If you’re here on this page, reading this blog, it’s likely that you’re already strongly considering the idea of enrolling your children into a kids’ karate or taekwondo class. There are many benefits to signing up your children for martial arts and self-defense classes, so if you’ve read up on these and you’re ready to take the plunge, there’s just one step left — finding the right martial arts school.
And what an important step this is! Finding the right dojo can be an exhaustive and difficult process, and if you put very little thought into it, you might end up enrolling your kids into a class that they don’t enjoy being in.
Here are some things to look for if you want to sign up your kids for karate classes:
Find a Dojo That’s Nearby
With a lot of younger children, they haven’t yet fully fleshed out what their interests and hobbies are, and sometimes the best way to help them get an idea of what they love is to expose them to new things. This, however, has an unfortunate side effect — the developing brain that children have is extremely shortsighted, and they often fail to see the long-term ramifications of learning an extra-curricular class.
In other words, some kids might feel like karate classes are a drag sometimes, even if they are generally in favor of the idea on most days. For this reason, it’s good to seek a dojo where the whole “process” is easier, not harder. You want to remove factors that might cause your children to form negative associations with their lessons, and one of these is distance.
If you have to drive for 45 minutes to get to your kid’s karate classes, you might find that children start to dread it when the day comes. It’s a big time commitment! This is time that they could be spending playing video games, hanging out with friends, or doing homework. The farther away your dojo is, the more of an “event” it is to go there every week. By choosing somewhere nice and close, it facilitates the process and makes it more likely for your kids to stick with it in the long term.
If you’re in Fort Collins or Windsor, we’re in fairly central locations and we hope you’ll stop by our dojo! We understand that distance is a factor for many families, which is why we have two locations in the area.
Get to Know the Instructors
The difference between a horrible experience and an overwhelmingly positive one is often determined by who is in charge. A school year can be ruined by an awful teacher as much as one’s dream job can be tainted by an insufferable boss. Likewise, your kid isn’t going to get much out of karate or taekwondo if they can’t stand their instructor.
Unfortunately, you’ll find that instructors vary greatly in terms of personality and character. This can be a good thing in the event that you find one who “clicks” with your child. On the other hand, if you don’t do your research and meet them before enrolling, it could be a disaster.
We encourage you to personally meet up with the leaders of your local dojos if you’re seeking kids karate classes. At Thrive Martial Arts, we’d be more than happy to sit down with you! Master Kenny Overby, our head instructor at Thrive, has great rapport with students and parents at Thrive. He knows how to interact positively with our children students in a way that shows encouragement and support, and he has fostered these qualities in our other instructors as well.
We believe that good character speaks for itself, which is why we’re more than willing to meet up with any parents who want to check out our martial arts school. Feel free to stop by a Thrive location today!
Find a School That Has Structure
If you’ve been considering kids karate classes, you’ve probably already found out that there’s no shortage of options. However, the fundamental approach behind each dojo can be vastly different. Some schools are very independent, largely unconnected with any other kind of program, whereas others, like Thrive, are part of a bigger organization.
In the case of our taekwondo dojo, we’re affiliated with the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), a large organization that spans across the whole country. While every single ATA studio has its own instructors who work autonomously to develop their own teaching styles, there’s a consistent curriculum among ATA schools. For ATA students, this means that their journey doesn’t end if you end up moving somewhere else!
The other benefit of being affiliated with ATA is that you have access to some of the “bigger picture” stuff that the organization is in charge of. Tournaments are held with participants from a wide geographical range of schools, and dojos are supplied with top-quality equipment and supplies. We’re happy to work with ATA, and we know you will too!
Kids Karate in Fort Collins and Windsor
Every single kids karate school is different, and if you’ve been doing your research on which school to attend, we commend you! It’s good to be educated about the programs you enroll your child in, and if you’re considering Thrive as an option, we’d love for you to come in and meet our team! Furthermore, we’re all too aware that taekwondo doesn’t always “click” with our younger students, and that’s why we’re happy to offer a trial program where your child can demo our classes to see if it’s a good fit.