How to Find the Best Martial Arts School for Your Kids

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good kids karate instructor

It will be obvious if the instructor enjoys his or her job and has good rapport with the kids

At least once a month someone tells me they are moving out of town and asks for a recommendation for kids martial arts in that area. I am usually at a loss to recommend anyone because I don’t network much outside of my base in Sydney, Australia. Although sad to see them go, I am happy give them a bit of information that I have acquired over the years to guide them in their search. There are lots of things to look for in a martial arts school, but I feel these are the most important.

Determine Your Needs and Your Child’s

Determine why you want your child to take part in martial arts. Is it fitness, confidence, self-esteem, discipline, or competition? Different things will be emphasized at each school. Why does your child want to take part? This is the most important question, because many children drop out if their needs are not met. Children might want to start just to have fun and make friends–that’s ok.

Visit Schools in the Area

If a school does not allow you to observe at least a few of their classes before you enroll, walk away. Most likely they have something to hide. Talk to other parents at each school about their experiences.

Discipline in the class is important. If kids are running amok, doing what they please without any class structure, there is a problem. The instructor should be strict yet fair. An instructor should never strike a child.

Classes should be divided according to age and experience. Kids should not be in the same classes as adults. With children, the moves should be broken down into the most simple elements. If there are only a few kids in the class it’s not a good sign. A bigger class has a better vibe and is a sign the school is doing something right.

Ask to observe a sparring session, where the more advanced students practice against each other. Is it strictly supervised by black belts? Is control enforced? Do the kids enjoy it? Is proper safety gear worn? Head gear, gloves, mouth guards, shin/foot protectors are a must for kids and adults alike.

Look for schools that have been in business for at least a few years and have a good reputation in the community. The two usually go hand in hand.

Is the location convenient for you? If you have to drive all the way across town to get there, you will probably drop out.

Find the Best Instructor

There is no such thing as a “best style or system”. There is such a thing as a “best teacher”. It is essential that the instructor embodies the important things in the martial arts like respect and kindness.

The chemistry between teacher and student is crucial. If your there is no rapport between the child and the instructor it will be an uphill battle. Are the kids truly enjoying themselves in the class?

Recommendations from other parents are an excellent way to find good instructors.

Terms and Costs are Important

Lock-in contracts are not a good idea, unless you’ve had time to assess the quality of instruction.

Find out what the total costs are. Grading fees, registration/membership fees, uniforms, mandatory equipment–it can all add up. If they are unable to give you a straight answer, find another school.

How to Find the Best Martial Arts School for Your Kids is an original article from Sensei Matt Klein. For more information check our kids karate classes in Sydney.

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  1. Shandor Lim says

    Thanks to the Sensei Zoltan & Matthew Lim & all the 2nd Dan’s & Black GI’s. For without them & their direction we would have nothing! & a special thanks to all the students for they give us a reason to be there & watch them grow.

    Special special to Sensei Matt Klein for guiding us all! Cheers!

  2. Shandor Lim says

    Good friends are like stars.
    You don’t always see
    them but you always know
    They are there.

  3. says

    Guys an individual posted this post to my blog recently, any thoughts on it?

    When you study true martial arts fighting, you will find specific truths about how to survive. A single with the truths is how the human mental apparatus doesn’t usually work well when it is owning bashed, and survival mode kicks in. Fighters who survive by the quantity of adrenaline kicked in would have you believe that this can be the point of it all, but it is not, it is the worst thing that could happen. As a species we don’t have quills, or claws, or smells, or jaws, or any particular characteristic that would aid us survive, except that thing we call a mind. It’s the mind that solves problems, it’s the mind that adapts to survive. It is this factor called a mind that we need to learn how to use if we are to reach our full capacity as humans, and as humans in the fighting mode. 1 must control the distance in a fight, by controlling distance we now have option as to what weapon we choose to use. The method to do that is to tie a string in the belt to his, and procedure moving so that the string stays taut without the need of breaking. Now, move in this fashion, and inside a short time your physique will move with the other persons system because it likes the fact of harmony. We have to manage the reality on the leg movements. The best leg positioning is once the legs are in a matching stance, which is to say his right leg is forward and so is yours, the second greatest position is whenever you are in an opposing stance, that is to say his right leg is forward, and your left leg is forward. The method to train yourself to usually have matching stance is merely to walk on the string, and striving to often stay inside a matching stance. We need to control the movement in the arms, again, in a matching or opposing sense. No string needed here, but you do have to be aware of distance, you’ll want to match the movement of the partners arms as he closes distance.

    I have quite a few of the same articles on my blog at my best most effective martial art website, you should check it out 😀 Covers everything from UFC, UFC and even Most Effective Martial Art!

  4. Sensei Matt Klein says

    Thanks for your comments UFC Kid. Yes, our mind is our most powerful weapon. Agree fully. Distance and timing is crucial.