Japan Karate-Do Organization (Children’s Karate)

Karate-do training offers many benefits to Karate Kids and to you, their parents. Through our traditional Karate instruction, your child develops character, perseverance, politeness, good sportsmanship, self-confidence, concentration and respect. These become habits that effect all aspect of their lives and continue throughout their life. Physically, he or she acquires coordination, reflexes, flexibility, speed, strength, agility, rhythm, physical development and endurance. In this day and age, you as parents are concerned about your child’s welfare. Karate teaches self-defense as well as the good judgement and discipline to say No to harmful substances and unhealthy activities.

Children of different ages benefit from Karate in different ways. While your child can begin training at any age, there are three groups during which most children display certain attitudes and aptitudes and thus require attention in particular areas.

Group One: Ages 3 to 6 years old

As beginners at this age, our primary objective is simply to have your child participate. They will respond best to patient encouragement rather than pushing them hard. You must not expect them to perform as well as their older siblings. Step by step progress (i.e. one type of punch or one type of kick) allows us to nurture your child’s interest so it will blossom into strong performance in later years. You can help your child succeed by encouraging and reinforcing participation, regardless of their level of competence or speed at which they seem to be progressing.

As they practice more, they will gave the coordination to attain their goals in a shorter time. Discovering this ability to succeed will help your child build self-confidence. At the same time, you may find that their short attention span causes them to become more easily frustrated. Again, encouragement from you with proper discipline will keep them participating in the program which will in turn help them to achieve more difficult goals later in their training.

Group Two: Ages 7 to 12 years old

These children begin to enjoy Karate training because they discover what they can accomplish. This understanding often makes a child fickle and they can develop a sense of fear from losing or failing. Positive reinforcement and encouragement will cultivate the mental and physical discipline your child needs to achieve their Karate goals. This dedication will become apparent in their school work and their everyday life.

With further training, these children begin to perform with speed and accuracy, and it becomes tempting to compare them to adults. Too much emphasis on winning can cause negative behavior when your child loses. It is important to promote the values of hard work and dedication and to give your child the confidence and tenacity to work toward the next level so they do not become discouraged and disappointed in themselves. In my 30 years of being an instructor, I have found the most important thing a parent can do is to encourage their child to have the discipline to continue their training. Only in this way can they prepare themselves for competition, whether in Karate or in life.

Group Three: Teenagers

Most adolescents have developed their values regarding winning and are extremely conscious of their own standards. As they grow, they also become more image conscious. Karate training emphasizes body development and your adolescent will become comfortable in their physical appearance. They begin to move more artistically, with more pride and confidence. Reinforcing this positive image will promote your child’s sense of responsibility and dedication to further developing their talents. Sharing your satisfaction will keep their attitude positive and will increase their respect and appreciation of you and your family. It will also encourage them to become a role model for younger children inside and outside of Karate.

Once you and your child have decided to begin Karate training, they should be expected to try they best. Allowing them to quit after a short time or to come to training only when they “feel like it”, creates a pattern of inconsistency and non-commitment. At the same time, if you think winning is everything, your child will become frustrated instead of dedicated. By balancing encouragement and discipline, you can teach your child to put forth the effort necessary to deal with problems and setbacks. In this way, they will succeed not just in Karate, but in all areas of their life.

Regular training with children of different ages and ranks also gives your child an opportunity to develop socially and to learn to work towards a goal in a group setting. They will develop a unique dedication and pride in their achievements both in Karate and outside the dojo. As of September 2013, six of our seven active junior black belts are with on the honor roll or straight A students, all while being prestigious National Champions. Your participation in building your child’s character with discipline and encouragement can ensure their growth and success in Karate and life. The Japan Karate-Do Organization, makes your cooperation worthwhile by providing qualified instructors authorized by recognized Karate-Do organizations. We believe your child should be able to trust the rankings and certifications of their instructors so they can use their teachers as role models who inspire their dedication and confidence.

Working together, we can make your child’s Karate training an enriching and enjoyable experience.

Master Minobu Miki