THE MANY BENEFITS OF MARTIAL ARTS FOR CHILDREN
The average American spends 5 hours a night watching TV. For children, it's much worse given all the video games, iPhones, Tablets and other distractions. This lack of activity could lead to weight gain, lack of self confidence, and bullying.
However, what if there was a world where your kids could develop Coordination, Discipline, Self-Fulfillment and Defense again bullying? That world exists with the correct kids martial arts program. Extracurriculars are just as important as academics because children learn more than getting a grade. Instead, they really learn what it's like to work with teams and to work with others of different ages, races, cultures and backgrounds. By learning how to work together with a diverse class, your child will not only learn the importance of teamwork, but also learns respect and discipline. In particular, our kids martial arts program will help your child grow physically, mentally, and psychologically. By taking classes, your child will be able to grow and develop in various ways including:
| Mental Focus
| Physical Endurance
| Mental Stamina
| Physical Strength
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KARATE, JIU JITSU, AND KICKBOXING
While Karate is a form of a martial art, it isn't THE martial art. Actually, there are 5 different major forms of karate all with varying degrees of power and movement. Karate is a striking based martial art similar to Tae Kwon Do and Boxing. However, it has very little to do with ground grappling. Instead, the fighting philosophy behind Karate is "one strike to end it all". That mentality is good in theory, but difficult in practice.
For children, it's more important to learn how to control the situation instead of just throwing kicks and punches. By learning a combination of ground control and striking, like kickboxing, a child will have a full gamut of martial arts skills. That is, a child will know how to defend him/herself against punches and kicks, but also know how to take bullies to the ground in order to stop the fighting earlier.
Bruce Lee even said that if you give a martial artists one year of boxing and wrestling, that person would be able to beat any traditional martial artists studying for years. While Tae Kwon Do and Karate have been around for centuries, they aren't necessarily the most practical for children. In this article, we reference how Kids Karate and Kids Tae Kwon Do have morphed into belt factories where the goal is to get parents to pay for belts, tests, pre-tests, breaking boards and much more. Children are becoming "black belts" at age 8 and that power of being a "black belt" is going to their heads too quickly.
Instead, kids jiu jitsu and kids kickboxing do not really have a belt system. Kids get small promotions here and there, but the focus is always on learning instead of belts and test.
WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN KIDS MARTIAL ARTS
Kids are not small adults. Their attention span and need for play is much much different. Instead of having a program that forces them to behave unnaturally, you want to find one that forms around the attention span of a child to shape their learning and behavior. Those programs are best for dealing with children, ensuring they do not get bored and helping them to learn. If you are familiar with Nickelodeon's Doug, we wrote this article to show why Doug and Kids Martial Arts work hand-in-hand.
| Be weary of the annual contract: Little secret- gym owners know that a child is most likely to only stick with a program for 3 months. That is why they want you to sign an annual contract. It's called breakage. When your child doesn't go to class anymore, but you're still on the hook to pay, you are the most profitable client. If any place asks for an annual contract, walk away. Also, EVEN IF you were to quit, what are they going to do? Hire a lawyer to get your couple of hundreds of bucks?
| Be weary of fees: If you are checking out a new dojo for your child, ask if there will be testing fees, pre-test fees, fees for the belt and if you have to buy uniforms only from the gym. These places are out to up-sell you and don't really care about your child. A good school if focuses on your child learning rather than using him/her as a sales vehicle.
| Get at least 7 days free: Children get easily excited. Even though a dojo offers your child one free class, they know your child might be excited for a few and hate it later. Then you're in profitable breakage land. Instead, look for a place that offers at least two days free. If you can, one week is great. Let your child go a couple times and see if he/she really likes it.