Twice per week is a good starting point. Here’s why: if your child attends only once per week he will tend to fall behind the other students in class. It is difficult to make progress only training once per week unless your child invests extra time during the week to train. This is difficult if you are not skilled in the martial arts yourself.
If, on the other hand, your child attends classes virtually every day of the week, like some teams sports require, he or she can suffer from overtraining injuries and not be able to enjoy other activities.
2 days per week is ideal to ensure steady progress and prevent burnout. It also allows your child to participate in other worthwhile lessons, like music classes AND have unstructured play time, to just be a kid. In this way your child’s martial arts and lifeskills training easily integrates with the rest of his schedule.
This is a great question.
After all, if there are too many students in your child’s class he won’t get enough attention from your instructor.
You don’t want your child to be lost in a sea of 30 to 40 kids with only one teacher. And you shouldn’t pay top dollar to get little or no attention in class.
There are inherent dangers in martial arts training so you want to make sure your child is being properly supervised… and you want to make sure your child is not developing any bad habits.
The ideal teacher to student ratio is one teacher for about 8 to 10 children.
This doesn’t mean that the class should only be 8 to 10 children, for example if there are 20 children in the class then there should be two qualified teachers. The class can be divided into two groups with each teacher having 10 children or less.
This is especially true if your child is younger, about 4 to 6 years old. Children of this age should be taught in smaller groups because they need to learn how to focus and develop the discipline necessary to operate in class. With too many kids in class, younger children will be distracted easily and not given a fair chance to develop their focus.
Classes that are too large for younger students are counter-productive, so look for smaller teacher-student ratios, like 6 students or less per teacher.
People often ask this question because someone told them that a particular martial art was good for kids or good for them or you’ve seen it in the movies, especially if you don’t know anything about the different martial arts.
There are as many martial arts as there are languages if not more, but they can be divided into a few broad topics.
- There are the striking martial arts like tae kwon do karate,
- the grappling wrestling martial arts like judo jujitsu and sambo,
- there are weapon specific martial arts like Filipino escrima, and Japanese kenjutsu.
- Then other reality-based martial arts at Russian system or Israeli krav maga.
- Finally there are the hybrid martial arts that it seeks to combine the best of many different martial arts.
Just as our bodies are more or less similar, so too are there common movements and techniques in the martial arts.
A couple things are more important than the name of the martial arts you will study. First, there is a general focus of the school you are entering.
- The school may focus on tournament competition or trying to go to the Olympics, these are called normally sports martial arts.
- There are the traditional schools that seek to infuse an Asian culture into their training and heritage,
- There are the cage fighting martial arts,
- the self-defense and personal safety martial arts
- and martial arts that focus on teaching character development, classical virtues and life skills.
Therefore, as you look for a martial arts school, know that all schools aren’t alike. If you don’t want your child to learn just fighting you might want to choose a different school.
Most martial arts teach some form of self-defense and physical fitness, but for your child it’s critical that you find a school that will teach him good character, the martial arts virtues, discipline, focus, respect and the many life skills that are so important for kids to learn these days. You also want school that is specially trained to teach children. At our Academy my wife, Dr. Karla, a PhD in Education, oversees our instructor education program.
THE most frequently asked question people ask me about martial arts is “How much are your classes?”
Here’s a quick ballpark figure for you. Schools charge anywhere from $50/month on the low-service “kick/punch” school end up to $1,000/month on the high-service Professional end.
A simple rule of thumb is, The higher tuition you pay, more service you should receive, such as more student attention, a smaller teacher-student ratio, private training options and mentoring programs, as well as a better facility and ample training equipment.
You should also expect FULL-TIME INSTRUCTORS who are specially trained in the latest educational strategies, how to teach children with ADHD, focus issues, sensory integration challenges and teach a complete Character Development Program.
While tuition is important, you obviously want the best school that you can afford. So find a school that fits your family’s values, one that you feel comfortable in and then focus on the tuition.