Are Pre-School Martial Arts Programs a Good Idea?

There seems to be a lot of contention over what the earliest appropriate age to join martial arts is. Parenting is one of those things that many people have varying views on. However, one thing most parents can agree on is that discipline - and more importantly self-discipline - is one of the key traits to instill in your children.


Teaching the values of martial arts at a young age can help shape children towards becoming very respectful, successful, and self-actualized. Martial arts can even help your children become better students in school. With that thought, we explore if age really matters with martial arts classes for kids.


Safety Concerns

Of course there are safety concerns with young children being in physically active environments. That being said, a properly managed martial arts school should be a very safe environment for children. Martial arts classes for kids should be adjusted with age groups. While it may be safe for a twelve-year-old to spar lightly with other kids, it may not be such a good idea for kids under eight.


This will depend heavily on the instructors and their class structures. Some parents may be concerned about encouraging violence but these concerns are usually misguided. Martial arts classes emphasize respect and peace; the physical aspect is to empower yourself.


Specific Instructors

Having specific instructors who work very well with kids and who have a wealth of experience working with kids is a great idea. It can be difficult to deal with children at times and certain instructor personalities are better suited towards teaching earlier age ranges. One great way to see if a new instructor is good with children is to have them run your martial arts school’s birthday parties. It’s a great trial run for you to see how they interact with younger students and it’s a great way to earn your school a bit more revenue, along with increasing potential leads.


Life Lessons

Martial arts teaches kids many invaluable life lessons. The ability to focus can be really difficult for some children and, thankfully, martial arts classes for kids can really help develop their attention spans. It takes a lot of dedication, commitment and practice to master many of the teachings of martial arts; without focus and concentration, it is nearly impossible to practice martial arts at a high level. Check out our article on the 12 benefits of martial arts for kids, for more information.


Childhood Obesity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents, over the past 30 years. A good martial arts class for kids will help them learn about the importance of exercise, nutrition, and self-confidence; all things that are key in preventing childhood obesity. Even without obesity being in the picture, children who are active in their early years set a great foundation of health for their future.


So How Young Is Too Young?

The answer to this is going to be a personal one and will depend on many factors. The key is to view the schools in your area closely, to see which one seems best suited to train children in a safe manner. It’s always nice to do a trial with your child, to see if they’re capable of learning. If it’s not working out, you can always revisit it a few years down the road.


Various martial arts teach different skills and prioritize different aspects. Check out this article from Parenting on the benefits of martial arts and what various martial arts focuses on. Also, learn about how to keep your younger students coming to your martial arts classes for kids.


What age was the youngest student to join your school? How did their young age affect your instruction? Let us know on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+ to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.