With bullying being such a hot topic, it’s no wonder more and more parents are looking to get their children involved in Martial Arts. Unfortunately, it’s difficult knowing which Art and which school is right for your child.
I have defined some of the common arts below:
Karate, a Japanese Art, is defined as unarmed combat, or empty hand. Karate teaches you to use hands and feet equally. Tae kwon do, a Korean Art, places emphasis on kicking techniques while Ju-Jitsu, originally a Japanese Art which then became popular in South America, concentrates on on-ground technique called grappling. All Martial Arts have the same goal of teaching self-defense, respect and discipline.
If you’re not sure which Art or school to choose, most will offer a few trial classes. Make sure the trial class is with the actual class your child will be enrolling in. Some will offer private trials, which do not give you the opportunity to see how things are run. You want to be able to see the instructors in action, meet and speak with some of the other parents and, most important, allow your child to interact with the children he/she will be spending a lot of time with.
Once you have narrowed down the schools you’re interested in, make sure you review the terms of the contract. Are you locked-in for a specific amount of time, or can you cancel at your will? Do you need to pay up front? What happens if you miss a class or your schedule changes? Things happen, minds change, schedules change, etc. Make sure you know the answers before signing anything.
Lori Miley is a program director and instructor at Jim Smith Karate in Yorktown Heights.