How to Choose the Right Martial Art for Your Child?
One of the most confusing decisions that parents can be faced with is choosing the best martial arts school for your child. It can be a tough choice as there are endless amounts of schools out there all trying to get your attention, all of them declaring that their martial arts style is the best for your kids!
Learning Taekwondo or Karate or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or any other martial art is not just about acquiring self-defence skills—it’s also about learning focus, concentration, respect and self-discipline. Training in the martial arts is also a fantastic way to introduce physical fitness into your child’s life.
All of these factors make it crucial to do the research and find the right martial arts school for your child. Here are some guidelines that will help you make the most of your time (and money!) while providing the most rewarding experience for your kids.
Which martial art is best for children?
There’s no single best martial art for kids, but here are six martial arts that usually offer specialised classes for kids.
Taekwondo is a Korean art is known for dynamic kicking and is often the first martial art parents will encounter in their search. As well as being an official Olympic sport, Taekwondo provides a great introduction to the martial arts for kids, with traditional values combined with modern athletic techniques. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy has dedicated Taekwondo classes for kids of all ages, and separate Sports programs for those that want to compete in this exciting art.
Judo – the first eastern martial art included in the modern Olympic games, Japanese Judo focuses on throws and takedowns primarily, but also includes locks and submissions. It’s a great martial art to teach kids to control their own body in order to control their opponent. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness incorporates many techniques and concepts from Judo into the Academy’s Freestyle Martial Arts curriculum for children.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, was developed in Brazil with an emphasis on ground techniques. BJJ is founded on the concept that a smaller person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger opponent using technique, leverage and taking the fight to the ground. Mixed martial arts and Freestyle schools like Perth’s Premier Academy incorporate skills, techniques and concepts from BJJ into their training curriculums. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy also offers specialised BJJ classes for those kids that want to further improve their skills in grappling.
Kickboxing is a modern martial art designed by blending traditional arts like taekwondo and karate with western-style boxing. It was designed to allow practitioners of different martial arts to compete against each other in the ring and as such focuses mainly on the sporting application of kicking and punching techniques. Kickboxing usually does not include the traditional aspects of the martial arts such as patterns / poomsae / kata, or self-defence training. Premier Academy teaches kickboxing skills as part of the sparring section of its Junior martial arts program and also offers separate classes for those kids that have the urge to compete in this dynamic art.
Boxing focuses entirely on attacking and defending using the hands. Most Boxing clubs offer boxing classes for young children from the ages of 6 or 7 years and up, where they can learn the skills of boxing in a safe controlled environment. Like kickboxing, it is focused mainly on competing in the ring, and this might not suit every child. Premier Academy uses the techniques, skills and concepts from Western Boxing as part of its dynamic Freestyle martial arts curriculum for kids.
MMA and Freestyle Martial Arts blend the best of all the martial arts above into a system that allows students to strike using their hands, elbows, knees and feet, as well take their opponent to the ground to use locks and submissions to defeat them. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy has combined the best elements of Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ad Boxing into a dynamic kids’ Freestyle mixed martial arts curriculum that specifically caters for the needs of children from the ages of 7 and upwards.
What is the easiest martial art to learn?
Parents should be wary of any martial arts that claims to be “easy” to learn! The most important lessons that a child can learn from their martial arts training come not from mastering “easy” techniques but from learning to persevere and conquer the skills that are a challenge to master. The secret to the success of martial arts training in improving concentration, focus, self-discipline and respect lies in the gradual introduction of more complex and challenging techniques. With skilled and motivated instructors, such as those found at Premier Academy, any child can eventually learn even the most complex of martial arts skills. This is different from most other sports, where only the most skilled children are able to continue training and participating. While actual mastery of the martial arts may take a long time, eventually kids learn to appreciate the constant challenge to perfect their skills. This is a priceless life lesson that will stay with your child for rest of their life. Our instructors will do everything possible to make sure your child appreciates this lesson. At Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy, no child is left on the bench!
How to choose the Right Martial Art for Your Child
There are so many different styles of martial arts – from taekwondo to karate to judo – and many different types of schools – from fulltime purpose-built centres to rooms at the local community centre to someone’s garage!
By focusing on the checklist below you can make sure you choose the right martial arts schools for your child:
- Free trial lessons. Most schools offer a free trial lesson or two, or a low-cost introductory program. This is a great way to try out the school and see if it is a good fit for you and your child. Premier Academy has a range of ways for your child to try out our dynamic and innovative Junior Martial arts Program.
- Professional, highly-trained instructors. Look for instructors who hold black belts recognised beyond the actual martial arts school, such as those certified by Taekwondo’s Kukkiwon. Another big positive is a school that has its own Instructor Training Program, and trains all of their instructors “in house”. All of Premier Academy’s instructors have been training with the Academy since white belt, have completed our four-year Leadership Training Program and are Kukkiwon certified.
- Instructor to student ratios. Look for school’s that make sure that large classes have more than one instructor, especially in beginner’s classes. There is no ideal ratio, but schools with a ratio of one instructor per five or six students are ideal. Premier Academy strives to have a ratio that is better than one to five in all its beginner programs.
- Comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum. Any martial arts school worth investing your child’s time (and your money) in will have a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum. Their program will be based on student’s mental growth as much as their physical development. Premier Academy has a comprehensive curriculum that has been designed to meet the needs of children aged 7 to 12 years of age. This curriculum also provides a seamless progression towards the Academy’s Teen Freestyle Martial Arts Program.
- Clean, safe training facilities. All martial arts schools that you should offer a clean and safe training environment for kids. The training floor should be fully matted, with range of age-appropriate punching and kicking targets available. There should be toilets and changing facilities available as well. Premier Academy has been purpose-built with six separate training areas, each fully matted and with the latest training equipment.
- Classes differentiated by age and experience. The best possible class structure for a martial arts school will have all students, training in classes divided by age and experience. This is essential for your child to get the best possible outcomes from their training. With training Monday to Sunday and over 150 classes per week, Premier Academy has classes for every age and level of development to ensure the most rewarding martial arts experience for your kids.
- Flexible membership options. A good school will offer a range of membership options that you can choose from. While most schools will ask you to commit to a fixed membership term, this is not something that you should be wary of as training in the martial arts is all about commitment. Premier Academy offers a range of different memberships, and there is bound to be one suit everyone’s circumstances.
If you can find a school that checks all the above criteria, like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy, then you can be sure that you will be making the right choice for your kids.