A Parents Guide for Kickboxing and martial arts in Westchase FL
For parents looking into a martial arts training program for there child it could be a daunting task. From choosing which martial art from Takwoondo, Kung fu, Brazilian jujitsu, no gi jujitsu, karate and kickboxing to name a few. To which school gym or dojo that teaches the discipline you finally pick out. Do you want an after school program that picks up your child or an YMCA once a week program or a more serious type of martial arts school? The next question would be how old does your child have to be to start training. I will answer those questions and more as best as I can with over 35 years of training kids of all ages.
I believe every year a fresh crop of parents that has a child old enough to start some type of martial art training stars this type of search. Usually a neighbor, friend or family member makes a recommendation, they either had first hand experience in or heard second hand and the journey begins!
First things first, how old should a child be to begin training in the martial arts. The answer is that every child is different and the starting age can vary greatly from kid to kid. The earliest age that I would accept a child in my program is 5 years old. I believe at that point they are old enough to understand the discipline portion of my program, as well as to understand the only place they can use martial skills is to protect themselves and their loved ones. They also are not allowed to practice unless mom or dad is watching. We don’t need kindergarten kids throwing punches and kicks when not appropriate. Standing still for a short amount of time is also a big plus. After 35 years of teaching there has only been a few exceptions.
What martial art should you choose is the next question. Out of all questions for first time parents this one is probably the least important. I believe the school, gym or dojo not the art form is the most important. What is the culture of the school. What do they want to instill in your child. A school that just teaches combative skills is not the one I myself would choose as I think that’s the least important. I believe mental tools that a child can learn from there coach or Sensei would be much more important. A culture that cultivates mind body and spirit is the ultimate martial arts school for kids. That being said we also do want solid foundation in technique. How do you know if a school has a solid technical foundation? All you have to do is watch the more senior students and the way the instructor works with them. They should show a more advanced skill set then the newer students.
So, bottom line how do you choose a martial arts school for your child? You must use all your resources. Friends, family members and reviews. Then go in and watch a class or try one out. I would stay away from a school that won’t let you do either. I believe martial arts is not just an after school activity. It could influence your child in a positive way the rest of his or her life.
Good hunting and good luck!