The Ultimate Parents’ Guide to Martial Arts
So your child wants to join the amazing world of martial arts? How are you feeling about that? If you didn’t encounter this type of activity as a child, or had no interest, you are probably asking yourself a few questions or have some concerns about what really goes on in a martial arts class. We’re here to help you get the low down on martial arts and karate so that you can feel confident about signing your child up for classes. And when you have all of the information, making decisions about these things is much, much easier!
What Kind of Classes are Available?
The type and frequency of classes available to you may be limited by your location. Smaller towns may not have a variety of marital arts classes, while bigger cities may have several to choose from. There is a basic standard of offerings that most dojos stick to: generally, you can take classes for men, women, co-ed, and children. As a parent, you are most likely interested in classes for your kids, but don’t count yourself out as a participant! Martial arts is a great way to get in shape and stay active!
Typically, martials arts classes can include karate, ju-jitsu, Taekwondo and kick boxing. If you are unsure of what class would be suitable for your child, call your local dojo and ask if they offer a free session or if you can go and visit the center. This gives you a chance to talk to the organization directly and get a feel for the location. This also helps you to nail down what class might be suitable for your child. Bring your child: sometimes parents go for visits like this on their own, but the child is the one who ultimately going to decide if he or she wants to participate in this activity.
What Does my Child Need?
Your child needs very little to participate in martial arts classes. You can usually purchase the gi (uniform) from the organization itself, but typically you only need to buy one gi every few years, if your child sticks with it. Other things your child needs to bring to class include a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, an open mind and a desire to learn self-control and discipline.
My Child is Not Very Strong…Does That Matter?
Children as young as 3 or 4 years old have been actively enjoying the benefits of martial arts. Children don’t have to be overtly strong to participate in martial arts training. They will develop strength and body discipline in a comprehensive training program and they will learn to protect their body from harm. You will start to notice changes in your child, both physically and mentally as they progress through their martial arts training and they’ll be building self-confidence and physical strength throughout.
What Questions Should I Ask the Organizers?
You’ll want to find out the basics: when and where are the classes? Can parents attend classes? What if your child gets hurt during training? What are the policies for missing training? Is there a discount for multi-child families? How long are training sessions? How quickly/slowly can your child progress through the training? What are the costs associated with the programs? Will travel be required or an option? How do competitions work? How long does your child have to be in training before he/s
What Should I Expect?
While every dojo is different, most organizations are happy to walk you through the programs they offer and allow you to sit in on a session or take a free session. You can find out how many children are in each class and they might even offer private lessons. You can expect a professional environment which instills passion and discipline and self-confidence in your child. All dojo masters believe in the whole body approach: mind, body and soul. The key to getting what you want out of a great martial arts experience is to ask all of your questions up front and be comfortable with the organization you ultimately choose