June 23, 2015
How to choose the best Martial Arts School for Kid
Finding a great Karate school for children is different than looking for adult gyms, especially those that cater to aspiring professional fighters. For kids, karate, judo and the other combat sports are about discovering yourself, learning new skills, self-discipline, respect for other kids, and above all having fun. Therefore, you should pay extra attention during your search for the appropriate gym.
Is the Lead Instructor friendly?
While knowledge and technical structure are important, parents want to know that their kids are in good hands at a martial arts school. This means having an instructor and assistants who care about the child’s development as a young athlete and a growing person. It also means that they do not act as taskmasters or strict disciplinarians, as if they were army drill sergeants.
What your kid’s prospective class really like? The best way to find out is by attending a real session prior to committing your child to the program. While in class, observe both the instructor’s and children’s behavior.
Are the kids happy before, during and after the Karate lessons?
Whether the gym sessions are after school or during the weekend, they should look forward to each martial arts lesson with enthusiasm. Children should never be intimidated by their teachers, nor be forced to perform unrealistic and dangerous tasks. Make sure that the head instructor conducts and oversees the warm-up and cool-down drills, and that the assistants are qualified to deal with kids.
Does the “friendly” coach from the early lessons morph into a “win at all costs” demon when it comes to class competition and outside tournaments? If this is the case, pull your kid out of the school immediately. Prior to college and early adulthood, results should be de-emphasized in favor of the learning process and actual performance. Attitude is key when working with kids.
Unlike young adults who are able and willing to move anywhere in the country or the world to seek out the best martial arts training, local travel distance is a factor when conducting a search for a kid’s academy.
The distance between your child’s current school and the gym is important, because kids need adequate time to meet the martial arts schedule when classes take place after school. If you drive your kids to and from school during the week, their closeness of your home and/or workplace also comes into play.
All things being equal, select a school that does not overburden your kids (and yourself!) with excess travel.
Cleanliness and Quality of the Facility.
Clean schools demonstrate pride and respect in the gym’s operation and the martial arts discipline. Make sure that the floor is clean, the mats washed and disinfected on a regular basis, and that the workout rooms, lockers and equipment meet the standards expected of a professional martial arts school.
The Gym’s Price
Martial arts gyms catering to children and families are often reasonably priced on both a monthly and yearly basis. Competition within a small neighborhood should ensure that you get a good deal, but guard against using price as your main criterion for selecting an academy.
Sending kids to a martial arts school is a great way for them to make friends, learn something new, stay healthy and active, and release all that pent up energy. Don’t cut corners when searching for a gym, because it can serve as a catalyst to better academic performance and personal development later on.
You don’t want a glorified babysitter, and martial arts schools shouldn’t be pacific day care centers. However, they shouldn’t treat kids as if they are professionals, either.