Martial Arts Classes in Orlando: How to Choose a Martial Arts School for Your Child
Posted: June 15, 2017
Hey there! We understand how challenging it can be to decide on a Martial Arts School, there are so many to choose from, which is why we created this informative guide giving you the details you’ll need to pick the best option for your child. Then sit back, relax, and watch them succeed!
If your child has expressed an interest in learning martial arts, then the first thing you need to do is find a great martial arts school. There are many schools in the Orlando area which may meet your needs, but there are plenty of details to consider before making a decision.
Reasons for Choosing Martial Arts
While your son or daughter may want to learn the martial arts moves they’ve seen on their favorite tv shows, your reasons are probably a bit different and may include:
- Improve discipline and focus
- Self defense
- Boost socialization skills
Martial arts classes will help your child meet these goals, but you will need to select a style of martial arts for them to practice.
Martial Arts Styles
There are hundreds of martial arts forms around the world, of which many are very advanced and studied by adults. However, the most effective, popular, and enjoyable styles for kids are Karate and Taekwondo. As your child advances in his/her martial arts practice and is well into their teenage years, they may begin learning about other forms of martial arts, but for now we recommend learning about, and deciding between Karate and Taekwondo.
Martial Arts for Kids
We advise parents to look for martial arts schools that stick to the original concepts of the style it teaches. The more basic the instruction, the more your child will learn about that style. It is also important to understand the goals and values of schools you are looking at. At Victory Martial Arts, we teach the same values you teach at home! As mentioned above, we recommend children focusing on either Karate or Taekwondo, here are more details to help with your decision.
- Karate – Originating in Japan, this martial art teaches self-defense using punches, strikes, and kicks. There are several sub-styles of karate like Shotokan, Budokan, and Kenpo karate. Most martial arts schools in the United States teach “American” karate, which is a combination of several karate styles.
- Taekwondo – Is a form of self-defense using kicks, punches, strikes and blocks. Breathing and meditation techniques are often taught to improve students’ focus.
At Victory Martial Arts, we offer the best of both worlds with our Karate For Kids Program which is also the main children Martial Arts curriculum of the world famous American Taekwondo Association.
When Should Children Start Martial Arts?
Some martial arts schools teach children as young as four, but many experts consider six to be a good age to start learning most disciplines. At age six, their balance and coordination are better, so they can learn the proper techniques for punching, kicking and turning safely. Other forms of martial arts have age limitations to begin studying which is another reason Karate and Taekwondo are best for kids.
Search for Schools
To find a martial arts school near you, check out the internet and ask other parents you know whose kids are learning martial arts. A few questions we recommend asking are…
- Do you like the instruction your child is receiving at the school?
- Does your son/daughter enjoy going to classes?
- What is your favorite part about the martial arts school?
Remember, if your child doesn’t truly enjoy what they are doing in class they won’t get the maximum benefits, which is why it’s so important to do your research and choose the school that is the best fit.
We also suggest taking a look at the schools’ websites you find online during your searches. A martial arts schools website will typically tell you about the styles they teach, ages they teach, hours of operation, instructor bio’s and sometimes testimonials from students and their parents. You may also find a great trial offer deal to save you some money when you enroll your son/daughter. For example, at Victory Martial Arts right now you can purchase 3 classes for only $19.95 AND they include a uniform which your child will need too!
When you’re searching for Martial Arts Classes In Orlando, use both “martial arts schools” and “martial arts classes” in the search box. Although there will be a lot of overlap when the results page appears, there will be some differences as well that might be a good fit for your son/daughter.
After doing your research and checking out schools’ websites, make a list of schools or classes in a convenient location for you, then call the schools you’ve found to set up an appointment to meet the owners and instructors if the owners don't teach classes themselves.
It’s important to make an appointment instead of stopping in for your first visit to ensure the owners or main instructor is available to answer questions. If you just stop by, the owner may not be there, and instructors may be busy with their students.
During your scheduled visit, If you like the answers you’re given, ask to sit in on a class so you can observe how the students are taught. How the children are treated and taught may help you narrow down some of the martial arts classes you’re evaluating for your child. During your visit notice if the school is living up to their mission that you may have seen on their website. For example, at Victory Martial Arts we believe it is very important to teach our students much more than merely the physical aspects of martial arts. We teach our students to foster the emotions that will empower them to better confront the many challenges they will encounter in life.
Be ObservantDuring your visit, carefully observe everything in the reception area, the classrooms, and the shop (if there is one). It should be clean and organized, the equipment should be in good shape and plentiful to keep the children they teach safe, and the staff should have positive attitudes and engage with both clients and visitors.
The equipment in classrooms is there to protect students, so there should also be padding on the floor to protect kids when they practice falls.
Talk to Instructors, are they qualified?
It's important to know the qualifications of the instructors at a martial arts school. Ask about their training and find out if they are certified. People who want to teach martial arts may be personal trainers who are certified as martial arts instructors, or they may have certification from associations within their sport. For instance, a good martial arts instructor may have a certification from an organization like the American Taekwondo Association. Instructors teaching karate for kids should also be certified in first-aid and CPR in case a child is injured during class.
If you’re interested in having your child participate in competitions, you need to verify any certifications or licenses required by state law. In Florida, amateur competitive matches must be sanctioned and supervised by an amateur sanctioning organization for matches involving martial arts forms that include blows or strikes to the head. At Victory Martial Arts, our students compete in the American Taekwondo Association Tournaments, that begin with district / regional tournaments and continue on until World Championships where finalists from all over the world compete in one of the largest Martial Arts tournaments in the world.
When observing a class, check to see how many instructors or helpers there are in the class. Class sizes should be small enough to allow children to learn the sport and receive help when it is needed. This cannot be achieved if the class is too large. We recommend one instructor/helper per 15 students which is what we pride ourselves with at Victory Martial Arts, we’ve seen students have the most success with this ratio.
As your child advances in his or her skills, the class sizes may increase, but beginner's classes should be conducive to children learning the basics of the martial arts form. When touring a class or martial arts school, see if there are children or teenagers in intermediate or advanced classes as that will speak to the ability of the school to teach and retain students.
When touring the school, find out if they have a structured curriculum taught by the instructors. Most martial arts schools have a structured program that allows students to learn as much as possible about their sport.
Ask if the school has a creed they teach their students as most schools have a creed they try to abide by and teach their students to memorize. Read it to make sure it aligns with your family's values and to ensure you feel comfortable allowing your children to learn from the school. For example, at Victory Martial Arts we actively encourage our students to become better students in school, better sons or daughters at home, and we provide clear guidelines to promote collaboration among them.
Additionally, find out when classes are available to see if they fit into your schedule. Some classes may be held in the evening depending on the child's age, or some may be available after school.
Lastly, ask how often your child will be expected to train each week. For the youngest beginners, they may only need to attend class once a week, but as they progress in their martial arts style, they may need to attend class two or three times a week to receive proper training.
Take Advantage of a Trial Offer
Most martial arts classes in Orlando you will consider for your child will offer a trial program. For example, at Victory Martial Arts right now you can purchase 3 classes for only $19.95 AND they include a uniform which your child will need too! This is a great deal, click here to view this offer right away.
Some schools include the cost of the uniform, or gi, with the membership fees. They may also have safety equipment, such as headgear, wrist and leg pads available for your child to use if they don’t have their own.
If you need to purchase a gi for your child, they can cost anywhere from $17 to $50 depending on the size, the type you need and where it is purchased. If the school you choose has a trial offer (like we do), you will be able to save some money initially. At Victory Martial Arts students receive a uniform included in the $19.99 offer for the first 3 classes which is an awesome value!
Typically, protective gear is not usually required until a child advances in training and begins applying the basics of what they have learned in sparring. This may include headgear, gloves, protective vests and vary depending on the school / martial arts style taught.
As your child moves up the ranks in their chosen martial arts form, they will test to earn different ranks or belts.
There are usually testing fees involved, they vary from school to school.
There may also be costs associated with having your child compete in matches, such as entrance fees, transportation, food and costs for accommodations.
Learning martial arts has many physical and mental health benefits for children of all ages. The discipline, focus, and control they will learn in their classes can be applied to many aspects of their lives, both as children and as adults.
Begin your child’s martial arts journey today at Victory Martial Arts!
TRIAL OFFER: Purchase 3 classes for only $19.95 includes a Free Uniform!
Limited time offer, take advantage of it before it expires!