arts Builds Leaders

One of the most important skills colleges look for is a child’s ability to lead. Martial arts offers a great chance for your child to hone their leadership skills.

In any martial arts class, children can step into leadership roles as they progress. These different leadership building activities can consist of:

  • Tracking attendance
  • Managing prospects
  • Demonstrating a move to the class
  • Being a teacher’s assistant
  • Overseeing a group of students

As a parent, one of the best things you can do to get your child a scholarship is put them in a position where they can experience being a leader. Firsthand experience is what is going to make them stand out in the application process. 

Martial Arts Instructors Can Write Letters of Recommendation for Your Child

Another important aspect of the scholarship application process are letters of recommendation. As a teacher and parent of kids in college, I can’t stress enough the importance of good letters of recommendations!

A child can write about how they exemplify the skills scholarships want to see, but it’s even better when someone else writes positive things about them.

A good letter of recommendation is sure to help your child get a scholarship. One from a martial arts instructor can be even more persuasive due to the family-like atmosphere exemplified within the classes and the length of time your child has more than likely spent with his/her instructor. Colleges and universities recognize the priceless factor of this! 

If your child is in a good martial arts class, then they will have a unique relationship with their instructor who will be able to provide a personalized letter of recommendation that truly exemplifies your child’s best qualities. 

Colleges That Offer Micro-Scholarships for Participating in Martial Arts

There are a few colleges that will offer your child micro-scholarships for participating in martial arts. A micro-scholarship is different than a regular scholarship in the way that it doesn’t require you to go through the application process for it.

For a micro-scholarship, you simply sign up online and specific colleges will award you money for each year of martial arts within your aid-package if you decide to go to their college.

 About 370 different colleges partake in this including: 

Each of these colleges can offer your child up to $10,000 in scholarship money for each year they partook in martial arts. If your child is in a leadership role, they can receive an extra $3,375 of scholarship money per year. 

Martial Arts Helps Your Child Succeed in School

Children that succeed in school are more likely to get scholarships over those who perform poorly. If you want your child to perform well throughout their entire high school and college career, you should consider enrolling them in martial arts. 

Through recent research that can be found here and here, it has been proven that children who partake in martial arts have improved grades and behavior. This is because martial arts causes children to develop:

  • Better organizational skills
  • Increased confidence
  • Better attention span
  • More inner peace

Children who are better organized in school and able to pay attention, are more likely to get good grades. Also, children with better inner peace are less likely to get into fights and trouble at school. A clean school record is more likely to get them a scholarship than one filled with detentions. 

Does It Matter What Type of Martial Arts You Enroll Your Child In?

There are many different types of martial arts to choose from. A few different types include:

There are plenty more to choose from too. You may be wondering though, is one type more likely to get my child a scholarship over another? (If you’d like to read my other article focuses on the different styles of martial arts, go here.)

Most college and scholarship boards will consider all martial arts class styles to teach the same set of value and life skills. They are usually interested in the ones that most systems share (fortitude, long term goal setting, and self discipline).

Therefore, all are likely to help get your child any scholarship when listed as an extra-curricular activity. Also, the micro-scholarships for certain colleges are for any type of martial arts, so it doesn’t matter what type they participate in.  

However, if your child is looking to compete at a college level, there are not many colleges that offer martial arts. The ones that do may only offer certain types. If this is your goal, look at different colleges you would potentially want your child to go to and see what they offer in terms of martial arts. 

Martial Arts & Scholarship Take Away

Whether it helps them get a scholarship specifically for martial arts or is used as an extracurricular for another, martial arts can get your kid a scholarship. It helps to develop important life skills and values that scholarships look for in applications.

So, if you are on the fence about enrolling your child in a martial arts class, just do it. These classes will help shape your child into a perfect college candidate as well as an exemplary human being. 

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