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martial arts
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Kids And Martial Arts
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Kids And Martial Arts

The Martial Arts have always been very popular with kids. The reasons are many. Some kids want to be ninjas or Power Rangers. Some kids are getting picked on and need self defense or confidence. Some kids just like to jump around and make noise. Some need discipline. Whatever the reason, Martial Arts can be of great benefit to all kids and kids and Martial Arts just seem to go together. The problem is, with all the different styles and studios how does a parent pick the right one? There is more to choosing than just location.

The first concern is style. What is being taught. There are hundreds of different styles to choose. Some with names impossible to pronounce. Basically, though, it all boils down to either striking (Karate, Tae Kwon Do) or grappling (Judo, Ju Jitsu.) Each contains elements of the other but generally focus mostly on one. Having taught kids for 20 years I believe it is best to start younger kids with grappling since this approach is how most young kids first fight. They tend to grab each other and roll around a lot. As they grow up they tend to strike more. Both styles are good and have a lot to offer.

The second concern is the Instructor who is doing the teaching. Since there is no government regulation with the Martial Arts this concern is much more important than the art being taught. When you are watching a class (which you should absolutely be allowed to do when shopping) watch how the instructor relates to the kids. Your child will be looking up to and admiring this person. Does he insist on respect? Are his classes under control or are the kids running amok? However he relates to the kids it's very important to remember that your child will perform like the other students in the class and not the instructor. By this I mean, it doesn't matter how high the instructor can jump or how hard he can kick, if he is not a quality instructor your child will never be very good. Look at the students in the class to see how your child will look.

The third concern is cost both obvious and hidden. How much per month for how many times per week. The cost per class should be within your budget. $100.00 per month for two classes a week is a lot different than for four classes a week. Also be aware of hidden costs. Uniforms, equipment, fighting gear, private instruction can all add up. Some studios charge a lot of money for testing fees and with several tests per year these fees can really add up! So buyer beware.

In conclusion, the martial arts can be of great benefit to all kids (and adults.) So, parents, do your homework and your child will benefit greatly.


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