At Destiny Martial Arts, we offer our Kinder Kickers program for kids as young as 5 years of age with our regular ITF TaeKwon-Do program beginning at age 7. Our Kinder Kickers program is an excellent way for young children to learn basic TaeKwon-Do techniques, develop listening skills, learn body awareness and develop self-confidence. They will also learn balance, focus, concentration and coordination, to respect their instructors and to control their behaviour e.g. sit quietly or respond to commands.
We firmly believe all children can benefit from martial arts training. Our instructors all passionately believe in TaeKwon-Do as an individual life skill that improves the overall wellbeing of all who practice it. But when to begin training is a question many parents ask. So here are some basic questions to consider:
Has my child confidently experienced social interaction?
Is your child able to confidently separate from you for 30 minutes for his training session? Does he cry when left with a group of people he doesn’t know, even if you are sitting and watching? It’s completely natural to be nervous at first but if he is reasonably comfortable with new faces and new activities, he should thrive in our program. If not, you might consider waiting to register him.
Is my child fully potty trained?
At five years of age, there are generally few issues here. However, some children become so engrossed in what they’re doing that they forget their biological needs. If your child still experiences any accidents with toileting during the day, it may be best to wait to begin training. For most, this can be overcome by ensuring their children use the bathroom right before their class.
Can my child distinguish left from right?
While all the techniques in class will be fully demonstrated by the instructors and assistant instructors, and further reinforced by more advanced students who have been training longer, a basic grasp of left and right is helpful from the outset. As a parent, you can help your child excel in their training by helping them at home with learning this basic but necessary skill.
Does my child have the attention span for a 30-minute program?
While it is completely natural for young children to have a short attention span, a child should be able to consistently focus on one prescribed activity for up to 10 minutes at a time before beginning martial arts training. Our Kinder Kickers program includes basic exercise, physical games, technical training, self defense training, kicking drills and non-contact sparring with no single activity lasting longer than about 10 minutes. For some children, however, the technical skills and self-defense portions of the training are the most challenging as they not only have to pay attention, but the skills are new to them and may seem quite difficult at first.
Does my child understand the concept of manners and respect?
While martial arts training isn’t a team sport, we train as a group. Children must learn to work with a partner, listen to an instructor and perform the prescribed activities. Your child will be taught to say, “Yes, sir/ma’am,” during their training and will be expected to listen without talking, sit quietly when required and take turns. If your child is especially spirited and entirely unaffected by the positive peer pressure found in the group training environment, she may not be ready for martial arts training just yet.
Can my child take some measure of correction?
Part of martial arts training is learning how to complete a prescribed physical task properly. In our Kinder Kickers program this may be as simple as making a fist or holding a correct stance, to something more complicated like performing a kicking technique or series of kicking and punching techniques in sequence. Because we’re establishing foundational skills that will continue to be paramount to a student’s success in TaeKwon-Do beyond the Kinder Kickers program, we will aim to correct improper form or behaviour. Your child should be able to take basic correction of her skills or behaviour without taking it as an offense against her personally. If you have a highly sensitive child, they may not be ready for martial arts.
If the answers to the above questions are a resounding yes across the board, your child is more than ready.
If there are one or two areas that may be a concern for your child, feel free to approach any Destiny Martial Arts instructor to discuss your concerns. This should hold true for any martial arts school you may be considering. Feel free to watch a class with your child to see how the instructors interact with the students. We also offer a free trial class to all new applicants, so that they can get a sense of whether or not they’re really interested in committing to this journey.
As a parent, you are your child’s most important ally and the source of their greatest encouragement. It is crucial that you are confident in your child’s ability to learn and develop the skills to succeed with their training. You can also further benefit your child by ensuring they practice the skills they learn in class at home between classes and by reinforcing martial arts values at home: good manners, self-control, responsibility and seeing things through.
Our goal at Destiny Martial Arts is to build confident leaders who persevere through this journey of growth and self-discipline. We believe it transforms lives and we hope you will choose to join us on the journey.