Before looking for the right martial arts school for your child, you and your child need to determine why he or she wants to study martial arts. There are several benefits for taking martial arts classes including fitness, discipline, self-esteem, confidence and competition. Each school will have a different emphasis, so it is important to know what your child wants. Having fun and making friends is also a good reason, but many children do not continue for long if their needs are not met.
Choosing the School
The school you choose should be in a convenient location. If it is too far away from home, there is a good chance the child will stop attending. After finding several schools that are close enough to your home, you should visit them and observe classes as well as a sparring session.
There are a few things to notice while visiting a martial arts school:
Finding a good Instructor
The instructor must care about the child's spirit and enthusiasm. Some days will be hard work, and the teacher must be able to support the child's feelings and help the child be enriched by the process and not discouraged. Some teachers have formal qualifications and some don't but there are good teachers in both categories. You can ask to see credentials and references and talk to parents about their experiences with the instructor.
Choose the Martial Art
There are several mainstream martial arts that children can learn including judo, tae kwon do, Karate and Kung Fu. They each have something special to offer.
Costs and Terms
Some martial arts schools operate for profit and some are not-for-profit. There are good and bad schools of both kinds. Schools that will pick your child up from school, teach the martial art and give time for doing homework are available, but they will often be on the expensive side. On the other hand, not-for-profit schools depend on the involvement of their students and their parents for survival. This type of school is not expensive, but you and your child may need to volunteer time to help keep the school going.
Many schools will give you a free trial class or even several classes at no cost to you. Some will also give you a low cost trial package where you can try classes at a reduced cost or pay a one-time fee for one or more classes. These are great ways to see if your child will do well at a particular location. Never feel pressured. Just make sure that you respect the school's time and offer.
It is not usually a good idea to sign a lock-in contract unless you are completely satisfied with the school and the instructor and are sure your child will take the classes seriously, it is unfair to you as a consumer and also to the school looking for quality students. Make sure that you are willing to commit to give your child the best advantage and to help them achieve their goals, but never feel or allow yourself to be pressured. It's better to walk away and take time to think things through and good schools will respect that.
Ask about the total amount for the classes. This includes registration and membership fees, mandatory equipment, uniforms and grading fees. If the school cannot give a complete answer about the total cost of the instruction, you should find another school for your child.
Locating a good place for children's martial arts classes should never be taken lightly, you want the best for yourself and your children, so perform due diligence and remember what you read in this article. You can find the right martial arts school for your child!