Mental Health amongst Children

Children's Mental Health issues and how reading and martial arts can help

A magic combo to help children avoid mental health issues

Martial Arts and Reading

Welcome all bookworms, and fans of martial arts. You may find this an unusual combination: reading and a school of learning traditionally associated with combat. However, it transpires that people are not fully aware of just how much Martial Arts can offer, despite all the Karate Kid movies. Perhaps more importantly the general public does not know MA advocates seeks first and foremost to avoid conflict and violence.

What reading and Martial Arts have in common

We all know that reading a good book has a positive psychological impact on children, especially if it’s done on a regular basis. The whole process improves their ability to concentrate, feeds their imagination, stimulates thought, helps them develop an independent thought process, deepens their need and thirst for knowledge. In much the same way, the training required in Martial Arts reinforces the importance of being disciplined and focused. Most children excel when they have a goal to reach. Once they learn this new skill or technique, they feel a sense of accomplishment, feeding that yearning to learn more, to develop.

Children's Mental Health issues and how reading and martial arts can help

Frightening statistics we can’t ignore

The statistics concerning the state of our children’s health in the UK is alarming. With waiting lists stretching over 10 months for 8-year-old with mental health issues, surely the alarm bells must be ringing in everyone’s ears

  • One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017
  • Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders. Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19 year olds in 2017 (8.1%)
  • Rates of mental disorders increased with age. 5.5% of 2 to 4 year old children experienced a mental disorder, compared to 16.9% of 17 to 19 year olds. Caution is needed, however, when comparing rates between age groups due to differences in data collection. For example, teacher reports were available only for 5 to 16 year olds. Please refer to the Survey Design and Methods Report for full details
  • Data from this survey series reveal a slight increase over time in the prevalence of mental disorder in 5 to 15 year olds (the age-group covered on all surveys in this series). Rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004, to 11.2% in 2017
  • Emotional disorders have become more common in five to 15 year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017. All other types of disorder, such as behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders, have remained similar in prevalence for this age group since 1999

How this combo can help fight mental health issues

The magical combination of reading and Martial Arts goes even further in a child’s personal development. Both practices improve children’s ability to concentrate on a task and their endurance as they see it through to its completion. Perhaps the the biggest benefit is their boost in self-confidence:

  1. from gaining new skills and knowledge
  2. being part of a positive and engaging story
  3. feeling empowered and inspired
  4. being a part of something

Start incorporating these two activities in your child’s life today. Kiki and Friends stories can help lift your children’s spirits and sense of worth. Plus they are a hoot to read!

Fun and Adventure with Kiki and Friends: A Case of Mistaken Identity

National Children’s Day UK 2019


Children’s author, Francesca Hepton, is teaming up with local Martial Arts centre AIM to help raise awareness for National Children’s Day on the 12th of May 2019. Together we’re taking steps to help children be healthy inside and out. Come and show your support or enter our prize draw by pre-ordering the latest Kiki + Friends book.

National Children's Day UK 2019 Party at AIM Martial Arts with author Francesca Hepton

NCDUK Party 12 May 2019

A Positive Start for Children


  • 10 am Welcome introduction – brief talk on the benefits of Martial Art for children’s health + the latest book release from Francesca Hepton promoting children’s self-confidence through her kung fu kitten in the story: “A Case of Mistaken Identity”
  • 10.30 amFace painting – transform into your favourite big cat
  • 10.30 amPin the headband on the Kitty – a new take on an old game. If you’re not getting your face painted, test your skills of sense and direction and maybe win a prize
  • 11 amEarn your headband. Master Hudson will put children to the test in a fun mini martial arts session where each child can earn their own headband.
  • 11.30 amSleeping lions. A little quiet time before cake. Prizes for the best sleeping lions.
  • 11.45 amCake made by fabulous local baker and closing thank you circle.
  • 11.45 amEnter our amazing raffle. Prizes announced on the 25th of May.

Raffle Prizes

How to enter:

Simply pre-order a copy of “A Case of Mistaken Identity” and send your amazon receipt to – enter the name of your local martial arts centre in the subject. so you get the right prizes!

How Martial Arts can help

Practising martial arts encourages children to look after their bodies and their minds. Every bit of training, every drop of sweat, every effort your child makes as they train reinforces the importance of remaining disciplined until they have accomplished the goal. The goal can be a new skill, balance or technique. Everything to help them develop and flourish with a focus on:

  • exercises
  • behaviour
  • manners
  • self-reliance
  • respect
  • concentration
  • social skills
  • SELF-CONFIDENCE – like Kiki!!

Giving our children the best possible start for a healthy and bright future doesn’t have to be difficult. Our bodies and minds are connected, meaning that what we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental and emotional wellbeing too.

Being fit helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times.

You can help them do this! Introduce them to this positive training and/or encourage them to read books like “A Case of Mistaken Identity” that reinforce the message or self-belief. Check out the message of the book here.

Fun and Adventure with Kiki and Friends: A Case of Mistaken Identity


Children deserve the best start

We know from working in schools that children in every class have diagnosable mental health conditions and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. Whether you’re a parent, guardian or concerned adult, you can get involved and help us reach as many children as possible.

Come to our book launch party at AIM Martial Arts or find one near you. If you can’t come along, show your support and buy a copy of this amazing book. Send your amazon receipt to (enter your local Martial Arts centre / town in the subject) and we’ll automatically enter you in our raffle.

Find a party near you