Kickboxing for kids in Westchase Tampa
I still remember June 22nd 1984 as the day that changed martial arts for kids forever. The day the Original Karate Kid movie was released. Before that movie came out karate, kickboxing and other forms of martial arts were reserved primarily for adults. We had a kids class then however it was a small class. The parents saw the value in what we were teaching and the children who attended that class on a regular basis reaped it’s benefits. I then took my children to see The Karate Kid, it was awesome. I now knew why everyone was raving about it. It was so good that at the end the whole theater stood up and applauded. So, right before my eyes I saw what I knew all along that martial arts were fantastic for kids as was evident of how Daniel the star of the movie evolved in the movie. He became bully proofed, physically fit and more and more confident as the story progressed. Gained a new life long friend and all the other attributes that come with training hard.
Soon after the movie came out my kids classes started getting packed out. I could hardly fit them all in. The day before The Karate Kid came out 4 or 5 kids in class the day after 15 to 20 kids in class it was crazy. Kids and martial arts would never be the same.
It has been many many years since The Karate Kid was released and the popularity of martial arts is still booming thanks to all the great things it has to offer kids of all ages. The primary basis for bringing a child to a kickboxing program or any other art form probably is self defense on the onset. I think once a parent gets past just the self defense aspect there is so much more for there child to become a better person and a happier child.
A basic kickboxing class for kids should be broken down into warm ups, basic technique then some type of drilling kicking or punching. With a little defensive tactics thrown in such as foot work and basic blocking. Children shouldn’t be making any kind of contact when they first start training. They should have about 6 months of training before any sort of sparring takes place. Of course there are exceptions to every rule.
No parent wants there child to be bullied or taken advantage of so of course self defense is a very important part of training. Every class should be geared towards self defense. I know in my classes I teach vulnerable areas on the body and how to protect them on the child’s first class but before that we talk about discipline. Discipline is probably the key ingredient of any martial art program and should be the most emphasized part of the class. Discipline should be instilled in every student every class so the child can learn and develop at a fast rate. Conventional methods of discipline should be fun but strict at the same time.
When a child learns about discipline then they can work on self discipline. Self discipline is the key ingredient in success whether in reading, writing or any other academic goal. Once a child learns to be self disciplined they start achieving. A child that can achieve a goal is a happy kid. They could improve grades, learn a new skill, or in martial arts receive a stripe on there belt or a new colored belt. With every achievement children become more and more confident.
Now let’s get back to self defense. A child that can stand up to a bully in a confident manor without ever resorting to violence is my goal as an instructor. This is not an overnight sensation as to show that type of confidence a child needs the skills to really be able to defend him or herself. So in short discipline leads to self discipline. Self discipline leads to achieving. Achieving leads to confidence. Confidence leads to a happy kid. A happy well adjusted child is going make a great contribution as an adult in our society.
Without the Karate Kid and Danielsan it might have taken much longer for the world to be enlightened about the fantastic attributes of martial arts for children around the world.