We’ve all heard about how your kids will watch a chop-socky movie on TV and the next thing you know, they’re yelling “HI-YAH!” and kicking the chairs. How do you channel that enthusiasm into something productive? Here are some tips on finding a martial arts school for your child.
1. First off, how old is your child? If they are under 4, wait. Yes, they will look cute as a bug running around in their uniforms, but as a parent and consumer, you’ll get more bang for your training buck if you wait until they are at least 4 years old.
2. Having said that, does the school offer a specific training course based on age? For example, at West Houston ATA Martial Arts, we offer the ATA Tiger program for the 4-6 year olds that is geared specifically for their learning styles and attention spans. It is taught differently from the regular Taekwondo classes for that reason. When the child ages out of the Tiger class, which usually occurs around age 6, they then move into the Martial Arts Kids program, which is intended for ages 6-14. Depending on their physical size, at around 13-14 years old, they will then move into the Adult classes.
3. Does the school allow you as the parent to attend classes with your child? Martial arts training is a great way to get into shape for adults, and it is a wonderful activity to do with your kids.
4. Does the school offer an introductory lesson? At West Houston ATA Martial Arts, we want you to have that lesson to see what our teaching style is like and what we have to offer. We then explain our program structure and costs, so that you can make the decision to train based on your increased knowledge from the lesson. We offer a choice of starting options, including a signing incentive that will save you money on your training.
5. Most schools use contracts. This is simply good business practice, as it protects both parties. Does the school offer a short-term, introductory program, so that you can “stick your toe in the water” without a long-term commitment? At West Houston ATA Martial Arts, we offer a six month trial program. At the end of the six months (and usually, well before then), you will know whether this is the school you want to make the commitment to train to Black Belt in.
6. Does the school offer an easy upgrade path, and do they explain all costs, such as testing fees, equipment, etc. up front?
7. Talk to the other students and parents and ask them what their training experience has been like. Ask the instructors about their continuing training as well.
8. Don’t be afraid to “shop around”. Check out a couple of schools and compare them, with one caveat: don’t make your decision to train based solely on the monthly costs. Look at the total training experience and make your choice based on increased knowledge and experience.
I hope these tips prove helpful. If you are looking for martial arts lessons for your child, give us a call at 713-532-2821. We have been serving west Houston with quality martial arts since 1987, and we would love to see you in our next class!