Our youth program is for children aged 7 through to 14. However often at 13 or 14 students will begin to do the adult classes. This transition is managed on an individual basis, some children will feel ready and want to train in more senior classes earlier others will want to continue to do classes with their friends.
The separate classes for the youth age group are structured for their needs, they are fun and fast paced. There are many children in this program that have been training with Shiryodo Karate for a number of years. The enthusiasm and dedication of these students provide great examples for those just starting out. There are also classes that are open to both Adults and those in this program, this gives an opportunity for families to participate together as well as some children enjoying the opportunity to train with older kids and adults.
Introductory Program & Beginner Program
The introductory and beginner programs essentially the same for the youth students as those for seniors (though there are some separate classes for them). Before joining the regular basics (beginner) classes they join our intro program, where they will do 2 semi-private classes with others who are just starting. The aim of these is to introduce some of the basic karate techniques and training structure so they know what to expect prior to coming along to the regular classes.
The Graded Youth classes are challenging, fun and a safe environment in which to learn more advanced martial arts techniques. The students in these classes are supportive of each other and learn to work together, the more senior students often taking on leadership roles within the classes.
There are also many other optional activities such as tournaments, camps and demonstrations that many of the students choose to participate in.
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” is.
While it is true that Karate teaches children how to kick, punch and block, 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 makes a huge difference.
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, this will help them learn to make the right decisions in life.
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. At Shiryodo Karate we have a structured leadership program that builds incredibly confident young adults who excel in all aspects of life.
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.