Providing kids karate at a birthday party
Years ago when I started my kids karate business, I provided the “entertainment” at a birthday party for a student of mine, whose mother requested it. I use the word entertainment, because that is exactly what it is, nothing more and nothing less. I did my best to keep the kids’ attention as we went through the blocks, strikes, kicks, and karate games. It was mass chaos. Kids were running through the “class”, throwing things, jumping the queues, and mucking around in general. What do you do at a birthday party if the kids won’t listen, won’t behave, and don’t care? Do you sit them down? It is not appropriate at a birthday party, as they are there to have fun. Just the same, what if some child got hurt because of the horseplay?
Karate is serious
Karate is not entertainment. It is serious business. Although we make our classes fun and exciting, we try to impart to the students how important it is to be serious about their training. As I tell my students in our classes when they need a bit of a “settling down”, what they learn in karate class may someday save their lives. It is next to impossible to convey this to a bunch of kids at a birthday party.
Why provide this service?
Some martial arts organisations use birthday parties as a revenue raiser, and also as a way to build business through the referrals of children at the venue. The theory is that the kids will see what fun it is, and join the regular classes. I tried it again at a later party, in the hopes that the first experience was an anomaly. It was not. Same experience the second time around. I think we gained one student from each party. After that, I told myself I would never do it again, and many years later, have never regretted it.
I am aware that many of my competitors in the business provide this service. For me, I am happy to put my time and energy into my students who are serious about the martial arts and are in it for more than just “entertainment”.
What is your experience with kids karate parties?