Last year, we wrote about how to choose the right Martial Art for your kid. In this post, we dig deeper into the types of questions parents should ask themselves when choosing a Martial Art for their kid.
With plenty of Martial Arts to choose from – let alone all the many schools around your city – it can get overwhelming. Considering many factors, how do you as a parent narrow down what is important for you when choosing a martial art for your kid? Let’s start with finding the right school.
FINDING THE RIGHT SCHOOL
The toughest part about finding the right school is if the program has many coaches that cross trains in different disciplines. While this provides flexibility, you should look into teaching philosophy and style. For example, here at Etobicoke Martial Arts, our training style is designed to push you to the next level. We also have tailored classes for becoming an elite athlete if you choose to train like a fighter.
In general, if you don’t agree with the instructor’s teaching philosophies or style, then the fit probably is not there.
- Do you want your kid to learn how to defend themselves? If yes, then you may want an instructor that uses practical, real world situational training as part of the curriculum.
- Does your kid’s personal development goals align with the school’s personal development approach? If yes, then you may want an instructor that uses a goal oriented curriculum. This is where kids have a sense of progression and leadership responsibilities like potentially leading a class. Progression is typically aligned with a belt system.
- Does your kid desire to be a champion on an international stage one day? If yes, then you may want an instructor that has a “fighters class” as part of the curriculum.
- How far is the school from home, work or school? If it’s out of the way for you and your kid, it more likely to be a hassle.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of schools, it’s time to explore free trials.
Most, if not all schools will have a free trial. With that being said, we highly recommend signing your child up for free trials at your list of schools. It’s important to see how your kid responds to the instructor, the classes and of course, the other students!
If you know that your kid is a big ball of energy and the instructor has an energetic vibe to the lessons, there is a probably a good fit! But, if the instructor requires students to stand quietly still for long periods of time, then the fit is unlikely.
Additionally, finding a school that has multiple different classes for different age groups is also just as important. You may not want your five year old kid to be in a class of twelve year olds, or vice versa. Your preference may be to have your kid with others that are in the same age group.
YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY WHEN PRACTICING MARTIAL ARTS
Now that you’ve considered free trials from different schools, the most important thing you need to assess is long-term safety. A few questions and things you should observe are:
- Are all instructors attentive to each kid practicing the art?
- Is pairing involved?
- How are they supervised?
For example, here at Etobicoke Martial Arts, all our instructors give 100% of our attention to the children as they practice a certain technique.
Safety and structure will always be number one for your child. What’s the point of getting your kid involved in extracurricular activity when they have a high chance of getting hurt? High level of instruction, combining hand holding and loose reins to practice techniques (and fun!) is most ideal!
What about you? What types of things do you look out for when choosing a martial arts for your child? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from the parents out there!