Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Choosing a Self Defense / Martial Arts School: A Parents Guide


"Daddy, I want to take Karate!"

"Mommy, Jimmy on the bus hit me again today"

There are many reasons why parents want to sign their children up for Self Defense or Martial Arts classes. Once you have made the decision, now you are faced with many different options and questions. What style? How much does it cost? Is my child to young?

Martial Arts and Self Defense Styles

There are as many different styles of Martial Arts as there are religions in the world. You have probably heard of Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, and even Aikido, but there are still numerous styles and offshoots of the Major styles.

So what Style is the Best and what style should I choose?

In reality, it is this author's opinion that the style of Martial Arts your child will learn is not that important. What is important is the method of teaching and training that your child will undergo. With Martial Arts training your child should learn self-discipline, self-respect, and self-esteem, along with the confidence and ability to defend themselves.

The Instructor, (or Sensei) is the key. I suggest that all parents visit several locations with their children to observe the Instructor at work. Make sure you visit a beginner's class as well as an upper level class. The beginner's class is where your child will start.

Does the instructor's personality and philosophy match your morals and ideals? Does the class participate in any "Eastern Religious" practice that doesn't match your faith? Do you want your child viewing this instructor as a role model? Most children will look up to their Martial Arts & Self Defense Instructors as role models and will be in awe of their skills and abilities. Make sure that this person who will be dealing with your children matches your values.

It is also important to view an upper level class. The beginner classes are usually very tame, and the teaching philosophy is tailored to a younger audience. However, the older the student is, the "real" teaching and training methods are put into effect. You may feel comfortable with how the instructor "teaches" the younger beginning students, but may not be comfortable with how they handle the older students.

Cost

The majority of Martial Arts & Self Defense Locations (or Dojo's) run their business on a membership basis. Customers must sign contracts, where they are obligated to pay for a certain time period to participate. The locations are run like a gym membership, you pay for a certain length of time and may participate as often as you desire.

Unfortunately, rarely are the "hidden costs" discussed when signing up for a class or membership. What are the hidden costs? The most over looked cost is the "testing fee". In Martial Arts there are numerous skill levels that are equated to a belt rank. After a certain period of time and training, the student is ready to advance to a new level or belt in their martial arts style, and a "belt test" will be performed. This "belt test" almost always required the student to pay a "belt-testing fee". I have seen fees from $50 up to $500 depending on the belt rank. Parents, make sure you inquire about these fees and are comfortable with them before you sign any contract.

Another hidden cost is required items to purchase. Some locations require that you purchase a uniform with the schools logo. The average cost of these uniforms range from $30-$50. As the child advances in rank, protective sparring gear is required. Now this is normally mandatory for the child's protection and safety, but can be expensive. Normal safety gear for Martial Arts consists of Foot Pads, Hand Pads, Head Gear, Mouth Piece, Groin Cup, and optional Spar Vest. Depending on the style and sizes all this gear together cost about $150 retail or higher.

So Parents, factor in the total cost of classes, testing fees, and required equipment when making your decisions.

Age

At what age should my child begin Martial Arts or Self Defense? Now this is an often-debated issue. I have seen children as young as 4 years old participate in Martial Arts or Self Defense training. Some have been successful while others it was just to young. The age of which a child should start Martial Arts or Self Defense classes should be judged on an individual basis and be determined by the parents. Some key points to consider. Does the child have a good attention span? Has the child participated and flourished in other group activities? Is the child comfortable in larger group settings?

If the child is currently enrolled in grade school and has no problem adapting to those settings or conditions then they should be considered old enough to participate and benefit from Martial Arts or Self Defense instruction.

Article written by Eric J Gehler & Jim Johnson

http://www.blackbeltdomain.com

Permission is granted to publish all or any portion of this article. Author's name and website must appear with any publication.


MORE RESOURCES:

Lancaster Eagle Gazette

Martial arts academy plans community outreach projects
Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Gordon, Vince Herman, the head mixed martial arts instructor, and Dustin Ware, the Brazilian jiujitsu instructor, have been brainstorming different community outreach projects for the past several months. What they have come up with so far is offering ...



Capoeira martial arts class will begin next week in Allen
Dallas Morning News
The city of Allen is offering classes in capoeira for ages 7-10 and children with special needs ages 8-12. A new session begins next week. Classes for ages 7-10 will be 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Monday through Dec. 31 and are $70 per ...



CNN (blog)

Nguyen Van Chieu: Vietnam's martial arts missionary
CNN (blog)
(CNN) -- As a group of martial art students are put through their paces in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu sits at the side of the room wearing a quiet look of contentment. The 65-year-old has devoted his adult life to spreading ...

and more »


Valdosta Daily Times

Performance Martial Arts Academy competes in regional tournament
Valdosta Daily Times
Ten students of Performance Martial Arts Academy, recently competed in a regional Taekwondo tournament in Atlanta that drew martial artists from across Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Half of the Performance Martial Arts Academy students competed in the ...



One-legged mixed martial arts fighter signs multi-fight deal with Legacy ...
Mirror.co.uk
Legacy Fighting Championship have signed a one-legged mixed martial arts fighter to a multi-fight deal. Legacy FC owner and promoter Mick Maynard announced the signing of flyweight fighter Matt Betzold earlier this week. Betzold lost his left leg when ...

and more »


Reebok lands martial arts brand
Portland Business Journal
Reebok International has announced the acquisition of a U.K.-based boxing and martial arts brand. Reebok purchased Luta Sportswear and a group called Fight for Peace, a nonprofit that combines boxing and martial arts tenets with education and personal ...
Reebok partners with martial arts charity Fight for PeaceMarketing

all 5 news articles »


Lessons through martial arts
The Cass County Democrat
As adults, Babcock and her 31-year-old husband, Russell, have shared their love for martial arts by teaching karate classes through Belton's High Blue Wellness Center over the last six years. They have been teaching off-site at Calvary Bible College ...



Martial arts
Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune
Students from East Texas Taekwondo recently competed in the UTA Grand Nationals in Plano. There were over 420 competitors. Everyone who won a first place sword holds the title of National Champion. Shown are, from left: front row: Corben Craig, Jadyn ...



Owner of North Wales martial arts studio honored by South Korean president
The Reporter
Owner of North Wales martial arts studio honored by South Korean president. Master Bong Pil Yang of North Wales, right, poses with Consul General Se-joo Son after receiving the Special Award of the Korean President at the Korean consulate in New York.



The Reflector

BG school teaches martial arts, life skills
The Reflector
Today, the seventh degree black belt owns and operates Mountain View Martial Arts and Fitness in Battle Ground, where the instruction is about life skills and attitudes in addition to taekwon-do. During a toddler class for children up to age 4, Mason ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.