What Style of Martial Arts Should My Child Learn?
As a student and instructor of the martial arts, I believe quality is the key component to consider when looking for a martial arts school for your NYC preschool-age kids. The actual style of martial arts that you choose is less as important. Finding the right coach and school take precedence over whether you select Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Karate or any other specific art form. Beginning martial arts at an early age of 4-5 helps children to improve cognitive behaviors such as length of attention span, ability to wait turns and listening skills. This newly honed set of skills will lead to improved behavior from your child, as well as confidence and character growth.
While style is not as significant to consider when choosing a martial arts program, the relationship between the instructor and student is extremely important. An individual who attains a black belt does not necessarily have the ability to impart knowledge successfully to a child. He or she may just be a good practitioner. Parents need to have a clear understanding of what they are expecting for their child from a martial arts program. It is imperative for the parent or guardian to ask questions and visit the school and instructor. Watch the classes offered and see how the instructor intermingles with the children.
“Hana, Dool, Set…Tae Kwon Do!”
These are the chants of my Pa Son Martial Arts students at the end of our Gymtime classes. As the students are promoted to higher levels, aspects of other arts are implemented into the program. Not all schools mix arts in their teachings. It is perfectly acceptable that the student graduate to an advanced level in a particular style before considering additional studies in another art in order to compliment what they already know and practice.
As long as your child’s martial arts classes are balanced and have the right mix of hard work, enjoyment, and a concept of the Yin and Yang, martial arts should prove to be a great fit for most children. Parents are constantly surprised by how much the calm, discipline and independence kids learn in Gymtime’s Tae Kwon Do classes transfer to their behavior outside of class. I know from my own experience that these skills will help them throughout the rest of their lives.
SHARE by: Andrew Parra, Gymtime Director of Tae Kwon Do and Pa Son Martial Arts