Sunday, 29 July 2012

Choosing a Martial Arts Class - Kids #2

Kids should come away from the class with smiles on their faces


his is a follow up to last Sunday’s post on martial arts classes for children.

As I discussed in the initial post, the reasons are many and varied why a child would want to join a martial arts class. Or a parent would want a child to join.

Draw up a list of reasons why. Is it because of problems with self-confidence? Is your child being bullied? Do you think that martial arts training can help your child to focus in school?

Do a careful - and thorough - check of the martial arts classes in your area. You and your child should be able to watch a class and ask the instructor specific questions about class size, who teaches the actual classes, the curriculum, etc.

Anyone can promise you anything. It’s what actually happens on the training hall floor that counts.

Classes should be a mixture of discipline - and fun


Watch for the instructor’s body language. Listen closely to his tone of voice. Is he comfortable around children? Is his proximity to children benign …threatening …dismissive…hard edged…or “creepy”?

Is she easily flustered? Do children’s smaller needs and attentions easily get on her nerves?

Does she exhibit plenty of patience? An instructor needs plenty of that!  It’s not a class of 20 kids taking martial arts…it’s a class of 20 individual people with different needs that the instructor has to adapt to what he or she knows.

Look closely at the older children, the ones who might have been there for a while. Does it look to you as though they’ve grown, that they’ve developed - not just in the level of their skills but in character?

Martial arts can help children build self confidence


The following are some things to be careful of when choosing a class for your child -

1.  Beware of contracts. Children can quickly lose interest. You don’t know whether your child will enjoy the class in the long run. And you have no way of telling whether the class will actually remain as good as it looks a few months from now.

2.  Beware of instructors who say that their class “separates the wheat from the chaff.” Do you really want boot camp for a 6 year old?

3.  Beware of an instructor who relies only on one type of discipline - push ups. There are many constructive types of discipline instructors can rely upon.

4.  Classes should be both disciplined - and fun. Respect should run both ways - from the child to the instructor and from the instructor to the child.

5.  Beware of the instructor who talks down to children.

6.  Beware of the instructor who over-emphasizes competition. Tournaments are fun and are often a valuable learning experience. But winning at all costs is a very narrow application of your child’s energy and intelligence. The martial arts can offer your child deep and rewarding skills in how to get along with others, how to cooperate, how to overcome stress, how to respect life and the environment.

Children can develop both physically and mentally in the martial arts


How can you tell whether your child has just attended a good class?

1.  She just comes off the floor with a big smile on her face

2.  He’ll ask you tomorrow whether it’s time to go back to class

3.  She’s bowing to you at home or helping around the house…little signs that she’s enjoying (not being threatened by) the discipline of the class

4.  He’s asked 1 or 2 of his friends to attend the next class with him

5.  She’s already dreaming of becoming an instructor herself one day…and “helping other kids through the martial arts”

Please be aware of one more possibility. Many parents find the joy that they see on the faces of their children infectious. A few weeks later, they often find themselves stepping onto the training hall floor!

1 comment:

  1. Martial is a very good thing for every kid. This helps you to develop your mind and also physical ability. But you have to chose a good coaching center. Karate in Connecticut


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.