The Shiryodo Karate 4-7 year old Dragons classes are specifically designed for young children. We are somewhat flexible with the age at which children move up to the 7-14 youth classes, occassionally children will move up slightly before they turn 7 and at other times children will stay in these classes until they are 8. This is managed on a child by child basis.
Children starting out in these classes come along and join in with the other children for their intro classes. This gives them the opportunity to experience what training in one of the classes is like before starting. Unlike our other programs children of this age group don’t get a uniform for their intro classes, instead we give it to them when they join with the same discount.
Some times when young children are starting something new like karate what they expect and what they find can be quite different. For this reason it’s best to bring them to their first class 10-15 minutes early so we can explain to them what they will be doing before they start.
Classes are divided up according to experience / age of students. This enables us to focus on their differing needs. The classes will vary, but will contain elements of the following:
- Warm up and stretching
- Basic techniques e.g. kicks, blocks, punches
- Self defense combinations.
- Doing techniques against pads or punching bags.
- Kata – Combinations of techniques, depending on experience of students.
- Games (most games have a martial arts orientation).
- Discussion of values martial artists should have e.g. honesty, respect, honor, courage
- Learning names of techniques.
The grading system for Junior students in Shiryodo Karate has additional levels which provide them attainable goals they can work toward. They get to progress to their 1st level (either an orange tip or orange belt) after around 10 classes.
Junior program has several objectives:
- Provide a fun introduction to Karate
- Teach appropriate behavior and self control.
- Teach danger awareness and self protection and strategies for dealing with bullies.
- Encourage co-operation and self discipline
- Through ongoing achievement develop self confidence.
Martial Arts truly IS the greatest gift you can give your child. When you think of Martial Arts you might start to think of violence. This is a common misconception about what ‘Martial Arts’ truly is.
It is true that martial arts teaches children how to kick, punch and block. However it also teaches many life skills that are deeply embedded into the ancient arts. As child psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein says, The power of martial art “disciplines comes not from side kicks or sleeper holds, but rather from an unrivaled ability to teach confidence and self respect. After a few weeks of classes, kids start to carry themselves differently. They walk taller, appear more self assured and interact less fearfully with the world around them. In short, they cease to be an easy target”
Children today will have to deal with many challenges ahead. Bullying at school, bullying outside of school, bullying online, negative peer pressure, the pressure to conform – in particular when drugs and alcohol are involved, and this only scratches the surface. Unfortunately we can’t always be there for our kids, we can’t shield them from these external influences. But as a parent there is something we can do. Although we can’t shield them, we can prepare them. We can prepare them to be more confident, to be more resilient and to be better prepared to make decisions. This is where martial arts will help.
Shiryodo Karate has an extensive children’s program that is designed to develop your child not only physically, but also mentally. Life skills are embedded to help prepare your child for life ahead. Teaching your child about focus, goal setting, perseverance, respect and self control will help them learn to make the right decisions in life.
Valuable life skills your child will learn through martial arts include – Self Confidence, Self Control, Discipline, Focus, Goal Achievement, and Leadership.
Self Confidence: By learning how to defend themselves, your child will develop confidence in how to handle life’s obstacles. Their confidence will give them the courage to say “No” to negative pressure they will encounter through their school and social lives. Martial Arts will breed self confidence through the belt ranking system. As your child progresses through to higher belts, their confidence in themselves also increases.
Self Control: Your child will learn self control through respect, respect for themselves, parents, friends and teachers. Your child will learn that in order to receive respect, you first have to give it. Once they have learnt this lesson, their self control will naturally increase.
Discipline: Discipline is needed in all aspects of life and at all ages. There will be times where we MUST perform an action, whether we feel like it or not. Your child will learn the etiquette and practices of Martial Arts, practices that can be translated to other areas of their life.
Focus: Through step by step repetitive movements, personal attention, positive reinforcement, adherence to rules, group reinforcement and a sense of belonging, your child will see improvements in their ability to focus at tasks given.
Goal Achievement: Through the belt ranking system, your child will learn what is needed for them to successfully move to higher belt ranks. By learning this, your child will be able to set their goals and successfully achieve it through their training.
Leadership: As a culmination of the previous benefits of martial arts – self confidence, self control, discipline, focus and goal achievement – comes Leadership. All the above mentioned traits are attributes of a leader. Speaking in front of a group and communicate effectively, setting good examples for others, mentoring lower ranks to succeed, these are all qualities of a leader.
Martial Arts truly IS the greatest gift you can give to your loved ones. Call us today and find out how martial arts can help shape and change your family’s life