Martial Arts is a great activity to get children involved in of all ages. The benefit they get from the discipline, structure and learning at their own pace can not be compared.
Whilst it is an individual pursuit in someways, there is a team work component involved, which is why so many children thrive at their chosen martial art, rather than in a traditional team sport.
But how do you choose a martial art and a martial arts school for your child? What do you need to look for? There are a number of questions we consistently get asked when parents enquire about our classes, so we thought we would write something to help you out when looking for a school for your kids.
6 Tips for picking a Martial Arts School for your child
- Make sure you have a trial/non committal sessions and try out a few different clubs. All clubs are different. Some will have training sessions that combine children and adults, other different lessons for different ages of children. You need to feel comfortable with whatever club and style you choose. Please do not feel pressured into joining straight away. Give it a few lessons first to confirm that you child wishes to continue.
- Do all instructors and Volunteers have Blue Card or Working with Children accreditation? This I suppose is a given, but make sure that this information can be produced.
- What experience/certification/gradings do the instructors have. Are they able to show you their certificates? Who will be taking the classes?
- Have you been asked to fill out a participation form? Make sure you are covered insurance wise on the mat. Liability especially for children is a very grey area in the event of a serious incident, so you MUST be covered.
- What are your reasons for choosing a martial art for yourself or your child? Fitness? Discipline? Self Defence? Some styles are better for some reasons than others. Japanese Ju-Jitsu for instance is fabulous for all round self defence, but if you are after fitness or sport, then maybe BJJ or Judo or Tae Kwan Do would be a better option. Is you child expected to compete in sparring tournaments, or is it simply a syllabus they will be learning. As you can see there are many different reasons to be specific with your needs and requirements from a martial art.
- How quickly are students graded? This will obviously depend on the style you choose, but please make sure you are comfortable in how quickly a student is graded, or question why your child has not been graded should they have been training for some time. Our junior syllabus has a minimum of 6 months between belts.
So what now?
The questions you have could well be endless in regards this subject, however the biggest thing you need to remember is that it is your choice where you or your child attend. You need to feel comfortable in the club surrounds, with the instructors and how the classes are conducted. You need to feel comfortable that your concerns will be heard and action taken to solve any problems. Don’t feel you need to stick around if your child is not progressing or does not feel safe in the environment.